Harvest Time at Dunskey Estate

This afternoon pupils at Portpatrick Primary were delighted to be invited up to Dunskey estate to help Chef Chris make some apple crumble using foraged apples from the trees in the walled garden.

First, we had to pick the apples. Although this was harder than it looked for the average 3 1/2  ft tall 5 year old! Luckily some of the older pupils were on hand to help. Mrs Baker even produced the most spectacular “apple picking device” we had ever seen.

Next, we took a walk up to the main house where Mr and Mrs Orr Ewing gave us a warm welcome and lead us into the dinning room. Once we had taken our jackets off and washed our hands, the brilliant bakers were ready to go.

Led by Chef Chris the children made their crumble. To say we enjoyed ourselves would be an understatement. As you can see, there were smiles and giggles galore. Uniforms are sure to be needing a wash after having fun with the flour!

Chef Chris then gave the children a taste of the apple crumble he had made earlier. It was delicious!! Lastly, the boys and girls were given a copy of the recipe and their own crumble to take home to bake and share with parents.

Huge thank you to the Orr Ewing Family and all the staff at Dunskey Estate for having us. What a wonderful way to round off a fantastic first term.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Digital Leaders – Rainy Day Club

Our partnership pupils completed a Digital Technologies pupils’ views survey recently.  The children answered responses to a range of questions and offered their feedback and comments on how they view their Digital learning experiences.

One particular suggestion from  Emma Drummond of Kircolm, spurred our Digital Leaders to organise rainy day I.C.T. clinics.  Whenever we now have a wet weather break that might keep us indoors, the pupils have the opportunity to come along and share skills and knowledge with one another.

Today’s focus was on using the Smartboard tools.  The boys and girls used both Smartboards to run two workshops.  Everyone found the sessions enjoyable and worthwhile.

# Successful Learners

Wigtown Book Festival – Shoo Raynor

P4-7 travelled to the Wigtown book festival today to participate in an illustrator workshop with successful book author and illustrator Shoo Rayner.

We learned to use basic shapes as the building blocks for illustrating characters as well as how to use guide lines to rotate faces etc.  They children practiced creating people by starting off with a stick person and ‘filling’ them out.

Shoo reinforced that everything takes practice, practice, practice, just like our school REACH character Practicing Pete.

It was a very informative and enjoyable session.

Shoo Rayner has lots of Youtube videos on  ‘how to draw’ available to watch if you would like to learn more.  Here is one example:


# Successful Learners

Emergency Services – R.N.L.I. Visit

P1-7 received a visit from our local Royal National Lifeboat Institute (R.N.L.I.) volunteers Kim and Johnathon yesterday.

They explained that there are over 4000 R.N.L.I volunteers in our country.  Each person gives up their time for free to help others. They work very closely with the coastguard.

We learned that the lifeboat travels at 25 knots, which is equivalent to 32 miles per hour.  The boys and girls agreed this was pretty fast for a  boat.

Kim said that the longest ‘shout’ rescue job they have been on was over 20 hours, so the job can be physically demanding. They will respond from everything to a kayak in trouble to large ferries, wherever anyone needs help at sea. She also said that every volunteer receives basic lifesaving skills training such as C.P.R.  Our P4-7 class have already practiced this skill with Tanya Ellis, our local paramedic.

Johnathon explained to everyone that if we ever fall in the water, the shock of the cold water can be very dangerous for our bodies.  He said we should all ‘starfish’ float for a minute to let our bodies adjust to the cold before we try to swim.  This safety tip could save our lives.

Johnathon showed us all the safety and protective clothing each RNLI officer has to wear when going out on a shout.  It is all designed to protect them from the cold and to save their lives if they get into trouble. Everyone got to try on the helmet and the lifejacket.  The life jacket is a very expensive piece of equipment, costing nearly £1000.

# Responsible Citizens

Photos uploaded by digital leaders Lillie and Maya

Bubbly Maths

Written by Digital Leaders – Findlay Thorburn

P1-7 travelled to the Academy for a Bubbly Maths workshop session today.

Bubbles the clown used string loops to make bubbles of different diameter.

We practiced using our handy body measure to estimate a metre length. Ava lily is the perfect metre from her left shoulder to her opposite right arm outstretched.

We were shown how to visualise and estimate how many metres the hall was in length, breadth and height.  Ruby was asked to count out the number of metre length balloons it took for each dimension.

Bubbles used a square of metre length balloons to let us see a ‘square metre’.  We then used a cube made out of metre length balloons to see a cubic metre.  This helped us to estimate how many it would take to fill our hall.

As we had arrived before anyone else, we got a special session where we estimated how many of our class we could fit into the metre cubed balloon shape.  We managed to fit all 12 of us present into the shape!

Bubbles created bubble shapes using open sided 3D shapes.  Again, we had a sneaky, close up view of this before the other schools arrived 🙂

Ms. Whorlow and Bubbles used a metres cube of string dipped in bubble mix to create a bubble to cover pupils in a bubble case.

Throughout the session we learned to make ‘marvellous mistakes’ that help us learn.

Here is a link to the Bubblymaths website:


#Successful learners

Maths Week – Outdoor Learning: Time Duration

P4-7 got their sprinting shoes on this morning to work with time duration and technology.

We first estimated then measured the distance of our football pitch with a trundle wheel.  It had a length of 30 metres.

Next, using a digital stopwatch, each pupil sprinted a double run of 60 metres whilst another took a turn at timing them.

We then used software to plot and display our data graphically.  We discussed which type of graph would be most suitable. The class agreed that a bar would be the best to show each individual time.

The children then selected to use either Microsoft Excel or 2SimpleGraph to enter their data.  We remembered to give our graphs a title and label each axis.

We then interpreted our results. Using our HOTS analysing skills to consider whether our results supported the questions that:

  • The oldest/youngest runner was the fastest/slowest
  • The tallest/smallest runner was the fastest/slowest

Our results did not support these statements, demonstrating that we are all unique.

As an extra challenge we calculated the speed of each runner using the D=S x T formula transposed to S = Distance/Time

# Successful Learners

Emergency Services – P.C. Wilson’s visit

On Friday the 28th of September, P.C. Wilson came to talk to P4-7 about her job as a police officer. First of all, she talked to us about what you would use the police for.  Examples are in the event of a car crash, a robbery, people being threatened, teenagers fighting etc.

Some other advice that she gave the pupils, was if  you are going to the fairground make sure to go with an adult.

P.C. Wilson told the pupils that one of the things that she has to do is that if a bomb was to wash up on a beach she would have to block it off and make sure no one gets hurt.

We learned how to make a 999 call in an emergency.

P.C. Wilson explained all the different charges that someone could get if they commit a crime. She told us that the legal age for responsibility is 8!

She went on to talk about how drug taking can cause poor mental health and that we should look after ourselves.

We know how important it is to be responsible and to not break laws and how we can help other in trouble by contacting the police.

# Responsible Citizens & Effective Contributors

By Digital Leaders Findlay Thorburn P7 and Rose Santangeli P4

Microsoft Office 365 At Home

Free resources to learn together

Portpatrick Primary is happy to support families to learn more about digital technologies.  P4-7 pupils are using Office 365 through Glow in school.  If you would like access to this software at home, it is available free to use through the children’s Glow accounts.  The children have added the ‘app’ tile (shown below)  to their launch pads to make it easy to locate.

Image result for office 365 glow

Should you need to locate it for yourself, once your child has logged in, simply click on the black flag on the left hand side of the screen and type Microsoft into the search app box in the top right hand section of the screen.  This image can be enlarged  by clicking on it.


Free online tutorials are available from the Microsoft Training Centre at the following address:


Click on each software icon to reveal instructional videos by task.


Image result for office 365 training centre

We hope this is useful for you.

# Successful learners together

Wigtown Book Festival Visit

P1-3 had a fantastic day today at the Wigtown Book Festival. Wigtown book festival aims to provide opportunities for young people to enjoy and learn through writing and storytelling and we most certainly did !

Alan Windram talked to us about his award winning book ‘One Button Benny’. He explained that Benny is a special robot. A single red button sits in the middle of his stomach. Benny has never known what the words “Only Press in an Emergency” mean until one day he is forced to find out.

