ABBOTSWELL SCHOOL - PARENTS' HANDBOOK 2020 - 2021 School website

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ABBOTSWELL SCHOOL - PARENTS' HANDBOOK 2020 - 2021 School website

    2020 – 2021
          School website
          Twitter - @abbotswell
ABBOTSWELL SCHOOL - PARENTS' HANDBOOK 2020 - 2021 School website

Section 1 – General School Information                  Page
Head Teacher welcome                                     4
Contact Details & School Office                          5
School Hours                                             6
Arrival at School & Playground Information               6
The School & it’s Context                                7
School Zone & Admission Procedures                       8
Current Staff                                            10
Temporary Teachers                                       11
Students on Placement                                    11
Class Groupings                                          12
School Dress                                             12
Lost Property                                            13
Mobile Phones & Personal Possessions                     13
School Meals                                             13
Free School Meals                                        14
Snack                                                    14
Attendance & Absence                                     15
Administration of Medication                             16
Emergency Contact                                        16
Guidance on Emergency School Closures/Adverse Weather    16
Security                                                 17
Fire Drill                                               18
Policies                                                 18

Section 2 – School Ethos
Vision and Aims                                          19
Abbotswell Behaviour Code                                20
Bullying                                                 20
Exclusion                                                20
School and Community                                     21

Section 3 – Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting
Curriculum for Excellence                                21
Learning and Teaching                                    27
Assessment and Reporting                                 28
Educational Visits                                       29
Extra Curricular Activities                              29
Instrumental Tuition                                     29
Sensitive Aspects of the Curriculum                      30

ABBOTSWELL SCHOOL - PARENTS' HANDBOOK 2020 - 2021 School website
Section 4 – Parental Involvement and Support for Pupils
Parent Forum / Council                                    33
Home / School Communication                               33
Homework                                                  34
Health and Safety                                         35
Transfer to Secondary School                              36
Child Protection                                          37
Additional Support Needs                                  37
Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)                 39
Educational Psychological Services                        40
Social Work                                               40
Concerns and Complaints                                   40
Insurance                                                 41
Transfer of Data and Data Protection                      42

Section 5 – School Improvement
Standards, Quality and Improvement Plan                   44
Priorities for Development 2018 - 2020                    45

Appendix 1
Local & National Contacts                                 41

ABBOTSWELL SCHOOL - PARENTS' HANDBOOK 2020 - 2021 School website

Dear Parents/Carers,

On behalf of the staff may I take this opportunity to welcome you to Abbotswell
School and to what I hope will be a long and happy association with us. At
Abbotswell we aim to provide an environment for children which ensures their
happiness as well as educational progress. All staff endeavour to create a
relaxed, caring atmosphere where learning is encouraged and where your child
can develop into a thinking, caring, responsible member of society. This we do in
partnership with home – working together in an atmosphere of trust and
openness to provide the best education for all.

In any organisation problems do occur and it is important that if staff or parents
are worried or have a concern, that we talk about it to reach a speedy resolution.
Parents/carers may telephone or call into school to discuss any area of concern.

We look forward to working with you to ensure that your child’s best interests are

With best wishes,

Emma Douglas
Head Teacher

*Please note: parent includes guardian and any person who is liable to maintain or has
parental responsibilities (within the section 1 (3) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995) in
relation to, or has care of a child or young person.

**Whilst all information within this booklet is correct at the time of printing, it is possible
that some items may change during the course of the year.

Integrated Children’s and Family Services

Aberdeen City Council
Education, Leisure and Sport
Marischal College
Broad Street
AB10 1AB

Our School

School name:                   Abbotswell School
Postal Address:                Faulds Gate
                               AB12 5QX
Telephone:                     01224 872714
Fax:                           01224 876270

   •   Contact with Abbotswell School can be made, firstly by phoning – 01224
   •   872714. Alternatively we can be contacted by email at

   •   The school website is

   •   You can follow the school on Twitter - @Abbotswell

   •   The school has an Information Line which is particularly useful during
       periods of severe weather and can be accessed through phoning 0870
       054 1999 and Pin Code 011130. Please do not leave messages for the
       school on this line. Information regarding any school closures will be put
       on the Aberdeen City Council website too.

Abbotswell School promotes close partnership working between staff and
parents/carers. Should you wish to talk to your child’s teacher or a member of the
Senior Leadership Team about matters relating to your child’s education or
welfare, we would ask that you firstly phone school and the appropriate member
of staff will either call you back, at a time suitable to you both, and/or set up a
meeting to discuss the matter.

School Office

The School Office is open from 8.30 am until 3.30pm. The school has an
answering machine for leaving messages.

School Hours

Nursery:                                      8.30am – 11.40am (morning)
                                              12.20pm – 3.30pm (afternoon)
P.1 – P.3:                                    8.45am – 12.00pm
                                              1.00pm – 3.00pm
P.4 – P.7:                                    8.45pm – 12.00pm
                                              1.00pm – 3.00pm
Morning interval:                             10.15 - 10.30am / 10.30am – 10.45am

Arrival At School and Playground Information

Parents are requested not to send their children to school before 8.30am as the
playground is unsupervised before school. Please also make sure that your child
is collected on time or knows what they are doing at the end of the school day i.e.
walking home, attending an afterschool club. Arrangements with After Schools
Club and or Active School Clubs are in agreement with the parent/carer and
provider and are not affiliated with the school.

Children who go home for lunch should not return to school until 1.00pm. Your
co-operation in this matter will help with the supervision of the pupils who are left
in school. During lunch/break times children will be expected to play outside
unless the weather is excessively icy, wet or windy. Outdoor play is an important
part of the school day. However, arrangements will be made for indoor playtime
when required.

