Hydro Power

Hydro power makes electricity by water being released from a reservior flowing through a turbine,spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to make electricity. Hydro power is a renewable energy source. 18% of the UK uses hydro power. It’s negative point is that  it is expensive to build and it dams water flooding lots of land.   However it won’t pollute the air with greenhouse gases like power plants that burn fossil fules.  We have small scale hydro electric projects on Islay that make electricity for a house.  There is also a large scale project near Oban, called Cruachan Hydro Plant.  Islay has used water since olden days to move things as this old abandoned waterwheel shows.

We Became A Digital School

Our school has just achieved digital school status through the Digital Schools Scotland Awards Scheme.  To achieve this we had to review our approach to technology in school and have our work validated.  We spoke to a lady called Jen Mackay using Glow Meet, and she asked us questions like what technology have you been using in school.  We are the first school in the whole of Argyll to win this award and the first to do it via Glow.  Jen MacKay said that we were very good at telling her what technology we use in school and what we use it for. We use Glow for writing essays and homework and also for writing blogs on our website and our learning blog.  We use Classdojo so that if we needed to bring in something to school like a packed lunch for a school trip Mrs Clark can message our mum or dad, we also use Excel to work out points for our houses.  Sumdog Maths is really helpful for us too and we also use Nessy to help us with our spelling skills.

So that is how we became a digital school.

By Abi Logan

Engineering Habits Of Mind

We have been learning about Engineering. We have been looking at the Engineering habits of mind here are some and what they mean.  Curiosity: asking lots of questions about something. Open- mindedness: showing and telling new ideas. Resilience: don’t give up.  Resourcefulness: always organized. Collaboration: able to work in a group.  Reflection: look back at your work and rethink your ideas. Visualising: think in your head about what you think your idea is going to turn out like.   We have been learning these because the whole schools topic is Engineering. I think that I have learned how to work in a group, how to ask questions, to keep working hard and never give up and how to look back at my work and improve it to make it better. I also learned that Engineers are not just men some engineers are women as well.

By Abi Logan

Lego Wedo

On Wednesday the 15th of March P6/7 all over the island went to the high school to do STEM and there were different activities to do.One of the activities was Lego Wedo. What is Lego Wedo? Well Lego Wedo is when you get to make your own robot. There were three different choices and the one I did was like a bumblebee with  a long neck. There were other ones to do as well. To build the robot you had to go on an app on the iPad and you chose the robot that you chose of the sheet and then tap on to it and it will come up with the instructions  to build your robot.

  I learned how to build lego  on my own and how to use the app on the iPad. The skills I use was tinkering because I had to play around with it so that is would work. I also had to use debugging because the programing went wrong and it did not work. I also had to debug the robot because some parts of it were in the wrong direction and in the wrong places.

I think that the one I chose to build was the easiest to make because it was small and it had the least steps and it was not that hard to make.  I felt happy when I had made the robot because I got to build another robot like that but not the same and it was harder.

Diving Endeavour

Here is the video produced by Bronagh for her Diving Endeavour.  She learned to scuba dive with her dad and wrote about the wrecks around Islay and created a risk assessment as well.  Bronagh was the winner of this years Endeavour Award for her independent work, successful management of time, learning of challenging new skills and excellent self evaluation.  Well done Bronagh!


IMG_0995  saltire

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!  Above is a video of our Junior Saltire Journey.

Our Endeavour Fair

On Tuesday 7th June Primary 5,6,7  of Port Ellen Primary showed everyone their Endeavour Projects. The fair was all afternoon.  Some people sold things they had made and some had videos to show. Kaitlyn sold jewellery, Sarah sold her book, Jasmine sold her magazines, Sophie sold her jigsaws, Abi sold her cards, Joe sold T-shirts and Katie was selling sweets and popcorn. Some people had things for other people to try; Matthew, who was doing House building, had children  cementing bricks and Ronan had his video game for people to play and Ellie had mexican food for people to eat and Kaya had made a strawberry cake and some people had quizzes. Everyone had a different project and we had lots of visitors from the local community who really enjoyed the afternoon. Most of the people that came bought something. Everyone had fun showing people their Endeavour.

by Sarah

One Picnic Pocket Pallet Garden


On Thursday 2nd June Mirren and Rebecca traveled to Edinburgh to set up their Picnic Pocket Pallet Garden. When they arrived, they set up their garden for the next morning when the show would be held. The Garden Show was held in Ingliston. They next morning Mirren and Rebecca and their families went to the show. There were lots of really good gardens from other sections and the section Mirren and Rebecca’s garden was in. They looked around all of the gardens and then they went back to theirs because a politician came to look at our garden and asked us questions about it. Then we got our picture taken by a photographer. After that we all went to look at other gardens and got ice-cream before we traveled back down the road to the ferry.