The boys and girls then enjoyed participating in Robot Karaoke which included elements of dancing, singing and even some guitar. It was brilliant, and for some it was exhausting…

New Playground Toys

On Wednesday, our new playground toys arrived!! Huge thanks must go to all the friends of families of the school who participated in the Kirkcolm Mini Walk to raise funds which went towards this.

We have loved having toys to play with at break times, and our responsible playground monitors (Alfie and Lewis) are ensuring that we are taking care of them.

More photos to follow…

Super Survey in Pretty Portpatrick

Last Thursday, the boys and girls in Primary 1-4 took a stroll down into the village to have a look around our community. Our current topic is Portpatrick and we have been looking at what types of facilities we have around us and why, who are the people in our community and why are they important.

During our walk we made sure to talk about all of the above, however we had a very important task to complete. The boys and girls were conducting a survey on the types of houses we have within our community. They were able to correctly identified the different types of houses and discuss why we have more terrace and semi-detached housing in the main part of the village opposed to the detached houses we find more common on the likes of Heugh Drive .

Below are some photos from our walk.

Keep an eye out to see how we will use technology to help explain what we have been learning about and display our findings from our survey.



Coding and Community

Portpatrick Primary opened its doors to family and friends this afternoon to share our learning on digital technologies and coding as part of Digital Coding Week.

There were many activities for everyone to participate in.

P1-3 were set the challenge of programming a code-n-go mouse to navigate a large scale map of Portpatrick village.  Everyone had to estimate and try step quantity and direction to reach landmark destinations the children had reproduced on the map.

P4-7 practiced and shared their skills on digital coding, using the free online courses available on www.code.org (select projects tab).  These are available to explore further at home.  The pupils are signed up for differentiated levels of challenge.

They also continued with their musical composition using Soundtrap; sharing and collaborating on making tracks.

The pupils practiced their keyboard skills by using www.dancemattypying.com. (This is also available online at home).

Throughout the range of activities, the children were applying their computational higher order thinking skills of:

  • tinkering
  • collaborating
  • using logic
  • creating algorithms
  • perseverance
  • debugging

Digital technologies and computational thinking are at the forefront of the skills demand for the future world of work that our pupils will be entering.  We are committed to helping our children prepare for the challenges and opportunities that are ahead of them.  By embedding digital technologies within our curriculum, we hope to support them in this goal.

Why not watch the Socialnomics 2018 video below to see for yourself the powerful message on how our world is changing?

# Successful Learners


Emergency 1st Aid Workshop

P4-7 received a special visit from Paramedic Tanya Ellis today.  We learned a great deal of information about the role of emergency services, why we would contact them and what we would say if we had to call in an emergency.  The pupils considered carefully the dangers of making hoax 999 calls.

The workshop then moved on to practicing placing an unconscious person in the recovery position. All the boys and girls were able to achieve the required pose for their unconscious casualty.

Tanya then demonstrated carrying out C.P.R. on a dummy.  The children practiced performing compressions on the dummy for themselves.  We learned that the sequence is 30 compressions to 2 breaths.

The class then shared their knowledge on how to treat a range of injuries and emergencies such as burns, asthma attacks, breaks, bites and bleeding.

# Responsible Citizens

Soundtrap Musical Technology

P4-7 had our first workshop sessions on Soundtrap with Mr John Dinnin. We learned how to use it to make our own music.  We used loops and instruments to make music track.  We shared them with  each other and asked each other to tell us if they liked our music.  We will get another 3 workshop days with Mr Dinnin.  Have a listen to Sophia’s music.

# Successful Learners

Written by Digital leader Rose P4

Click play below to listen to music made by Sophia.

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 P6/7 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:

As a new addition this year, we have introduced House Captains. They will help to motivate and lead their house to gain as many merit as possible throughout the year, and will help with the organisation of events such as parties. Our House Captains are:


Our new Eco Committee, hoping to take forwards our current action plan and achieve our Green Flag next year:

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

Maya, Rose Findlay and Lillie (photo to follow)

STEM, Sway and Instructions :)

P4-7 are continuing to explore instructions through a range of mediums.  Today, we used our STEM craft skills to construct a paper hat.  We were required to:

  • Sequence diagram images in the correct order
  • Carry out the construction stages to make a paper hat
  • Record each step with a clearer, digital photograph
  • Create a fuller, instruction text with all the required features i.e. Title, equipment, tips, stage photographs, written commands, sequencing connectives and imperative verbs.

The children then experimented with using ‘Sway’ to create their instruction text publication.  Here is an example made by Findlay T – P7. Click on the link below then select play.

How To Make A Paper Hat
Created by Findlay Thorburn p7
Go to this Sway

# Successful Learner

Primary 4-7 Coding Time

P4 -7  have been doing their coding course on code.org and they have also have been giving a robotic mouse instructions to find and collect cheese through a maze made by the pupils.  We are working with how to create and debug instructional algorithms as part of  learning about instruction texts in our language topic.

#Successful Learners

Post by Digital Leader Findlay Thorburn



Digital leaders

Findlay, our experienced digital leader, has been showing the new digital leaders how to upload photos to a computer from the digital camera. The new digital leaders have been learning how to create and publish a blog with their glow accounts.

Our new digital leaders are Findlay, Lillie, Maya and Rose.

# Effective Contributors & Successful Learners

Blog posted by Findlay T – P7


Bake Off Technical Challenge

As part of learning about instruction texts, P4-7 were set a technical challenge ‘a la British Bake Off’ style.

The children were given a pared down recipe instruction for pancakes with some basic instruction text features omitted from it.  The recipe did not detail equipment needed, had incomplete steps and no sequencing connectives etc.

We used the real-life experience of making the pancakes for ourselves to ‘debug’ the instructions provided.

The children will follow up the activity by creating their own improved recipe instructions using I.C.T. technology.  They will use the digital images we took in the activity to enhance their recipe with photographic illustrations.  They will then add in features such as sequencing connectives, imperative (bossy) verbs and fuller, step-by-step stages.

We shared our pancakes with the whole school.  They were our taste test judges and the verdict was they were all ‘Star Bakers!’

#Successful Learners

Paddle Against Plastic

This afternoon we were delighted to welcome Cal Major into our school. Cal is currently travelling from Lands End to John O groats on her paddle board in a bid to raise awareness around the plastic pollution in our oceans.

“Paddle Against Plastic hopes to inspire and empower positive change, and bring hope and pride in being part of the solution.”

Cal, a veterinary surgeon, describes herself as an ocean advocate who is passionate about connecting people with the ocean and protecting it and its ecosystems.

Cal was speaking to the children about how plastic ends up in the sea, how we can help and how we can reduce our consumption of single use plastic.

Here are some of her top tips;

  • Help to raise awareness of the issue in a positive way
  • Participate in a beach clean
  • Remove fishing nets from the beaches
  • Buy a reusable water bottle
  • Don’t flush litter down the toilet
  • Take reusable bags with you when you go shopping

Cal then very kindly shared with us some fantastic videos of her journey. It was lovely to watch the images of our dramatic coastline as well as some clips of the animals that she has encountered along the way.

Her final message is not to feel guilty or negative about the current situation but to focus on what we can do instead of what we can’t. Every little helps as they say and doing something is better than nothing. Thanks again to Cal for giving up her time to come and visit us at Portpatrick Primary.


Outdoor Maths

Primary 4-7  took advantage of the good weather to hit the ground running in our outdoor maths by playing Hula Hoop Place Value.

We positioned hoops to represent units, tens, hundreds, thousands and ten thousands etc. Each pupil was then given a digit between zero to nine and asked to stand in a hoop , displaying their number.

The children had to read and say the number we made. We experimented by rearranging the digits into different hoops; read and said them again, taking care to pay attention to the value of each digit based on its place in order. We also introduced decimal hoops for tenths and thousandths to add extra challenge.

We further increased the difficulty by putting two people into some hoops to make 10 or more. We then had to decide what we would do next e.g. 2+8= 10 units so put one more in the next tens hoop and put a zero in the existing hoop.

It was a lovely way to start our day.

# Successful Learners

First Day Smiles

It’s the start our our new school year 2019-2020!

Everyone arrived at school looking so smart and with big smiles on their faces.  We are looking forward to the year ahead.