Children should come to school with appropriate outerwear to suit the time of
year. In accordance with Aberdeen City Council’s Health and Safety Policy,
children will not be allowed to make ice slides in the playground nor throw
snowballs. During playtime and lunchtime, children are supervised by Pupil
Support Assistants. All PSAs have undergone First Aid training.

If your child has an accident in the playground, he/she will be treated by a first
aider. Your child will be given a slip, which will inform you of the nature of the
accident and the treatment given. We will attempt to notify you by telephone of
any serious injuries.


Parents/carers are requested to park on the street or utilise the Nursery car
park if attending the ELC setting. Children must not be dropped off in the
staff car park. Children are encouraged to enter the school grounds through the
gate closest to their door. Children must not walk through the staff car park to
gain entry to the school or its grounds. We would encourage parents to refrain
from this practice too.

The School And It’s Context

Abbotswell School and Craighill School amalgamated in August 2007, leading to
the creation of a new Abbotswell School. The amalgamation meant a period of
change and transition for everyone involved in the life of the new school.

The school building was opened in August 1951 and is surrounded by an
extensive grassy playground area. The playground is a continuing area of
development for us as we look to enhance children’s experiences in the outside

In addition to the normal range of classrooms the facilities at Abbotswell include a
large assembly hall, a gym and a kitchen complex where meals are prepared for
other schools in the area. The main teaching corridor also has a library,
technology suite and an active learning zone for Early Stages classes.

The range of educational provision at Abbotswell extends from Nursery to
Primary 7. The Nursery caters for 80 children – 40 each morning and afternoon.
The current role is 239 in 10 primary classes.

Abbotswell School Zone

Aberdeen City Council has a zoning policy for all primary and secondary schools
within the city. All schools serve a local ‘zone’ which has been determined by the
council. You can check your school zone/catchment area on the following

Alternatively this information can be obtained from the School Placements,
Integrated Children and Families Services, Marischal College, Broad Street,
Aberdeen, AB10 1AB, telephone 01224 522753.

Parents have the right to request admission to a school outwith their zoned area
and the authority has a duty to agree to such requests depending on availability.
Aberdeen City Council does however promote the attendance of children within
their local/ zoned school wherever possible.

Once an enrolment application has been made through placing requests and a
place is to be offered then the school will contact you to arrange a visit.

Admissions Procedures

Parents wishing to enrol their child at Abbotswell School are welcome to visit the
school following agreement with the Leadership Team. The Senior Leadership
Team is always willing to physically show parents around the school / share
virtual tours and photographs and discuss any issues raised. Following an initial
meeting and completion of online enrolment, a start date for your child will be

Due to current circumstances regarding COVID-19, unfortunately we can no
longer invite you to visit the school/nursery or meet with staff. Our website
does have School and Nursery guidance containing many photographs of
our setting allowing families to view different rooms and areas within the

Nursery Admission

Every child is entitled to a free part-time education place at the start of the term
following their third birthday. The Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc Act defines
the three school terms as follows:

Autumn Term: August to December
Spring Term: January to March
Summer Term: April to July

At Abbotswell we have 80 places available (40 AM/40 PM). Places are allocated
by the Early Years Team at Marischal College in accordance with Aberdeen City
Council Nursery Admissions Policy. Priority places may be given to children with
additional needs in accordance with the Children Scotland Act.

If you wish your child to attend a local authority nursery class, you should apply
for a place directly to the school of your choice. Applications for session
2021/2022 will be available from mid January 2021. Applications received before
the deadline in February will be included in the main round of allocations in
March. If you miss the deadline for the first round of allocations, you may still
apply for a place during the school year and this will be allocated depending on
available space.

Information regarding enrolment is published in the local press during January
and communicated to parents through the school bulletin/newsletter. Pupils who
attend our nursery have access to a range of educational resources and
experiences as part of the school and will be included in any “school
experiences” which are age appropriate.

Primary Admission

New entrants to Primary 1 are enrolled in January for entry to school in August.
This is for children who will be five between 1 March and 28 February the
following year. Parents of children whose birthdays fall in January or February
may choose to defer entry to Primary 1. Parents of children born August to
December may request an additional year of publicly funded part time pre-school
education, but these requests are at the discretion of the local authority.
Decisions about these are made by a multiagency panel in February each year.

At Abbotswell School we do our utmost to make starting school as happy an
experience as possible for each child (and parent!). Nursery pupils take an active
part in the life of the school, assisting their transition to P.1. In the summer term
they will meet their teacher, visit their classroom and go outside at playtime with
existing P.1 children. New entrants who are coming from another pre-school
centre will be afforded the same opportunities. All parents will be invited to an
induction meeting at school where they will be given more information about
school life.

School Staff (August 2020)

Head Teacher                       Mrs E. Douglas

Depute Head Teacher                Mrs C. Tysom

Principal Teacher                  Mrs L. Brechin

Class Teachers                     Mrs. S. Callum
                                   Miss R. Duguid
                                   Miss E. Allardyce
                                   Miss K. Dezall
                                   Mr D. Small
                                   Miss S. Duncan
                                   Mr C. Lawson
                                   Mr R. McCallum
                                   Mrs R. Paterson
                                   Miss I. McAskill
                                   Miss J. Leslie

NCCT / SfL Teacher                 Mrs L. Brechin/ Mrs C. Forbes / Mrs L.

