Music With Keira

This term Port Ellen Primary have been getting visits from the local musician Keira who has been teaching them how to play some Scottish instruments like the Tin Whistle, Harp and Fiddle. The aim is that at the end Kira will pick the people who are best at playing each instrument and we will all learn a  song all together.

We learnt how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb on the Tin Whistle, and everyone got a go on the Harp and Fiddle.  Everyone learnt what the different colored strings mean on a Harp and that the thing you play a Fiddle with is called a Bow.  It is very interesting learning new instruments.

Our Glenastle Distillery

In school we have been making distillery’s.  My distillery group was called Glenastle.  The different jobs are; manager which is William; casks and ageing which is Jack; Jacob is the still man and Teddy is the malting and peat. Our distillery  its sited on Glenastle because there is 2 locks for water and the bottle is like a triangle shape so it can be packaged easy. The disadvantages is the roads  are dirt tracks and the ground is not level so you have to level it or the distillery will be squint.  We designed our own drinks and made the distilleries as models.  We will be presenting to parents so they can see what we have learned.

Bottle Rockets

Last week students from the University of Exeter Engineering department came to our school and made bottle rockets with us. We had to design and make the fins and decorations on our rockets so they would fly straight. We went outside to launch them. They launched ours and it went flying and almost went in the field.   The one that went the furthest had a lego figure attached called Dave!  Thanks Exeter University for coming and visiting us.

P7s Highschool Visits

On Monday 17th May p7s received a visit from Dr Weatherhog where she talked to us about high school, uniforms and answered our questions.

She talked to us about the necessities we needed for high school . She told us all about induction days and how we would go about them. She then talked about behaviours and punishments. P7s then asked any questions that needed answered which took about an hour or so.

On Tuesday 18th May Mrs Mitchell came in and observed our maths. She helped us with our fractions, decimals and percentages. Then we came to the floor at the front and put the decimals on a number line. Next we turned percentages into decimals and fractions. Lastly we did decimal marble run on active learn then she headed back up to the high school.  This is to help us with the transition to High School.

By Callie

Farkin Distillery Google Meet

On Monday 22 of March, The school had a google meet with Georgie Crawford the manager of the new Farkin distillery  which i being built next to the school.

These are some of the questions we asked:

  • When do you think FarKin distillery will be finished?
  • ls the distillery going to have a malt floor?
  • How many floors are they going to have?
  • Is it going to have a visitor center?

The answers:

  1. The end of next year!!!
  2. The distillery is going to have a malt floor!!
  3. The distillery is going to have 3 floors.
  4. It is going to have a visitor center and a teaching centre.

This has really helped with our distillery project!

Football Tournament Away

So on Sunday Port Ellen juniors went on a trip to Campbelltown and we played against them and won 3-1.  The goals were like this; so we were down 1-0 and then Finlay got the assist for Jack’s good goal and then we were level and then Callum from his own half almost scored but Murray tapped it into the goals. This made us 2-1 up. so then the last goal we got was Murray got an assist to Jack’s other goal and as soon  as he got the goal the match ended. There the score was 3-1 to us and then we went home on the bus to the ferry with a smile on our face.

Our Corncrake Books

We have been learning about corncrakes with David Wood from the RSPB.  We made corncrake books in groups on Book Creator.  We made one about a game called egg hunters. We had to have rules that were you had  at least 1 hider and at least 1 hunter to play. In our group we had William Campbell, Hugh Mackinnon, Thomas Edwards and Duncan Campbell. There was five different groups that made them they were called Crazy Corncrakes, Corncrake runners, Corncrake Escape  and Corncrake Kahoot.

TRIP TO THE RSPB!!!!

On Tuesday the 15th of March we went on a trip to the RSPB. We helped planting lots of thing like, cowparsley, nettles and hogweed. We went here because Evie’s dad is teaching us about corncrakes and that is the reason we went to the RSPB reserve.

