Takeaway the Plastic!

Dear Editor, 

I am an 11 year old boy called Aaron Clarke from Port Ellen Primary school and I am very concerned about the use of plastics from around the Island, and I would really like if I could change your mind about your plastic use and make the world a better place. 

I am talking about Plastic Takeaway Boxes; this is a big problem because everybody loves a takeaway but the sea doesn’t. I know I love a takeaway and all the rubbish ends in the bin which end in a dump; did you know that 40% of the plastic that is used for packaging gets used once? If you think that’s the worse, a fifth of plastic doesn’t get recycled at all! Sea animals are accidently eating your plastic and dying because of it, and then it’s not just them consuming plastic because then their babies are eating it, then us as well so please stop. Would you like to choke and die on plastic takeaway boxes? Plastic doesn’t just disintegrate, as it takes over hundreds of years to break down; just break down not disappear. 

So I beg please stop using plastic. You can still have your takeaways, just please try not to get ones with plastic food packaging or at least reuse it. Or perhaps local business could find biodegradable takeaway boxes and cups rather than plastic ones.  So that’s all I ask for, ask for non-plastic packaging for your food; look up if they have a website and find out about their packaging before you buy. Thank you for taking your time to read this and I hope you can try this out. 

Yours Sincerely, 

Aaron Clarke 

Plastics; Friend or Foe?

Through a course of hundreds of years we have had a glorious yet destructive item, known as plastic. It is a durable material which is made from oil. It can be made into almost anything, from cups to cars. It is extremely common, and we even think that we could dump it anywhere with almost no consequences, but is that true?

Plastic is everywhere, which proves how reliable, cheap and popular it is. It could be used for packing, making anything inside a cardboard box safe from scratches or marks. And although people do say that oil is running out quickly, and it will be scarce sooner than we think, plastic doesn’t have much to do with that. Plastic only uses about 5% of oil in the world every year. It can’t hold anything, of course. A plastic bridge or a plastic skyscraper just couldn’t work, but as these things take years to make, and their materials are very expensive, it’s understandable why something as cheap as plastic wouldn’t be able to hold the weight. Plastic could also be used for transport. Plastic is lightweight, but strong with the right manufacturing. With it being light but strong, it is a perfect recipe for cars, to make them fast, durable and resistant to weak blows. Relating to its packing form, it can easily carry your shopping for only 5p most the time. You may complain that plastic bags break too often, but what do you expect for something that is 5p? Plastic is also extremely useful for power cords, as electricity cannot travel through plastic.

But, of course it has its disadvantages. Plastic probably has the biggest effect on the ocean out of everything it may damage. Plastic litters the street, the beach and most importantly the ocean. Plastics never break. The may decompose, but they only become micro-plastics, which is still dangerous to the environment and the sea life. If a sea creature eats a bit of plastic, it could harm its organs, and if it has children, its children would also have plastic in its body. Micro-plastics have this same effect. Plastic that is too big for an animal could either choke the animal if it tries to eat the plastic, or the plastic could get stuck around the animal, which could prevent it from eating, moving or it could tangle around the animal’s throat and choke it. If we eat something that has eaten plastic we would also be eating plastic, as fish can’t digest it. It’s not as dangerous for humans as it is for fish, but would you like to eat plastic?

In the end, plastic does have lots of benefits, and to stop using it altogether doesn’t seem like a good idea due to the amount of it we use and somethings would be impossible without it. But we should be wary on how much we use and what we do with our plastic and only use it where it is really necessary. Throwing it away is not a good idea and we should recycle as much as possible, and if people try to do things such as beach cleans to try to get rid of as much plastic as possible, I think we can live with plastic sustainably.