Senior Early Years Practitioner    Miss S. McDonald

Early Years Practitioners          Mrs C. Amos
                                   Ms I. MacDonald
                                   Miss K. Palmer
                                   Mrs M. Paterson

Pupil Support Assistants           Mrs J. Brown
                                   Mrs D. Page
                                   Mrs L. Craig
                                   Miss W. Stephen
                                   Mrs S. Innes
                                   Mrs A. Hopkins
                                   Mrs S. Souter
                                   Mrs J. Kidney


Music                                       Mr A. Smith

Music Instructors:
Guitar                                      tbc

School Administrator                        Mrs L. Douglas

School Support Assistant                    Mrs L. Geddes

Janitor                                     Mr A. Stuart

School Nurse                                Ms K. Heslop

School Cook/Supervisor                      Mrs E. Black

School Chaplain                             Rev. E. McKenna

Educational Psychologist                    Dr K. MacPhee

Quality Improvement Officer                 Ms J. Cheyne

Temporary Teachers

From time to time it is necessary to employ temporary teachers to replace staff
who are absent. Whilst every effort is made to ensure continuity of staff, it is not
always possible, especially when a member of staff falls ill and there is no prior
warning. Continuity of planned learning is a priority for the Senior Leadership
Team. Pupils are expected to conduct themselves in the same manner for any
teacher who comes to school.

Students On Placement

Abbotswell School accepts students from the University and from Aberdeen
College to develop their teaching skills. Throughout the session these young
adults will often be present in classes to assist the class teacher in the
preparation and presentation of work. Again, there is an expectation that pupils
treat students with respect and demonstrate appropriate behaviour at all times.

Class Groupings

Your child may be placed in a single stage class with a maximum of 25 pupils in
P.1, 30 pupils in P.2 and P.3 and 33 pupils in P.4-7. Your child may be placed in
a composite class with a maximum of 25 pupils. Composite classes comprise
children from more than one stage e.g. P.4/5.

All pupils, whether in a single stage or composite class, are taught in groups
according to their stage of development. Emphasis is placed on teaching the
necessary competencies in each area of the curriculum. Many activities involve
pupils working both independently and co-operatively. Children are encouraged
to become independent learners.

School Dress

School uniform is strongly encouraged as it gives a sense of identity and
belonging, sets a high standard of appearance and is often less expensive than a
variety of ordinary clothing. Casual dress e.g. denim jeans, hooded tops,
football tops and clothing displaying large brand name logos are not
acceptable. Black sweatshirts/jumpers do not form part of the Abbotswell

Boys                     grey, navy or black trousers
                         navy or grey sweatshirt/jumper
                         red sweatshirt for P.7 only
                         white polo shirt

Girls                    grey, navy or black skirt/pinafore/trousers
                         navy or grey sweatshirt/cardigan
                         red sweatshirt for P.7 only
                         white polo shirt
                         red, green or navy gingham dress (summer)

We have an agreement with for the purchasing of school
uniform. They offer a wide range of clothing, complete with school badge.

For P.E., pupils require a t-shirt, shorts/leggings and gym shoes/trainers. Gym
shoes must be kept for indoor use only. In the interest of safety, no jewellery
should be worn in the gym. Please note that where jewellery cannot be removed
it must be taped over. Hypo-allergenic tape for this purpose is available in school.

Parents who wish may apply for assistance with the purchase of essential
clothing/footwear. Application forms can be obtained from the school office.

Lost Property

Lost property is kept outside the main hall and every effort is made to trace the
owners. Parents are asked to make sure that all items of clothing and
personal belongings are clearly named.

Mobile Phones and Personal Possessions

Mobile phones are not permitted within school. If your child must bring his/her
phone to school, it should be given to the class teacher during registration and
collected at the end of the school day. You will appreciate that mobile phones
ringing during lessons would be inappropriate and distracting. We thank you for
your support in this matter.

Electrical goods or any much sought-after toy/game must not be brought to
school – unless the class teacher has allowed it, for example, at the end of term.
Pupils can become very upset when something is lost or stolen. School will not
accept responsibility for any missing items.

School Meals

School meals are prepared and cooked on the premises by the school cook and
kitchen staff. A school lunch currently costs £2.20. Children are offered a
balanced and varied menu and a free cold drink. School lunchtime is considered
part of social training and good table manners are expected. We encourage
parents to discuss choices with children at home and plan ahead what they might
like to eat. The menu is also available on the School website.

Parents can request a special diet for children if there are medical or religious
reasons for doing so. Children who require medically prescribed or modified diets
should be identified during the admission process.

Abbotswell School is part of the cashless catering system. You can pay for
school meals in one of two ways:

1. Online at
2. At school paying by cash or cheque. Money should be given to your child in a
sealed envelope with clear instructions about the number of tickets to be
purchased along with your child’s name, date of birth and class. Cheques should
be made payable to Aberdeen City Council.

You can find information about school dinners, free school meals and the menu

Children who bring their own packed lunch are also accommodated at tables in
the dinner hall. Unless going home for lunch, children are not permitted to leave
school premises during lunchtime. If they choose to do so then we cannot
guarantee their safety.

Free School Meals
Parents or carers can claim free school meals for their children if they are
   o Income Support
   o Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
   o Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
   o Child Tax Credit, but not working tax credit, with an income of less than
   o Both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an income up to
   o Support under Part VI of the immigration and Asylum Act 1999
   o Universal Credit with a monthly earned income from your employer of not
       more than £610

Each child who is registered for free school meals receives £1200 pupil equity
funding for their school.

Please note: All pupils in P.1 – P.3 are entitled to free school meals.


As a health promoting school, children can bring in fruit or vegetables, e.g.
cucumber, carrot sticks and water or fruit juice for snack. Throughout the term
there are “Treat Days” where any snack is permitted. Please note: fizzy drinks
in cans or bottles are not permitted at any time.