When we arrived we met the people that work at the RSPB. The people that we met were David, Laura and Dave. Then we went up the hill and started to plant things. We planted the nettles first.  We had to dig holes to plant them in, then we scattered hogweed seeds everywhere.  Finally we planted Iris plants in the stream at the bottom of the field.  We also got to use view-finders to spot Golden Eagles.  It was a great day out!

Rugby Tournament 5 Schools

 

I was waiting for this day for ages! I was so excited. On February 2nd we did a rugby tournament with Bowmore, Keills, Port Charlotte and Jura.

First we all got our waterproofs on so we don’t get wet. When we first stepped on the pitch there was so many people! I only knew some of them. All of our group played a wee mini game to practice. Then we got into teams to play the other schools my heart was racing!

Our class got split into teams first the other team played Bowmore. It wasn’t contact rugby it was were we had a tail and if the other team got the ball we have to pull off their tail for them to pass the ball. The other team of our class got 8-5 Bowmore won. Then it was our turn first they got a goal then we got goal. Over all we got 11-4! I learnt the proper way to throw a rugby ball in that game.

The second game we were ready because we’d already played a game. We didn’t see the other half of the class but against Port Charlotte they got 5-4 to Port Charlotte. I passed the ball a lot then we got… 11-6 to us! We were all super happy. Then we were against Jura I was nervous because we heard that they were really good. We all powered through the rain and tried our hardest. Then the score was 6-4 to them. We were all sad but happy for them.

The other half of the class lost 5-4. Then last of all we played Keils. We were all having fun and laughing its didn’t matter if we lost or won. We played with big smiles on our faces. We won again 9-2! The other team got 9-2 too! Over all we had a great time. We all had yummy Pac lunches half way through aswell.

Buddy Session

This afternoon we had our second buddy session and we had a harvest tea. Miss Brown read us a story called Annette’s baguette to set the theme for the afternoon. The big ones taught the littles how to make bread as they have been doing lots of cooking in class of late and the littles shared the brambles they had harvested and turned into jelly once the bread was cooked. We then worked with our buddy to make a harvest card to be added into the harvest bags for some of the older people in our community.

 

 

Tiger Time!

We’ve had a busy day planning and preparing for our first buddy session. The library van visited this morning which gave us the opportunity to choose a book to share with our buddy this afternoon. We made pancakes and popcorn to support the ‘p’ sound P1 has been learning and a real life tiger came to tea too! We loved spending time with our big buddies, getting to know them a little and playing games with them. We’re looking forward to seeing them again soon.

Space

Since space is so big we have not scratch the surface of it in our topic because space is endless and I mean it.

There was a new mars rover sent to mars called Perseverance. Its task was to collect samples from Mars to test if there was life there and it was packed with the first space helicopter. But the Chopper could go at least 10 meters and it would be retrieved by another shuttle and come back to earth in 2032.

Since there will be more space helicopters. I only know of the next one called dragonfly but this one will have four props this time plus will fly longer distance. I estimate 20 or 30 or maybe it might be to heavy and it might fly 10 meters who knows it could even fly 100 meters.

What I am try to say is space is endless we can’t search all of it because it will go on forever.

by Connor

Building jet engines

  

Neil Chattle, our Rolls-Royce mentor, visited the school on 26th April.  He gave a talk to the whole school about jet engines and brought some model jet engines for us to try building.  We had a great day and ended with a challenge for teams of children to work together to build the model engine in the fastest possible time!

April Diary

Renewables Engineering Islay – April Diary

 

With Easter on the horizon the team decided that we’d do a bit of…..

