Category Archives: Partnerships

Working with others in the wider community

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.

 

 

 

Building Together

  

Thanks to all parents and community members who came along to our Community Open Afternoon to celebrate the end of our year-long Rolls-Royce project and share with the children all the fantastic learning that had taken place.  Comments we received were all very positive about the experience and impact on children’s learning.  It was lovely to see children and parents building together and having just as much fun!  Happy engineering!

P1/2/3 Renewables Trip

  

On 23rd May P1/2/3 went on a trip to see the different renewables being used in Islay.  First we went to Dunlossit Estate where David Gillies showed us the biomass boiler and we saw that the store where all the wood chips were stored was like a giant slushy machine.  Then we went to Ballygrant to see the hydro power station…it fitted inside a shed!  Finally George Dean took us to the wind turbine and we got to go inside it.  All were very intrigued by the upside down computer.  Thanks to David and George for a great day.

  

Nicola Davies Visit

Yesterday Nicola Davies came in to talk with us about her books as part of the Scottish Book Trust 20th Anniversary Tour.  She has mostly based her stories with animals in them because before she was an author she was a zoologist and there was a book that she was telling us about and it was about a boy that got his arm pulled of  by a lion, it’s name was The Lion Who Stole My Arm. The  real story that it was based on was about a 5 year old boy who got attacked by a lion and even though his arm didn’t come off he had to get it amputated because the attack was so bad. She was also telling us about animals that she was looking at such as: lionesses, humpback whales etc. When she was talking to us about the humpback whales she noticed when she was studying them that mostly every day and hour of the day the whales would eat then eat then eat again. Also to have a little fun we learned how to sing like a whale.  Nicola Davies also wrote a climate change book called Gaiya and because we are doing climate change as one of out topics that was very interesting. We also wrote climate change poems. We have been researching a lot of different facts and effects that climate change has on the world. We could either write a kenning, a haiku or a free verse poem.  We thought that the visit as very exciting learning about lots of different animals.

By Rebecca and Rowan

All about life in Tanzania

P1/2/3 really enjoyed Evie’s mum coming to visit the class to tell them all about life in rural Tanzania where she lived.  She explained all about the Masai, showing them some lovely fabrics.  She also told them how resourceful Tanzanian people are reusing and recycling things – making bags out of bottle tops and sandals out of car tyres.  Thanks you Mrs Wood!

Fairytale Engineering

P1/2/3 joined P1/2/3 from Bowmore Primary and P1-4 from Port Charlotte Primary for some engineering challenges based on the fairytale Rapunzel.  After a quick recap of the story, they used cocktail sticks and mini marshmallows to try and built the tallest tower that they could.  Then they had to design and build ways to help the Rapunzel to escape from the tall tower.  There were lots of ingenious designs – here is one of the ladders.

Let’s Roll Engineering

 

P6 worked in groups with P5s and P6s from the other primary schools to hone their engineering skills.  We talked about the range of engineers and the engineering process and how engineers continually have to assess their designs and improve on them.  The children were given the challenge of building a roller coaster and then a marble run.

Disaster Engineering

 

P4/5 got together with P4/5 from Bowmore Primary for some engineering challenges based on disasters.  The children learned about the range of different engineers and how their problem solving abilities really come in to their own is disaster situations.  First the children had to design a collapsible, portable stretcher to transport a patient (potato) to hospital.  They then learned about the hurricane which resulted in the air traffic control tower being destroyed and having to be quickly rebuilt to allow aircraft in with aid and other supplies.  They had to build a tower of at least 30cm which would support a tennis ball in a simulated hurricane.

Trip to the Museum

P1/2/3 had a wonderful trip to the Museum of Islay Life in Port Charlotte to find out what life was like 100 years ago.  They were fascinated by the chamber pot and the fact that people had to go outside to the toilet! P1/2/3 have been learning about school long ago.  They have discovered that there used to be many more schools in Islay and that teachers were much stricter! We saw the old teachers high desk and the wooden child’s desk at the museum together with the ink pots and slates that children would have used a century ago.  This is part of island-wide history learning associated with the WW1 commemorations.  We also found out about a schoolgirl from Port Ellen that gave an her account of what happened in the village following the sinking of the Tuscania.  Old log books have given a poignant insight into that time. Thanks to Jenny Minto for a great visit.