Attendance And Absence

As a parent it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child attends
school and arrives on time. Lateness is recorded daily and is monitored

If your child is unable to attend school, school must be informed by 9am on the
first day of absence. The school must be informed in writing if a pupil has to
attend a medical or dental appointment during school hours. Children should be
collected from and returned to the school office.

Where there are frequent absences or lateness, or there is an obvious pattern of
absence, the Home/School Liaison officer will be informed and will follow up our

Planned Absences
As part of government regulations, we are required to record all absences as
authorised or unauthorised. Authorised absences are due to illness or family
bereavement and can include, for example, participation in sporting events or
music/dancing exams.

Pupils taking time off from school to accompany their family on holiday is not a
legal right in Scotland and such absences are recorded as unauthorised. Parents
are asked to request in writing, permission to take children out of school during
term time for a family holiday. Holiday dates are issued annually to parents. For
more information, visit

Communicable/Infectious Diseases
When pupils are off school because of sickness or diarrhoea, they should not be
sent back to school until 48 hours after symptoms have passed, i.e. 2 clear days.
Pupils must be kept off school for a period of time when they have an infectious
or contagious disease. These include common ailments such as impetigo,
chickenpox, conjunctivitis, etc. Please contact your GP for up to date advice if
you think your child has a communicable disease.

Head Lice
This is a common, intermittent problem which is easily treated. If parents discover
their child is infected, they should inform the school and obtain the necessary
treatments from the chemist. Letters are issued to parents if 10% of pupils in any
one class have head lice.

Children are encouraged to be responsible for their own inhalers. All pupils
suffering from asthma must have two inhalers in school – these should be
clearly labelled with the child’s name and class.

Administration Of Medication

There is no legal duty that requires education staff to administer pupil medication;
this is an entirely voluntary role and decisions may differ from school to school.
Parents/Carers have prime responsibility for their child’s health. During your
child’s enrolment process you as a parent/carer have a responsibility to inform
the school leadership team and/or office with your child’s pre-diagnosed
conditions. There may be certain cases in which school staff require medical
training prior to your child starting with us. In some cases an appropriate Health
Care Plan will be written in partnership with both you as parents, school staff and
health care professionals.

We do not routinely administer medication in school. If your child has received a
prescription from the doctor where possible it should be arranged for this to be
administered outwith the school day.

Short Term Medication
Children receiving regular medication throughout the day for flu, chest infections,
etc. should remain at home until they are fully recovered.

Long Term Medication
There are children who require repeat prescriptions for long term complaints and
may need to have these administered during the school day on a regular basis
e.g. inhalers. In these cases parents are requested to inform the school and will
be required to complete a medical consent form. This gives authorisation for the
school to dispense medicines and outlines precise instructions in the amount and
frequency of dosage. Forms will be kept on file for future reference. On no
account should tablets or mixtures be sent to school without the
knowledge of the class teacher and without communication.

Health And Safety

Parents should inform the Head Teacher of any infirmity or disability which may
affect the performance of their child. If glasses are required, parents should
ensure that these are worn and brought to school. If broken, repairs should be
carried out as quickly as possible.

Medical inspections are carried out by the school doctor and school nurse.
Parents will be informed of any condition requiring attention. If parents suspect
that their child may have an infection e.g. skin/hair, it would be appreciated if they
would inform the Head Teacher immediately. Any information will be treated in

If staff have concerns regarding the health of their pupils, parents will be
consulted with a view to making a referral to the appropriate agency e.g. Speech
and Language, Occupational Therapy etc.

Emergency Contact Numbers

When you enroll your child at school, you are asked to give us an emergency
contact number. We will ask you to update this each year. Please ensure that
you inform the school office if the contact details change as out of date contact
numbers can cause both you and your child unnecessary upset in an emergency
or illness.

If your child is ill at school, we will try to contact parents or carers in the first
instance. If we are unable to do this we will then use the emergency contact
number given by you.

If your child has an accident at school, it will be dealt with in the first instance by
our trained first aid personnel. It may be necessary to take a child to a doctor or
hospital. We will always try to contact you in this situation, however if we are
unable to make contact and it is in the child’s interest to have medical attention, a
member of the school staff will accompany the pupil to a doctor or hospital and
remain with them until you can be contacted.

Guidance On Emergency School Closures/Adverse Weather

School Closure Due to Bad Weather or Other Emergency We want to work in
partnership with parents and carers to ensure the safety of children at all times.
These guidelines outline the procedures for dealing with school closures during
bad weather or other emergency.

Parental Role
We would like you to:
● Ensure your child wears appropriate outdoor clothes throughout the winter.
● Decide whether it is safe for your child to travel to school in bad weather.
● Provided the school with information about emergency contacts to whom your
child can be sent at short notice if you are not available. Also tell the school about
any changes to this information and to your daytime contact details.
● Provide school with a bad weather address within safe walking distance of the

When will schools be closed?
Head Teachers decide if and when schools should close due to bad weather or
another emergency. In bad weather they will decide this after receiving
information about local weather conditions. This decision can be made during
any time, day or night.

If you are concerned about local weather conditions please contact the school.
You may wish to collect your child yourself and are free to do so provided you
make arrangements with the school.

If the school or nursery is to close early, the school will contact you by telephone.
If this is not possible the school will contact your named “emergency contact”. No
child will be released from school without contact being made.

Information on School Closures
We will use our School Website, Twitter, Parent Council Facebook Page and
Groupcall to update parents with information about school closures.

Your local radio station is also a good place to find information on school
closures. The following radio stations receive updated information every 15 mins
from the Aberdeen City Council website.
Northsound 1 FM 96.9
Northsound 2 MW 1035 kHz
BBC Radio Scotland FM 92.4-94.7 MW 810kHz
Original FM 106

Aberdeen City Council
School Information Line Tel: 0870 054 1999 Pin: 011130

It is important contact details are current and the people named are available –
particularly during bad weather.