Egg Engineering

All the children in the school have been finding out about the strength of eggs. P1/2/3 and the Pre-5 unit were amazed to watch a video clip showing that a huge tray of eggs could support the weight of two cars!  In their joint play session they investigated to see if eggs could hold up a person.  Primary children then engineered different ways to drop an egg without them breaking, learning about gravity and air resistance along the way.  There were lots of parachutes……but also trampolines and some very innovative but simple designs.  Primary 6/7 used Newton’s three laws when thinking about their engineering designs.  Throughout the build the children were encouraged to think like engineers and use the engineering process to imagine, plan, create and improve on their designs.  Since the whole school were involved in this, we used this as an opportunity to use maths skills within an engineering context.  Children measured length, weight and volume of eggs.  They worked out the area of parachutes and time taken for eggs to drop.  Primary 6/7 children also calculated the speed of descent. At the end of the week the children worked in cross-stage groups to design and build wind-powered cars.  We showed the children the incredible Theo Jansen strandbeests to inspire them.  Parents were then invited to join us for the final testing seeing which vehicle went furthest, fastest and could cope with a tricky obstacle course while keeping the egg secure. Connor, P3, said It’s been great fun this week because we were building stuff and building is my thing. Ellen thought it was great fun and I liked how we got all the parents in. Aiden said I enjoyed racing the cars and learning all about friction and things.

Maureen MacDonald spoke to the parents about the Rolls-Royce Science Prize and what a great experience it had been for the school.  She also said that we were planning a community event to celebrate all the work that had been done over the past few months.

Parents were also encouraged to do a little engineering themselves, building rafts to support an egg. It proved to be trickier than we thought! Comments from parents included Amazing experience for all the children with so much fun and learning, loved the teamwork, Well done Port Ellen Primary – what an interesting project, Fantastic – hope it encourages lots of budding engineers.

 

Knotts to Watts

Kate Brown and P4/5 have  also had great parental involvement in helping to build a prototype floating wind turbine for the Knotts to Watts competition.  It was very exciting for the children to see their own designs and models being scaled up and fantastic to have the support of a couple of dads. For two afternoons Dearbhla’s dad and Morgan’s dad worked with the group to develop the children’s design.  It is very innovative with two turbine heads.  Initial testing in the classroom got the blades turning and it did produce electricity.  The class are looking forward to testing it out in the sea next week.  The whole school is very proud that the group have been invited to test their design in a wave tank as part of the Young Scientists and Engineers event in Glasgow in June.

Gus Newman, one of the parents, commented  I enjoy coming in to school and working with the young ones and getting them involved in future technology. I really like seeing their creativity.

Nuts and Bolts

The Parent Council are very supportive of everything that we do in school.  They have helped us to set up our Nuts and Bolts shed in the playground.  This is based around the idea of a scrap store with nets, ropes, crates, creels etc. The children have had great fun building lots of new things using the fish boxes donated by Drew’s dad.  Kate Brown has taken responsibility for sourcing material for the shed…and we are hoping to build on this in the future. In the nursery outdoor play area Alison Logan has had dads in to develop a system of water chutes for children to explore.

 

STEM Homelinks

Maggie Harrison and Maureen MacDonald are thinking about how we move forward as a school after the Rolls-Royce project is over.  We have started to use a STEM self-evaluation tool to help us.  One of things we would like to improve is parental engagement with STEM.  Maggie, in her role as Primary Cluster Mentor, has been working with two colleagues from other primary schools and as a team they have agreed to develop a series of STEM bags that can be sent home with activities that children can do with their parents.

Budget

Since we have been on holiday for two weeks we have had no outgoing this month so we still have £3280.99 in the budget.  The children have expressed an interest in getting a wind turbine for the school and are in contact with George Dean to see how we could go about this.

March Diary

Renewables Engineering Islay – March Diary

 

A key part of what we wanted to do with our project this year was to involve other primary schools on the islands.  There are primary schools in Bowmore, Port Charlotte and Keills as well as Small Isles Primary School on the Isle of Jura.  With National Science & Engineering Week coming up we decided that this would be an ideal time to get everyone together to work on a series of engineering challenges organised by Maggie Harrison, with the support of Jo Clark and Kate Brown.