End of Year Ceremony

The school community gathered today to say goodbye to our P7 pupils and to celebrate success throughout the year.  Awards were presented for the following:

100 % Attendance:

Alba White, Ruby Rankin, Rhian Palmer (3)

Responsible Pupil Awards:

P1-3 – Girl – Annabelle Thorburn Boy – Atticus Orr-Ewing

P4-7 Girl – Olivia Cumming Boy – Findlay Thorburn

Accelerated Reading:

Star reader in p2 – Lewis Mc Quillan

Star reader in p3 – Rose Santangeli

Star reader in p4 – Ava Lily and Alba

Star reader in p5/6 – Findlay Thorburn

Star reader in p7 – Rhian Palmer

Word millionaire:

Ava Lily

Platinum Rainbow Tables:

Findlay Thorburn, Ava Lily Orr Ewing & Lillie Baker

Platinum Rainbow Spelling:

Rhian Palmer

STAR awards – gold recipients:

Ruby, Max, Alba, Isabella, Liam , Rhian, Lewis

Barbara Lunch Helper Award:

Izzy White

Sporting success:

Footballers – Lee, Rhian and Rowan

Badminton: Rhian

Sports champions:

Junior Boy – Cameron

Junior girl – Erin

Senior girl- Rhian

Senior boy- Rowan

Artistic award Eileen Mc Donald Cup:

Ava Lily Orr Ewing

Literacy p1-3 Erin p4-7 Rowan

Numeracy p1-3 Jack p4-7 Ruby

HWB p1-3 Sophia P4-7 Lee

Endeavour award – Alba White

REACH award – P1-3 Rose P4-7 Lillie

Songs were sung to entertain the audience and to express the sentiment of the day.

Goodbyes, thank you’s and good wishes were said to Mrs Warwick, Mrs Wither, and Mrs Leek for their hard work throughout the year.  Sian Roberts was thanked for her years of service on the parent council.

Mrs Baillie expressed thanks to all staff and parents for their help and support throughout the year.  Mrs McHarg also thanked Mrs Baillie for her dedicated efforts.

We rounded off the day with a quick trip to the beach for a toe paddle and a play in the glorious sunshine.  Let summer commence!

#Effective Contributors


P7’s Dine Out

Our P7’s enjoyed a social evening dining out at the Mount Stewart to mark the occasion of their moving on to Stranraer Academy.  Rowan, Rhian, Livvy, Myles and Lee had the pleasures of a meal together in the sun room.  They then moved on to enjoy the sunshine in the village with just one more day left at primary school.

We wish them all the very best of luck on their new adventure.

#Time for a new chapter

Cream of Galloway Trip

The whole school tootled off in the glorious sunshine to enjoy a day trip to the Cream of Galloway yesterday.

P1-3 participated in a farm tour.  They saw where the cows are milked and then toured the byres.  The children learned that the cows have massaging brushes to keep themselves in tip-top condition.  All the cows were grazing happily outdoors. Cream of Galloway pride themselves in their treatment of their livestock, allowing as much outdoor time as possible for both mothers and calves.

P4-7 experienced a Sundae making workshop.  The children selected their own flavours of ice-cream, added sauce (lots!) and toppings (lots and lots!).  They then went up to the viewing gallery to look down at the factory.  Here, cheese and ice-cream are made in the vats; enough to fill a swimming pool each year. We learned about packaging design to appeal to customers.

After that, it was Go Boing, where all things bouncy was the order of the day.  Everyone enjoyed climbing the six story 3D maze and scooting down the slides too.  There was lots to keep everyone entertained.

P1-3 enjoyed an ice-cream of their choice after their lunch.  P4-7 were all ice-creamed out from their earlier treat. It was all too soon time to return to the bus for the journey home.  There were a few ‘zzzzz’ to be heard from the tired, but happy crew.


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!

Tractor Tom

Tractor Tom, aka Tom McKie (Sophia’s Papa) visited the school this week to allow P1-3 to learn more about how tractors are used to help with farming.

The children learned about the different parts of the tractor and what they are used for to lessen the workload for busy farmers.  Each pupil eagerly took advantage of the chance to sit in the tractor.  Tractor Tom then took the tractor for a quick spin and a toot in the playground to show off its manoeuvrability.

# Successful Learners

SSERC Science Share: Rocket Mice

Today, P3-6 linked up with Thornton Primary STEAM Team as part of a live SSERC Cook-Along GlowMeet session.  Along with up to 100 schools throughout Scotland, we shared a video link that guided us through the science behind blasting off our home made rocket mice launchers.

The children carried out a practical science activity to explore the forces acting upon our rockets. We observed the upward thrust produced by quickly ‘clap-smacking’ our milk bottles rockets to launch our home made mice astronauts.  The quick expulsion of air from the bottles created an upward propulsion system.  We discussed  how air resistance and gravity worked against the mouse’s upward thrust.

We recycled our unwanted milk cartons to do our bit for the environment. 🙂

You can watch a replay of the launch on the video link below.

#Successful Learners


Veterinary Visit

Following on from our Careers in the Community assembly, Carolyne the veterinary nurse returned with vet Steve to share more of their experiences of working as a mixed practice in the Stranraer area; both with domestic and farm animals.

They were accompanied by the ever popular Dougal the Cockapoo.  Dougal kindly volunteered to let the children give him a medical assessment.  They listened to his heartbeat through stethoscopes and inspected his ears to check they were clean and healthy.  The boys and girls proved excellent vets, taking gentle care of Dougal. He was more than happy to be groomed and pampered during his visit.  He was the star of the show!

#Successful Learners


Spinners and Weavers

Primary 1-3 received a visit from the local Spinners & Weavers group today.  The ladies kindly gave up their time to show the children traditional methods of working with wool after it has been gathered from sheep.

The session included looking at different types of wool from Jacob’s to Blue faced Leicester. The boys and girls then had a demonstration of the different methods of spinning and had a chance to use a range of equipment such as an authentic spinning wheel.

Everyone had a chance to prepare the wool by brushing it to remove any knots and debris, ready to then spin.

The boys and girls have learned more about traditional cottage industries linking to their ongoing farming topic.

#Successful Learners

Annual Sports Day

Portpatrick Primary held yet another successful sports day on Friday 7th of June.  Many friends and family members came along to cheer the boys and girls on in their sporting efforts.

The children competed in the following events:

  • Sprint – Class winners: Carter, Scott, Sophia, Ava Lily, Finlay & Rowan
  • Skipping – Class winners: Erin, Cameron, Rose, Ava Lily, Finlay & Rowan
  • Sack – Class winners: Carter, Cameron, Sophia, Ruby, Robin & Rowan
  • Egg and Spoon – Class winners: Erin & Carter, Atticus, Rose, Ruby, Finlay and Rowan
  • Throw – Class winners: Erin, Scott, Sophia, Lillie, Finlay &  Rowan
  • Distance – Class winners: Holly, Cameron, Sophia, Ava Lily, Finlay & Rowan
  • Obstacle – Class winners; Erin, Cameron, Liam, Isabella, Alfie and Myles

The winning didn’t stop there.  In pole position, in the highly competitive mum’s and dad’s races, were Kerry and Steve.  In the nursery race, Adam just pipped Ivy at the finish line.

Everyone demonstrated great determination and team spirit.

The day was rounded off with an ice lolly treat.

#Effective Contributors.

High Airyolland Farm Visit

P1-3 donned their wellies for a visit to High Airyolland as part of their learning on farming.

Mr and Mrs McQuistin kindly took the children of a tour of their farmstead to give the children a sense of land use.  They all went up to the top of the hill to view the layout and different usage of the areas such as grazing and a wind turbine.

Dallas the sheepdog was a big hit as he demonstrated herding the sheep under the commands of Mr McQuistin.

The boys and girls observed Highland cows in the fields and learned from Mrs McQuistin that the shorter the horns, the younger the animal.  One old girl was 16 years old!

Back down at the main farm area, Mr McQuistin explained the different breeds of sheep – Beltex and Blue Faced Leicester.  They also have cross bred sheep from the two which has the lovely name of a Bluebell cross.  Mr McQuistin then gave a sheep sheering demonstration.  He told the children about how the wool is used. This will link in with the upcoming visit from weavers into the classroom.

Environmental responsibility was discussed as it was explained to the children how any plastic waste on the farm is responsibly disposed of.

