Aberdeen ,

Proposed name for school of excellence agreed

Members of Aberdeen’s Education and Children’s Services Committee were asked to approve the name for the new multi-million pound complex needs school after a clear favourite was identified following a public consultation with pupils, staff, parents and the wider community.

The committee, which met today (Wednesday 01 March), heard that from a shortlist of five proposed names the clear favourite was Orchard Brae School.

A total of 419 votes were cast. The number of votes for each of the five names is shown below:

Proposed Name Number of votes

Ar Dachaigh (Our Home) 85

Northern Lights 100

Orchard Brae 152

The Bruce School 13

The Howes School 69

The new £18.5million school, located on Howes Road, will provide education and support for up to 150 full-time children and young people from 3 to 18 years of age with severe and complex educational and medical needs in Aberdeen. It will replace Woodlands School, Hazlewood School and the Pre-School ASN (Additional Support Needs) provision currently located within Seaton School.

The first of its kind in Aberdeen - the Centre of Excellence - will be more than a complex needs school, it will be a hub for best practice in supporting learners with Additional Support Needs (ASN). It will be a:

  • hub for outreach services such as speech and language;

  • new resource centre for ASN – teaching and training facilities;

  • community hub for families for ASN parents/groups and charities to access;

  • multi-agency facility for health, education, social work and family support.

    A special ASN playground and garden for the whole ASN community to access and host events is also planned.

    In late January 2017, the children and young people attending the three schools were asked to suggest potential names for the new school.

    Invitations to help choose a name for the school, currently referred to as the Centre of Excellence, had been sent to staff, parents, partners linked to the school, current Community Councils as well as the Community Council serving the new school.

    Pupils at nearby Heathryburn Primary and Northfield Academy formed two focus groups to encourage their school communities to get involved in the naming process.

    An invitation was also sent to all Parent Councils and to the citywide Pupil Forum and the citywide Parent Forum to ensure widespread engagement.

    Aberdeen City Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee Councillor Angela Taylor said: “I would like to thank all the pupils, parents, teachers and wider community, who took the time to take part in proposing names for the new school and for voting for their favourite.

    “Orchard Brae School will provide pupils and staff with the opportunity to undertake learning and teaching in a modern, flexible environment which has been built to support learners with severe and complex needs.

    “The school building will maximise opportunities to support children, young people and families affected by disability through close partnership working in keeping with the feedback we received from families.”

    The school will open its doors to pupils in August 2017 - the start of the new academic year 2017/2018.

    The new school will improve the energy efficiency of the exiting two school buildings, reducing the Council’s carbon footprint. The school will also house the Children with Disabilities Team and health colleagues.