Reebops – Inheritance

P4-7 got their geneticist heads on today.  The children have been learning about how lifeforms inherit their physical and biological characteristics from their parents.

Using the Academy reebop resource, the pupils selected chromosomes from a mum and dad reebop.  Dependent on the combination selected, they then constructed the baby reebop traits to match the ‘building block’ code. You can see the wide diversity of appearance that our reebop babies have inherited.

# Successful Learners


I’m A Mathematician Web Chat

P4-7 have been participating in a maths career based activity called I’m a Mathematician, Get me out of here.  We have been learning about how maths helps a range of experts do jobs in different fields.

I’m a Mathematician, Get me out of here is an online, student-led enrichment activity where students connect with people who have maths at the heart of their work.

To get our brains in gear ready for our chatroom session with experts, we watched a very entertaining Christmas Maths lecture: on the mysteries of the never ending number.

We learned about prime numbers sequences and how species of insect use prime numbers to avoid predators.  This links with our science topic of adaptation and evolution.  Also, we discovered more on working out formulae and the power of doubling.

We then moved on to study career profiles for two mathematicians:Chloe Martindale, a cryptographer and William Petterson, a computer scientist.The children worked collectively to compile a list of relevant questions to ask these experts to find out more about how maths is used in their careers.

We had a 30 minute scheduled chat room today session where we typed in our questions and received responses in real time.

The children were enthusiastic and even received a tip or two on how to start preparing now for a future career as a mathematician.

# Successful learners


Christmas Party

P1-7 gathered together to mark the final day of term with their annual Christmas party.

The children enjoyed a buffet lunch of savoury and sweet treats. This was followed by a party agenda to be proud of, as organised by our house captains, Findlay Thorburn and Lillie Baker. The boys and girls were entertained with a mix of both traditional and new games.

After the games, the children received a special visitor – Santa arrived ringing his bell. He kindly gave out presents to every boy and girl, which goes to show they must all be on the nice list! Mums, dads, grandparents and family joined us to watch the festivities.
The children sung him a song before he departed to make his final preparations for the big night.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas!

Christmas STEM Challenge

Our naughty elves, Elvis and Coco, said goodbye to the boys and girls today.  Before they departed for the North Pole, they left the children a present of gingerbread house building kits.  

The school divided into small teams and got stuck in with their construction and design skills.  The children quickly realised that patience and a steady hand was required to complete the challenge.  They had to consider what edible materials they could use to ‘glue’ the sections together. Whilst they were waiting for the structures to stabilise, the boys and girls decorated gingerbread figures to enjoy at morning break. 

Design and decoration skills were then put into action to create a pleasing, sweet treat pattern finish to their home decor.

Throughout the task, a range of soft skills were applied, such as discussion, idea sharing, encouragement and cooperation.  Even when there was a collapse or two, the children demonstrated perseverance with a smile. 

At the end of the challenge, ever team had successfully constructed a fine, free standing gingerbread house fit for any elf to live in.

Each group’s entry was entered into a competition where 1st, 2nd and 3rd place were awarded on the basis of criteria such as stability, resilience and presentation. Names were put into a hat and drawn for a lucky pupil to take their team’s entry home.

# Successful learners

It’s Panto Time – Oh Yes It Is!

The whole school had a fabulous time at a Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime at the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr yesterday.  The show was very entertaining with many a giggle moment. Our favourite character was Patsy the Cow.

At intermission, the children were treated to an ice-cream. Atticus was the lucky winner of a goodie bag full of treats!

After the show, everyone then went to the Stage Door restaurant for a lovely lunch.

We all enjoyed the wonderful entertainment and food.

Thank you to the Community Council for the ice cream treats and to the Parent Council for financing the bus transport.  Thank you also, to our parent helpers Sian and Alan.  A great day was had by all!


Mount Stewart Christmas Party

Once again the boys and girls of the village were treated to a special Christmas dinner party at the Mount Stewart.  Diane, Graeme and all the staff were very kind and spoiled the children with a lovely dinner.

More treats were to follow.  There was freshly made popcorn straight from an authentic popcorn machine for everyone to enjoy.  Next, there was great entertainment when everyone jumped in to enjoy the snow machine bubbles.

The children had a surprise visit from Santa Claus too.  We all song Christmas songs and had good cheer before receiving a gift for each child.

Afterwards, there were even more sweet treats – ice cream and chocolate.