No farm visit is complete without seeing a tractor up close.  The boys and girls were able to explore it.  Mrs McQuistin explained that because farms are so mechanised, you don’t have to be strong to be a farmer and that it can be a career choice for anyone.

The day was a great success, with just about everyone now wishing to become a farmer!

#Successful Learners

Click on each photo to have full view 🙂


The Rock Cycle – Through the medium of chocolate :)

P4 -7 became geologists today by modelling the rock cycle.  The natural rock cycle can take millions of years to achieve.  We simulated this entire process in an afternoon using chocolate.

Sedimentary Rock

We started off by making sedimentary rock that had been broken down into smaller pieces by the elements.  To do this, we:

  • Grated milk and white chocolate into flakes to represent different rock types
  • We built up our sediment in a pile on tin foil
  • It was then compressed by pressing down on the flakes wrapped in the foil
  • The resultant sedimentary rock sample can be seen in photographs below
  • The separate sediment deposits can be observed as white and dark sections.

1 – Breaking the chocolate into mixed sediment

2 – Compressing the sediment

3 – Sedimentary rock is formed

Sedimentary Changing To Metamorphic Rock

We then simulated high pressure and heat being applied to our sedimentary rock sample.  We achieved this by:

  • Putting our sample in a bag along with whole chunks of chocolate.
  • We squashed and squeezed the sample and let our body heat do the work
  • The results can be seen below. A harder, grainy texture is achieved as a result of changing from sedimentary to metamorphic rock.

4 – Applying heat and pressure to sedimentary rock

5 – Sedimentary rock changed to metamorphic rock

Metamorphic rock changing to Igneous Rock

To model the change from metamorphic rock to igneous rock, we:

  • Melted the chocolate over a Bain Marie.
  • The metamorphic rock melted as if it was exposed to extreme heat under the crust of the earth, becoming magma.
  • The melted sample was then cooled and formed in a flow, just like lava erupted from a volcano.

6 – Heat changes metamorphic rock to igneous rock

The cycle will start all over again with igneous rock breaking down to form sedimentary rock and so on…

Yoga – Outdoor Learning Day

P4-7 ended the Outdoor Learning Day’s activities by partaking of a relaxing yoga session in the sunshine.

We learned traditional yoga poses such as the tree, mountain, chair and warrior.  These positions help build core muscle strength.

We rounded off at home time with a mindfulness, calming visualisation activity; relaxing on the grass.

Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable day packed full of purposeful activities.

Gardening & Art – Outdoor Learning Day

P1 – 3  got their gardening gloves on to care for their vegetable patch.  They carefully weeded and tended the wide range of vegetables that are coming along nicely.  We have spring onion, beetroot, potato, onion, turnip, carrots and potato plants!

They then progressed to observational art.  The children made a close study of the flowers growing naturally around the mound area.  They then focussed carefully to produce their own impressions of these flowers.

Meanwhile Robin and Liam helped Mrs Henry distribute posters around the village as part of our ‘Eco’ litter campaign.  Local businesses have been very supportive, offering to display them predominately, to encourage us all to keep Portpatrick tidy.

# Responsible Citizens & Effective Learners


Science & Eco – Outdoor Learning Day

The whole school participated in an Eco-based science lesson to construct bug hotels using a range of natural materials to create a natural habitat.

The children were required to follow and process verbal and written instructions to produce a hotel fit for bug royalty.  They were challenged to make and implement design selections from two options.

Everyone used the soft skills of cooperation, negotiation and sharing to complete the task.  The hotels were positioned throughout our grounds and even had a ready made food source of a sugar lump treat for the new residents.

#Responsible Citizens


STEM/Language Outdoor Learning

P1 -3 had a sensory journey around our outdoor area.  P1 were looking for objects of different colours and materials.  P2-3 were using their 5 senses to locate a variety of objects

P4-7 used their engineering skills to combine and construct a  ‘Des Res’ for a mini resident.  They used natural materials to build a free standing structure with a door way, walls and roof for their little owners.

The children then used their persuasive writing techniques to market their home through an estate agent ‘For Sale’ advert.

#Successful Learners

Maths – Outdoor Learning Day

The whole school took to the outdoors for a glorious start to National Outdoor Learning Day.

P1 – 3 applied measure through the science of plant care today.  They measured and recorded the growth of cress, previously planted, in their cress diaries. Later that day, they also applied measure to fitting sticks into their bug hotels.

P4 were foraging for what they could find in our playground.  They sorted their collected objects into frequency tables and produced a bar graph of their results to find the most common objects.

P5/6 used a method to measure the height of trees and plotted their data on a bar graph, applying features.

P6/7 measured the height and girth of our trees and plotted a line graph to identify the correlation between the two factors.  They determined that the taller the tree, the wider the girth of it’s trunk.

#Successful Learners

We Are Film Makers

P4-7 have donned their movie maker caps to produce a short film on William Wallace.  This is part of a Dumfries and Galloway collaborative video challenge, and also fits perfectly with developing the children’s digital technology skills.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Wallace Monument, and the introduction to heroines to the Hall of Heroes for the first time, schools across the region have been invited to make a 60 second video on our Scottish heroes.  We were quick to grab William Wallace from the list of famous people from our history, having learned about his life in the past.

The children self-managed presenting, videoing, lighting and editing our video.  The design of the film is through personal selection and choice. We did have credits, but had to remove them for splicing with other school’s contributions.

We are proud of the finished product and have already been told it will be showcased across the STEM yammer group to promote and encourage participation in this worthy activity.

#Successful Learners & Effective Contributors

Kirkcolm Sponsored Walk

We would like to say a big ‘thank you!’ to all of our pupils and families who participated in the annual Kirkcolm sponsored walk on Saturday.  All funds raised by Portpatrick pupils will go directly to our school.

There were many smiles and determined faces as everyone made their way around the 7 mile route to completion.  Our thanks also go to the many people who supported the event through marshalling, offering refreshments and encouragement etc.  Well done to Isabella who was the first Portpatrick pupil to complete all 7 miles!

#Effective Contributors



Digital Learning Week – ICT Club

As part of Digital Learning Week, we have been sharing and developing our digital technology skills in our ICT Lunch Time Club. The sessions have been organised and supported by both our digital leaders and by those who wished to share their abilities.

All of the activities have been well attended and the pupils have cooperated, supported and shared wonderfully well.

Throughout the week our pupils have engaged in the following:

  • Dance Mat Typing – developing keyboard skills
  • Coding – developing programming skills
  • Digital Photography
  • Webcams
  • Animation
  • Green screen and movie making
  • Symmetry software

#Successful Learners & Effective Contributors

Digital Skills Week – Green Screen Training

P4-7 received specialist Green Screen and movie making input from Miss Karen Creighton today.  She is one of our very skilled D & G RAISE team members (Raising Aspirations in Science and Technology).

The pupils were guided through green screen technology.  We then used Serif Movie Plus to overlay and edit our green screen images over volcanoes from around the world.  The children applied sequencing, ‘chroma-key’ functions and credits etc. to inform and entertain with their animated videos.  We are using digital skills in creative ways to enhance our learning across the curriculum.

#Successful Learners

Cross Country

P5 -7 participated in the cluster’s annual cross country event at Green Valley today.  The children gave it their all to run either a full mile or half a mile over soft ground.  They also took part in a series of relay races of mixed ages.  Everyone demonstrated resilience and determination by completing their individual and team challenges with ‘puffed out’ smiles 🙂

Our digital leaders captured action using a digital camera.

#Effective Contributors

Celebrating Digital Skills

Our partnership schools are always pleased to celebrate the achievements of our pupils in developing their digital skills for learning and life.

P4-7 at Portpatrick have been working hard to learn about creating and using digital images;  saving and retrieving them for a purpose.  The children have also been sharing their knowledge using software such as Movie Maker.  We are a sharing team!

#Successful Learners


Portpatrick’s Digital Art





Ava Lily

Ava Lily























The children have use the skills that they have learned from their amazing trip to Logan Botanic Garden to take magnificent photos of their favourite part of nature in the school playground and also at Logan Botanic Garden.

I’m sure you will agree that there are some very pleasing images achieved using Digital Technology


Written by Findlay Thorburn P6 – Digital Leader

Logan Garden Outdoor Experience Day

Portpatricks trip to Logan Botanic Gardens 

Blog excerpt written by Digital Leader Findlay Thorburn 

On the 30th of April 2019, Portpatrick school went to Logan Botanic Gardens.