All schools across Aberdeen City are fitted with security systems. Parents are
asked to co-operate fully with security arrangements at each school. Parents are
also asked to be vigilant and to warn to their children about “stranger danger”.
This includes sharing with your child/ren who they should expect to be present at
3.00pm to collect them from school. Parents should reinforce the arrangement
that children should remain with school staff when there is no one to collect them
at 3.00pm. On these occasions contact with parents/carers and if necessary
emergency contacts or duty social work will be made.

Any worries about unknown or suspect strangers on or near a school site should
always be reported to a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

At Abbotswell School we ask parents to enter by the main entrance and check in
at the Main School Office. Parents must not enter via any other door apart from
when dropping off and collecting children to and from Nursery when they should
use the Nursery entrance only.

Due to current circumstances regarding COVID-19, unfortunately we are
unable to have any visitors within the school building at this time.

Fire Drill

Fire drill notices are displayed in all areas of the school. Practice fire drills are
held once a term when all staff and pupils must evacuate the premises following
the correct procedures.


School and local authority policies are reviewed and updated reflecting
Curriculum for Excellence principles and practice. School policies are available to
view by contacting the school office:

Please contact the school office or Head Teacher if you would like more
information about school or local authority policies.


                    SCHOOL VISION AND AIMS
                 Learning to Grow, Growing to Learn

At Abbotswell School we want all pupils and staff to be all that they can be
               and to achieve success in all that they do.

         We aim to support everyone in our school community to:

                       Feel happy, safe and secure

         Care for themselves, care for others, care for this place

      Enjoy learning by being motivated, challenged and successful


Abbotswell Behaviour Code

The general aim of the school is to provide an atmosphere of mutual respect and
collective responsibility. Pupils, parents and staff all have an important role to
play in achieving this. We try to teach children to be responsible citizens and
make good choices. As a staff we lead by example and use praise and
encouragement to support pupils. Pupils respond well to praise and recognition.
At Abbotswell School staff will recognise and praise pupil’s efforts daily.

Abbotswell School has developed a behaviour code which has been shared with
and is supported by parents. This code outlines behaviour expected in school
and in the playground. The school rules were drawn up by staff and pupils:

1. Be polite and show respect to everyone in school.

2. Take care of belongings and school property

3. Do as you are asked the first time.

4. Walk quietly in school.

5. Behave sensibly at all times

The purpose of the code is to ensure that the school is a happy, caring place
where learning can take place successfully. All staff will do their best to make
sure that standards are maintained but the co-operation of parents is essential to
ensure success.


All forms of bullying, whether verbal or physical, will not be tolerated at
Abbotswell School. Appropriate action is taken promptly if ever any incidents
occur. A copy of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy is available for parents to
access in the school office.


For pupils who repeatedly display behaviours which compromise the good order
of the school, i.e. disruption of learning and teaching, unsafe practices, bullying
and other forms of abuse, and for whom other forms of sanctions have proved
unsuccessful, the local authority exclusion policy will apply. For further
information contact the school office.

School And The Community

At Abbotswell School we recognise the importance of fostering positive
relationships with the local and wider community. Pupils make regular visits to
Kincorth Library and we encourage children to become library members. We
attend South St. Nicholas Church at the end of every term. The minister makes
visits to classes and leads assemblies. Pupils have visited local shops and
facilities as part of their projects.

Staff and pupils enjoy sharing their learning with others. Classes make visits to
local care homes such as Margaret Clyne Court and Mark Bush Court. We have
taken part in fundraising activities for Sue Ryder Centre and Northsound Cash for
We encourage pupils to take responsibility in school – Pupil Council, Junior
Librarians, Digital Champions, Buddies and organising fundraising events. By
providing such opportunities we promote their role of being responsible citizens in


The Curriculum

At Abbotswell School we advocate the principles of A Curriculum for Excellence
where we strive to encourage children to be responsible citizens, confident
individuals, effective contributors and successful learners. Those principles are
Challenge and enjoyment, Breadth, Progression, Depth, Personalisation and
choice, Coherence and Relevance.

Curriculum for Excellence is the Scottish programme which aims to produce a
streamlined educational experience for pupils from 3 to 18 years old. The
Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes set out expectations for
learning and development in:

   o   Languages and Literacy
   o   Mathematics and Numeracy
   o   Health and Wellbeing
   o   Expressive Arts
   o   Technologies
   o   Social Studies
   o   Religious and Moral Education
   o   Sciences

For further information please visit

At the early stages in school one of our key principles is to teach literacy and
numeracy skills to children to enable them to access the curriculum
independently. These core skills will be taught through a variety of topics.

Each child is an individual and will progress according to their ability and their
needs. There are many cross curricular links between the areas of the curriculum
e.g. language, personal and social development and digital technologies.

Level            Stage
Early            The pre-school years and P.1 or later for some
First            To the end of P. 4, but earlier or later for some
Second           To the end of P. 7, but earlier or later for some
Third & Fourth   S1 to S3, but earlier or later for some. The fourth level broadly
                 equates to SCQF level 4
Senior Phase     S4 to S6 and college or other means of study

Pupils, at times, will be taught as a whole class, group or an individual and are
expected to work co-operatively and collaboratively with each other. Work is
differentiated to allow all pupils to access the curriculum effectively.

Abbotswell has high expectations for all its pupils. We believe that our pupils
should have high expectations of themselves, as should our parents.

Within the varied curriculum we provide equal opportunities for all our children
regardless of ability, gender or race.

