Lucky to be Back Together

Mrs Buchanan popped into the playground today, to see the boys and girls on their first day back at school – and was welcomed by lots of smiling faces who were super happy to be reunited with all their friends. She visited for another very special reason too – to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Dunblane tragedy.

Just before the end of the day, we all stood around the Dunblane memorial in the playground, and Mrs McHarg said a few words about how lucky we are to all be back at school together. Our oldest and youngest pupils, Lily and Andrew, then laid some flowers that Mrs Buchanan brought on the memorial and we stood in silence for a few moments. Pupils then took it in turns to say why they are glad to be back at school or, for those younger pupils who have already been back for a few weeks, what they’ve enjoyed about being back so far.

The moment certainly helped us to reflect and appreciate how lucky we are to be able to come to school safely together.

Reunited at Last!

Yay – we’re all back together!!! After what seems like a life time, P4-7 pupils returned to school today for the first time since mid-December (can you believe it’s been that long?!)! It was lovely to see all these cheery faces at the school door this morning and the sun even made an appearance to celebrate the occasion! Everyone is super happy to be back with their friends and teachers, and we’re ready and raring to go!

Super Science Week at the ‘Walt

Another week, another celebration! This time it was the turn of British Science Week, which ran from 8th – 13th March and had the theme of ‘Innovating for the Future.’ P1-3 celebrated the week from school with various STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) activities on offer and also learned about inventors who changed the world.

First of all, pupils attempted to build the tallest tower using only dried spaghetti and marshmallows.  The children were split into teams and had to explore which designs could result in the strongest and tallest tower.  This proved tricky and after 15-minutes of building, the towers were not very tall, or strong!  We took a few minutes to look at all of the towers, then had 5 minutes to rebuild and improve our designs.  The winning team were Sean, Isla and Murray.  To quote Sean, “We are geniuses!”

Next, we tried the cracker eating challenge!  The girls and boys all thought that eating 3 crackers in 1 minute would be super easy.  How wrong they were!  We learned how important saliva is in the digestive system and eating crackers quickly is impossible!

Finally, we tried a very easy experiment that answers a tricky question.  Two eggs look and feel the same but how can we tell which one is hard boiled and which is not?  We shook then, spun them, rolled them, made our decision and then tested our results by dropping them on parachutes we had designed.  We learned all about something called ‘Inertia’.

Meanwhile, P4-7 were busy celebrating the Science Week from home, in their final week of remote learning (“YIPEEEE!” we can hear all the parents cry!!). They had lots of different challenges to choose from, including: putting their STEM skills into action to design a solution to a real-life problem linking to the Global Goals; various science experiments and engineering challenging such as designing a marble run, making their own paint, powering a boat using a chemical reaction and creating an underwater volcano; learning about stereotypes and exploring the world of work in relation to STEM careers; and exploring innovations that changed the world.

We all had a brilliant week thinking about and exploring problems like real-life scientists and engineers!

World Book Day 2021

Leswalt Primary celebrated World Book Day today with a variety of fun activities to enable pupils to share their love of books and stories.

P1-3 pupils all came to school prepared with their favourite book to share with the class, some just couldn’t contain their excitement and were sharing them in the line at 9am!! We had a huge range from Harry Potter and David Walliams’ Demon Dentist, to the Beano and Black Beauty. Later on, pupils watched the live event ‘Bringing a Story to Life’ on the World Book Day website, where a star-studded cast of famous authors and illustrators, such as Tom Fletcher (the guy from McFly!), told the pupils how they get their ideas for their stories. They also participated in a draw-along with an illustrator and made their own pictures of flying bookmarks.

After break, they headed outside to participate in the World Book Day scavenger hunt – 12 pictures of characters from well-known books were hidden around the school grounds for them to find. They had to find each one, write down the number on the picture to prove they had found it and make a note of the character’s name and book they are from. A group of girls were victorious and finished first – a big well done to Ela, Ruby, Amelia & Isla! It seemed that Piglet was hidden in a rather tricky place though, as some of the boys just could not find him and needed directions from the rest of the class to locate him!

In the afternoon pupils were busy writing their own stories, using the tips they learned from the live event earlier on, and used some of the books in the library to see how many words/pictures they could find in a book scavenger hunt. At the very end of the day, pupils played ‘Name that Story’ and were given clues to help them determine the famous tale.

And not forgetting our P4-7 pupils who celebrated World Book Day from home – they were also given a range of activities to pick from to join in on the fun. On offer were tasks such as the Masked Reader, designing their favourite character from fruit/veg/toilet roll tube, a Big Booky Breakfast, and lots more! Have a keek below for some photos & videos from all of our pupils, to show how we celebrated the day in style!

North Rhins gains National Recognition

It may have been an odd year, but nonetheless 2020 was a rather successful one for the North Rhins Partnership – we are delighted to announce that we have achieved our Bronze Award for Rights Respecting Schools! This national accreditation is to recognise the work we have done so far and our commitment to learning more about and embedding the UNCRC Rights of the Child in the life and ethos of our schools.

Our work started waaaay back in January last year (pre-Covid times – can anyone remember what that was like?!) when pupils began learning about the Rights of the Child at assemblies. Then, when pesky Covid came on the scene, we were forced to continue our journey towards our Bronze Award online, with some home learning challenges on various different Rights of the Child.