P4-7 were learning about how to take digital photos of nature and P1-3 were learning about animals as part of a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

The older children were learning about the different ways to take a digital picture and what they should do to get a perfect picture by using what we can see around us.

The little class were learning what animals need to survive in the outdoors.  They had to make a little place for their animal to survive with natural items that they found around the garden.  They took their teddy bears along with them.

# Successful Learners

Photographs from P1-3 to follow


Music for All

P4-7 pupils headed to the Ryan Centre along with other local primary schools on Friday afternoon, to be entertained by the brilliantly talented ‘Music for All’ musicians – “Trio Ecossaise.”

Between performing as a trio, the musicians took it in turns to explain to the audience a bit about their particular instrument (clarinet, piano and cello) and then performed a piece of music so we could hear how it sounds. Pupils were encouraged to consider how the music made them feel as they listened and picked an Emoji to represent this.

Pupils learned lots about the various instrument and had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at this musical extravaganza!


Foraging at Dunskey

The boys and girls headed up to Dunskey estate on Friday morning, by kind invitation of the Orr-Ewing family. We were greeted by Chris, Verena and Aggie who took us foraging in the grounds for wild garlic (minus some adults who managed to get lost!!). Many pupils were surprised at what wild garlic looked like – lots of us had never seen it before, even the adults! Although there was no mistaking it – we could smell the garlic before we saw it!

After we had each filled our tubs with garlic, we headed back to the house and split into groups in the kitchen. We had to work together to wash the garlic, tear it up and grind it down to a paste using a mortar and pestle – this really got our muscles working as it was no easy job!! We then added pine nuts, oil, parmesan, salt & pepper, and some lemon juice and continued to grind it altogether until it was smooth.

Chris had cooked some pasta which he mixed with our pesto and we all got a little bowl to taste – there were lots of thumbs up and only a few thumbs down!

We then had some time to have a run about in the garden, before the buses arrived to take us back to school (along with the lingering smell of garlic, which has followed us around all day!).

Many thanks must go to the Orr-Ewing family and the staff at Dunskey for providing the pupils with this experience.


Rotary Club Quiz

Rhian, Findlay, Lee and Rowan represented the school at the annual Rotary Club Quiz at Rephad Primary on Thursday afternoon. They put their general knowledge skills to the test and came an impressive 2nd place out of 10 schools, missing out on 1st place by only 1 point! Well done – you did the school proud!

Skiff Visit

Our boys and girls were treated to a visit from our local Stranraer Coastal Rowing Team today.  The team members proudly displayed their hand built skiff, The Lady Bay, and explained the construction process to the children.  We were all surprised to learn that not a single nail had been used.

During the building phase, members of the local community volunteered their help with no previous knowledge of boat building.  We all agreed it was a fine craft, painted in the colours of our local Stranraer Academy.

The children were invited to sit in the skiff and try their hand at ‘on-land’ rowing. Lewis, Ruby and Maya took up position as coxswains to guide proceedings.

Wendy Cuff explained that the week long Stranraer SkiffieWorlds rowing festival in July (7th – 13th) will see competition entrants from around the globe come to Loch Ryan. There will be up to 1500 competitors and as many as 70+ skiffs are expected to participate in the World Championships for the St Ayles Skiff class of Coastal Rowing Boats. There will be a wide range of family based events on offer during the week.  It is definitely an event not to miss!

Portpatrick Litter Pick

The whole school put on their community spirits today as part of their Eco School responsibilities.  We all carried out a litter pick in the village with the support of family and friends.  The children got stuck in making the place spike and span.  They used their eagle eyes to spot and safely collect litter using the litter pickers provided by Kelly Monteith of the local council.

The boys and girls then applied their maths skills to calculate the weight of litter collected.  We problem solved by weighing a willing pupil before and whilst holding the litter collected.  The children then found the ‘difference’ by taking away.  We found we had gathered 5kg of litter on our clean up.  We talked about what fraction the litter weight was in relation to the pupil’s weight and converted the figure to a percentage.

This clean up is part of a wider trio litter action event organised by Mrs McHarg.

#Effective Contributors.


Feis Rois Performance

Parents and pupils were treated to a musical recital by the P4-7 class yesterday.  Over the term, they have been working hard on their Scot’s musical compositions with Claire Mann from Feis Rois. The children have learned songs in Scots and Gaelic and have composed their own instrumental arrangements to accompany their singing.  We were all delighted to listen to a wide range of instruments that the children played independently.  They showcased their talents on violins, flutes, tin whistles, a guitar, African drums and Xylophones!

Everyone agreed that it was a very entertaining morning.  Our thanks go to Claire and to the pupils for all their musical efforts, and also to the parents who came along to share the experience.

#Successful Learners


Trip on the Train to Ayr

Pupil enjoyed a fab day away today, courtesy of the Community Council. The school was kindly given £500 to take the pupils on an extra trip – so we headed off to Ayr for the day! 

After meeting at the train station at half 8, we made the journey to Ayr, with some pupils playing I Spy to fill the time. 

Once we arrived, we walked to LA Bowl where we had a game of 10-pin bowling. There was some friendly competition between staff and pupils – Mrs Warwick was victorious in her game; but Myles beat Ms Whorlow and Liam beat Mrs Henry! It was a close competition between Mrs McHarg and Ruby – there was only 1 point between them!  

During this, groups were taken out for a game of laser quest. Pupils had a blast running around in the dark – although they targeted the teachers, who didn’t stand a chance! 

After some lunch, we made our way to the park to run off some steam, before heading back home on the train. 

Pupils had a wonderful day – many thanks to the Community Council for making this possible. 

Woodland Trust Trees

Pupil were outside yesterday and this morning planting trees with Sian Roberts in our playground, to help provide a home for the wildlife and brighten up our playground. The 30 trees are from the Woodland Trust, who were giving them to schools for free to encourage pupils to get involved in planting trees. There are 3 different types of trees, including cherry and silver birch.

Many thanks must go to Sian and helpers who gave up their time to do this.


Dumfries and Galloway Badminton champion!

Congratulations must go to our own Rhian Palmer who at the weekend was crowned the Dumfries and Galloway Primary girls badminton champion – for a remarkable 2nd year in a row!

Rhian travelled to Dumfries to compete against all of the regional finalists and was victorious in all of her matches.  She dropped very few points in the whole event.  Rhian will now go on to the Scottish Finals in Perth, in May.

What an achievement – well done Rhian!

Gardening Time!

P1 – 3 have been beavering away in the outdoor environment as part of their farming topic this term.  They have been working collaboratively to prepare and plant a selection of vegetables in our  vegetable patch.  The children will nurture and care for potatoes, carrots, turnip, onions and beetroot. Ewan Little and Barsolus kindly donated the potatoes, carrots and turnips.  The children are all looking forward to harvesting their crop and tasting the ‘fruits’ of their efforts.

# Effective Contributors.

World War II Creativity

The pupils of P4-7 have rose to the challenge of producing a WWII related resource of their own choosing.  The children made models, posters, podcasts, rationing recipes and more!

A range of STEM skills were utilised in the tasks.  Here are just a few of the applied skills they have used:

  • measuring
  • weighing
  • cutting
  • sawing
  • sticking
  • combining
  • decorating
  • researching
  • Using IT sofware

The standard was so high that Barbara had a hard time judging the winner.  She selected:

3rd Place – Maya McNeill for her Anderson Shelter

2nd Place – Isabella White for her Anderson Shelter cake

1st Place – Lee Gaunt for his dug out battle scene.

Everyone received ‘highly commended’ recognition for their sterling efforts.  Thanks go to willing family members who helped, supported and encouraged the children to be independent learners.

As a class, we used Papier Mache to produce our own Anderson shelter model.  We also worked with Balsa wood and cardboard to produce our fleet of WWII fighter planes.

# Independent Learners

Curling’s cool tournament

Rhian, Rowan, Olivia and lee recently took part in the inter-school curling tournament which took place at the North West Castle Ice rink.  They displayed great sportsmanship.  The team were not placed, but did enjoy their day mixing and playing with senior pupils from other schools.  Many thanks to Sian Roberts for supervising the pupils at this event.

