Head Sense not Nonsense! A Compass presentation comes to Leswalt.

This morning, Leanne from Compass (Brain Injury Specialists Ltd) visited both classes to lead the pupils in a presentation and discussion about the importance of wearing a helmet (on bikes, quads, dirt bikes etc) and the consequences linked to brain injuries.

The children discussed why sometimes people don’t wear helmets and Leanne reinforced the important job the helmet does in protecting our brain. She had a ‘jelly’ brain to pass around so that the children could envisage what was inside their skull! She also shared some fun brain facts: an adult brain weighs about a bag and a half of sugar, a jelly fish has NO brain and a brain cell is called a neuron! We actually have 100 billion neurons in our brain – if we started counting all the neurons in our brain it would take a staggering 3176 years! Our brains are like our very own super computer, and that’s what makes us really smart!

Leanne talked to the pupils through what each part of the brain does; and the pivotal role played by the frontal lobe in making us the individuals we are.

She highlighted the need to drink plenty of water, sleep well, eat healthily and get plenty of fresh air to help look after our brains. Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables are fantastic for helping to ‘feed’ our brain!

Compass visits schools to raise awareness of helmet safety and do, in fact, provide free helmets to those who need them. The short video which concluded the  P4-7 presentation told the story of a little boy who hadn’t worn his helmet and was left with an acquired brain injury which changed his life.

It’s not cool to be the fool: wear your helmet!


Digital Skills Scotland award!

I am delighted to say that following a process which we have been undertaking over the last 2 years, as part of our School improvement plan, our partnership of trio schools has achieved National recognition in the Digital Skills Scotland awards.

Yesterday I received official confirmation that we have been validated and awarded this, following a lengthy submission of evidence and visit of an assessor. 

Dear Ms Sheila Baillie

Following your Digital Schools Award Scotland validation visit by Alan Yeoman, I am delighted to inform you that North Rhins Partnership Schools – Leswalt Primary / Port Patrick Primary and Kirkcolm Primary have been successful in their application to become Digital Schools in Scotland.

On behalf of all the partners involved in the Digital Schools Award Scotland I would like to congratulate the schools on achieving this award.

I enclose the validation report which summarises the validator’s view of the extent to which the schools addressed the award criteria.   The Digital School Award is recognised by Education Scotland.

We are confident that North Rhins Partnership will be a pioneer among schools where digitally enhanced teaching and learning is helping our children and young people prepare for living and working in the 21st Century.

Kind regards

Aoife O’Connor
Programme Coordinator
Digital Schools Award Scotland

This award is recognised by Education Scotland.  Only one other school in the whole of Dumfries and Galloway has this award currently.
Thank you must go to all staff and pupils for their hard work and willingness in this work – they are indeed a “pioneer among schools”. 
Our team may be small – but is mighty!

Budding Structural Engineers at Leswalt!

Many thanks to Lauryn Steel, Principal Technician: Structures with Dumfries and Galloway Council, for joining the P4-7 class this morning to lead a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and maths) session on bridge building. She told the pupils a little about the day-to-day aspects of her job and spoke to them about the different types of bridges that you might spot when out and about across the region.

After looking at some pictures of different bridge styles; the pupils were put into groups to work on a bridge challenge. They needed to work together as a team to discuss, design, build and test a brand new bridge!

This brand-new bridge needed to be able to hold a full water bottle! Three out of four teams managed to design a bridge to meet the design brief: one team even managed to put a number of items on their bridge! It was a super design.

Well done to all the boys and girls for their teamwork and engineering skills, to Ms Whorlow from Portpatrick to organising the visit and to Lauryn for leading this STEM event. Great fun!


More Book Week Scotland Celebrations

We celebrated the end of Book Week Scotland on Friday afternoon by working in small ‘Book Buddy’ groups for a bit of paired reading. P5-7 pupils had been practising their fluency and expression when reading aloud throughout the week in preparation for today, and were prepared with some reading prompts to try and engage the younger pupils in the story and encourage discussion about the book they chose to read.

P1-4 pupils were engrossed (with some even cuddling in to their older buddy!) while they listened to  some very entertaining stories (if you haven’t read “There’s a Bear on my Chair” – look it up!!).

Afterwards, we all watched the Author’s Live event on the Scottish Book Trust website, where we were entertained by James Robertson and Catriona Lexy Campbell who brought ‘The Gruffalo in Scots’ to life.

We had a fab afternoon (and week!) enjoying and sharing books, and developing our love of reading!