Languages And Literacy

Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning and the skills of communication
are essential in everyday life, not just at school. Our ability to use language is
the key to the development and expression of our emotions, our thinking and our

At Abbotswell School we take a developmental approach to Literacy. This
approach ensures that our pupils develop the foundation skills they require for
the four organisers of Literacy: Reading, Writing, Listening and Talking.

More information about Emerging Literacy can be found at:

The development of reading skills is an everyday activity not just confined to a
set reader. Reading instructions, reading for information and enjoyment all need
to be developed and opportunities for these can arise in all areas of the

You can help your child develop reading skills and a desire to read for enjoyment
by providing books, using the local library, reading stories as well as discussing
any set reading homework.

In P.1 your child will be developing an understanding that stories, messages and
information can be recorded on paper in picture form and this, as well as
attention to detail and relevant points, will be developed before s/he begins to
use written words.

Writing involves a complex variety of skills, e.g. letter formation, spelling,
selecting appropriate words, using the correct grammatical structure, forming
sentences, composing. The learning and understanding of these skills will be
planned and structured in activities which encompass all areas of the curriculum.
By P.7, our aim is that your child will be able to write factually and imaginatively
and be able to select an appropriate style depending on the purpose of the

Pupils entering P.1 have already learned to communicate orally for a purpose
and this is fostered throughout primary school with opportunities for talk,
discussion, giving opinions and listening to others.

As well as competency in listening and talking, reading and writing we promote,
through language and literacy, the development of critical and creative thinking
and the personal, inter-personal and team-working skills vital for success in life.

As part of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 initiative, all pupils at Abbotswell
School learn French. As they progress through school, they will have
opportunities to experience other languages and dialects.


At Abbotswell School we aim to equip our pupils with a sound grasp of numeracy
and mathematics concepts, many of which they will require for life, learning and

The main elements of Numeracy are:
Number, Money and        Estimation and rounding          Fractions, decimal
Measure                  Number and number                fractions and
                         processes                        percentages
                         Multiples, factors and           Measurement
                         primes                           Patterns and
                         Powers and roots                 relationships
                         Time                             Expressions and
                         Money                            equations
                                                          Impact of Maths on the
Shape, Position and          Properties of 2D and 3D      Angle, symmetry and
Movement                     shapes                       transformation
Information Handling         Data and analysis            Ideas of chance and

With an aim of developing fluency and confidence in maths and numeracy, all of
our pupils participate in daily CLIC sessions as part of maths lessons. CLIC is
part of the Big Maths programme followed by staff. Big Maths is an approach to
teaching number that aims to ensure that children are confident with number as
they progress through school. It provides a rigorous and progressive structure
and enables children to fully embed key skills and mathematical facts through fun
and engaging lessons.Your child will learn to use and apply the skills and
understanding necessary for everyday needs in a variety of activities, with
emphasis on practical activity, which will provide opportunity for investigation,
discussion, practical problem solving and the sharing of ideas.

Health And Wellbeing

At Abbotswell School we are very proud of the positive ethos that collectively the
school community has created. Our school values help to ensure that everyone
involved with the life of the school has an understanding and shared
responsibility in order to maintain this nurturing learning environment.

Across the whole school a programme called Bounceback is delivered with the
aim of equipping our pupils with the skills they require to develop and maintain
healthy relationships and to build resilience.

Learning in Health and Wellbeing ensures that pupils develop the knowledge and
understanding, skills and capabilities which they need for their own physical,
mental, emotional and social wellbeing.

At Abbotswell School pupils will engage in activities relating to:
   o Planning for choices and changes
   o Physical education, physical activity and sport
   o Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
   o Food and health
   o Substance misuse
   o Relationships, sexual health and parenthood


As with literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing, digital literacy has been
placed at the heart of all learning, not only the technologies area of the
curriculum. Digital literacy outcomes are met in any/all curriculum areas.
Creative, practical and work-related experiences and outcomes which develop
skills for business, digital literacy, computing science, food, textiles, craft, design,
engineering, graphics and applied technologies are offered to pupils.

At Abbotswell School, children are encouraged to be creative and innovative.
They will learn about the role of technology and how it has shaped our world.
They will acquire digital literacy skills which will develop skills for work and life.

Social Studies

Through Social Studies children develop their understanding of the world by
learning about other people and their values, in different times, places and
environments. They also develop an understanding of their own environment and
how it has been shaped. As pupils move through the school their experiences will
be broadened using Scottish, British, European and global contexts for learning.

The Social Studies experiences and outcomes have been grouped thus:

   o People, past events and societies
   o People, place and environment
   o People in society, economy and business

Expressive Arts

By linking experience to imagination and creativity, children learn to express
themselves and to appreciate the expression of others through Art and Design,
Music, Drama and Dance.


The key concepts in Sciences have been identified as:
   o Planet Earth
   o Forces, electricity and waves
   o Biological systems
   o Materials
   o Topical science

Through learning in the sciences children develop their interest in, and
understanding of, the living, material and physical world. They take part in many
investigations, working with others, which helps them to develop important skills
to become creative, inventive and enterprising.

Religious And Moral Education

All pupils learn about aspects of Christianity and Other World Religions, planned
using the RME experiences and outcomes. Through planned activities and
discussions, the children are also given opportunities to explore Moral Values.

The school chaplain works closely with the Senior Leadership Team on themes
for church services and assemblies in school. Services are held in South St.
Nicholas Church to celebrate Christmas and Easter. Not all assemblies are of a
religious nature, although moral and social aspects are a feature of all

Non-denominational assemblies are held regularly in school and are led by the
Senior Leadership Team, school chaplain and other invited speakers. Each class
is responsible for taking one assembly during the session. Pupil and staff
achievements’ and successes are recognised and celebrated each week at

We aim to develop in our pupils an ethos of tolerance, understanding and respect
for the beliefs and customs of others. We are committed to encouraging pupils’
development in moral, social and cultural terms.