#Successful learners

Egyptian Bread Making P1-3

As part of P1-3’s topic of Ancient Egypt, the class have been learning about the diet of the Egyptian people.  They discovered that they, in the main, had a very healthy diet and that the most important food staple was bread.

The boys and girls decided to make some using a traditional recipe to see for themselves how good it was.  They had a discussion on why yeast was needed.  The skills they used to complete this task were:

  • Following a pictorial instruction recipe
  • Weighing and measuring
  • Mixing
  • Cooperating
  • Food hygiene
  • Tasting
  • Evaluating

The bread was deemed a resounding success by everyone!

#Successful Learners


Tremendous Talent Competition for Comic Relief

On Friday afternoon, the boys and girls of Portpatrick Primary displayed their wonderful talents to the school to help raise money for Comic Relief. Families were invited in to watch the ‘Portpatrick’s Got Talent’ competition in return for a donation towards the very worthy charity.

Organised by members of the Pupil Council, pupils were asked to apply to take part in the competition. Auditions were then held and 8 acts were selected to go through to the final, held on Red Nose Day.

Entries in the competition included: Livvy singing ‘Little Do You Know’; Lewis and Liam performing magic tricks; Lillie, Alba and Izzy dancing; Ruby singing ‘Don’t Stop Believin’; Findlay playing the flute; Rowan identity 100 flags of the world; and Erin, Holly, Rose and Caroline singing ‘7 Years Old’.

Our judges, Pat, Barbara and Mrs Jean Ross, provided some very thoughtful feedback after each act and had the very difficult decision of selecting 1st to 3rd placed entries.

3rd place was awarded to Rowan Harbottle. In joint 2nd place we had Findlay Thorburn and Lewis McQuillan. The overall winner in 1st place was Ruby Rankin.

A huge well done to everyone who applied, auditioned and competed on the day. What a talented bunch of pupils we have!!

To further raise funds for Comic Relief, we held a non-uniform and crazy hair day. Alba and Izzy also kindly baked and decorated some cupcakes at home which they sold at break time.

We raised a grand total of £128.57 for Comic Relief – thank you to everyone for your donations!

P1-3 Celebrate Science Week

To kick-off the start of the national British Science Week (which runs from 8th-15th March), Primary 1-3 pupils held a science afternoon in school which parents were invited to pop along and join in with.

There were several different science activities on offer to participate in, including making a rainbow, a rain cloud, a sycamore helicopter, and a moving car. As we are keen to promote STEM subjects, there were also stations involving K’Nex challenges and the Code ’N’ Go Mouse to develop programming skills.

Pupils loved the make a cloud station, where they had to use shaving foam, water and food colouring to simulate a rain cloud – although half of the shaving foam ended up on pupils’ noses rather than in the jar!!

Thank-you to all the parents who popped in – everyone had a fab afternoon!

WWII Rationing Day

As part of this term’s WWII topic, Primary 4-7 created some authentic rationing recipes today.  P4 made fruity buns using a range of dried and fresh fruit ingredients.  P5-7 created carrot biscuits.  Each group had to select ingredients and use equipment hygienically and safely.  Maths skills were required through weighing and measuring activities.

We used the stimulus to write our own instruction text recipes, using ‘bossy’ imperative verbs and key language features.

The class tasted both recipes and evaluated them for taste, presentation and appeal. We were about 60/40 on the fruity buns, but it was a resounding thumbs up from everyone for the carrot biscuits.

To add to our creative flare, we undertook a challenge to plan a party dish from limited wartime ingredients.

Throughout it all, the class enjoyed listening to wartime songs.  There was even a little sing along to Run Rabbit Run 🙂

# Successful Learners

Science Open Day – British Science Week

A trio partnership science morning was the order of the day at Portpatrick Primary today. Pupils and family in our  P4 – 7 classes from Kircolm, Leswalt and Portpatrick came together to participate in a wide range of STEM based activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) as part of British Science Week.

The showpiece of the event was a mobile planetarium provided by the Galloway Forest Astronomical Society, organised by Mrs Ferguson.  Mr Antony Berretti, Dr Douglas Snell, Mr Hunter McCall and Mr Brian Rice, gave up their time voluntarily to bring a night sky experience to the children.  We were taken on a journey through the planets and moons of our Milky Way, learning fascinating facts on our travels. P1-3 were also treated to a session as an added bonus.  This resource has been kindly funded by the Kilgallioch Community Fund and is being made available to schools within our region.

The planetarium will be part of the attractions on offer to all ages on Saturday 9th March during the weekend programme for the Wigtown Big Bang Weekend event. (11-4pm, £5 per entry).  There are visiting astronomical dignitaries scheduled to attend the weekend.

When not in the planetarium, the pupils were given a carousel of hands-on challenges to select from; ranging from electrical circuits to tower construction and from pin the organ on the body to parachute making.  For example, they had to design an electrical circuit that would sound an alarm in the event of a flood.  Our little engineers didn’t let us down and were up to the challenges of all the problems presented to them.

There was even an opportunity for social time during break, which the children made full use of.

P1-3 will not miss out as they will have their science event this coming Friday.

#Successful Learners


Wigtownshire badminton success!

Well done to Rowan and Rhian who  competed in the Wigtownshire badminton championships at Newton Stewart, last night.

After many games, Rowan was awarded a bronze medal for being placed 3rd in the boys competition.

And, for the second year in a row, Rhian was the Wigtownshire Girls badminton champion.  Rhian only dropped 3 points in the whole of the tournament – amazing skills Rhian!

Many thanks must go to Jean Ross who has helped coach pupils in badminton over the years.  I am sure she will be as proud of them as we are.  Little Portpatrick certainly has badminton talent!

Safer Internet Day Competition Winner

As part of Safer Internet Day (SID), our Digital Leaders organised an optional whole school competition: P1-3 were to design a poster all about Smartie the Penguin’s message for staying safe online; P4-7 were to design an internet safety leaflet. Today, the Digital Leaders got together to look at all the entries and vote for the winner. We are delighted to announce that Izzy White’s leaflet won! Well done to everyone who took part, and to Izzy for your fabulously informative leaflet!

Izzy’s leaflet will be copied and sent home to parents along with a ‘Digital Parenting’ magazine, which contains lots of useful tips and articles about keeping children safe online. Look out for these in your child’s school bag!

The Big Battery Hunt is on!!

Today at assembly, all pupils received 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 Portpatrick School! Thank-you in advance for your support in this initiative.

A Big Thank-You!

The Pupil Council and Eco Committee would like to say a huge thank-you to the Parent Council for purchasing a new bin for our playground. We hope this will help keep our playground clean and tidy! Thank-you again!

History Alive – Ancient Egypt

P1-3 donned their archaeological hats for the morning when they travelled back in time to Ancient Egypt with Kathryn Purchase from History Alive.

The session began with a bang as Kathryn arrived in a full ‘Howard Carter’ style costume with a giant hieroglyph display.   She took the children through the location and background of Ancient Egypt and asked them to think about how we can possibly know anything about people who lived 5000 years ago.

She introduced archaeological evidence left behind by the Ancient Egyptians and encouraged the children to think about what this tells us about the lives of those people so long ago.

The boys and girls learned about the social hierarchy of Egypt from slaves and peasant to Pharaohs. There was much discussion about the lives they led and how they compare to our own today.  Homes, jobs, games, clothes, food and worship, and much more were all explored.

The children were particularly fascinated by the ancient Gods, tombs and mummification process!

Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to dress up in Ancient Egyptian costumes and to have a hands-on exploration of artefacts.  There was even an opportunity to carry out an archaeological dig using a sand box to reveal treasures. The boys and girls carefully scraped and brushed sand away to see what they could uncover. There was an opportunity to write their names in hieroglyphs and complete puzzles.

The children had a fantastic morning and learned lots of new information to help with their topic.  The class now say that , “Many of us want to be archaeologists when we grow up!”

#Successful Learners


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:


Lockerbie manor – Day2

Lockerbie Manor – Day 1 and morning of day2

Primary 5-7 have reached Lockerbie Manor

Primary 5-7 have reached Lockerbie Manor on a 3 school, 3 day adventure of outdoor education and fun!

After a lunch stop at Springholm Primary they went onto Lockerbie and have unpacked and are now off on their first activity.  They are all very happy and excited campers!

Science, history and STEM and more!

