Entertaining the Thursday Club

Pupils headed up to the village hall on Thursday afternoon to entertain the members of the Thursday Club. They recited their Scots poems and sang some Scots songs – the audience loved Leswalt’s version of ‘Ye Cannae Shove yer Grannie off a Bus,’ there was great laughter at the ‘slevery kisses’ and ‘cheeky wee gin’ verses!! They also enjoyed Daphne Cochrane and joined in with some of the actions describing her ‘reekin’ oxters’ and ‘badly heed’!!!

The Eco committee went on to explain what we have done to gain our first green flag, and our plans for hopefully achieving our next one. Finally, P4-7 took to the stage to perform 2 songs on the tin whistle that they have been learning with Feis Ros.

The Thursday Club thoroughly enjoyed our entertainment and commended the pupils and the school on their work.

Rotary Lunch

Two of our Primary 7 pupils were selected to represent the school at the annual Rotary Lunch. Phoebe and Erin, accompanied by Mrs Gaw, headed to the North West Castle for a delicious lunch. They were entertained by speaker Mrs Isobel Milroy from RHET, who also held a group quiz for the pupils – the girls (along with Finlay from Portpatrick) competed against approximately 12 teams and won!! They returned to Leswalt triumphant after a great day out.

Christmas Unwrapped

Owen from Scripture Union came into school on Monday afternoon to deliver a fun workshop called ‘Christmas Unwrapped’ to P4-7. The pupils explored the Christmas Story as it is detailed in the Bible, and challenged their assumptions. For example, did you know that the Bible does not state that there were 3 Kings/Wise men at the birth of Jesus?! Through assumptions/stories, we all think there were 3 of them, but this isn’t said.

Pupils participated in various activities, such as a Christmas quiz in the form of a corners games to help work out misconceptions that pupils have about the Christmas story; a video called ‘Christmas Unravelled’ which explains that it was definitely not a ‘Silent Night’ as the well-known songs says due to all the people and noisy animals (the boys and girls were in stitches at this!!!); and a craft activity where pupils were able to express what Christmas means to them. They also did a present experiment which led them to the conclusion that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover – i.e. the biggest present isn’t always the best!

The pupils had a great afternoon learning about what Christmas means for Christians. Many thanks to Owen for spending the afternoon at Leswalt!

 

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!

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!

Curling’s Cool

Our P7s wrapped up warm and headed off to the ice-rink at the North West Castle this morning, to participate in a taster session of Curling’s Cool. They learned how to glide and sweep on the ice and participated in some fun games. At the end of the morning, all of the schools took part in a competition. Leswalt made it to the final, playing against a mixed team of Glenluce and Kirkcolm pupils – and they won!! All 4 pupils had a great morning learning to play curling. Thanks to Finlay’s mum for the photos of the curlers in action!

 

Maths Fun with Parents

On Monday, we welcomed families and parents into school to join in on some Maths fun! The whole school was split into 6 mixed ability groups and worked their way around different stations, which incorporated a range of Maths skills. Each station was led by a P6/7 pupil who explained the task and helped the pupils.

The 6 different stations included: bingo where we practised addition/multiplication; Code ‘n’ Go Mouse, putting our coding skills to use to navigate the mouse to the block of cheese; ‘Shut the Box’ game which focused on addition; Sumdog where we got the chance to explore our new subscription; indoor games such as dominoes and Snakes & Ladders to practise counting; and Big Maths Learn-its to give parents a chance to compete against their child as well as the clock!

Thanks to everyone who came along and to the class teachers for setting this up. Everyone had a great afternoon joining in on some Maths fun – have a look at our pictures below!

 

Pupil Responsibilities

Pupils have had a busy start to the year, applying for various jobs in the school and demonstrating they are keen to take on positions of responsibility. We received lots of applications for Pupil Council and monitor jobs; several pupils were keen to be interviewed for the Eco committee; lots of boys and girls in the senior class applied via the online application for Digital Leaders; and P7 pupils said their House Captain election speeches at assembly.