Dr Mark Glow Meeting

Yesterday we had a glow meet with Dr Mark Biddiss because of my endeavour. Endeavour is something that you do for half a year then show at the endeavour fair to the whole village. I wrote to him and he kindly gave the whole school one of his books but I got all of them. I felt it was very fun to meet him as he is really nice and clever and answers everything as everyone in P4-7met him through Google Meet.  I might be having another meeting with him near the endeavour fair for tips and then I am having a maths show to present to the school and I need to learn all the tricks for it in the easter break. Everyone got to take their books home with them and they get to keep them forever. The books costed lots and lots of money.  I felt very proud of this as Dr Mark was so kind.

Beach Clean 2019

On Thursday 21st March the whole of Port Ellen Primary School went down to the co-op beach for a beach clean.  There was also people from high school to help, they where the John Muir group, and also ReJIG.  Before everyone went we got put into groups of 5. There was 10 groups. I got paired with Chloe, Katy, Christopher and Phoenix.  P67 had created a survey so we could find out what the different types of plastic were that we foundon the beach.  There were lots of small bits of plastic between 2.5 and 50cm long, but the biggest plastic pollutant was ropes and nets from fishing boats.  You can see the results in the graph below.  We collected 2 bags full of rubbish, lots of it was plastic. Altogether the school got 900 bits of plastic rubbish off the shore. When we left all the beach had was sand and seaweed.




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

Aloha Hawaii!

On Wednesday 13th of March Port Ellen Primary school met and chatted with 2 marine conservation scientists- streamed live from Hawaii!  Port Ellen is currently doing a whole school project on Marine Plastics and primary 4-6 have been designing their own Marine Rescue and Education Centres, and wanted to find out more about them from real life experts. The aim is to make links with lots of islands around the world who are also affected by the impacts of plastics in the seas, so their teacher Kate Brown emailed contacts in Hawaii.  Dr Gregg Levine is a veterinarian who works on Oahua with marine animals and lectures at the university, while Cameron Dabney is an education officer on Big Island and works for Dolphin Quest and they both joined up to answer lots of well researched questions from the children about their jobs and the impact of marine plastics on the environment-even though it was midnight in Hawaii!  The whole school were so engaged and really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss issues they care about deeply with others who are affected.  Thanks to Gregg and Cameron for taking time out to talk with us.

Comic Relief

On Friday the 15th of March it was Comic Relief.  We got to wear red or spots and nearly everyone was wearing red and we sold all our red noses.  The first thing we did was a dance-a-thon using Just Dance; it was really fun and tiring. After break we did Catherine Ryans favourite cupcake challenge and sold baking to raise money, as well as a panda treasure hunt.  The day was organised by a P7 for her Endeavour.

We raised £300 for Comic Relief and had a great time doing it.

Books From Dr Mark Biddiss

For my endeavour I am doing magic maths and I wanted to find out more about interesting maths facts and maths tricks to play on my friends.  I plan to do a maths magic show.  I found this really great book called Magical Maths by Dr Mark Biddiss so I decided to write to him and ask some questions.

Dr Mark Biddiss was very kind and got in contact with the school.  He offered to send us lots of lovely books he had written and also sent me my own personal signed copies, which was fabulous.   Dr Mark does science as well as maths because he is a mathematician and scientist. I felt very happy about this and now I have lots of ideas for my magic maths show. I am also going to talk to Dr Mark via a video conference using Google Meet via Glow which will be great.


My Teacher Mrs Clark took a photo of me with all the books on the floor (I was also on the floor) and at least it was clean!

Robotics Club

At Robotics Club you work with robots and you code them and I feel it is really fun. There are a lot of robots like Sphero, Micro-bit, Marty, Lego Boost and more. At the club you have to be resilent and keep on trying and if you complete it the robot will be so cool and you’ll be succcessful. Here is some things about the robots, you can make rock paper scissors and a banana keyboard with the Micro-bit, you can program spheros to draw a shape and the Logo Boost can be made into a remote control car.  We use Scratch to program the robots and some people are even building their own Marty the robot from the start!

World Book Day!

On Thursday 7th March 2019 was World Book Day and it was really fun.  In the morning P6/7 went down to the nursery and read their favourite books to them.  I had to read to Niamh and Hannah. I had fun reading to them.

