About Islay – A digital book

As part of our whole school project on marine litter, P1/2/3 are reaching out to other schools near the sea to find out if they find lots of plastic on their beaches too.  Here is their digital book all about Islay.  We hope that you enjoy watching it and see how lovely our island is.  Please comment and let us know if you have what you can find on the beaches near your school.  Thank you, P1/2/3

WW100 Visitors

On Thursday 25th January Jenni and Stuart from the Islay Museum came to Port Ellen Primary school to talk about WW100 on Islay.  This is so we can get information about WW1 on Islay and what happened here during the war. They told us about the Tuscania, which was torpedoed by a submarine in 1918 and it sank off the coast of Islay, but some the survivors came ashore in lifeboats or were wrecked in the rocks and people on Islay helped to save them and also to bury the dead.  Two brothers came down from their farm house and saved some people and gave them their home, and some poeple baked scones.  It is amazing to think this all happened 100 years ago on February 5th.  I am looking forward to finding out more about Islay at this time.

A Geologist Visits



Just before Christmas P4/5 were thrilled to get a visit from Miss Heads nephew Luke, who is a geologist.  He answered lots of their questions about volcanoes and earthquakes.  He was also very impressed by the children’s knowledge of the earth’s structure and plate tectonics.



To complete our IDL on earthquakes and volcanoes, P4/5 have learned about the pros and cons of living in areas of the world where there are volcanoes and earthquakes.  They wrote a piece of persuasive writing to convince people that living in Iceland had lots of positive aspects and found out how engineers try to make buildings earthquake-proof.  The children worked in co-operative groups to build earthquake-proof buildings and then we tested them using a huge tray of jelly to be the shaking ground!

Recreating Skara Brae


P4/5 have been learning how, during the Neolithic, people started to move away from being hunter-gatherers and started farming.  They began to build permanent homes.  They worked in groups to build models of Skara Brae as well as Iron Age hillforts, roundhouses and crannogs.

Discovering Archaeology

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P4/5 have been finding out about the work of archeologists and how they go about finding evidence of the past.  They took part in a mini dig, tried to reassemble bits of old pottery and dissected a Stone age poo to find out what people ate long ago.

Standing Stone


As part of their learning about Islay Prehistory P4/5 went up to see the standing stone outside Port Ellen.  They were amazed at it’s height up close and how people long ago managed to get such a big piece of rock into a stand

Port Ellen Primary School Bramble Picking

IMG_1030On Wednesday 7th September Mrs.Clark’s class and P1/2/3 went bramble picking at the croft road. There was 2 people in each pair and every pair was given 1  bag to put the brambles they find in. As we set off to get brambles a buildbase lorry went by and we all had to get on the grass and let the lorry pass. After the lorry was gone we started to pick the brambles and there was a lot of brambles found just at the start of the road. Matthew and his little brother William started to get further down the road. People were on left and right trying to get the biggest and most purple brambles so that they can make the best bramble jam. Ciaran was always at the front of all the people just because some people at the front said that they would get the most brambles because they were at the front. Closer to the end of the path there were more brambles but most of us decided to take out time because if we did that we could still find a lot of brambles which no one knows about.  We picked over 5Kg of brambles and made it into bramble jam.  Yum!


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Last week Joe, Bronagh, Kaya and Murray traveled with Mrs Clark and Mrs Leask to Glasgow and Edinburgh to take part in the Celebration of Science and Engineering run by @scdiYESC at the Glasgow Science Centre.  They were finalists in the Junior Saltire Awards with their Wave Islay design, made with help from Bronagh’s dad Gus, an excellent boat builder.  They tested their devices at the Flowave facility in Edinburgh along with 6 other primary schools and 5 secondary schools, before attending the event and presenting to the judges.  They also took part in STEM challenges as a team, with around 40 other schools, where they had to correct a listing oil rig, calculate pH for crops, stabilize a bridge, build a train and identify oil products.  When we got to the awards ceremony  the Imax cinema was full.  We were shocked and amazed when Heather the weather announced the winners of the primary STEM challenges as Port Ellen Primary School!  We got a great trophy and went and sat back down, only to discover we had also won the Primary Junior Saltire Awards!  What a day!  Below is a video of our Junior Saltire Journey.

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