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.

Picnic Pocket Garden

P1020105P5/6/7 took part in the Eco Schools Scotland One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden competition and designed a Pocket Garden in pairs. The garden had to be eco-friendly, use seasonal produce, be grown locally and have a theme.  Mirren and Rebecca’s Hogwarts Buzzing Garden came back as a winner! They had a Harry Potter themed Garden that is bee friendly which they now had to create and take to Edinburgh for the Royal Horticultural Show at the start of June. After they found out they won they went straight to work with finding, making and growing different items to put on there garden. Mirren, Rebecca, Mrs Clar and Mrs Leask took a trip up to Glenegadale Garden and Peter to source some locally grown plants for the display, which he generously helped us with.  We think the final garden, which has plants to help with spells and help attract and feed bees, will look great.  Thanks to everyone who is helping to make it possible, including our mums and dads who are taking us.

Junior Saltire Awards

P1020096A few weeks ago p5/6/7 worked on designs for a wave power device for the Junior Saltire Awards, which is a national competition for school children to design and make their own devices to promote the use of renewable energy. The group that built the device was called Wave Islay, and included Bronagh, Joe, Murray, Kaya, Abi and Ellie. We researched renewable and non renewable energy and learned about wave powered devices.  Bronagh’s dad came in to help us build our device. When it was finished we went to test it in the sea and it worked. We had to fill in some papers to send away. Later on we found out that our device was in the finals. Now we are working on improvements to make it better! Bronagh, Joe, Murray and Kaya get to go to Edinburgh for the awards on the 9th June, where we will test our device in the Flo Wave facility at Edinburgh University.  It is all very exciting!

House Building Endeavour

This year Endeavour has a world of work focus and I chose house building. I chose House Building because I wanted to find out how to build a house.  I planned my Endeavour using a long term planner. I have achieved building a model house, sent a letter to an architect, made a powerpoint and some more. I have had a few problems with the cement and making the roof.  I have had help from my dad with cutting the wood and Mr Pollock gave me some tips in my letter. I will sow my house and powerpoint at the end.

Explaining Everything

P3/4 have been learning about parts of a plant and what each part does.  They have also learned about photosynthesis – the process where plants make energy for carbon dioxide and water using energy from the sun and chlorophyll in leaves.  They used a new app on the ipads called Explain Everything to show what they had learned.

Seeds from Space

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P3/4 are now officially plant scientists. Along with lots of other schools from across the country we are taking part in a scientific experiment to find out about the effect of space on plant growth.  We were given two packets of seeds from the Royal Horticultural Society – one normal rocket seeds and the other a packet that have been to the International Space Station with Tim Peake.  We have learned all about fair testing and randomisation and the seeds are now sitting waiting to grow.  We will keep you posted of progress and our results!

Architecture Endeavour

IMG_0436This year my Endeavour is Architecture. I got the idea of doing Architecture because I don’t know anything about Architecture and I wanted to learn more about it. I have achieved a model house, a plan for my model and lots of research to help do my Endeavour. I planned my Endeavour by doing my long term planner. Long term planner is a planner that has writing on it which what I wanted to do in my endeavour. A problem I have overcome is when I was making my house it broke and I had to start again. My mum has helped me with my Endeavour at home and my teacher Mrs Clark has helped me in school and a teacher from the high school Mr Pollack sent me an email. At the end of my Endeavour I will have to show my model house my plan for it research and a big board of what I have have done in my Endeavour.

Wooden Toys Endeavour

IMG_0420My Endeavour is on making wooden toys. I choose this Endeavour because I wanted to try something new and this year your Endeavour had to relate to the world of work. This project  I can sell the products I make to people at the Endeavour fair.

I got my idea one night when I was watching my dad make a gate for where he was working this inspired me to chose this project.

I got my plan from looking on the internet where I saw loads of cute and really good ideas so I took some put them together and made my plan.

I have achieved lots of things like a pram, 2 jigsaws, lots of plans and wooden box with alphabet letter.


Trip to the Pontoons

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On Monday 25th April P3/4 went to see the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust boat. It is called the Silurian.

The Silurian was fancy. It had ten beds, a toilet, a shower and a galley. On deck there was a huge steering wheel and dials. A digital map was on top of the steering wheel. There was a thing that tells you how much knots the wind is going. The boat is 20m long, double the size of my dad’s boat because my dad’s is only 10m.

I learned about whales and dolphins. The biggest whale in Scotland is the minke whale and the smallest is the porpoise.


By Drew, P3

Whale and Dolphin Boat

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On Monday we went to visit the Silurian. It was awesome. There were ten beds. We had to search for things up on top of the deck and down below the deck. They had toilets and showers on the boat.

Then we did learning about whales and dolphins where we listened to the sounds they made under the water. I learned that sperm whales have 40 teeth in their mouth and they go deep down into the sea and use clicks to see their prey.