This year, we have decided that pupils will earn a ‘salary’ (in the form of merits – not cash!) for undertaking their job to give them further experience of the world of work.

After a difficult decision, we have selected our new committees for the year.

Our new Pupil Council members are:

Our new House Captains are:

Our new Eco Committee, hoping to work towards achieving our 2nd Green Flag in 2 years’ time are:

And finally, our new Digital Leaders who will help to develop ICT in classes and provide technical support in the school are:

Finlay, Chloe, Joshua and Erin (photo to follow)

Eco Schools Success

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded our first Eco-Schools Green Flag! Pupils in the Eco committee have been the driving force behind all of the environmentally friendly work that we have undertaken throughout the year, with all pupils in the school joining in on activities and taking responsibility for making the school and community a greener and more sustainable place.

Over the last year, pupils have participated in various Eco-friendly activities, organised and led by the Eco committee. They have carried out a local litter pick, inviting parents and the local community to join in; joined various recycling projects including crisp packets and batteries; worked with the local community group ‘Wetland Watchers’; and held litter assemblies to raise awareness of the impact to the whole school.

Our Eco-Schools assessor stated, “Congratulations on successfully achieving your Eco-Schools Green Flag award! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your application and am very excited about the work being done at Leswalt Primary School. I was very encouraged to read about the successes you’ve had and how you’ve gotten the whole school involved in the effort.” The assessor also stated that aspects of our work were noted as examples of good practice and may be used on the website/social media as case studies to support other schools with their Eco-Schools work.

Work is already underway to select our new Eco committee and continue the good work to ensure we are able to renew our Eco Schools green flag in 2 years’ time.

Have a keek below to see photos of the pupils with our Green Flag, which we will be displaying in the school corridor. The Eco Committee members were particularly proud as punch of their achievement – well done to you all!!

Partnership Sporting Success

Tuesday saw all 3 of our North Rhins partnership schools come together for a morning of exploration and an afternoon of inter-school sports fun. Pupils from Portpatrick and Kirkcolm travelled to Leswalt, who hosted the event for the first time. After arriving, the boys and girls made their way up to the Aldouran Wetlands for some fun in the gardens.

They then made their way back to school for a picnic lunch outside, and enjoyed getting to know and play with pupils from the other schools. Just as we were ready to head to the village park to begin our sports, the rain started – but it didn’t damped our spirits! Thankfully, the shower passed and it was a lovely warm afternoon for the boys and girls to cheer on their own schools – they were all getting very competitive and were keen for their school to be the overall winner of the afternoon!

There were various races for pupils to participate in, including sprint, skipping, sack, egg & spoon, distance and a relay. After counting up the points and working out the scores proportionately given the differing numbers of pupils in the 3 school, Portpatrick were the overall winners of the afternoon, with Leswalt in 2nd place and Kirkcolm in 3rd.

A huge thank-you must go to Lidl who supported the event for the 2nd year running, by providing water and fruit for the pupils to enjoy – they were well in need of this after the distance race! Also to the Brown family, who transported the equipment from the school to the park for us. The pupils had a wonderful afternoon mixing with other boys and girls in their year group across the 3 schools and are looking forward to our next get together already!

Leswalt Learns about Czech Republic

We had some visitors pop into school today to meet the pupils of Leswalt Primary. Rev Clare Burl and Steve Flowers brought along some people who are over visiting from the Czech Republic who have ‘twinned’ with Leswalt Church. The boys and girls entertained the visitors with some beautiful singing which the audience clapped along to, and Gregor and Phoebe recited their Scots poems in an attempt to teach them some traditional Scots language – although I’m pretty sure they couldn’t understand much, so we took some time to explain what all the Scots words meant, such as ‘sterving’, ‘I’m gey wee’ and ‘gae us the boak’!!

In an attempt to find out more about them, the pupils then asked the visitors some questions about their life and schools in the Czech Republic. Mr Flowers introduced all the visitors to us and told us their names in Czech – we had to guess what this could translate into in English. One of the visitors (who is a teacher!) then taught us some word in Czech such as please, thank-you, hello, goodbye and (randomly!) ice-cream.