Parents wishing to exercise their right to withdraw their child from Religious and
Moral Education should contact the Head Teacher.

Learning And Teaching

Our teaching methods recognise and reflect that each child is an individual with
their own strengths and areas for development. We aim to support children in
reaching their potential. We use a variety of teaching methods to cater for a
range of learning styles.

We make use of the local environment, including local businesses and
recreational facilities. Our aim is to make learning relevant and meaningful and to
promote enthusiasm for lifelong learning.

Not all pupils do the same work at the same time; within any class the teacher
will regularly allocate tasks that are set at different levels of difficulty. The aim is
to challenge all pupils while at the same time giving them work which is within
their capabilities so that each child experiences success. When undertaking the
same task, it is differentiated by outcome based on the teacher’s prior knowledge
of each child’s strengths and abilities.

Assessment And Reporting

Assessment is an integral part of learning and teaching in Curriculum for
Excellence, helping to provide an emerging picture of a young person's progress
and achievements as they develop the knowledge, skills and attributes needed
for learning, life and work.

At Abbotswell School all staff and pupils follow the principles of Assessment is for
Learning, where pupils are actively involved in determining and assessing their

Class teachers continually evaluate their teaching and assess each pupil’s work
to ensure that s/he is coping and making the predicted progress. This
assessment has formal and informal aspects and provides a profile of each
child’s development. Teachers track pupil progress using the SEEMiS system,
where current CfE levels are recorded. Tracking is monitored and reviewed
termly by class teachers and the Senior Leadership Team. Such information is
useful when children change classes or schools.

Pupils in P.1, P.4 and P.7 undertake the Scottish National Standardised
Assessments (SNSA). These assessments are computer based and are
completed by each child at their own pace, under the supervision of a member of
staff. Literacy and Numeracy are assessed.

A school report is issued to each pupil in May, during the final term of the school
session. This report gives parents/carers specific information relating to levels of
achievement in certain curricular areas. In other curricular areas a general
summary statement will be made based on the level of achievement and attitude
of the pupil throughout the session.

Parent interviews are held twice each session in October and in May. Parents are
encouraged to discuss their child’s progress at any time during the school year. It
is advisable to make an appointment for this.

Due to current circumstances regarding COVID-19, Parent interviews will
be held virtually until further notice.

Educational Visits

Pupils take part in a variety of educational visits during their time at Abbotswell
School. Hands-on experiences greatly enhance children’s learning and put that
learning into meaningful contexts. Visits also strengthen the links between
learning in school and life outwith school. Parents are given the opportunity to
accompany classes on trips. We try hard to keep costs to a minimum and to give
parents ample notice if there is a substantial cost.

Due to current circumstances regarding COVID-19, unfortunately we are
unable to participate in educational visits.

Extra Curricular Activities

Children are encouraged to take part in a range of extra curricular activities.
Activities are run by school staff, Active Schools and parents on a voluntary
basis. Parents are expected to give their consent before their child participates.
Activities vary from session to session and have included basketball, football,
athletics, games club, Lego and construction, Glee, choir and craft club. Ideas
(and volunteers) for additional activities are always welcomed.

Due to current circumstances regarding COVID-19, unfortunately we are
unable to run our Extra-Curricular Activities.

Instrumental Tuition

Tuition is offered in brass, guitar and violin. Parents who are interested in their
child receiving instrumental tuition should contact the school office for further
information on the current tuition available, the method of selection and the fees

Due to current circumstances regarding COVID-19, unfortunately we are
unable to offer instrumental tuition.

Sensitive Aspects Of The Curriculum

Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood

Children learn about relationships, sexual health and parenthood from a wide
range of sources including formal education, parents and families, friends and the
media (magazines, books, TV, games, films, the internet).

Key learning themes from Nursery to P.7 are:

Nursery – P.5
Friendships and relationships
Carers and people who look after us
Respect and appropriate behaviour
Keeping safe
Similarities and differences
The growing body and body parts (correct terminology)

Friends and relationships
Health and wellbeing of others
Changing relationships
Respect and appropriate behaviour
Emotional issues
Puberty and personal hygiene
Keeping safe
Giving birth
Role of a parent/carer

In addition to the above learning areas, the following topics may be discussed at
age appropriate stages:

Physical development
Sexual behaviour
Sexuality and gender
Contraception and safer sex

Roles and Responsibilities

Education begins at home and parents are the first and foremost educators of
their child. Even if parents do not talk with their child about relationships and
sexual health, parental influence will still be strong.

Parents are encouraged to speak to their child about what they are being taught
at school and to actively support the work of the school.

We will build supportive and positive communication with parents and deal with
any parental concerns. Resources used in school may be viewed by parents.
Please contact the school for more information. Staff are provided with
appropriate training and support to deliver this area of the curriculum. Mrs.
Brechin, Principal Teacher, has responsibility for Health and Wellbeing.

Using Appropriate Language

We know that families use a range of different names for some parts of the body.
Children are taught the correct name for body parts in school and we would
appreciate it if this was reinforced at home.

In some exceptional circumstances, parents or carers may prefer to deal with
their child’s relationship and sexual health education themselves. This should be
discussed with the Senior Leadership Team so that appropriate alternative
arrangements may be made.

For further information about specific resources or programmes of work please
contact the school.