Later that day in the afternoon we went down to the hall to have a chat to parents and read some books. Then we did some fun quizzes and all tables/houses went up against each other! I was on a table with Caitidh, Millie, Millie’s Mum, Aiden’s Mum, Aiden, Mya, Millie’s Granny and Alfie. We were called team tigers! For the quiz we had to guess the author, guess the book by the cover, guess the book by a character and guess the book by its first line.  After the quiz had finished Mr. Shakespeare had added up all points and the winning team was the Texans! I really enjoyed World Book Day and want to do it again!

Heart Start!

Today at school a lady came  for P6/7 to teach us about heart start.  When we all walked in to the hall we were all confused when we saw all the dummies. Once we had got all the mats out on the floor, the lady got Mr Shakespeare to be a  demonstration.  After that she put a video on about what to do if someone is unconscious but are still breathing. After the video we got a partner to practise the recovery position on, Millie was my partner. We also watched a video on if someone unconscious ,or bleeding, having a heart attack or choking.   For the choking one we all got a dummy each. Once we got the dummies we all named them me and Millie called ours Jeffrey and we had to press them with the heel of our hands and do abdominal thrusts. Then the lady told us that we had to do mouth to mouth and  you should of seen everyone’s faces !  The first person to do it was Ellen .Then Millie’s mouth was too small. I finally I got Millie to do it. Once we got up stairs we got a certificate.  I am glad I know how to help someone in an emergency!

By Caitidh

Fair Trade Tuck

From Monday to Thursday  P6/7 Texa house were making Fair Trade tuck. The reason we where doing fair trade  and using Fair trade chocolate is because the people who make the chocolate get paid hardly any money and we wanted to raise peoples awareness.  Also the money we raised is going to the basketball hoops in the playground.

On Monday we were making cracknel and it was really yummy. The next day which was Tuesday me and Donald made coffee brownies. At first I thought I wouldn’t like the taste but I loved them. Then on Wednesday Evie and Jack made hot chocolate and put mini marshmallows I didn’t have any but Evie said it was delicious. Thursday was the last day it was chocolate chip cookies and they were good.  So remember to buy Fair trade chocolate to help farmers around the world!


  Today our school had a visit from AFRIS, Astronomy for Rural and Island Schools.  We got to learn all about space, constellations, light, robotic telescopes and space exploration which was really interesting.

P123 learned about night and day.  P456 learned about the stars adn we learned about Light.  The fun part was when Alexander had to hide behind a container of cola and then the man from AFRIS used a special infra red camera to show that you could see Alexander through tht ecoke on the camera when you could not in real life.

Chris also showed use some beads that reacted to ultra-violet light from the sun. If they change colour it means you need sun cream.

I felt amazed beacuse it was fantastic and it was magic.  After school their was another meeting and parents came in and did you know JK Rowling got Harry Potter names from constellations.  Thanks AFRIS!

Port Ellen Primary School Clubs

In Port Ellen Primary School we have created clubs to teach other people skills and also to improve leadership skills. The clubs and their leaders are:

  • Kodu club, run by Rhys, Aidan, Donald and Ciaran
  • Playground Games club run by Ellen, Caitidh and Millie
  • Board Game Club run by Charlie, Scott and Drew
  • iMovie club run by Alexander, Evie, Braedan and Rhuraidh
  • Mindfulness club run by Mara, Charlotte, Dearbhla, Orla and Harmoni
  • Football club run by Jack, Holly, Aaron and Freya

Robert Burns Poems

The whole school is learning their Burns poem and primary 6 have Auld Lang Syne to learn and primary 7 have the poem that they do every year and it is Address To The Haggis.  We got our poems 3 weeks before the day that we have to say the poem so we had quite a lot of time to remember there poems and by now most of the people know there poems and they are working on there expression and there Scottish accent. Burns day is on the 25th of January but we have to say our poems to the judges in the morning. The address to the haggis is the most difficult one to remember. Every year we invite the locals to come up to the school and we have a good time and sing songs and first place in each poem has to go on the stage and say there poem. We always decorate the hall and we have a burns dinner.