RSPB Visitor

During a recent joint session with P1/2 and Pre-5 children we were delighted to welcome David Wood in to talk to the children.  This coincided with Springwatch and we all watched part of the programme showing the golden eagles on Islay.  The children were shown the model of the eagle to demonstrate the wingspan and then  some of the Primary 1 children made their own scaled eagle.

David then helped the children to build a hide in preparation for taking part in the Big School Birdwatch.

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.

10th Anniversary Burn’s Ceilidh

On  Friday 26th of January Port Ellen primary school had our 10th anniversary Burns Celidh.  We had loads of people from the community coming to join us and we all had great fun.  We had all learned different Scots poems for the poetry competition and the judges came in to hear us read them before we all went to lunch.  At lunch the Primary 7s said their poem,  Address to the Haggis over the haggis and Lauren got to cut the haggis open.  After lunch we went to the hall to celebrate with our family and friends.  We did lots of Scottish Country dancing;  my favourite was the Virginia reel.  We also heard people play their musical instruments; Rowan and Rebecca did a duet on the accordian and tin whistle.    All the winners of the poems read them out:  P1 was Rachael, P2 was Chloe, P3 was Mya, P4 was Kayla, P5 was Dearbhla, P6 was Aidan and P7 was Rowan.  We all had a great time and enjoyed tea and shortbread made by Mrs Holyoke afterwards.  Thanks to everyone who came along.

Listen to two of our poems below:

 

December Diary

Panto fever has hit Port Ellen as we have been preparing for our whole school pantomime which takes place every two years.  We have also been organising the Christmas Fair, our main fundraiser, and P1/2/3 are preparing for their Nativity. Meanwhile, our Rolls-Royce journey continues….

Statoil Young Imagineers Finalist

As a result of our engineering project, we had a finalist in the national Young Imagineers competition run by Statoil.  Sarah, from P6/7, invented a device that would save sheep stuck on their backs by making a scary sound and getting them to turn over.  Her device was made into a prototype and she had to present it at the final in London at the Science Museum.  Everyone is very proud of her achievement. Sarah says she is much more confident now about talking about engineering after presenting in front of a large audience, and she is inspired to take up engineering when she grows up.

YOUNG IMAGINEERING

 

Switch Off Fortnight

Continuing their learning about energy in Term1, Kate Brown’s class (P4/5) decided to try and encourage everyone to use less energy in school and at home. The children were quite shocked at how much electricity an electric shower uses and from looking at energy use they decided to make others understand this and think about saving energy, electricity in particular. So they joined the National “Switch Off Fortnight” and made information posters for the local community and home. This campaign was so successful that this week they are keen to spend part of the Christmas Disco without lights and use alternative sources instead…..glow sticks are at the ready!

 

Introducing Renewables

This month Primary 6/7 have been working hard on researching renewable and non renewable sources of energy with Jo Clark.  They wanted to know what energy sources are used in Scotland and the implications for the environment.  Using One note they researched online and then used the notes to create posters, blogs and Sways.  They debated in class the various types of energy source and chose the ones they thought were best, and wrote a discursive essay on renewable energy.  In maths they looked at data produced by the Scottish Government on Energy use in Scotland and then analysed, interpreted and drew conclusions from it as part of a holistic assessment. Finally, they came up with pledges of what they could do themselves to reduce energy consumption.

Meanwhile, in P4/5 with Kate Brown, the children have been learning about wind power as there is a tall wind turbine outside the village. The children know that wind is sustainable and they made their own pinwheels to record the wind direction/wind strength associated with the speed of the wheel which led to discussions about what happens to wind turbines when there is no wind, and how strong winds here in Islay can be used to generate electricity. They then worked in groups to complete the Wind Turbine Challenge from the STEM website. The aim was to create a fair test to try to make a turbine that could raise a cup from the floor using a hairdryer. Charlet said, “Our group all had roles and Rhuraidh was the engineer. He designed a turbine but the rest of us felt there was not enough detail to make the model and so Caitidh, our artist, added more. Then we used card for the blades and a pencil for the shaft. At first we taped the shaft to the desk but it wouldn’t go round so we fixed that problem by putting card over the pencil loosely so it could turn. Sadly, our Turbine only lifted the cup a little bit but did manage when we gave it a bit of a hand.  Next time we would change the size and shape of the blades and also use stronger wind power

Next term George Dean will be helping us to organise visits to the Islay wind turbine and other sites that generate or use renewable energy on Islay.