Drugs Education/Substance Misuse

Teachers refer to Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and to local authority
guidance when planning to deliver Substance Misuse education. At Abbotswell
School we aim to:
   o Allow pupils to develop knowledge and understanding about legal and
      illegal drugs, their effects and the implications of use and misuse
   o Provide opportunities for pupils to develop beliefs, attitudes and values
      about drugs
   o Enable pupils to develop skills required to make healthy, informed choices
      and informed decisions about drugs, including resistance to peer pressure
      or influence.
   o Link with other components of personal, social and health education to
      develop life skills and health promoting lifestyles.


Parent Forum / Council

At Abbotswell School, we value and promote the importance of parents/carers
being involved in their own child’s learning and also in the wider life of the school.
Showing an interest in your child’s learning will support their motivation and
attitude towards learning for the rest of their lives.

Skene Square School Parent Council are always looking for more support from
parents. Abbotswell Parent Council was formed in November 2007 in line with
government legislation. It replaced the Parent Teacher Association. All parents
are automatically members of the Parent Forum. The Constitution is on display at
Reception along with details of Parent Council Office Bearers and Minutes of
previous meetings. Parents are notified of forthcoming meetings through letters,
school newsletter and Groupcall reminders.

The fundraising sub-group organise a range of social opportunities for pupils and
parents and the wider community and provides valuable funding for educational
items, outings etc. The Parent Council work in partnership with the school,
supporting school projects and improvements. Our Parent Council also work in
partnership with the school to benefit our pupils, parents and wider community,
representing the parents. To find out more about the work of the group, please
contact school and we will inform you of meeting dates. Further information can
be found on their Facebook Page – Abbotswell Parent Council.

Home/School Communication

At Abbotswell School we are keen to maintain excellent and open communication
links with parents and carers and do this in a variety of ways.

As part of our self-evaluation process parental views are sought on a number of
issues, for example, behaviour, changes to the school day, parents’ night, etc.
Parents are invited to comment and submit these to school.

In Nursery, at drop off or pick up times, there are daily opportunities to talk with a
member of the Nursery team about your child or to pass on any important

During the school year, two parents’ evenings are held – one in October and one
in May. Pupil reports are issued in May. At least one open day is held during the
session when parents and carers are invited in to see their child at work in the

Other means of communication include MarvellousMe, Groupcall, newsletters,
curriculum evenings, parent workshops, concerts and fundraising events. Our
school website and school Twitter feed contain a wealth of information about the
school, including regularly updated class blogs.

If at any time you wish to talk with your child’s class teacher or a member of the
Senior Leadership Team, please telephone or email the school to arrange an


The main purpose of homework is to foster home/school links and encourage you
as parents to share in your child’s learning. Parental interest emphasises the
importance of all work, whatever the task, whether undertaken at home or at

Homework is given to reinforce skills already taught or to undertake research in
connection with a particular topic. No pupil is expected to spend an inordinate
amount of time to completing homework. If you feel that this is becoming the
case, then please contact the school. The intention is for homework to be stress-
free for all!

Parents are asked to ensure that text and exercise books are cared for and are
carried to and from school in a suitable bag. Books which are lost or damaged by
mishandling must be replaced or paid for.

When enrolling at Abbotswell School, each child is issued with a copy of the
parental consent booklet which contains a homework agreement. Your support is

Transfer To Secondary School

From August 2018, pupils transfer to Lochside Academy, a new secondary
school built to replace Kincorth and Torry Academies. Throughout their final year
at Abbotswell, P.7s will have the opportunity to attend transition events with
pupils from the five other primary schools: Kirkhill, Charleston, Loirston, Tullos
and Walker Road. A number of P.7 – S1 link projects have been developed to
ensure a smooth transition into secondary school. P.7 pupils and their parents
are invited to an information evening at the Academy. This is an opportunity to
meet some Academy staff and pupils and to hear about life at secondary school.
A visit is arranged in June where pupils can meet their teachers and follow a
sample timetable. We aim to make this a positive experience for each pupil.

Parents who wish to send their child to another secondary school in the city are
required to complete a placing request form for that school. It is advisable that
parents complete the admission forms for their child’s zoned secondary school
too as there is no guarantee there will be a place at any other school.

Child Protection

Given ongoing public concern on the subject of child abuse and changes in the
law, schools are required to report if we think that any child has come to any
harm as a consequence of possible abuse.

Each school has a designated officer appointed to be responsible for Child
Protection matters and is trained for this task. Mrs Douglas, Head Teacher, is the
designated officer for Abbotswell School. Should you wish to talk further about
Child Protection and the safety of children please feel free to contact the Head

Where there is a possibility that a child could be at risk of abuse or neglect, the
school is required to refer the child to Social Work, the Police or the Children’s
Reporter and under these circumstances, the parent would not normally be
consulted first.

Additional Support Needs

Additional Support Needs is a broad, inclusive concept which provides a
framework for supporting all children who may meet difficulties in their learning.
The factors which give rise to additional support needs are wide and varied.
Additional support needs may result from:
   • Family circumstances
   • Disability or health
   • Social and emotional well-being
   • Children in need of care and protection
   • The learning environment

The staff at Abbotswell have a critical role in identifying such pupils and seeking
extra support where necessary. Additional support may be given by:
    • Pupil Support Assistant
    • Sensory Support
    • Special schools and units
    • EAL service
    • Education Psychology Service
Where a pupil’s progress causes concern, immediate consultation with parents
will be made. All support sought for a pupil is made in full consultation with

INCLUSION – Statement From Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeen City Council is committed to inclusion and the presumption of
mainstreaming, as set out in the Standards in Scotland’s Schools Act 2000. It is
the aspiration of Education and Children’s Services to utilise its resources and
expertise to ensure that almost all children can be supported in their learning

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