This is Address to a Haggis poem by Robert Burns

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis




Review on Annie the Musical By Islay High School

On Wednesday I went to see Annie at Islay High School.  The director of it was Mr Weatherhogg, who also played the piano for some of the songs.  The main charater was Annie who was played by Katie Mactaggart; she must have been very brave because she had to sing by herself.   By far the best song was It’s a hard knock life.

Annie(Kaite Mactaggart)is an orphan who’s been searching for her parents for 11 years.  But she can’t do much because of Mrs Hannagin who dosen`t  let them out.  But one day she escapes in the laundry.  I wasn’t exited to go because I don’t usually like musicals, but I loved it because it turned out to be funny.  Then she meets a billionaire called Mr Warbucks played by Lewis Davey.  He was a really good actor.

In the play Liam,Kai and Nick did the backround with the prejector.  I was amazed how quick they changed the scenes.  My favourite scene was when they were in the mansion with Mr Warbucks.  They must have had to practice a lot to get the timing so perfect.

So I would definitely buy tickets if I was you; it is a great play, also anyone could watch it.  If you are having a bad day just watch it.  Katie Mactaggart was brillant . I enjoyed it so you probly will.

By Caitidh


Laphroaig Christmas Fair

On Wednesday 5th December Laphroaig distillery were holding a Christmas fair.   Port Ellen Primary were selling a few items such as aprons, tea towels, shopping bags and cookbooks.  Laphroaig were selling candles, photo frames and hamper tickets. In the school all vice captains and captains were allowed to go up and try sell our items but were taken up in different groups. The 1st group was Morgan, Dearbhla and Harmoni and they sold quite a bit, they sold out on 2 items which was brilliant. Then Aidan, Ellen and I (Orla) were the 2nd group to go take over the 1st group. When we arrived it wasn’t that busy so we didn’t end up selling anything. We got to have a drink when we got there.  I thought the Laphroaig Christmas fair was fun and it was beautifully decorated. Then when we went back to school the 3rd group came and the people were Millie, Jack and Charlet but they sold a few things. I enjoyed the Christmas fair and I’m sure others did too.

by Orla P6

Port Ellen Juniors vs Islay Youth

On Saturday 23rd November, at the playing fields the primary school teams played from Port Ellen and Islay Youth.  Port Ellen had a great line up of:

Ronaldo: Goals, Cormick: Captain, Jack, Oliver, Aaron, Scott, Oscar, Rhuiridh, Finally  Mathew Campbell: REF

Port Ellen’s girls team was also playing with their line up being:

Holly:Captain/ Goals, Sophie, Lauren, Freya, Rebecca, Rowan, Sarah, Abi, Callin, Ellen

We played both Islay Youth teams. The boys from Port Ellen won every match. The Girls from Port Ellen tied in every game except against Port Ellen Boys when we won 2-0.

Port Ellen’s Junior Boys team then played Islay Youths  Older team our line up was:

Ronaldo: Captain, Aaron, Oliver, Jack, Ryan, Shay, Struan, Toby, Darren,  Mathew REF.

We sadly lost this game 5-1.

The whole tournament was really fun and I we are doing another 5-a side game soon that I am looking forward to.


Bowmore’s Christmas Lights Turn On

On Saturday the 1st of December Bowmore had their lights turned on. It was very busy at the lights but I enjoyed it and it was cold  so everyone had to wrap up warm and there was burgers as well and music. I feel so excited for Christmas and the lights just make me more excited, the lights got turned on at 6:00pm. I felt like we were going to be late but we got there early and it was like 5:30pm. There were lights on the giant Christmas tree and on the lamp posts, there was a lot of people and we went home at 7:00pm.

Thanks to Islay Blog for Photo.

By Alexander Mctavish.