The visitors stayed for another 15 minutes to have a look around and ask questions, with some pupils acting as tour guides.  Everyone commented on how well the children performed and how wonderful their behaviour was – what a credit to our school they all are!

P1-3’s Visit to Balgracie Farm & the Musuem

P1-3 had a lovely sunny morning with Mr Drennan at Balgracie Farm, who was assisted by Isabel Milroy from RHET.  Our topic this term is Farming so it was lovely to escape the classroom and find out more in a real life setting.  The highlight of the trip was most definitely seeing all the young calves and getting to sit inside the tractor!

We then boarded the bus and made a visit to Stranraer Museum where we looked at all the old farm machinery and tools.  This really helped us to see how farming has changed over the years.

Finally, we made a sneaky little trip along to Agnew Park for a quick play before heading back to school for lunch.

The perfect way to spend Outdoor Learning Day!

Skiffie World 2019 Visit

Pupils were treated to a visit by 4 gentlemen on Thursday afternoon from the local Stranraer rowing club, who brought along a skiff for the boys and girls to see. Pupils were surprised to learn that the men had built the boat and that only glue had been used to assemble the wooden planks – there wasn’t a single nail in sight!
They were given the opportunity to sit in the skiff and ‘row’ the boat. Isla, Carys and Cara took it in turns to take on the role of the coxswain, trying to keep everyone rowing in time. Afterwards, they all learned about safety when rowing and the importance of life jackets.
Finally, the men explained that the SkiffieWorlds 2019 competition is being held in Stranraer from 7th-13th July and that competitors from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand and US, are expected to attend. There will be fun for all the family, with various events on throughout the week. Have a look at the leaflet that pupils brought home or online for further information.

P1-3 Sample French Food

To kick start their new French Foods topic, P1-3 spent the afternoon sampling some typical French food. There was a wide range of treats on offer, including croissants, pain au chocolat, macaroons, eclairs and brioche. They even had the chance to taste some snails! Some were delighted about this, others – not so much!! Have a keek at the photos below to see the fun they had, and their reactions upon tasting snails for the first time!

A Big Thank-You!

The Pupil Council and Eco Committee would like to say a huge thank-you to Leswalt Community Association for the funding they gave the school to purchase new playground toys and gardening equipment. The pupils are looking forward to getting all of the new equipment outside! Thank-you again!

The Big Battery Hunt is on!

Today at assembly, all pupils will receive a small cardboard battery box as part of the Big Battery Hunt. This is a recycling scheme which we have signed up to as part of our Eco Schools work. Pupils should fill the boxes at home with used batteries, before bringing them into school and emptying them into the large plastic containers in the hall. These will then be sent away to be recycled. As long as we arrange for a tub of batteries to be collected before June, our school will be entered into a prize draw to win various goodies including: iPads, £2000 worth of school equipment vouchers, a 2-night trip to a sustainability centre, or a 3-year subscription to ‘MyMaths’ worth £1000.

Please pass on the message that your batteries can be recycled at Leswalt School! Thank-you in advance for your support in this initiative.

North Rhins Adventure to Lockerbie Manor

Primary 5-7 pupils from Leswalt, Kirkcolm and Portpatrick Primary Schools headed to Lockerbie Manor on Wednesday for a 3-day outdoor residential trip.

After stopping at Springholm Primary for some lunch and to stretch our legs, we reached Lockerbie Manor early in the afternoon. Everyone was given a tour of the building and grounds by the instructors and got shown to their rooms. After a quickly unpacking, we split into 4 groups and headed to our first activity. Activities included archery, rifle shooting, obstacle course, climbing wall, abseiling, orienteering, fencing, canoeing and kayaking. After activity one, some pupils required a shower as they were caked in mud after army-crawling on their bellies underneath netting! By this time we had worked up quite an appetite, and were served with the most delicious dinner – what a selection on offer! At night time, we had an evening activity before getting all cosy in our jammies and spending time getting to know pupils from the other partnership schools.