By Donald, P4

Silurian Visit

On Monday 25th April we went down to the pontoons at the pier to see the Silurian which is the boat of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. We had to put on life jackets.

The Silurian was a yacht. It was very nice and fancy. First we investigated the boat. We found out that the boat had ten beds, a galley, a bathroom, a dining room, a crows nest, a steering wheel, two masts and sails. The front of the boat is the bow and the back is the stern.

I learned about basking sharks. I also learned about the sounds of dolphins and whales and that people listen for the sounds underwater using a hydrophone.


By Ciaran, P4

The Scottish Mathematical Challenge

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

Beat the Flood

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

Wild Weather


P3/4 investigated extreme weather events as part of their weather topic.  Charlet Rose found out about the flash flooding in Boscastle in 2004.  She discovered the cause of the flooding and used weather data to show the rainfall pattern over this event.  She found out how the flash flooding affected the people and the disruption it caused.  This was a great piece of work that pulled together learning in literacy, numeracy and social studies. Well done Charlet Rose.

Investigating Microclimate

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P3/4 have been investigating the microclimate in the school grounds.  They used digital thermometers on loan from the Royal Meteorological Society to record the temperatures at different places in the school grounds.  It was a great way to consolidate all they had learned about maps as part of their orienteering.  They then worked in the group to produce a scientific report complete with prediction, method, results, bar chart and explanation.  A great piece of work!

Waste Week

IMG_0145Last week the Eco group decided to do a waste week and  try to find out how much packaging  gets wasted at lunchtime in school.

We collected it for  only three days.  There was quite a lot and I don’t think that it was very good. I think we should do the waste week again because on Tuesday 15th we collected 650 grams and to me that is very wasteful. On  Wednesday  it got a little better and then on Thursday it was the same as Monday, terrible.  Hopefully we might be able to do it again and try to improve and have less packaging that gets wasted.

by Rowan

The Rock Cycle

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

Science Club

Mrs Clark has started a club called science club on Wednesdays from 3:30am to 4:30pm.  We have done it for 2 weeks; the 1st week we did it we were doing looking for worms for citizen science.  The next week we did balloon rockets and the boys won by 2 meters with 1 balloon because we put more air in it for the pressure.


Science week at the High School


On Wednesday 16th March all of the p7 in Argyll and Bute went over to the Islay High School to learn about science, because it was science week.

At the High School we made our own crystals and we also had to try and make a light go on by connecting wires. We all really enjoyed the science and we learnt a lot of new things to do with science. The next day in Port Ellen Primary School p3/4 and p5/6/7 invited our parents in to come and see some of the science we had done working with partners.

We set up lots of tables with lots of different activities such as a Islay map where you had to label lots of different rocks, cakes, the rock cycle, volcano, and much more.

It was great fun.

British Science Week Parent Afternoon

After a week of science learning at Port Ellen we invited parents in to find out more about Rocks, Floods and Boats.

In P567 we have been doing geology this term, finding out about Islay’s interesting rocks and how they are formed.  Parents got to make rocks out of food, saw a cake model of the earths crust, our map of Islay’s geology and identified different types of rock by testing them.   They asked lots of interesting questions!

In P34 parents were presented with flood proof housing and has to test the houses to see if they worked!

In P123 they had to build waterproof boats that didn’t sink out of different materials and they also made paper.

Geology With P5/6/7

p567 050P5/6/7 have been doing geology as their topic. They have been learning about renewable and non-renewable energy. Renewable sources are sources that will not run out and non-renewable sources are sources that will run out. They also have been learning how the energy is converted into electricity. They made posters on renewable and non-renewable sources. Some non-renewable sources are coal, gas, oil and nuclear power. Renewable sources are wind power, solar power, geothermal, tidal power and biomass. Wind power is using a wind-mill and when the wind comes it spins the wind-mill and creates electricity. They will be going on a field trip to smash up rocks next Friday.


weatherPrimary 34 topic this term is weather.  They have been finding out which clouds are which, facts about storm Henry and they have been making graphs on excel about how high wind speeds are. We have made rain gauges and anonometers to measure the wind speed.  We have also made an animation of the water cycle.  It was very interesting to learn about.

Bird Facts with the Nursery by the Eco Group

DSCN2116The nursery are doing a topic on birds and they have a bag of bird seed that will last a whole year.

Also they made bird food balls and this is how you make them you get: bird seed, bread crumbs, bread crusts and water. The crows try to steal the food but they can’t because the birdhouse that they made it too small for the crows to fit in.  They have also bought new bird feeders.

At Joint Sessions with P1/2 David Wood from the RSPB has been working with the children and he came into the school to tell them about birds and went bird watching around the school grounds with the children.

Since the weather  has been horrible they weren’t as many as they had hoped. They saw lots of geese in the field and lots of Black Hoods Crows.