 

Fairytale Engineering

The first session we ran was for children working at Early/First Level – from P1-P4.  On the day we had 60 children meet together to work on some fairytale engineering.  The focus was on developing creativity and children’s ideas for problem solving.  The tasks were linked to the story of Rapunzel; first they had to build a tower for Rapunzel using mini marshmallows and cocktail sticks, exploring the strength of different shapes; then they had to work out a way for Rapunzel to escape the tower. Back in Port Ellen, P1/2/3 continued this learning, coming up with some amazingly good ideas – a glider, an elevator, a parachute, a hot air balloon and a zip wire.

At first I thought it was impossible but now I really want to do it  again – Aiden, Port Charlotte Primary.

It was so much fun. My best bit was building the tower with marshmallows – Evie, Port Ellen

I loved getting to see the other school classes. I like working in a team. It was fun getting Rapunzel out of the tower – Callum, Bowmore Primary

 

Disaster!

Primary 4/5s from Port Ellen and Bowmore Primary Schools worked together to learn how engineering can be an important aspect of disaster relief.  They thought about earthquakes and hurricanes that can devastate communities and lead to situations where emergency aid is unable to reach those who need it and how essential structures like air control towers need to withstand the powers of nature.  Their first task was to design and build a mountain rescue stretcher to transport a patient (potato) to hospital; then all groups were given the same resources to build a tower which supported a tennis ball and withstood a hurricane!

I really enjoyed building with a time limit and enjoy building models that are real things but we make them mini – Millie, Port Ellen Primary

I loved it because we had to do challenges – James, Bowmore Primary

My class were all absolutely engaged in both activities.  There were lots of discussions, problem solving and pride – Miss Brown, Port Ellen Primary.

 

 

 

Let’s Roll!

Older students met for a session looking at the engineering process, focussed on testing and improving.  Groups of children from different schools built rollercoasters for marbles, trying to incorporate loop the loops and still catch the marble in a paper cup.  Continuing on a marble theme, they then had to work out ways to increase the time taken for a marble to run down an inclined plane from 2.7 seconds to 10 seconds.  It was fantastic to see the children from different schools work together, completely absorbed in solving the problem. Young STEM Ambassadors from Islay High School came along to help out on the day.

I enjoyed the session and learned a lot more about engineers – Neil, Port Charlotte Primary.

It was challenging because there were lots of different activities and we had a certain amount of time to do it in and we had to stick to the resources we had – Oliver, Keills. Primary

It was fun! – Elisa, Small Isles Primary.

I want to have another engineering day with all the schools again – Charlie, Port Ellen.

The activities were fun, engaging and appropriately challenging for the group.  The children were actively involved and clearly developing their problem solving skills – Mrs Baker, Keills Primary

This session was held in Islay High School.  Maggie Harrison and Maureen MacDonald are now in discussion with the Headteacher of the High School to look at delivering a similar workshop for S3 children.

 

Rescuing Humpty

National Science & Engineering week could not go by without involving out Pre-5 children.  They had to find ways of rescuing Humpty so that he didn’t crack his head open getting down from the wall.  Bubble wrap and cotton wool were turned into jackets and we also built a zip-wire and engineered baskets to help him get down from the wall safely!

 

Budget

Date Purchases Cost
22nd February 4 copies Rosie Revere Engineer (for cluster schools) £42.15
22nd February External Hard Drive £47.68
6th March Pack cardboard tubes £18.05
  Solder £1.90
  3x Giant Lolly sticks £5.88
  12xSellotape £9.95
  3 packs masking tape £10.77
  Card £4.99
  Giant straws £18.98
  Wooden beads £4.98
  KNEX Imagination Makers Age 5-10 £30.26
  2xKNEX Imagine Age 7+ £61.02
  The Boy who harnessed the Wind £11.89
  Bioengineering Projects £12.49
7th March 4XKNEX Renewable Energy (for cluster schools) £721.80
Total Expenses    
Remaining Money   £3280.99

Imagineers Presentation London Trip

 

On Saturday 18th November I  went to London as a finalist for the Tomorrows Engineer competition. In the competition there were 10 finalists from all around the UK. All the finalists had to meet up in the Science Museum to present their invention in front of 4 judges and the audience.  We had professional posters made to show our inventions.  My invention was the Scaredy Sheep, a device that would bark like a dog and is attached to the sheeps ear so when sheep get stuck on their backs they are scared into jumping up again.