Day 2 saw an early morning wake-up call at 7.20am. We had 5 activities spread out over the day, with some pupils getting an early afternoon bath after falling into the lake whilst kayaking! That night, having been exhausted from all the physical activity, pupils were sound asleep before 11pm – much to the staff’s delight!!

On Friday morning, we were up early to get our rooms packed and emptied. Some rooms looked like a bomb had hit them, there were clothes everywhere! We then headed out for our final 2 activities before the bus arrived at 1.30pm to return us to Stranraer. It was a very quiet journey back, with lots of pupils catching some shut-eye!

Everyone had a brilliant time away, making new friends across the partnership and trying new activities.

Photos below from day 3:

Digital Leaders Training Day

As part of our bid to achieve national accreditation for the Digital Schools Award, we have selected 4 Digital Leaders to help drive our work forward. They are responsible for supporting staff and pupils in the use of ICT by sharing their skills; helping to maintain ICT equipment; leading lunch time ICT clubs; and organising parent sessions to develop their skills and knowledge.

All the Digital Leaders from Portpatrick, Leswalt and Kirkcolm came together on Tuesday for a Digital Leaders training day. They were all so enthusiastic and keen to get going! Pupils were taught how to upload, print and laminate photographs, and how to access Glow and send an email attachment to a teacher for the blog. They worked in pairs to come up with activities for Safer Internet Day on 5th February, and shared their suggestions for lunchtime ICT clubs that they could run back at school.

Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable morning mixing with other pupils from the different schools and are all away back to their own school ready and raring to go as our Digital Leaders!

P4-7 Learn All About Alcohol

PC Nicola Wilson popped into P4-7 this afternoon for a chat with the boys and girls about the dangers of alcohol as part of their Health and Wellbeing topic. She explained to the pupils that alcohol is indeed a drug which can affect your emotions and your ability to make sensible decisions. She highlighted that the effects of alcohol are dependent upon various factors such as your size, age, fitness and how much you have eaten, and the importance of drinking responsibly.

Pupils considered why the legal age for drinking alcohol is 18 – Phoebe suggested it is because at a younger age, your body can’t cope with it. PC Wilson went on to explain that drinking a lot of alcohol can result in people doing silly or dangerous things which they might not normally do.

Pupils were interested to learn that there is alcohol is certain medicines and mouth wash, which is why the drink driving limit can’t be 0.

It was a very informative afternoon – thank-you to PC Wilson for taking the time to come in!

 

Read, Write, Count

Primary 1-3 pupils were very excited this afternoon to receive their Bookbug (P1) / Read, Write, Count (P2-3) gift bags. Parents were invited in as part of our launch of this Scottish Government initiative which aims to inspire a lifelong love of reading, writing and counting, and strengthen links between home and school learning by supporting parents in taking an active role in their child’s learning to give them the best start in life. They were shown the contents of the bags and given suggestions for helping to develop literacy and numeracy at home using these resources. After presenting the boys and girls with their bags, everyone headed down to the classroom where we spent time exploring our new books and games. The pupils are really looking forward to using the contents of their bags at home!

Pyjama Party for Pudsey

The boys and girls of Leswalt Primary held a ‘Pyjama Party for Pudsey’ today for Children in Need. Pupils donated money towards the appeal for wearing non-uniform and there was also official Children in Need merchandise for sale too. To further raise funds for this worthwhile cause, we had face painting by Kaiden and Joshua’s Mum and Primary 7 pupils, and we have been collecting donations of copper coins all week which were used to form a huge Pudsey in our school hall, then donated to the appeal. Well done to our Pupil Council reps who planned all of our Children in Need activities.

We are still counting up the exact total raised (there are lots of copper coins to be counted!!!) – but we expect it to be well over £100.