When we were eventually allowed to return to school and class assemblies resumed, we then focused on ‘Respect’ – what this means and how to respect others’ rights. We learned how respect is at the centre of anti-bullying and we made a video to share with everyone, explaining what ‘RESPECT’ means to each of us; here is the link if you’d like to watch it and the finalised copy of our ‘Respect for All’ policy to have a read through:

Leswalt: Leswalt Respect Movie.MOV

Respect for All Policy:RfA Final Policy October2020.pdf

Behind the scenes, staff have also been busy learning all about the Rights of the Child, how this permeates lots of what we do in school (including how it is embedded into our ‘Respect for All’ policy) and how we can use language and a restorative approach to further promote respecting everyone’s rights.

A huge thank-you to everyone who helped in achieving this award – we are very pleased to gain national accreditation and recognition for all of our hard work. We can’t wait to continue our Rights Respecting School journey towards our silver award – watch this space!

Reverse Advent Calendar

As part of our Eco Schools work learning about food and being responsible citizens, this Christmas we decided to run a ‘Reverse advent calendar’ – rather than the boys and girls getting a chocolate each day (they weren’t too impressed with this idea initially, I think many wanted the chocolate!!), they were asked to bring in a donation for the local food bank.

We spoke all about why it’s good to help charities, particularly people in need our local area, and learned about the work of the food bank. By the end, we were overwhelmed with our families’ generosity – we had pupils bringing in bags of donations as they realised how important it is to support the charity (despite only 1 item being requested per family!).

We are delighted to be able to deliver such a huge donation from our little school to the Wigtownshire food bank this Christmas – and we hope that it manages to help lots of families in the area.

Steven Spielberg – Eat Your Heart Out!!

Primary 5-7 pupils have transformed themselves into the next Steven Spielbergs! They have been working extremely hard with Mrs Copeland to produce short stop motion animations of our Learning Superheroes. The 5 learning superheroes tell us how to be a better learner and each one has a motto which spells out the word REACH – hence our school vision, values and aims statement is to ‘REACH for the Stars!’ There are 5 superheroes in total:

  • Tough Tina – “Resilience and perseverance are key”
  • Mike the Mistake Maker – “Every mistake is an opportunity to learn”
  • Learning Lola – “Always try your best”
  • Colin Concentration – “Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate!”
  • Tim the Team Player – “Help others and be a team player”

Pupils worked in small groups to write and produce a short stop motion animation for one of the superheroes. All of the animations were then put together to produce 1 class film. Click on the link below to see their masterpiece for your self – enjoy!

https://glowscotland-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/gw12mchargshona_glow_sch_uk/EYWXjR2F7K1BvQbpBeDXENoBMoTVl5cceJmlVxsBcTqzbQ?e=82F7gB

P1-3 Book Week Scotland

Every year to help celebrate Book Week Scotland, P1-3 pupils are gifted with a Book Bug (P1) / Read, Write, Count (P2/3) bag as part of a government initiative to promote literacy and numeracy at home. And despite Covid ruining most things this year, thankfully it didn’t ruin this (albeit it was a bit late since Book Week was technically 2 weeks ago!!!).

This morning, pupils were presented with their gift bags and got the opportunity to explore the contents. They enjoyed reading the books and playing some of the games contained inside the bags. There was much hilarity with the ‘This is Dog’ book – if you have a P1 Bookbug bag, have a keek for yourself!!  Although this year we were missing the parents (who usually pop in to share in this wonderful event), the pupils were thrilled with their bags.

Please look out for your child bringing these bags home for you to enjoy together. If you’d like any further information or suggestions on how to use the bags at home, check out the Scottish Book Trust website:

P3 bag – https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/learning-resources/read-write-count-for-p3

P2 bag – https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/learning-resources/read-write-count-for-p2

P1 bag – https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/learning-resources/bookbug-picture-book-prize-2021-learning-activities

We hope you have fun using these with your child!

Pupil Responsibilities

Lots of pupils having been busy filling in applications and/or interviewing for various positions of responsibility in school over the last week. Today, all of the positions were announced – much to the delight of pupils who were desperate to find out!!

In our Pupil Council for this session, we have: Rachael, Ellie, Carys, Alexander, Aidan and Joshua.

 

Hopefully, helping to gain our second Eco Schools Green Flag in the Eco committee, we have: Ela, Hamish S., Ewan, Rose, Chloe and Jack

Our new monitors until January are:

  • Head librarian – Hamish McG.
  • Door monitor – Faye
  • Dinner hall – Tristan & Thomas
  • Cloakroom – Noah

Prospective Digital Leaders had to find and complete an online application form on Microsoft Teams – testing out their digital skills even before they were appointed the job!!  Our new Digital Leaders for the session are: Malcolm, Noah and Luke.

And finally, our House Captains (who had to prepare a speech explaining why they were the best person for the job) are: Andrew for Loch Naw and Gregor for Soleburn. All p7s did an amazing job at their speeches and everyone was impressed at how much thought and effort went into these. It was a very close vote!

Fond Farewell to Primary 7

Yesterday, we said a socially distanced fond farewell to our Primary 7 pupils – Auryn, Erin, Finlay and Phoebe. It wasn’t quite the normal end of year ceremony we were expecting, but we couldn’t let them disappear from Leswalt Primary without one last hurrah!

The fab 4 popped into school each with a small family bubble to reminisce and celebrate their achievements over the past 7 years. Mrs Ferguson read out a beautiful tribute for each of the pupils and they were presented with a yearbook and personalised hoodie as a momentum of their primary school years.

We finished the afternoon off with the traditional photo story, showing a montage of cute and funny pictures from their time at Leswalt Primary. If you’d like to have a look for yourself, this is the link to view it here

Have a keek below at the photos of our special gathering. Best of luck to our P7s for the Academy – I know you’ll all go onto wonderful things in the future!