Learning how Energy impacts on the Environment

In P1/2/3 Maggie Harrison has been using a story called Who will Save Us? to introduce the concept of global warming.  All the children have been really engaged with learning all about the Antarctic and the penguins who live there and then how global warming might cause the ice to melt and affect not only penguins but other animals and people in different parts of the world too.  Iona made this fantastic poster and she said that she ‘didn’t like the bad gas getting stuck in the earth’s blanket and that we should save the penguins and polar bears!’

Engineering in Pre-School

Joint sessions of structured play have started with the nursery and P1/2 – these will continue on a weekly basis from now until the end of the session. Maggie Harrison and Alison Logan are working together to plan how to incorporate the development of engineering thinking into these, although with new giant wooden blocks and the KNEX purchased the children are building some amazing structures.

Maureen MacDonald and Maggie Harrison have had meetings with Headteachers from the other primary schools in Islay and Jura to see how they can be involved in our Rolls-Royce project next term.  Following the school being awarded a Digital Schools Award, the first school in Argyll & Bute to do so, Jo Clark was also interviewed with regards to a national website wanting to develop engineering skills across schools in the UK for the 2018 Year of Engineering.

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

BLYTHESWOOD SHOE BOXES

Last Thursday the school asked us to take in shoe boxes filled with Christmas goodies to go to people on the other side of the world. They could go for old people , young people and babies and they are for those people who don’t have anything like us. This year our school put in 24 shoe boxes for those people around the world. Why do we put shoe boxes in? So that other people around the world can have new Clothes, Shoes, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Hats, Scarves, Gloves, Shampoo, Body Wash and sweets. You aren’t allowed to put Chocolate and water into the box.  The project is run by the Blytheswood Trust.

By Charlie

Children In Need

Every Year On Friday 17th November it’s Children in Need or Pudsey day, children in need help families that need a bit more help than we do. Children in Need is a really big deal to the families that need them, everyone that helps all the kids and even adults change their life completely. We decided to raise money and everyone came to school wearing something spotty to raise money for Children In Need and baked cakes. Our school raised £137!!! that’s a lot of Money from just a tiny school on a tiny island. Everyone can make a donation for children in need even if its as little as £2.00 or as big as £200!! So maybe next year everyone can make a difference and help the children!!

By Sophie Macdonald

November Diary

 

Renewables Engineering Islay – November Diary

 

Mentor Visit

We were all delighted to welcome Neil Chattle from Rolls-Royce to the school at the end of October. He spent time getting to know the team and having a tour of the school. He gave a presentation to the children in the afternoon and they had an opportunity to see some of the materials and parts that make up a Rolls-Royce jet engine.  We were all amazed that the cooling mechanism allows the engine to operate above it’s melting point and that it would be capable of preventing an ice cube melting in a hot oven!  Clever engineering indeed!  Neil introduced the children to the Bloodhound SSC.  Working in teams, the children then built model Bloodhounds powered by balloons and had a great afternoon trying to refine them to make them go faster.  Coincidentally, Neil’s visit was the day before the first public test run of the Bloodhound in Newquay, Cornwall…..so the whole school watched as the car made 210mph.  We will follow Bloodhound’s progress with interest.

 

Children as Leaders

Following leadership training, P6/7 children have been encouraged to set up clubs for younger pupils so we now have a KNEX Club and a Lego Club, in addition to the usual football, table tennis and dance clubs.  Maureen MacDonald, Headteacher, encourages us to promote leadership at all levels within the school. The clubs have been really well attended and we used some of the funding to purchase new KNEX and Lego material for them. Dearbhla says that ‘KNEX club is really fun because you make something new every time and I am learning new skills to make cubes that are really tricky.’ Donald, who runs the Lego Club said that “We are encouraging children to use their imagination and be creative with the Lego.” Charlie is promoting teamwork by asking children to build small components of bigger models.