Thank you to all at the Mount Stewart for a fabulous festive evening!

Christmas Jumper Day

The boys and girls arrived at school on Friday dressed in their Christmas Jumpers as part of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day 2019. At lunchtime, we sat down to a delicious turkey dinner kindly cooked by Barbara. We had lots of fun pulling the crackers, wearing our paper hats and telling each other Christmas jokes, with the lovely Michael Buble playing Christmas music in the background! Portpatrick Primary was definitely in the Christmas spirit today and to top it off, P4-7 wrote a poem to sum up the day –


The boys and girls of Portpatrick Primary,

Came to school dressed in their festive finery,

At lunch they pulled Christmas crackers and put on their hats,

Then enjoyed a turkey dinner with lots of chat!

Willow Dome Weaving

It may have been a drizzling, but that didn’t dampen pupils’ spirits as they wrapped up warm and headed outside on Friday with Sian Roberts, who kindly gave up her morning to work with pupils. They were busy weaving the newly grown willow back into the willow dome to make it stronger – we had been keeping a close eye on the new growth and waiting for the leaves to fall off before undertaking this job. Pupils enjoy sitting in the willow dome during breaks for a bit of quiet space, or using it to play ‘jails’!!! Have a keek below to see them at work!



Victorian Era S.T.E.A.M

As part of learning about the Victorian era, P4-7 have produced fantastic results in a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) challenge.  The pupils were given an open ended brief to design, construct and evaluate a resource that depicts an aspect of Victorian life.

As always, the children impressed with their imagination, creativity, and attention to detail.  The standard of entry and the enthusiasm of the boys and girls was lovely to observe.  Barbara judged the entries and awarded the following:

1st Place – Ava Lily with her Victorian home with fine detail

2nd Place – Liam with his Victorian camera, complete with bellow style covering

3rd Place – Maya with her historically accurate coloured and shaped Victorian post box

All agreed that every entry was of a very high quality.  Thank you for all of the family engagement and support that made this possible.  Why not pop in to see our terrific table top display?

# Successful Learners


Portpatrick Christmas Fayre

Sunday saw a very busy and successful Portpatrick Christmas Fayre, held in the village hall. Having spent all week creating Christmas crafts in school, the older pupils took it in turns to run the school craft stall. On sale were snow globes, gift boxes with peppermints, salt dough tree decorations and wrapping paper. In total, the stall made an incredible £125!

The Parent Council also ran the cafe, selling lots of delicious homemade baking, and raised a grand total of £522.23.

Having been held captive in the kitchen to practise their singing from 3.30pm, the pupils took to the stage at 4pm donned with festive jumpers and cheery smiles, to entertain everyone with some Christmas songs they had been busy learning in school. The pupils sang loud and proud and helped to put everyone into the festive mood!

Well done to everyone involved – the countdown to Christmas is now on!

All The Fun of The Fair – Come Buy!

All the fun of the fair!

The whole school has been enterprising ‘Christmas Crazy’ this last little while preparing lots of lovely crafty gifts to sell at Sunday’s Portpatrick Christmas Fair.

The pupils (and Barbara) have made peppermint sweet gift boxes, shortbread gift boxes, salt dough tree ornaments, wrapping paper, photo snow globes AND Christmas tree & Snowmen decorations.  They all look fabulous and will help decorate your home, ready to get you in the festive spirit.

The children have used this as an Enterprise project to help raise funds.Please do come along and support our wee school.  Thank you.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

# Effective Contributors

Feis Rois Scottish Music Performance

After 12 weeks of learning and practice, P4-7 gave a musical performance to the whole school and family members this afternoon.  The children performed a range of traditional Scottish songs sung both in Gaelic and English whilst playing the tin whistle.  The boys and girls were accompanied by Wendy and  Kate of Feis Rois, who have delivered excellent instruction to the pupils.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed the talents of the pupils and a great morning’s entertainment was had by all.

Have a listen to a couple of the musical performances below to see the skills our boys and girls have mastered.

# Successful Learners

Enterprise and Baking

P4-7 got creative to find ways to support the community Christmas fair.  They decided to make sweets to sell.  The class made peppermint creams by following a simple recipe.  We initially weighed quantities, but after experience we were able to use ‘ready reckoning’.

We applied strict hygiene standards throughout the task, wearing hair nets and aprons and making sure we had squeaky clean hands.

