It was off to the world of work for Primary 5 – 7 today as we visited our local Lactalis Cheese Production Factory. Kirkcolm joined us as we were greeted by the Lactalis team. Hayley gave us an overview of the history of the company, with its roots in France. Lactalis is the biggest cheese producing company in the world. We looked at global maps to see how far and wide Lactalis distribute their products around the planet.
Kirkcolm and Portpatrick split into two groups to take a tour of the packing and production plants. At the production plant we learned how the raw milk from our local farms is processed to kill off harmful bacteria. Helpful bacteria is then added. This comes from the Netherlands in frozen form. Without this, the cheese would be tasteless. The children got to feel the curds and whey, which had an unusual texture.
The vats and processing machinery were on a massive scale. We learned how there are many different roles in the production plant, with quality control and Health and Safety being key. The boys and girls enjoyed visiting the small museum that showed the old fashioned, labour intensive methods of butter and cheese production of the past.
In the packaging plant, we saw robotic arns and laser sensors in action as part of the automated lines. We observed packing operatives, technicians, line leaders and quality control checkers all in action.
After that, the Groups came back to the meeting room and tasted different types of cheese. This ranged from mild, medium, mature and extra mature cheddar. The maturing time ranged from 3 weeks to 3 years! The medium seemed to be the biggest hit, although all the samples were quickly wolfed down.
We learned about all the impressive environmental work that Lactalis are currently working on. All cardboard packaging is recycled. Waste liquid is processed to be ph neutral before it is put back into the sea and any spoiled food is repurposed for animal feed. The company is trialling recyclable plastic packaging and are investing in solar panel installation to produce their own power to run machinery.
We had a fabulous time at both factories and the children came away with a treat of their favourite cheese to enjoy at home. We are very grateful to Lactalis and their wonderful staff for making us so welcome and teaching us so much about our local industry.
UNCRC Rights of the Child – Article 29 Aims of Education
The boys and girls from P4-7 were delighted to have welcome two representatives from Glasgow Science Centre today on their roadshow Future Fuels. We have been participating in a block of lessons to learn about this topic.
We started the session by sharing our thinking on what a fuel is. We then expanded to share what we know about non-renewable energy sources. Aileen gave a very interesting demonstration on the combustability of fuel (methanol). We talked about the states of matter: solids, liquids and gases. We learned about the ‘suck-squeeze-bang-blow’ process of car engines.
Aileen then led a discussion on our current use of non-renewable energy sources and how this contributes to greenhouse gases which cause global warming. The group recognised why it’s so important that we find renewable energy sources The group had a great knowledge of renewable energy sources that we can use as greener alternatives.
Ross and Aileen supported our volunteers, Max and Lacey, to take on a solar powered car race. Max just pipped Lacey at the finish line. The children learned how solar power can produce clean electricity. Aileen showed us a giant solar mirror array that is in the American desert that is a clever way to produce energy. The designers of the array had to consider wildlife and put alarms around the area to scare creatures away as the air in the array heats to an incredible 400 degrees C.
We also saw solar panel batteries for the home. Lewis said he has one in his newly built house, which is great. We are all making a contribution to our planet.
Conor charged up a hydrogen laucher by charging up a battery using his kinetic energy via a crank handle. We could see the water bubbles forming. Once charged, it had enough energy to launch a ball high in the air without any harmful waste produced. The world’s first hydrogen power plant is to be built in Britain in the Humber region.
Next up, we explored nuclear fission using a simulating model of ping pong balls loaded on mousetraps. Atticus dropped a ball into the container to start a chain reaction. However, fission produces radioactive waste which is very bad for the environment. The planet’s scientists are working on developing nuclear fusion as an alternative. This energy source is exciting because in the last six month scientists managed to perform an experiment that gave out more energy than it took to make it. Unlike nuclear fission, fusion doesn’t produce radioactive waste, only water.This could be the answer to the planet’s energy crisis.
There was plenty of opportunities for hands-on, practical activities and had fun exploring and investigating different renewable energy sources of solar, wave and wind on the interactive exhibits:
The windmill Kit
3 Phase Generator
Hand Crank Generator
We are very grateful to Ross and Aileen for travelling all the way down from Glasgow to support our learning. This was possible as part of their rural school STEM support initiative. What a fab morning we had!
UNCRC Rights of the Child: Article 29-Aims of Education & Article 17 – Health, Water, Food & Environment
Mrs Copeland’s mum kindly joined us today to share her experiences of living in Zambia. We are partnered with Mulola Primary School in Zambia as part of our British Council for a climate change project.
Mulola is near the Kafue National Park in Zambia. The school has a total of 594 learners of which 294 are girls and 290 boys. Their learner’s ages range from between 7 and 16y ears old.
Mulola primary school became the 100th school to be supported by the British council’s climate connection program aimed enabling school going children to take action against climate change issues.
Our children have shared images of storms in Portpatrick with our partner school. They are going to do the same to allow for discussion on the What, Where, Why and How of the issue.
We have also written pen pal letters to share insights into our lives here. Class teacher Bernadette Mupela plans to have her class write back to us very soon.