Headteachers for the day

As part of the Children in Need fundraising, Alexander and Ewan Clark sold the most quiz sheets.  As a reward, they were allowed to be “Headteacher”.  They started their slot in charge of Leswalt Primary be sending out an email to all parents;

“Hellow just to say Leswalt primary is the best.
If we wear head techer we would have a big foot ball mach and some pet sheep in the play ground.
Can you mums and dads give your children lots of sweets to night?
see you later alegater.”
Some parents entered into the spirit of the new regime and  quickly responded to the communication from their new leaders with “in a while crocodile!”
This was later followed by an update to all parents from the real Mrs Baillie;

“Good afternoon

I have moved from Leswalt Primary to Portpatrick  this afternoon, to leave Leswalt Primary under the shared leadership of Messers Clark.
I have just telephoned the school to speak to the Headteacher.  They have reassured me all is well under their control.  When I have asked what they have done this afternoon , apparently  they have sat back in the office and enjoyed a hot chocolate and Kit Kat (please note this is not standard practice by the Headteacher at Leswalt.)
And,  “Ewan has played Friv” and “Alexander has made up a powerpoint for Mrs F”. 
The dynamic duo is also about to embark on implementing  their fun idea of a whole school football match.
Sadly for all involved, normal service shall resume tomorrow .”
Here is a happy picture of the headies, hard at work!

Book Week Scotland

To launch the start of book Week Scotland (which runs from 18th-24th November), P1-3 parents were invited into school this afternoon as part of the Bookbug (P1) / Read, Write, Count (P2-3) initiatives. Parents spent time exploring the contents of the bags and discussing ways in which the resources could be used to develop pupils’ literacy and numeracy at home. We also had a look at the ‘Parent Club’ website which gives further examples of activities to do at home using the resources.

An excited bunch of P1-3 pupils then joined us and were gifted with their bags. Pupils were desperate to get into their bag and see what it contained! Having sat patiently, we then headed to the classroom where pupils explored the goodies they were given – some were reading books; others were playing games of rockets & meteors or top trumps; and some were using story cubes to create imaginative silly stories!

Later in the week to continue the Book Week Scotland celebrations, P4-7 pupils will be doing some paired reading with P1-3, as suggested by the Pupil Council. We are all looking forward to getting together to enjoy some stories and share in our love of reading!

Children in Need Fun!

Children in Need 2019

P1-3 were given the responsibility for this year’s fundraising efforts.  The main aim was to beat the previous total of £258 whilst at the same time, have lots of fun.  After much brainstorming, the children voted on their favourite fundraising activities and set to work.

The quiz proved to be an amazing success, raising a grand total of £375 alone!  Wowsers!!  The winning family, selling an astonishing £76 worth of quizzes, were the Clark Family!  The boy’s prize for being top sellers is the chance to take charge of the school for an afternoon and become Head Teacher and Depute Head – wish us luck!  The winner of the actual quiz itself was Mr Angus Brown! This lucky winner has won a Pudsey Wristband and a set of Pudsey Ears.

We also had a successful Bring and Buy Sale.  Not only did the parents get the chance to clear out old and unwanted toys before Christmas, the girls and boys got the chance to buy some new goodies!  All remaining items will now be donated to the Cancer Research shop in town.

The girls and boys also got to come into school for the day dressed in their pyjamas, and bring their favourite teddy and a pillow too.  In the afternoon we snuggled down and enjoyed cookies (kindly donated by the McGregor family) and hot chocolate.  We were also delighted to welcome Renita Boyle to school to entertain the team with a bedtime story.

Other daftness on the day included face painting (thank you P7 girls!) and a marshmallow competition for the teachers…who could fit the most in their mouth?? Some controversy there – was it Mrs McKnight? Or Mrs Baillie? In the end, Mrs Ferguson, Mrs Baillie and Mrs McKnight all rook one for the team and skipped to the shop and back (a forfeit decided by the P1-3 class!), whilst the boys and girls stood at the school fence and cheered them on!

Amazing effort from all the girls and boys and on the day we raised an incredible £568 so far – with the final total yet to be announced! Wow!  Thank you to all the parents for supporting this too!  What a team we have at Leswalt Primary!




Today we welcomed Mr Kerr back into our class to lead our Spanish lesson. We have been working on counting to 20, days of the week, months of the year, colours and food.

Every morning in class, we get our whiteboards and have a shot at writing the date in French and Spanish – and we’re getting really good at this! We’ve noticed some similarities between the two languages too; all helpful when learning different languages.

Songs are really helpful when learning – we’ve found lots to help us learn new vocabulary! They’re fun to do too!

Out n’ About in the Village

Today we took our Maths lesson outside! We have been doing some work on finding percentages; 10% and 50% with everyone, with some people working on some even more complicated percentage work!

Mrs Ferguson had set up a quiz with 10 questions which involved using clues in the village; doing some mental calculations and working out the % required. We worked with our Talk Partners to do this; and we all started at a different question too.

We also popped into the shop to tell Kim what we were up to. She told us how percentages are used in the shop too; for special offers and ‘money off’ deals.

Back in class, we compared answers and all agreed it had been a fun and different Maths session today!