Endeavour Showcase

We are nearing the end of this years Endeavour projects.  On Tuesday afternoon the children will have an opportunity to show off their learning to visitors; parents, students, teachers and the local community.  They have worked hard all year improving their planning, management, organisation, evaluation and presentation skills.  Now they get to present that learning to a wider audience.

After the showcase children have one final task- to review and reflect on their achievements.  They have to answer questions:   What new learning did I achieve?  How was my project challenging?  Did I have any problems to overcome?  Who or what helped with my project?  What did I create with my new learning?  Did I achieve all my targets?  How did I share my learning?

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They will look at the universal learning with regards to planning,reviewing, researching and presenting and the success criteria and decide how successful they have been.  From their they will decide on next steps.  These reviews, in the form of a PPT will be printed out and shared with parents in their learning logs.

Our Orienteering Day

IMG_0878On Wednesday 1st June our school invited Port Charlotte and Bowmore Primary School to come do Orienteering with us. We all went to the hall were we got sorted into four different groups blue, purple, orange and green. We were all mixed up so there was some Port Ellen Pupils, Bowmore Pupils and Port Charlotte Pupils in each group. After that each group was sent with a teacher. Every teacher had their own orienteering stage. We also had Lynn Walker from Scottish Orienteering to hep  us and we also had Rona Young, a P.E teacher that helped us. The courses we had were Make your own course, How to use a map / tour around our playground, a maze and a course with different stages. Everyone had lots of fun.



Then today everyone was split into their Port Ellen school houses (Nave,Texa and Orsay) and then we were split again into teams of 3,4 or 5 and we were each given a map and an electronic dibber (which we also used in the maze). One person in each team would go to one of the tags located on the map, log it using the electronic dibber, and then when they came back to the team they would pass the map and dibber to the next runner.   They had to do odd and even numbers in turn and the big ones helped the wee ones to find the points.  At the end we all gathered in the hall and we were told which house won the competition. Texa was third, Orsay was second and Nave was first. Everyone had lots of fun and everyone gave it their best shot.


Horses and Riding Endeavour

IMG_6145This year for my Endeavour I am doing a documentary on horses and riding. I chose to do this because I have been riding since I was 5 (Almost 7 years) and I absolutely love horses. I have never made a documentary before, and I wanted to try something new.

I planned my Endeavour on a planning sheet that our teacher made for us. It had all of the months that we do our Endeavour and in them box’s I put what I want to achieve during that amount of time.

I have planned my documentary and I am also doing a Pony Care Book that I have planned out. I have filmed most of my documentary.

I have had lots of problems to overcome during my Endeavour such as, storage on my phone, having good days to film

Reduce Reuse Recycle

P1020206For my Endeavour I am doing recycling and how to recycle I am trying to show people what can be made out of what other people consider rubbish instead of throwing them away. I got my idea from when I put things into the bin because there is always to much things in there and when my mum puts things into the clothing bank. I planned my Endeavour by filling in a long term planner. The person that has helped me with most with my Endeavour is Mrs Macfarlane. The problems that I had to overcome was when I was sewing because I sewed on the out side instead of inside so I had to do it again.   So far I have up cycled a tin can by painting it and then putting flowers love hearts and other things on it, then a photo frame by spay painting it and then finding things like stones, string and buttons and get out the glue gun and put them on and then I up cycled some dungarees by making it into a bag. At the end of Endeavour I will be showing what I have made and show all of the common materials how to up cycle and a before and after scrap book.

By Rowan Morris

Jewellery Endeavour

pics 021My Endeavour is jewellery making and I chose this Endeavour because I have never made proper jewellery before and I thought it would be challenging. I planned my Endeavour with a long term planner where I filled in what I would do in all the months. I have managed to make some jewellery like bracelets, necklaces and some earrings I have also made a video on how to make some of my jewellery. A problem that I overcome was when I started to make a video and I realised that I didn’t have any lobster clasps left so I just put tape around the edges of the wire but now I have lobster clasps. Mrs Campbell helped me by giving me 4 books on jewellery making, my mum helped me by buying all the things and Ortwin Thyssen helped me by replying to my letter. I will share my jewellery and sell it and I will have a leaflet on jewellery making.