We can see how arid and dry it is in the Mulola school grounds photographs that Ms Mupela has shared with us.
Mrs Siwo brought traditional Zambian clothing and artefacts with her for the children to explore. The garments were beautifully decorated with bright African print. She talked about her life there, the climate, the languages, culture and people.
The boys and girls thoroughly enjoyed Mrs Siwo’s visit and learned so much about this part of the world.
UNCRC Rights of the Child – Article 29 Aims of Education
As part of World Children’s Day yesterday, the school received a visit from PC Shannon Walker. She came in to talk to everyone about the rights they have as a child living in Scotland including their right to food and shelter and their right to have their own opinions.
PC Walker answered lots of questions about different scenarios the children came up with and how children’s rights would be part of these. She also discussed our role as responsible citizens
PC Walker talked about her job as a police officer and chatted about all the different things she carries with her to protect herself as part of ensuring her own right to safety.
We were very lucky as she let us get in the police car with the sirens on!
UNCRC Rights of the Child – Article 17 Access To Information
We were delighted to receive a visit from Stuart McCreadie and George Gardener of DG Council today with the gift of a lovely bird-proof bin!
Our Eco Committee identified a problem caused by birds pulling rubbish out of our existing bin. To tackle this issue, Primary 5 – 7 wrote persuasive letters to the refuse department to request a bin with a flap which would stop this from happening. We hoped to minimise usightly litter and look after our environment too.
We were thrilled that Stuart and George were able to help. Thank you!
UNCRC Rights of the Child – Article 24 Health, Water, Food & Environment
We got into the charity spirit today. Everyone came to school dressed in blue to celebrate World Children’s Day, which coincides with Children In Need. We were joined by Aria, who wanted to join the boys and girls for our photoshot – how cute is she!
We sold merchandise to help raise funds and our families generously donated money to this very worthwhile cause.
P1 – 6 joined in Joe Wickes’ Bearpees workout while P7 were away at their Skills Development Scotland experience. The children did a grand total of 610 burpees, which is pretty impressive!
The grand total raised willl be announced soon.
Thank you to everyone who supported today’s charity event.
The Primary 7 boys and girls from the North Rhins Partnership had a visit to Skills Development Scotland today.
As part of Developing the Young Workforce, Lucy, Kathryn & Connor gave the pupils an overview of the careers services available at Stranraer Academy.
Our pupils learned that they will have a subject choice chat in S2, with follow up visits for each other year to help them plan career options more fully. Lucy explained that Skills Development Scotland is available to everyone at any time in our community to help find jobs.
There was a mixer game where children played ‘Would You Rather?’ This was a game to help the children make careers decisions based on their preferences and interests.
They then played ‘Shark Island!’ In groups, the children had to decide which 3 of 5 people they would choose to help them escape from an island. Their choices were based on the careers of the five individuals. There was a change of mind once more information was given on the people’s backgrounds. It was a very interesting discussion.
Hamish, Atticus and Cara volunteered to role play career characters. The children had to work out what jobs they might do based on their props and outfits.
Finally, we were shown the My World of Work careers advice website with industry sector information and job videos. It was very informative.
Our thanks to Skills Development Scotland team. Today was a great workshop for Developing the Young Workforce and for strengthening our pre-transition friendships.
UNCRC Rights of the Child – Article 29 Aims of Education.
It was Read ‘n’ Treat time today for the boys and girls to celebrate Book Week Scotland.
We brought our favourite mugs from home and cosied up for some quiet reading time with a Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows. Some chose to dip into audiobook readings on David Walliams’ favourite titles or on our class book for this term – Holes by Louis Sachar, which has been made into a film. You can access the QR codes here.
While we were reading, we sketched the mental images that appeared in our minds, using our HOTS creativity skills.
We also watched Dr. Suess’ The Sneetchers, which is all about discrimination. This links with our learning about our rights, in particular Article 2. It also connects with our Anti-Bullying work to participate in Anti-Bullying Week, which coincides with this event. We had a discussion on the meaning of the story . The children were very insightful, linking this to how people might be treated differently on the basis of their race, religion, gender or protected characteristics.
The children enjoyed the chill out time, building those all important connections of reading for pleasure. Reading just 20 minutes a day can make such a difference to a child’s achievement too – Win, Win!
As part of our Book Week Scotland celebrations, P1-3 pupils all received a Bookbug (P1) or a Read, Write, Count (P2-3) bag this afternoon, as part of the Scottish Government and Scottish Book Trust initiative. Parents/carers popped into school to learn how to use the bags at home to make the most of the learning opportunities that they offer.
After pupils were gifted with their bags, everyone then spent the final 20-minutes of the day exploring and enjoying the contents of the bags. Pupils cosied up and read their new books, some played the dominoes card game, P1 pupils practised writing their name on their new whiteboards, and others put their new measuring tape to good use to measure classroom items.
Please check school bags tonight for the wonderful resources that P1-3 pupils have brought home with them. And thank-you to everyone who took the time to come into school today. Have a keek at the photos below to see the fun that everyone had!