After-School Clubs

We have started an after-school club for children from P4-7, supervised by Jo Clark.  Again there has been lots of interest in this and we are lucky to have the support of two senior pupils from Islay High School – Young STEM Ambassadors – to help us.  It’s great to have these young women to be positive role models for girls in the primary school. They have been giving children open-ended problem solving tasks where children have had to work together to solve a problem. Last week they were engineering a carrier to transport a ping pong ball down a zip-wire.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week

Throughout the school we are continuing to promote engineering and develop engineering habits of mind.  As a school we engaged with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. Jo Clark and P6/7 found out about sustainable engineering and the 6Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, Rethink and Repair – to appreciate that the environment needs to be considered alongside any engineering solution and that any design needs to be both efficient and sustainable in terms of the environment. Matthew Campbell says ‘We had to  rank the 6Rs in order – I thought that reuse was the best one because things can be used many times are best for the environment.” They were tasked with building a “Helping Hand Grabber’ which had to have a reach of 1m.  In Kate Brown’s P4/5 class the children looked at different types of bridge design.  They then worked in groups to build some fantastic bridges.  Already Kate could see progress in her children from the initial bridges that were built on the baseline build.  In P1/2/3 Maggie Harrison invited parents in to join their children doing an engineering challenge – design and build a chair for baby bear, who had cruelly had his chair ruined when Goldilocks visited.  Alison Logan and all the children in the Nursery have been making the most of the new resources we have bought for them – Kids KNEX and stories like Rosie Revere, Engineer.  This week we are starting our joint sessions – structured play for pre-5 children and P1 and P2 together.  Maggie and Alison will be working together on this; once the children are settled into this new routine this will be an ideal opportunity to share practice in developing engineering skills.

Thinking about Energy

Meanwhile the whole school are continuing to think about how we use energy in our school and in our lives.  Our new Eco-monitors are being vigilant about switching off lights and George Dean from the Islay Energy Trust is going to get the school some energy meters. The Islay Energy Trust is a community-owned charity. Its aims are to develop and operate renewable energy projects for the benefit of the community, and to reduce the island’s carbon footprint. George will be supporting us with this project, organizing site visits for children and putting us in contact with different renewables companies that are looking to operate locally. P4/5 are busy organizing activities for Switch Off fortnight – more news to follow.  In all the classes we have started looking at the effect that our energy use has on the planet and this will be our focus for the rest of this term. Maureen MacDonald and Maggie Harrison have met the Parent Council and are promoting the project more widely in the community.

 

New Islay Timeline Panels Unveiled

Last session Port Ellen took part in the Scottish Diaspora project – a national project which produced a series of hand-sewn tapestry panels showing the movement of people into and out of Scotland over it’s long history.  Twenty pupils from Port Ellen worked together with Mrs Hazel Onions to produce a panel depicting the arrival of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers on Islay and this was put on display in St. Giles cathedral in Edinburgh. Just before the summer the whole school then worked on a timeline for Islay using appliqué techniques rather than stitching.  We had an amazing day with lots of support from the Islay Quilters, parents, grannies and community members.  Over the school holidays the quilters have finished the panels off for us, ready to hang and be enjoyed by everyone – here is the finished display, which was unveiled at our Farmer’s Feast.  We’d like to say another HUGE thank you to all of those who were involved in this project, producing a lasting and meaningful display which we hope at some point will be moved out of the school to be enjoyed more widely in the community.

Author Visit

On Friday 30th September an author came in to p6/7 called Barbra Henderson and she talked to us about her books and one of them was called Fir For Luck. She also talked to us about her newest book called Punch and it is not out in the real world yet but we are the first to hear it. We have heard the first chapter of it.  She also choose some of us to act out some of the parts of the story. At the end she gave us all a bookmark and the choices were Punch or Fir For Luck.  I loved acting out one of the parts in Fir For Luck. I learned that one of her books had 37,000 words. We also learned she has writen more that ten book but not all of them are published.  We enjoyed the author coming in and we hope that another author comes in soon.

By Abi and Freya

Scotland’s Engineering Future

Scotland has a great history of excelling in the field of engineering.  We have been looking at different types of engineering in school and we want to focus especially on renewable engineering, which will help solve the problem of global warming. LOGON TO GLOW TO VIEW

Scottish Education STEM award winners!

On Wednesday 8th June, two members of staff and three pupils from Port Ellen Primary flew to Glasgow to attend the Scottish Education Awards. The school had got through to the finals of the Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Award along with another primary school and a high school. Assessors visited the school back in March to see STEM activities in class, speak to children about their experience of STEM learning and talk to staff about the development of STEM in Port Ellen.