Farming Endeavour

sheep3This year for my Endeavour I am doing farming.  I picked this Endeavour because I want to be a farmer and it seems a lot of fun with my brother when he helps on my uncle’s farm.  I have made a farming diary and I have made a presentation, a fact file and a quiz.  I think it is really interesting that sheep can remember for many years.  A problem I have overcome is that I don’t like cows but I have still worked with them.  I would improve my time management next time I do Endeavour.

By Darren

The Scottish Mathematical Challenge

P1020045This year pupils at Port Ellen primary school took part in the Scottish Mathematical Challenge where they had to answer problem solving questions 3 times over the year showing their working out. To get a bronze award you couldn’t lose more than 10 points, to get a silver award you couldn’t lose more than 6 points and to get a gold award you couldn’t lose more than 3 points. Rebecca, Katie, Ross and Matthew got a bronze award and I got a silver award missing out on a gold award by only one point! I feel happy because I got a silver I am also very surprised because I didn’t think my problem solving was that good. One of the questions was “Maureen, Alice and Siobhan are three young sisters, in that order of age. Alice is two years older than Siobhan. Each year, their wealthy aunt gives each of them, for each year of her age, as many pounds as she is years old. For example, on her first birthday a girl would receive one pound and on her third birthday nine pounds. The aunt has promised to continue this family custom with each girl until her twelth birthday. This year Maureen received as much as Alice and Siobhan put together.
How much will Siobhan receive next year?” I found this quite tricky.  There was also a question about a diagram that represents a rectangular net, which is made from string notted together at different points. Another one was about a diving competition where there are 5 judges that each awards a whole-number from 1-10 and you had to work out all the possible scores awarded.  It was really challenging but helped me get better at my maths problem solving.  There is an award ceremony in June in Glasgow.  Next year I will try to get a gold.

Beat the Flood

IMG_2701For National Science and Engineering Week P3/4 were trying to Beat the Flood.  This was a challenge set by Practical Action to try and design and build a floodproof house that could stand up to flooding and monsoon rains.  The design also had to be sustainable, use materials available on a small Pacific Island and be cheap to build.  This innovative design has a water catcher and grows food on the roof so that people can still eat if the land around has been flooded.

The Rock Cycle

P1010993P567 at Port Ellen Primary have been doing Geology. This includes learning about rocks. So, we learned about how all the rocks are formed. They are formed by a cycle which is the Rock Cycle. There are 3 types of rock groups: Sedimentary rock, Metamorphic rock and Igneous rock. First, little broken up pieces of rocks, called Sediments cement and compact together to make Sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock then heats up and gets lots of pressure building up on it. Then it turns into a Metamorphic rock. Next the Metamorphic rock travels to the core of the Earth and melts into magma. When magma crystallizes, it makes Igneous rock. Finally, Igneous rock then experiences Weathering, Erosion and Depostition. Then the Igneous rock turn back into Sediments. Then, It starts again. The process of the rock cycle takes millions of years to complete. When we were learning about the Rock Cycle, we all made A3 posters and we drew a diagram on the Rock Cycle. I thought learning about The Rock Cycle was really fun.

My New Endeavour Project

Hi my name is Natalie and I am doing an Endeavour project, and I thought I would share it with the world. Endeavour is an independent project where you choose your own project and learn about it for eight months and in June we have a big fair and share our learning with friends and family. For my Endeavour I chose “Walks Around Islay.” I chose this project because there are ALOT of places on Islay I have never been, and I would like to find out some information/ history about Islay. So every so often I will share some information and history about place I have been on Islay.

The people that are able to help me are my family,  Walk Islay and mainly people that would like to go for a walk or another place that they have been before or a new place.

I planed my project with my mum and we had a wee chat about something she would be able to help me with and we could go places together in the holidays.

At the end of my project I will have an Explorers Book, A Collage of photos and maybe a book of information.

To Sum Up What We Have Achieved

Port Ellen Primary School P5/6/7 has been learning how to Orienteer. To sum up what they have achieved is quite remarkable.What they have been doing in oreeinteering this year such as making some course challenges, made a map of the school grounds, Google Maps course around Port Ellen, and they made a course round Islay on a map and put QR codes round the school .

The School got a grant of 2,000 so the school thought it would be a good idea to buy water proofs and other outdoor achievement for orienteering and other outside activates with the school. They have recently done a Google Maps course round Port Ellen with videos and pod casts.

I know they have been very successful in there orienteering topic and we hope they can continue this topic.