P1-3 have been busy exploring inventions of the past today.  They have learned about how the ancient Egyptians built shadufs to help them lift water from the River Nile to water their crops.

The boys and girls constructed their own shaduf models using rods, Plasticine, string and containers. The children applied the principle of pivot points to lesson the force required to move water from one point to another.

The children used their engineering skills to create their concept designs, constructing and modifying through experience to ensure sufficient drop and counterbalance.  The stability of free standing design was tinkered with and a conclusion reached that the tripod method was the most stable for this purpose. Hands on learning, developing soft skills of cooperation, discussion and idea sharing was the order of the day!

#Successful Learners



History Alive – WWII

We were treated to an interactive World War II session with History Alive today.  Catherine and Steven came in to school and delivered a very interesting and informative potted history of WWII to P4-7.  The children learned about many facets of the war such as what caused the conflict and how it impacted on the lives of people in Britain through blockades, rationing, evacuation, the Blitz and blackouts, to name but a few.  This led into a discussion on how life subsequent to the war had changed and why.

The children had the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with memorabilia such as weapons, photographs, gas masks, propaganda, rationing samples etc. They all relished the chance to try on authentic uniforms and have a little role play.  The class then posed insightful questions to gain even more knowledge of WWII, its causes and effects.  A very purposeful and enjoyable session was had by all.

#Successful learners


Bring and Buy Sale

The Eco Committee organised and ran a Bring-and-Buy sale on Monday to raise money for the environmental charity, the Solway Heritage.

Pupils, families and friends of the school handed in unwanted books, toys, and household items that could be used by others. So far, we have raised a total of over £35! Well done everyone!

The sale will continue for the rest of the week, when we will announce the final total.

Safer internet day

Today we celebrated International Safer Internet Day! This year the theme was: Together for a better internet. Over 160 countries participated, with over 2000 UK schools and organisations too.

The world wide web is a fantastic resource that our parents, grandparents and teachers did not have when growing up – but we do! But all great resources need to be used wisely and there are things to be aware of. We learnt today how to be super computer savvy…

1. Choose to be aware 

Make sure you know the rules about how to behave and stay safe on the sites, games and apps you like to use. Look out for buttons that let you block, mute and report other users who aren’t behaving and always ask for help if there is something you are not sure about.

2. Choose to make sensible choices online 

Always keep your personal information safe and any personal information belonging to your friends and family.  Check with an adult before signing up to a new game or online service and before downloading a new app or game .

3. Choose to ask if it’s okay 

Always think about how your online actions might make others feel. Be a respectful friend online and remember to ask for permission before sharing something about someone else. This could include a picture, video or piece of their personal information like where they live or their full name. Take a look at our Safer Internet Day film to see what other young people think about asking for consent online.

4. Choose to be a role model 

Always be kind to others online and support your friends if they are having a difficult time. You can help your friends by showing them how to block and report in games and apps or by going to talk to a trusted adult with them.

5. Choose to ask for help

If you are ever unsure about something you see online, or anything makes you feel worried, upset or confused then ask a trusted adult for some help and advice.


Remember! Think SMART – Safe, Meeting, Accepting, Reliable, Tell.


Check out www.saferinternet.org.uk for more information including a section with top tips for parents/carers.


Pupils can easily access the ThinkUKnow website via their GLOW launch pad. This has some fantastic games and a Parents/Carers section too.


P1-3 pupils learned all about Smartie the Penguin, who teaches them to be ‘Sensible like Smartie.’

Scot’s Assembly

Parents and family gathered together to celebrate our pupils’ success in this year’s Scot’s poetry activities in recitation, handwriting and artwork.  The winners in each skill category were presented with certificates for their achievement, with everyone praised for their hard work and effort.  The 1st place achievers recited their poems with expression and confidence.

The children then performed their Scot’s songs to entertain the audience with full audience participation encouraged.

# Successful Learners


Willow Dome

Today saw the beginning of construction of a new addition to our playground space.  Sian has kindly brought in willow whip bundles from her own garden with which to build the dome. With the help of some very willing volunteers, she has rapidly got work underway to complete the structure.

The boys and girls will have the opportunity to watch the bare sticks grow and transform into a lush, living creation.  They will then be able to practice gardening and pruning skills to maintain the dome throughout the year.

We are discussing the environmental benefits of the structure as willow absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, provides a habitat for wildlife and enriches the soil.

The dome will provide a magical den for the children to enjoy and use in their imaginative play and relaxation.

#Effective Contributors

Grandparents’ Burns Lunch

Portpatrick Primary held our annual Burn’s lunch in school today.  Grandparents and family guests were invited to join us to celebrate our Scottish heritage and enjoy the traditional meal of haggis, neaps and tatties.  P7 recitation winner, Rowan, was piped in on the bagpipes by Mr Colin Moderate.  Rowan gave an impressive Address To A Haggis.  P3 pupil, Amelia, then gave the Selkirk grace before everyone sat down to enjoy their delicious lunch prepared by Barbara.

After lunch and refreshments, the poetry winners recited their poems with lots of actions and ‘gusto’. All the children then entertained the audience with their songs: ‘Ye Cannae Shove Yer Granny Of A Bus’ and ‘Listen Tae The Teacher’.  Next, everyone joined in for an energetic performance of the’ Shooglie Wooglie’: a Scot’s version of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Mr Moderate and Mr Harbottle brought proceedings to a close by providing further entertainment on the tin whistle and Irish drum. A fabulous afternoon was had by all!

Our thanks to Barbara for a delicious meal, our parent and staff helpers for serving teas, coffees, homemade shortbread and tablet (kindly provided by Barbara).  Also, thank you too to Mr Moderate & Mr Harbottle for their wonderful musical performances.   A final thank you goes to all of our guests for coming along to make the day so special.


# Confident Individuals & Effective Contributors

Celebrating Scottish Poetry

Portpatrick Primary has completed another successful annual celebration of our Scot’s heritage this week.  The children have worked very hard to learn a range of Scot’s poems, produce handwriting examples of their poetry and create artistic models,  Mrs Carol Maxwell judged the worthy winners, as follows:


P1 – 1st Carter, 2nd Erin, 3rd Holly

P2 – 1st Cameron, 2nd Lewis, 3rd Conor

P3 – 1st Rose, 2nd Amelia, 3rd, Sophia

P4 – 1st Maya & Ruby, 3rd Ava Lily

P5 – 1st Robin, 2nd Lillie

P6 – 1st Findlay, 2nd Finlay

P7 – 1st Rowan, 2nd Rhian, 3rd Lee


P1 – Carter

P2 – Cameron

P3 – Liam & Jack

P4 – Ava Lily

P5 -Lillie

P6 – Findlay

P7 – Rowan


P1 – Carter

P2 – Lewis & Atticus

P3 – Ameila

P4 – Ava Lily

P5 -Lillie

P6 – Findlay

P7 – Olivia



Rhins Badminton champions!

Portpatrick Primary excelled in the Rhins badminton championships which took place at Stranraer Academy today.

For  the second year running, Rhian Palmer was girls singles champion.

Rowan Harbottle was the boys singles champion this year.

And, Lola Darling will be leaving the school tomorrow on a high after finishing 3rd in the girls singles.

This is a tremendous achievement for  the smallest school in the Stranraer cluster – proving it is quality , not quantity that counts!

Many thanks must go to our top coach, Mrs Jean Ross, who has volunteered to give up her own time to help the pupils and was there tonight cheering them all on.

Well done to all our brilliant badminton players !

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!

Rotary Lunch Attendees

On the 21st of January, Lee and Myles attended the annual Rotary Lunch to represent our school.  The children were able to mingle and chat with guest speaker, Adam Gray.  Mr Gray is the Development Manager for the Scottish Rugby Union and has a distinguished career in Scottish Rugby.  The invited guests took the opportunity to ask many relevant and probing questions of Mr Gray to find out more about his life in the field of rugby.  The boys were excellent representatives for Portpatrick Primary. It was an entertaining and enjoyable experience for everyone.

# Responsible Citizens



Cracking Christmas Party at Portpatrick

Pupils at Portpatrick Primary put on their glamorous frocks and stylish shirts for their Christmas party on Wednesday. The afternoon kicked off with a festive feast provided by our school cook, Barbara. After filling our bellies with some sweet and savoury treats, we headed into the hall to start the fun and games!