Charlet Rose Munro, Rowan Morris and Natalie Logan were very excited to attend such a large event………and we were all even more surprised to be announced winners! The award was sponsored by BAE systems and the presenter told the girls that he was very happy to see girls being so keen on science and engineering and that he hoped he might see some of them working for the company in the future. It is predicted that the UK will have a huge shortage of scientists and engineers in the near future.

This award reflects a high level of commitment to STEM learning throughout the school, from Pre-5 to P7. We all feel that encouraging children to be curious about the world around them leads to high levels of engagement in learning and that STEM subjects promote creativity, problem solving, co-operation, resilience and reflection. The school was recognized as having ‘an adaptable and resourceful teaching team who makes best use of the local environment and technology……..and that by engaging in partnerships, the school supports and extends the development of skills for life, learning and work.’ We are all very chuffed to have achieved this recognition.

DELVE INTO THE PAST AT THE ISLAY & JURA SCHOOL’S HERITAGE EXHIBITION!

    Over the past year all the primary schools on Islay and Jura have been involved in an Island wide history project in conjunction with Islay Heritage and archaeologists from the University of Reading.  The children have been learning about their history and heritage, as well as the many STEM skills required to be an archaeologist.  The results of their learning are now on display in the Gaelic College, Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile, in the Islay and Jura School’s Heritage Exhibition.

The project started with a party from every primary school on Islay visiting the Giant’s Grave site, 90 children in all.  This involved a lengthy walk from Nerabus up through the forestry to the site, where the archaeologists were excavating and surveying.  The children were then able to experience the different fieldwork techniques, from geophysics to troweling to photography.  They learned about life in the early Neolithic period, and discussed with the experts what the grave was for, how it might have looked and how the people at the time lived.  They then returned to the classroom to continue the learning, carrying out many different tasks; timelines, brochures, reports, sways, story telling videos, den building, pot making, art and imaginative writing.  Some of these can be seen on the Islay Heritage site, as well as at the exhibition.

Then in late March the archaeology team returned for phase 2 of the project, in which schools adopted their own local monument and carried out surveys.  Children applied some of their previous learning on Geo-physics and photography, whilst also learning how to make scale drawings and documentaries.  They then got to see the results of the survey transferred into 3D representations of the site.  Bowmore surveyed Cill a’ Bhulig, the remains of an old chapel, Port Charlotte surveyed Carnduncan, a Bronze Age burial cairn, Port Ellen surveyed Kilbride Chapel and Small Isles and Keills surveyed a crannog at Loch nan Deala.

It has been a great learning experience for all involved and made us grasp just how much fascinating history we pass on Islay everyday without even realizing it.  The process of revealing Islay’s past through the use of modern archaeological techniques has been a truly great experience, and the children have a far better understanding of their Island as a result.  We would like to thank all those involved for providing us with the experience, including the Mactaggart fund for enabling the project to take place.  We hope people will visit the exhibition over the next two weeks for a unique insight into Islay’s past.

 

Islay Heritage

   On Thursday 23rd March primary 5/6/7 walked to the ruins of Kilbride Chapel in order to survey it as part of the Islay Heritage Schools Project. For this project all the schools on Islay visited the Giant’s Grave earlier in the year and then worked with Reading University to choose a monument close to their school which they would then adopt and survey to find out more about it.  Port Ellen’s site was Kilbride chapel and they surveyed the site using geophysics, archaeology photography, scale drawing and by making a documentary.

Rob showed us how to do the geophysics; there was machine and that went into the ground with electricity to see if they could find anything else about the land around the Chapel. The geophysics worked by sending an electrical current through the ground and if there was a higher reading then there was a rock under the ground this is because it takes more energy to get through the rock. If there was a lower reading that means that there would of been water because it didn’t use lots of energy to get through it. To use the geophysics you would stick both spikes into the ground and wait for a beep then move onto the next spot a certain distance away. We were all glad that people from the University Of Reading to come over and help us as they were very interesting and taught us lots.  The data we gathered from the geophysics will actually be used in the final report on the site which is very exciting.

We were also doing archaeology photography with Alex. Before you take the picture you have to remember two things. The first thing to remember is you need to put the measuring stick onto where you are taking a picture of so you have a scale to know how big the things in the photo are, and you have to remember to use the right size measuring stick. The other thing to remember is to put a chalkboard with the sites name, where it is, what it is and what direction it is taken from. You also need to put a north arrow pointing to north. You have to fill in a register after taking a picture. You have to write the site name and the description from the chalkboard, what direction it was from and lots more. This is so that people in the future know what it was about. The site name was KIL17 for Kilbride chapel in 2017.  We enjoyed taking accurate photos.