Frightening Fun for Halloween

The boys and girls of Leswalt Primary got dressed up in their creepy costumes for our annual Halloween party. The party was organised by our very able House Captains, Eva and Millie, who planned some fun games for everyone to participate in.

We started off with a costume parade for each year group and our school cook, Patricia, had the difficult decision of judging the winners!

We then moved onto some games, including Spooky Statues, Creepy Corners, Halloween Bowling and Dookin’ for apples. We ended the party with everyone showing off their best moves in a dancing competition, judged by the House Captains.

Parents and carers kindly donated apples and sweets for the children to enjoy. Joshua and Kaiden also kindly donated Halloween boxes for each pupil in the school which was filled with goodies for everyone to take home.

Everyone headed home to enjoy an evening of Trick or Treating!

Bonfire Night Safety Talk

The whole school received a safety talk from a member of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service team, Mr Clark. Mr Clark gave pupils some tips to ensure they have a safe Bonfire Night on 5th November.

He explained to pupils that fireworks travel at 150mph, so only adults over the age of 18 should be lighting them. Pupils were amazed to find out that the temperature of a sparkler can be 15 times hotter than boiling water – Mr Clark said it’s really important to wear gloves when handling them, and to have a metal bucket of water or sand ready to dispose of it afterwards. Pupils also learned which materials are safe to put on a bonfire – plastic and rubber give off toxic fumes so shouldn’t be burned, neither should glass or metal.

Mr Clark suggested attending an organised display if possible. All pupils are now armed with the knowledge to have a fun but safe Bonfire Night!

Community Safety Team Talk

The Community Safety Team popped into Leswalt on Thursday afternoon as part of our ongoing Eco Schools work, to discuss with the children the importance of putting our litter in the bin and keeping Leswalt lovely looking! Andrew explained to pupils about the different types of litter that we can find outside and why it is dangerous to wildlife.

At this point, the sun was shining so we headed outside to conduct a litter survey of our playground. We then split into 2 groups, with half carrying out a litter pick of the playground and the other half looking at the Council’s street cleaner. Despite having to shelter from the rain half way through, we had an enjoyable afternoon outside!

North Rhins ‘Trio Together’ Day

The North Rhins Partnership schools came together at Kirkcolm on Tuesday for a day of fun in the sun – and what a glorious day it was! After the boys and girls of Leswalt and Portpatrick arrived, Leswalt showcased their singing in preparation for the end of term ceremony.

After break time, we got our sun cream and hats on and headed down to the beach, where we all did our bit for the environment by participating in the Great Plastic Pick-up for Scotland. Pupils collected lots of plastic, string and metal from the beach to help keep it clean. This will help in all 3 schools’ bid to achieve their Eco-Schools Green flag. Kerry Monteith from Dumfries & Galloway Council kindly brought along litter pickers and organised for the bags of rubbish to be uplifted. Whilst at the beach, some pupils got creative and made some beach art using seaweed and stones, such as castles, mermaids and fish.

We then made our way back to Kirkcolm Primary for a picnic lunch outside in the sun to re-fuel in preparation for the Partnership sports afternoon to come.

At 12.30pm we started our Inter-Schools sports, with lots of parents and families from the 3 schools cheering everyone along. We had a variety of races including sprint, egg and spoon, sack, skipping, distance and relay. Throughout the afternoon, pupils enjoyed water and a selection of fruit which was kindly provided by Lidl, who sponsored our afternoon. In the middle of our races, we stopped to catch our breath and say goodbye to our janitor at Kirkcolm, Mr Dougie Brawls, who was retiring from his post. Mr Brawls has worked at Kirkcolm Primary for many years and was loved by all in the school community for his cheery good nature. He was presented with gifts from staff, pupils and the Parent Council to show our appreciation for all his hard-work over the years.

To finish off our fun-filled afternoon, we had a beach ball race between the 3 schools where pupils had to pass the ball over their head to the next person using their feet! After some very close competition throughout the afternoon, Kirkcolm Primary was victorious with a total of 283 points. All the boys and girls had a great day and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to mix with the pupils from the other schools.