When the finalists first arrived we went down into a room where the judges were and we got to talk to them and the host so we weren’t as scared to talk about our inventions in front of them. We also had to get head sets on so we could do a sound check. After the break we all went down and sat down. The first thing that happened was a balloon experiment and a bubble experiment. In the bubble experiment a lady got bubble mixture and big bubble stick. Another lady came out and got another bubble stick and each side of the room did a bubble competition. The balloon experiment was really cool because a lady put a balloon on fire and it made a REALLY loud bang.

Then the first finalists went up to present their ideas. Then we got a quick break to explore the museum. After about 15 minutes we had to go back and on my way in their was a robot called Oscar who walked into me. Oscar was a really cool robot because he speaks to you and hands out chocolates and  lollipops. Finally we got into the room and sat down and then there was another quiz. Then it was lunch and after we got to have a quick demonstration on how the body digests food. It wasn’t a good sight at all!

After the disgusting demonstration I had to go up and present my idea. I was nervous but excited and was proud of explaining my invention. Then the judges came out and the host announced the winner,  and the winning design was an excellent hover wheelchair. We all congratulated the winner and then we got to explore more of the museum. After a long day I went back to my hotel. I really enjoyed the competition and I would like to be an engineer when I grow up. While I was there I learnt that to complete something you have to stick with it and keep trying.

The Engineer Grabber Challenge

In class we have been looking at engineering and we have been doing challenges in groups to help us feel like an engineer. For this challenge we were told that we had make a model and we were to be able to pick up an object from one metre away. First thing that we did in our groups was go off separately and make a design and label it so that we could see how it would work and what materials it needed to be made. When that was finished we got back in our groups and we decided what one that we would make. We went of and started to make our model and when we had to test it out and my group managed to pick up a water bottle from a metre away. Then when we had finished Mrs Clark decided who was the winner of this challenge and it was my group.

Rowan Morris

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.

 

Young Imagineers Competition

Primary 6&7 have been busy inventing.  They have been creating design boards for the Young Imagineers competition run by Statoil.  They had to come up with a great engineering idea that could solve a problem for the future, and lots of great ideas were generated; extra robotic arms and hands so you can get more done, high viz vests for cows, smart material kneepads that bounce you back when you fall in the playground, the Scooper for stopping ice cream dripping on your hands and lots more.  3 were chosen by the class to enter for the competition; Sarah’s Scaredy Sheep device stops sheep getting stuck on their backs by barking like a dog, Rebecca has designed a device that uses static electricity from clothes to repell rain from your glasses and Lauren has invented a device that knows when the inside of your car gets too hot and sends an alarm to your key.  Good luck in the competition and great engineering!

Farmer’s Feast

On Tuesday 3rd October 2017 primary 6/7 made a delicious buffet for elders in the local community. Some of the delicious food that were available: Bramble muffins, pancakes, tomato soup, egg sandwiches, nettle soup, bramble meringues, oat and apple cookies, bramble and apple cakes and jam sandwiches. After everyone got welcomed and took a seat the P6/7s told everyone about the feast. While everyone ate some people from the class were on a table with each other and we had to talk to the people on our table. Soon after everyone had had a wee bit to eat the Gaelic choir sang some beautiful songs and some of the choir did poems and solos. After the Gaelic choir sang the Primary School band played some songs. The instruments that were played were the flute and the clarinet. The final thing that happened was primary 1,2 and 3 did some poems and they sounded lovely. Everyone had a great time, enjoyed the entertainment and very much appreciated our lovely foods.

Sarah

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

STRAMASH!