We were also did photography and filming and you had to put up a big 5m pole to sit the camera on and you have to make sure that the camera is screwed on properly so it won’t fall off. The archaeologists helped us with all of this. We also made a documentary and it was about what we were doing at Kilbride Chapel and we had to use a radio microphone to record. Showing us how to do things properly is one of the reasons Islay Heritage is so good.

The last activity we did was making an accurate scale drawing of the chapel with Darko. We did this by measuring all the sides and scaling it down properly on graph paper with a scale of 1:50. The picture looked really cool and showed us what the chapel looks like-it had really thick walls and was a lot smaller than we thought it would be.  We checked our drawing was correct using a GPS positioning pole.  We learned lots of new skills and at the end we got to see the results of the geophysics in school and it showed that there might have been an enclosure around the chapel and we were the people who found out that evidence which was very exciting!  We then drew pictures of what we thought it might have been like in the past before it fell down.

We want to say thank you to Islay Heritage because they have helped us with all our archaeological digs and surveys by showing us what you need to know to be an archaeologist .  We have also found out lots more about our local heritage and know that Islay is an amazing place with lots of history waiting to be discovered.  Without them none of this learning would have been possible and they have helped us know more about where we live and what it used to be like. We appreciate all the help we get from Islay Heritage. THANK YOU ISLAY HERITAGE!

By Kaitlyn and Rowan

Giant’s Grave Archaeological Dig

On the 25th of August, Port Ellen Primary along with their teacher Mrs Clark, Mr Gairns, Mrs Logan and Struan’s dad Mr Colthart, went to a fascinating archaeological trip to the Giant’s Grave. We were going there because we really wanted to learn about Islay History. As we got onto the bus, I was filling up with excitement. We were in the bus for quite a while until we got to Nerabus. As we got off the bus, I couldn’t wait to start walking to the Giant’s Grave. Also, Professor Steven Mithin walked with us.

On the trip, we walked one hour and ten minutes to the Giant’s Grave. Before we got there, my friend Abi fell into a big stream and got soaking wet. When we were all set we started walking again. On the way, we saw loads of blood red and white mushrooms. They looked really interesting. Finally we got to the Giant’s Grave. I thought it looked amazing and very inspiring. It was as peaceful as the sun crawling up a hill. As we were strolling to the heart of the dig I gazed at the awesome rocks forming the Giant’s grave.

 

After we had our break, we got up and circled around the Grave. We listened to the archaeologists from Reading University explain about the Giant’s Grave and what they think it used to be six thousand years ago. After they told us about the Grave, we split up and got into partners to work with the archaeologists to help with the Grave. Rebecca and me went to Tom who told us that he worked in the muddiest corner to dig out the peaty mud that could be burying important artifacts. We got a shovel and started to dig the icky sticky mud.

When we were told to move we really enjoyed helping Tom with the mud and digging. When we moved over we went to a lady named Sarah who helped us take pictures of the site with her. We learned that it was a hard job getting the right angles when you take the pictures. We also took stalk photos when we creep up to the others and take pictures of them. Then, with a heavy heart, we went back to the others and sat in the gazebo. We listened to a Dendrochronologist speak about his job as a person who looks at tree rings on the trunk to see how old it is. I thought that was fascinating that you could calculate how old a tree is by looking at the lines.

 

After we had our lunch, we said goodbye to the people there and we left the Giant’s grave. I really enjoyed myself and I really hope that I could meet them again soon on a different dig. I thought that the dig was phenomenal and I really hope to go again.

By Kaya Middleton P7

Police And Fireman Visit

On  Wednesday  28th October a policeman and a fireman came to our school to talk to us about firework safety. They told us what to do when you were finished with a sparkler which was to dunk it into a bucket of water and to wear gloves to protect your hands. They also told us what to do if an adult lit a firework and it didn’t set off, which was to stay away from it and tell an adult.

The fireman told us that they have to attend to bonfires set off by kids and since they have to attend to this, they can’t attend house fires because they will be busy putting out the bonfire. They also told us that to keep your pets inside like cats, dogs etc. They can either get frightened or hurt. So remember this information and stay safe during firework night!