We’re very excited as our blue tit family are back at Small Isles. We can see two chicks, and both parents are busy keeping them fed. We’re extra excited this year as one of our Granddads fitted another camera looking at the bird box from the outside. That means we’ll be able to watch them fledge too.
In 2012 our school joined the Crofting Connections project and as part of that, we were given a loom. We did lots of work around weaving and even went to collect some lichens to dye our own wool. Then we used the loom to weave a piece of fabric that was green and white and rather rough. Fiona Macdonald (a good weaver that lives close to school) helped us to set it up. Then we decided to have a competition to see who could design the best tartan.
On March 26th Small Isles Primary heard that the school had been nominated (as part of the Jura Lives project) for the Community Archive and Heritage Group Inspiration Award. On 12th June, it was announced at the annual conference of the Community Archive and Heritage Group that Jura Lives has been named Community Archives and Heritage Group Overall Winner 2014, and that Small Isles Primary’s Community Cafes received the ‘inspiration’ award.
Small Isles is proud to announce that our P7s successfully completed their cycling proficiency training on Thursday 19th June. It has taken two terms of regular training to get to this point, and to those of you who think that learning to ride a bike competently would be easy on Jura, we would say think again; a single track road has it’s own challenges, especially in tourist season. Well done P7s and a big thank you to Dorota, our instructor.
A clear blue sky, sunshine warming the air and a gentle breeze – the perfect conditions for an outdoor Samba Drumming Performance for the family and friends of Keills and Small Isles P.5-7 pupils. The rhythmic sound of surdo drums, agogo bells, tamborims and ganza shakers playing together was heard throughout the school grounds, probably most of Keills village and quite possibly Port Askaig!
In the Easter holidays almost all the children from Small Isles Primary on Jura took part in a sponsored cycle ride from Craighouse to Lagg. It’s a seven and a half mile cycle with some challenging hills, and everyone managed to do it, even our Primary One person. It took two hours for everyone to get there.
Last Thursday 27th March Islay Schools Bands held a fantastic concert, normally it is only the High School Band and the Primary Schools Band (children from all Primaries on Islay & Jura) but a brand new after school Band was formed last year to give younger children a chance to begin learning an instrument from Primary 3. They are called “Ceol na Cloinne” (Music of the Children) and they meet at Islay High School every Friday. This was only their second concert and although there were a few’ butterflies’ they played excellently and did themselves proud!
This term the P5-7 children in all the primary schools on Islay and Jura are learning about science and technology. We have been learning about electrical circuits, creating electronic devices, simple programming and discussing the links to real life technologies.
The P5-7s from Keills came to Jura on the 4th March for a technology challenge day, where we shared what we had been learning and had lots of fun! Here’s a few thoughts about the day.
On Wednesday 5th of March Keills and Small Isles Primary travelled down to Port Charlotte School to do some team building challenges.
First we were put into teams and it was good because the groups had children from different schools. This meant we could make new friends. The first challenge we did was a dragon game. I liked it because you had to communicate with lots of different children. We had to try and catch the other teams’ dragon tails. It was great fun.
In Spring 2012, Small Isles children became involved in the Crofting Connections Project. During the summer term they invited the community to be involved too by hosting four Crofting Community Cafes in school. Each cafe had a crofting theme (Crofting the land, Life as a child, Crofting Culture and Crofting at Home) and a panel of ‘experts’ from the community were invited to come and share their memories and experiences of the theme by answering questions from the children, leading discussions and having drinks and home-cooked treats.
There were loud shouts of “Oh no it isn’t!” and “Oh yes it is!” on Thursday 12th December when Small Isles Pre-Five and Primary children performed Snow White in the village hall. Audiences in the afternoon and evening were enthralled with tales of evil queens, crazy boffins and poor Snow White, who did, eventually get her prince!
P6/7 pupils from Port Charlotte, Keills and Small Isles came together at Keills Primary School on 13th November, to rekindle friendships after their very successful trip to Oban in September. The children had been corresponding by letter/e-mail since the trip; however with some planning, organisation and good weather we were all able to come together again last Wednesday. The morning started with some fun team games where we all got to know each other better.
The P6/7 children from Islay and Jura had a fantastic four days from 24th – 27th September with the Stramash Team, in and around Oban. A brilliant range of activities including coasteering, archery, dinghy sailing and climbing, challenged everyone (including the staff!). The Stramash staff supported us all to do our best, and the team at the Oban YHA looked after us brilliantly. New friendships were made and others rekindled after the Stirling Trip in May. We’re looking forward to lots of shared learning over the rest of this session.
As part of their work about Crofting Connections, the P5-7 at Small Isles Primary school had a very exciting day when they went to the Kelvingrove museum in Glasgow on Tuesday 17th September. They went to attend a party to open their exhibition which was about crofting in the past, present and future on Jura. Lots of people who had connections with Jura came to see it too. The P5-7s also took part in a Rainforest Explorers work shop which was great fun. They looked around the museum all day long and had a VIP guided tour around it.
We now have seven very lively chicks who are preening and stretching their wings and legs ready to fly. Mum and Dad are still feeding everyone, but not as often – perhaps they are hoping to encourage the chicks to head off into the big, wide world. We hope that they fledge when we are all in school so we can watch them!
Our chicks are keeping Mum and Dad busy feeding. They have started to grow feathers on their heads and they look like aliens. We are not sure whether one has died as we can only see six open beaks. They’re very interesting to watch. Mum doesn’t sit on them any more because she doesn’t have time to – they are taking lots of feeding.
From Molly Fletcher (P6) and Finlay MacDonald (P4)
At the end of March Dyllan and Davina’s Grandad came and fitted our new bird box camera. We thought we were too late to get any birds nesting in it this year, so we did a challenge to research what species of bird might like to make their home in it, ready for next Spring. On Monday 20th April there was great excitement because we had a bluetit sitting in our box and seven eggs! Just as the children were coming into school this morning the eggs started to hatch, and as of 3.45pm when the children went home, there were five tiny chicks. Our very own Spring Watch!
All the P6/7 children of Islay and Jura got together for a fantastic trip to Stirling last week! New friendships were made and old ones were resurrected as the children spent four days together learning about the history of Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument as well as enjoying the engineering wonder of the Falkirk Wheel! The views over Stirling were magnificent.
A brand new after school Wind Band ”Ceol Na Cloinne”(Music of the Children) for Primary 3 & 4 children has been formed on the Isle of Islay; they meet every Friday at 4.00 pm at Islay High School and they are already making some great sounds. The young musicians come from every Primary School on the island and they really enjoy making music together.