We enjoyed various dances such as Military Two-Step, Canadian Barn Dance and Grand Old Duke of York, and played lots of fun games including Christmas Corners, Musical Islands, Pass the Parcel and the team game Christmas Story.

After a loud chorus of Jingle Bells, a special visitor came in to see the boys and girls! Santa had very kindly brought a present for each pupil. Everyone had a wonderful afternoon!

Marvellous Mount Stewart Christmas party

The boys and girls of Portpatrick Primary were all treated to a generous meal and party night at the Mount Stewart hotel in the village.  Pupils all tucked into a tasty turkey dinner and pud, accompanied by some festive tunes on the piano. 

A special surprise visitor, in the form of Santa , even managed to fit a visit in his busy schedule to reward all the good boys and girls of Portpatrick.

Many thanks must go to all at The Mount Stewart hotel for their hospitality and generosity.

‘It’s Chriiistmas’ Show Time!

On the 17th of December, the boys and girls of Portpatrick Primary performed their annual Christmas show. As always, they put lots of effort and sparkle into it; performing to the senior members of the community in the afternoon. The evening performance was delivered to mums, dads and families. Every day in the afternoon we had to go up to the hall and practice for the play.  We had to do this before the day of the play.  The skills we used were listening, remembering our lines, having the confidence to project our voices in front of an audience and using expression. Our play was called It’s Christmaaaaaaas! There were many songs and they were excellent and uplifting.

Blog written by Rowan, Livvy, Lee, Myles, Rhian (P7 Pupils)

#Confident Individuals

Christmas Lunch

Today, the whole school enjoyed our annual Christmas lunch.  The children were treated to a delicious festive meal with all the trimmings.  Crackers were pulled, songs were sung and a good time was had by all.  It was a great social occasion for pupils and staff; all enjoying Barbara’s wonderful cooking.  Thank you Barbara!

#Confident Individuals

Church Community Carol Service

15 of the boys and girls attended the Portpatrick Church Community Carol Service on Sunday evening. The pupils performed Away in a Manger and gave a sneak preview of 2 of the songs from our Christmas show. The congregation and church members were very appreciative of the fantastic turn-out and many are looking forward to seeing the Christmas show in full next Monday. Afterwards, everybody headed through to the hall for some tasty mince pies! 

Hour of Coding

As part of Computing Science Education Week, the trio participated in the Hour Of Coding initiative.  This is a worldwide event organised to allow children the experience of coding and programming as part of developing skills for future life and learning.

Carol Moyes, RAiSE team (Raising Aspirations in STEM Education) kindly travelled from Dumfries to visit Leswalt, Kircolm and Portpatrick on the same day.

Our P4-7 pupils were able to select coding challenges to work collaboratively on.  They applied the computational thinking of logic and evaluation to create algorithms to control and design computing gaming activities.  They had to use decomposition to break down sequences into steps and debug any errors.  All the children were highly motivated and engaged throughout the whole activity.

The activities are available to explore and use at home via the code.org website.

Our thanks to Carol for her help and support

#Successful Learners

Fundraising Families

The Darlings and the Thorburns kindly volunteered to man a stall at Portpatrick Community Christmas Fair on the 2nd of December.  They sold Christmas crafts and decorations made by all the pupils of Portpatrick Primary.  They spent several hours on duty and raised over £120 for school funds.  Well done and thank you!

# Effective Contributors.

Cherry Daspher, Story Teller

Cherry Dashper, a local author, came into visit P1-3 last week.  She talked about Autumn and the class made leaves from sugar paper.  She then read her book about a snotty princess and a dragon to model the art of oral story telling.  The pupils role played being leaves in the story.  The boys and girls thoroughly enjoyed her visit and found her story very funny. They were able to recount the main action points and the plot.

# Successful Learners


InSight Mission To Mars

Last Night, the The NASA InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) probes successfully reached the surface of Mars.   This will be the first probe to dedicate its investigations to understanding Mars’ interior. Scientists want to know how this world is constructed – from its core to its crust.

The pupils of Portpatrick Primary have had a long wait for this mission to reach its destination, which was originally scheduled for May 2018.  Last October, the boys and girls took advantage of the opportunity to participate in the mission by adding their names to a silicon microchip headed to the Red Planet aboard NASA’s InSight Mars lander. More than 2.4 million names from around the world were added to the microchip, which has now safely reached the surface of the Red Planet.  Parents may recall the children coming home with their individual printed boarding passes for the mission.

Our connection to the mission has encouraged pupils to take a keen interest in this scientific event.  The children are enthusiastically discussing the space mission in school, which aligns perfectly with this term’s Solar System science topic for P4-7.

# Successful Learners



Alcohol Awareness – Police Workshop

P.C. Wilson joined P5-7 today to give them some wise input on the subject of alcohol.  This relates directly to our Health and Wellbeing topic this term.  She and the children discussed many aspects such as the law on age and drink driving limits.  dangers to health and how to approach peer pressure and emergency situations.  The pupils engaged maturely and sensibly with the session, asking many interesting questions.

# Responsible Citizens

Let’s Get Sporty

All pupils  were treated to a ‘Let’s Get Sporty’ session today as part of a partner initiative with Dumfries & Galloway council.  The pupils practised cooperation, coordination, spatial awareness and team work as part of a series of sporting challenges which they all thoroughly enjoyed!

# Successful Learners

Read, Write, Count

Primary 1-3 pupils were very excited this morning 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 some time exploring our new books and games. The pupils are really looking forward to using the contents of their bags at home!

Children In Need 2018

Portpatrick Primary pupils rallied the troops for Children In Need 2018.  The boys and girls made a ‘spotacular’ effort to dress to impress  in support of Pudsey and Blush.  The spottiest, dottiest pupils were judged to be Scott and Jack who were wearing too many spots to count. Pupils made a voluntary donation for this non-uniform day.

The pupil council came up with the creative idea of guessing the bear’s birthday to raise funds.  The cuddly bear, kindly donated by Mrs McHarg’s family, was won by Olivia Cumming.  The children spent the week building up to the day by selling official bear ears and wrist bands.

The boys and girls engaged in learning challenges, such as mental and written maths problem solving tasks, on the theme of Children In Need.  We also had a chat about why supporting Children In Need makes such a difference to the lives of so many children.

A big thank you to all of our wonderful families who supported the event today.

# Effective Contributors

The Little Vampire

Portpatrick Primary were given a cinematic treat today.  We all travelled to the Ryan Centre to watch the INTO Film release of The Little Vampire.  Schools throughout the area were given the opportunity to attend.  This film, whilst entertaining, also carried a moral message against discrimination and stereotyping.  The children sat with rapt attention throughout the screening.

P1-3 enjoyed sharing and discussing their  favourite part of the film when they came back to school.  They then wrote and illustrated their preferred scene, explaining why it appealed to them.

# Effective Learners

Halloween Fun

The whole school had a ‘spooktacular’  time at our annual Halloween party organised by our very able P7 pupils.  The children arranged decorations, planned an itinerary of ghoulish games and hosted the event for the entertainment of all.  The boys and girls turned out in haunting style with an impressive array of costumes and outfits.  Parents and family kindly donated lots of goodies for the children to enjoy.  The children all went home happy, looking forward to an evening of Trick or Treating fun after a quick chat about staying safe!  Thank you to all who supported the event.

# Effective Contributors



Potion Poetry

P4 – 7 went on an outdoor literacy lesson as part of our poetry learning. We went to the woods to seek out spooky ingredients to create our Witch’s Brew poetry. The children used their imaginations to give natural woodland materials a sinister twist e.g. pretending black seed pods were blackened wings of bats or lungs of slugs.

The children gathered their ingredients and brought them back to school to use to write their own poetry. These were added to the cauldron to create our foul spells.

#Successful Learners

Bonfire Safety Talk

Two members of the Fire Brigade service came along today to give all the children a safety talk for Bonfire Night.  They discussed the fun that can be had with bonfires and fireworks.  The children were given advice on the law relating to fireworks i.e. only those 18 and over can purchase them.  The pupils were told what to do if clothing catches fire and how to handle & dispose of fireworks such sparklers etc.  The officers recommended attending an organised event to enjoy displays without risk.  Everyone listened carefully and contributed to a sensible discussion on keeping ourselves safe.

#Responsible Citizens

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