On Tuesday the 19th of September P6/7s from Islay and Jura went to Oban for the fabulous Stramash trip. At first I didn’t feel too sure about going but as it got closer I felt more and more exited. We were on the ferry first and then the bus for 1 hour in order to get to the hostel. By the time we were in Oban we had already got told who was in our groups and who was in our rooms. After the chat we went into our groups and discussed what we were unsure about and what we were exited for. That night we had already been in our rooms so we went and played games at the lovely Ganovan beach and grass. We played fun games in our groups but by then I just wanted to go to bed.

The next morning I woke up to a shock when I found out we were doing canoeing in about an hour, I wasn’t really sure about canoeing so it just made it even worse when I found out I had to wear a wetsuit! At the end of canoeing I found it WAS really fun so it made me more confident about the rest of the week. That afternoon we were doing coasteering, another one I wasn’t to sure about!  I thought it was just jumping off a rock into the sea but that was a small part of it. You had to climb rocks with barnacles on them then at the end you got to jump of the rock which was fun. That night we got to go swimming, the pool had a big slide in it so I went down it. My friend Taylor also belly flopped into the pool! 

On Thursday morning my group was going gorge walking so I had to put on another wetsuit sadly. We got into the bus and drove to the gorge. Once I saw the currents I knew it would be fun so I had a go at going down on my back. I knew whatever I did I would be happy with but this one was even more fun than I thought,  it was so deep at the waterfall I couldn’t touch the bottom. We carried on up the woods until it came to a dead end then we went to the hostel to have lunch. There was lots of different instructors for each activity. After lunch my group did an adventure walk to the woods then a castle. Some of my friends that went before me said it was rubbish but when we got to light a fire it got interesting because it took my friend Craig  32 tries with the Swedish fire stick to light a fire. We then drew a picture of what we could hear and see. We then set off to the castle. Once we got to the bottom of the hill at the castle the instructor said a story about a whale a guy and a girl attached to the whales heart. After that we got to the castle and saw an eagle. That excellent day we had a bonfire that night so we got to toast marshmallows on it. 

The last day we only had one activity left that was rock climbing. Once we got to the amazing Ganovan beach and grass we walked to the rocks. I never knew how much equipment you needed to wear until he explained that it was so safe. The first rock we climbed was easy. I did it with Robbie from Keils then we moved on to the next rock! It was scary at first because it was big but when I started I was up there in seconds. We had the choice to abseil down but I didn’t but some people did.  

Overall I achieved making friends, rock climbing, abseiling, gorge walking and coasteering. The one that I found most challenging was coasteering because of the wave splashing up on to you. I found gorge walking the funnest because you got to float down the gorge. I also found rock climbing boring because you had to wait but when it was your turn it was so fun. I was scared of jumping of rocks and swimming in the sea but when I finished coasteering I overcame my fear.  Overall Stramash was brilliant and I did stuff I would of never thought I would of and I would certainly go back to Oban for Stramash.   

By Jack

Port Ellen Primary P6/7 Engineering

P6/7 are learning about engineering. We have drawn and annotated a picture of a engineer and discussed what and engineer is. We have found out different types of engineers there are (electrical, biotechnology, chemical engineers, etc.)  We have watched a video of a engineer and videos on what an engineer is. We have done research about a type of engineer and we wrote the facts down on a piece of paper.

We have found out that you need to be good at linear algebra to be a computer engineer. We also found out that that coding engineers work with a lot of other types of coding engineers, such as programmers.  We can’t wait to do some of our own engineering.  Watch the video on engineering below…

 

FARMING ON ISLAY

Islay is a beautiful island off the west coast of Scotland, and one of the reasons it is so lovely is because farmers work hard to keep the land the way it has looked for generations, conserving the environment. But the land has also influenced how and what types of farming happen on Islay. As an Island the costs of transport are also an important consideration, as is the weather. All these factors contribute to the difficulties and successes of farming beef, sheep and barley on Islay.

