A Chair for Baby Bear

As part of Tomorrow’s Engineers week mums, dads and grans came in to help P1/2/3 with an engineering challenge.  The problem was that Goldilocks had broken Baby Bear’s chair and so when Mummy Bear made him some more porridge there was nowhere for him to sit. A great afternoon was had by all and we had some interesting designs.  At the end of the afternoon Baby Bear tested out all the chairs; they had to stay standing for 10 seconds. Thanks to everyone who came along to help us.

Tomorrows Engineers

In school this week the whole of the school is doing a topic called Tomorrows Engineers. In p1/2/3 they have been getting their parents in to help them make their models which were chairs. In p4/5 they have been making fabulous bridges some are small and some big. In p6/7 we have been making grabbers to pick up something.

Here is one of p6/7’s grabbers:

Here is one of p4/5’s bridges:

Here is one of p1/2/3’s chairs:

By Abi Logan

Engineering Bridges

A big part of our Rolls-Royce Science Prize project this year is developing engineering skills and encouraging children to think like engineers.  Our first challenge was to build a bridge with a span of 30cm that could support a plastic cup which would then have weights added. To make it even more tricky there was a strict time limit!  In P1/2/3 the winning bridge held 20 marbles!!

Learning about Energy



P1/2/3 have been learning all about energy.  They have explored lots of different toys, old and new, to see what they do and thought about what makes them go.  They have discovered that toys can move, make sounds and light and that all of this is produced by putting energy into the toys – from electricity, by pushing, pulling and twisting.  The children were amazed to see the liquid move when it was heated with your hand. Learning about energy is part of our Rolls-Royce Science Prize project for this year.



Curious about Cars

As part of our Transport topic, P1/2/3 wanted to find out all about cars, how they worked and what made cars go faster.  So they wrote to Dugald McKerral and went on a trip to the garage.  They saw a car up on the hydraulic ramp and could see the wheel axels and the chassis that they had learned about in class.  Lots of interesting questions were asked and we are going back to class to find out more about pistons. This learning ties in really well with the Rolls-Royce Science Prize.

Boat Building

As part of our Transport topic, P1/2/3 have been learning about boats, what makes them float and then designing and building their own.  We have also learned that engineers design boats and more about the design process – tying in well with our Rolls-Royce Science Prize project for the year.

Investigating wheels


As part of our transport topic, P1/2/3 wanted to find out about wheels.  They found lots of tyres out in the garden and checked out wheels on cars in the car park and bikes in school.  They found out that wheels are attached to axels and have written to Mr MacKerrell at the garage to see if they can find out more about how cars work.

What is an Engineer?

P1/2/3 have been wondering about engineering and what engineers do?  Evie (P1) thinks that engineers ‘fix cars’ and are ‘always men but sometimes ladies’ while Iona in P2 thinks engineers can be ‘boys and girls’ and that engineers make boats.

We asked these questions as part of a baseline assessment for the Rolls-Royce Science Prize. We will be asking children to revisit these ideas at the end of the project and see how their views have changed.

The Mod


On Saturday 4th June Port Ellen Primary School choir went to the Local mod on Islay.  The mod was held in the high school in Bowmore. The choir won the unison and came 2nd in the peaurt a bheil.  Also ten people from the choir won the psalm. For the unison you have two songs and in our first song Mrs Macdonald made a mistake so we thought there was no chance of us winning but with our second song, Latha Math, we did really well and we got high marks for Gaelic and music from the Judges which meant we won.  Lots of individuals did well also- Rowan was covered in gold medals!  The Primary 1-3 class also did a fab action song.  We really enjoyed taking part and improving our Gaelic.

World Orienteering Day

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We had a fantastic afternoon on Wednesday 11th May, World Orienteering Day.  There were courses available at all levels, from picture courses for nursery children, adding up sums courses for infants right up to tricky courses for our P5-7 orienteering experts. It was great to have such a good turn out of parents, who were very game taking part. Parents also had an opportunity to try out our i-orienteering course using our new ipads and it gave them a taster of what we hope to develop further around the village.

Islands, Birds, Whales and Dolphins


P1-3 have been very busy learning about different islands from around the world. Each co-operative group studied their chosen island then presented their learnings during an open afternoon with family and friends. There were powerpoints, information posters, maps and 3D models on display as well as plenty of food tasting.

We all enjoyed our visit to the yacht “The Silurian”. We put on our life jackets and were whale and dolphin watchers. We even learned how to hoist a sail.

P1-2 have been learning about birds with David Woods from the RSPB during some of our “Buddy Sessions”. This culminated in a joint visit to the RSPB Center and Gruinart Farm. The children were keen birdspotters in the hide, fed a baby lamb and even witnessed the live birth of a calf! Fabulous learning.

P1/2 Update

This week P1/2 walked a whole mile! When they got back they drew a map from memory of where they walked. All of their maps were stunning.


Also this week P1/2 and Pre 5 spent the whole morning listening to The Owl Who was Afraid of the Dark. After they listened to it they researched the owl cycle and looked at clips on the BBC website. They also went into groups and drew the characters and settings from the book then they made chocolate nests with mini eggs and then ate them! Yum!  They all had a fab morning!


Mirren and Ciaran


This is what Katie from P1 did for her map!IMG_0301