In our school we have two Nursery classes, a P1-3 class and a P4-7 class. There are currently 38 children in the Nursery and 31 children in the school.
Besides classroom space, the school has a library and also a school hall which doubles as the gym and canteen.The school is surrounded by a playground and has the added advantage of a large playing field within close proximity. This playing field is used by the children during all weathers. We are also in the process of developing the school garden which lies adjacent to the school building. We have 6 school hens that the children look after on a daily basis.
In order to deliver a curriculum that is fit for 21st Century learning, technologies play a large part in daily life at Echt School. The school has wireless internet and in January 2015 we became the first school in Aberdeenshire to deploy 1:1 device. Each child from P1-7 has his or her own iPad mini which comes to school each day in the child’s school bag. In 2015 we were part of an Aberdeenshire pilot looking at Reporting to Parents and since then we have used Book Creator on the iPad to enable pupils, staff and parents to build reports for each child three times each school session.
The children benefit greatly from four breaktimes each day. They have a 20 minute break around 10.15am and then another 10 minute break at 11.20am. Lunch is a 45 minute break and they have one last break for 10 minutes at 2pm. Regular breaks to run around outside has been proven to stimulate the brain and the children are more settled when they return to class and are more able to continue learning.
We are also advocates of Shoeless Learning. The children remove their shoes outside their classrooms and move around inside wearing their socks. The link below gives information on the benefits of Shoeless Learning. We have an unwritten Sock Policy in school that says no-one is permitted to comment on the state of anyone’s socks!
The children participate in a wide variety of curricular and non-curricular activities within the school grounds and also in their local environment and community. We have strong links with Dunecht Estate and they have been very helpful in supporting us with our Forest School site. All children from P1-7 attend Forest School on a monthly basis. P4-7 worked towards their John Muir award by planning and equipping a Forest School site for the Nursery children which is close to our school. We provide our children with School Wellies and Waterproofs so everyone is equipped to go outside whatever the weather. After-school clubs can vary from term to term but can include gardening, netball, country dancing, coding, running to mention a few.