Farming on Islay is very important to  Islay’s landscape and the farmers  that work hard to get paid and have more than just one job but two! The farmers on Islay have kept the landscape as it was years ago. The farming on Islay gives jobs to many people so that they can make money and live their lives as the years pass by.

The main land types found on Islay are rough grazing, grassland, peat bog and moorland.  Grassland is low lying and is used by farmers to grow grass for silage, grass to feed animals and can also be used to grow barley; this is the most useful land for farmers, but in the winter it gets very wet and muddy and can’t be used to keep animals on.  Rough grazing land can’t be used to grow grass or crops, it tends to be hilly with plants like heather, rushes and patches of rough grass.  Animals can graze it, although it is mostly used by sheep.  Rough grazing is useful in the winter because it stays dry, drains well and you can overwinter animals on it.   It can’t be used to grow vegetables or crops because it is stoney and the soil is poor.    Peatbogs are of no use to farmers as animals can get stuck in the bogs and the grazing is too poor.  Farmers on Islay often drain the land to keep it dry enough to grow grass.  Because of the limits imposed by the type of land on Islay, the main farming is Beef and Sheep, with a little barley production.

Islay has a wonderful type of weather for grass which has mainly rain and wind with a tint of sunshine as there is hardly any snow or frost on the island. The normal temperatures varies as seasons pass as in the summer there is more sun and it is not as rainy as autumn or winter as in winter it is mainly rainy and windy but it is still sometimes sunny. The lowest average temperature on islay is 3’c. In autumn the weather is changing to winter and during that there is sometimes gale force winds  and there is about 130mm of rain through the season. In summer the weather becomes less rainy and becomes more sunny.

Islay is an island than can only be reached from the mainland by ferry or plane.  This means farmers have to pay to get their produce off the island and also pay extra to get the equipment and resources they need to farm on the island.  As a result of this farmers on Islay struggle to compete financially with those on the mainland.  For example, fertilizer and concentrates need to be brought over on container ships and unloaded onto lorries.  This means fertilizer and concentrates cost more for Islay farmers. The type of farming that can happen here is also affected by transport; milk, soft fruits and other products will go off when transported for long periods of time so are not farmed on Islay.  However, sheep and cattle are easy to transport over time, and the barley that is grown is sold locally.  So farmers on the mainland have an advantage over famers on Islay.

 

Sarah Endeavour

Endeavour Review

Endeavour is a long-term personal topic where everyone in P5/6/7 gets to pick his or her own project. The project has to be ambitious. Endeavour lasts from Christmas to July. My Endeavour was on giant pandas because for my birthday I adopted a panda.

My Endeavour was ambitious because I didn’t know much about giant pandas so I had to learn a lot and do a lot of research.

During my Endeavour I had to get people to help me but I did a lot by myself, I got help from the WWF and Edinburgh Zoo because they gave me a lot of information that I couldn’t find on the internet. The people that helped me were my dad, my mum, Mrs Clark, WWF, Edinburgh Zoo and National Geographic.

For my Endeavour I achieved a sway, an enclosure, a poster, a quiz, description for my enclosure, Chinese Calligraphy, annotated picture of giant panda and a panda cupcake fundraiser. The things I have learned are facts about giant pandas, how to write giant panda in Chinese calligraphy, how to draw giant pandas and skills. The skills I have learned during Endeavour are time management and organisation.

During Endeavour everyone had to overcome problems I had to overcome quite a few problems. My problems were when I had to make my enclosure, my picture, my poster and my quiz. When I was making my enclosure at first I had made it out of a cardboard type thing and the fence was made out of Popsicle sticks and they kept falling over. To fix my problem I re made my enclosure out of wood. My second problem was with my panda picture because when I first attempted it it didn’t work out. My poster problem was that I had completed my poster but then I had facts that weren’t accurate so I had to re do my poster. My final problem was with my quiz the problem was that I had done my quiz on my computer at home but my computer wouldn’t print so I had to re do it at school and print it off.

The thing I found the most difficult was my enclosure because it didn’t work out and it took a very long time.  I will try something more challenging next year.

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.

 

Digital Learning

Through this year P5/6/7 have been using lots of technology to help with their learning. Some people have been using technology for their Endeavour project like Rebecca, Rhys, Sophie, Rowan and Taylor.

Rebecca is doing A documentary on Islay and she is also making a website. Rebecca’s website has made her endeavour better because more people will be able to see it rather than her telling them. Rebecca has already made a logo and completed 4 pages, 3 more to go. She hopes it will be completed by 31st May.

Rhys is doing Kodu for his Endeavour so everything he does is on the computer. He has completed 11 levels already and is hoping to create as much levels as possible.

For Charlie’s Endeavour he has learnt about Calmac and how long it has been running and also about all the ferries and boats, and he records this in a blog.

Sophie is doing animations and has completed 10 she is hoping to complete 12 all together.

Ciaran has made a sway for his Endeavour about his Endeavour which is electricity. He has found out about what electricity is, what electrons make, how electricity travels and how fast it travels.

Rowan has made an iMovie of her performing magic tricks.

Taylor has been working on a documentary for his Endeavour, his Endeavour is on different sports you can do on Islay he has videoed himself cycling around Islay using a Go Pro.

We have used scratch with Mr Shakespeare. In scratch you can create quizzes or games and anything is possible.

Figure is an app that makes music which we have also used in class. Everyone has enjoyed using it and it has also helped us understand music a lot more like crescendos and diminuendos which has helped us learn in a more fun way.

Garageband is also another useful app you can use to make music but you can add voices into it. Eva and Natalie have been experimenting with garageband by singing gaelic songs.

There are lots of things you can do in the classroom to help you with your work and most of this is using technology and this is just some of them.

Scottish Maths Challenge Success!

Every year Mrs Clark’s class take part in the Scottish Maths Challenge, a competition where you have to complete tricky maths problems that require you to think outside the box.  It is a great way to improve your maths problem solving skills and learn to apply strategies to help you work out the answers.  Children can opt to take part in the challenges, and there are three sets of questions over the year. One of the questions this year was:

Colin and Tom are on a camping holiday and, at their campsite, they make friends with Fiona. They ask her when her birthday is but, being a bit of a joker, Fiona tells them only that it is one of the following;

May 14, July 12, May 15, May 18, June 16, June 19, July 15, August 12, August 14, August 16.

She then tells Colin the month of her birthday, but not the day in the month, whilst she tells Tom the day in the month, but not the month.

Immediately, Colin Declares “Well Tom certainly cannot know for sure when Fiona’s birthday is.”
to which Tom replies “Ah, but now I do.” “And now I know when it is as well,” comes back Colin.

When is Fiona’s birthday? Explain your reasoning.

Quite tricky!

The children who took part have been very successful and should be proud of their perseverance and skills.  Ellie and Matthew have achieved a bronze medal and Eva, Ruaraidh, Rowan, Rebecca and Kaitlyn achieved a silver medal in the competition.  Kaitlyn and Rebecca missed out on the gold by one point!  Well done everyone.

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

Trip To Lighthouse Glasgow for Awards

On the 22nd March 2017 two pupils from Port Ellen Primary School went to the Lighthouse in Glasgow to receive  their reward for the My place photography competition run by the Scottish Civic Trust. Those two boys were Matthew Campbell, overall winner in the primary category, and Ruaraidh Macdonald, runnner up. Ruaraidh  and Matthew got two canvases, one for the school and one for their family and Matthew also got a camera for himself and for the school.  The two of them went up to the front one by one to accept their awards.   After the ceremony Matthew had to stay for more photos with the rest of the winners from the My Place Awards and My Place Photography Competition. They both enjoyed the day and were really proud to have done so well in a national competition.  To read more go to http://www.scottishcivictrust.org.uk/news/my-place-award-winners-2017/

by Ruaraidh and Matthew

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