The group were able to calculate the amount we had to sell each pack of sweet for to make a profit.  We added up the total cost of the ingredients and divided that number by the quantity of sweets we were able to make.  This was then multiplied by how many sweets would be in a pack.  We now know how much we must sell each gift pack of sweets for to generate a profit sale.

The boys and girls used paper craft to create decorated presentation gift boxes.  They will make a lovely present for someone at the Christmas Fair.  We hope you would like to buy them.

# Effective Contributors & Successful Learners

We Are Engineers – Bridge Building Challenge

Lauren Steel, Principal Technician: Structures & Engineering Design for Communities with Dumfries and Galloway Council joined us today to deliver a P4-7  engineering workshop, in collaboration with the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE).  Lauren volunteers her time to help develop children’s learning in S.T.E.M across the region.

Lauren talked to the children about different designs of bridges that can be found in the world.  The most common in Dumfries and Galloway is the masonry arch bridge.

Working in small groups, the children were given the challenge of initially designing and sketching a bridge that would be capable of being load bearing.  They then had to select materials and combine them to meet the brief.

The boys and girls used a wide range of Higher Order thinking skills to problem solve.  They had to plan, select, estimate, combine, construct, modify, improve and adapt and test their bridge construction.  Further, they had to apply their soft skills of cooperating, negotiating, discussing, sharing and agreeing to complete the task – phew!

All children were completely absorbed by the task at every step of the process.  They collaborated effectively in their teams and rose to the challenge. Every bridge constructed was successful in supporting a heavy load of a filled water bottle.

Future engineers in the making!

# Successful Learners


Digital Schools Scotland award!

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

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

Dear Ms Sheila Baillie

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

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

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

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

Kind regards

Aoife O’Connor
Programme Coordinator
Digital Schools Award Scotland

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

Barvember at Portpatrick

The boys and girls in P1-4 at Portpatrick Primary have been busy learning all about how Bar Models can help us with our maths reasoning. By Drawing out the bar we are able to decipher what mathematical process is required to solve the problem.

Today we took on Q1 and Q2 of White Rose Maths #Barvember challenge. Each Day a new challenge is uploaded. I think we are starting to get the hang of it now !

Book Week – The Gruffalo

Yesterday we participated in The BBC Authors Live Event in partnership with Book Week Scotland where pupils were able to listen to James Robertson and Catriona Lexy Campbell read out renditions of The Gruffalo in both Scots and Gaelic.

There were lots of giggles as we discussed our favourite Scots words and we even learnt some new Gaelic words.

We were lucky enough to be watching Live and even Tweeted BBC Scotland Learning to let them know we were watching and we even got a little retweet.  If anyone who uses twitter would like to follow Miss McGeoch’s professional account the handle is @MissMcGeoch.

Book Week Scotland

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

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

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


On Friday the 15th November the boys and girls at Portpatrick Primary helped to raise money for BBC Children In Need. Our theme this year was “Pudsey goes to

work”. Pupils came to school dressed up as what they wanted to be when they grow up. There were some magnificent costumes, from YouTube sensations to Artists and Vets. Pupils brought in cakes for the cake sale, participated in the colouring competition and even tried to guess the name of the bear.

At 10:30am the whole school invited in Mums, Dads, Grannies and Grandads to join in with our “Pan

cakes for Pudsey” event. Pupils made pancakes in t

he morning and then decorated th

em with some delicious toppings.

Well done to Primary 1-4 who organised the fundraising as part of their topic this term.  A special thank you to Alba, Izzy and Lewis who brought in cakes for the cake sale and everyone who came along to support the event.

The total amount raised was … £ 222.42

Phenomenal amount for such a small school !

Winners ;

Colouring Competition- Tilly

Guess the name of the bear – Ros


Best Dressed p1-4 – Stephen (P1) Doctor

Best dressed p4-7 – Findlay (P7) YouTuber



to follow…

Portpatrick Team Photo

The BIG event , Pancakes with Pudsey


Our Prize Winners….

Sumdog Maths Challenge – Well done Izzy!

Top 10 Players
School Ranking

Well done to Isabella White for being ranked 9th in the top ten student Sumdog players in this week’s regional Sumdog’s online maths challenge!

1530 pupils participated with 401,864 maths questions answered. So this is no small feat by Izzy!

P4-7 also achieved a high ranking; 14th on the class leader board from 112 class entries (70 qualifying).  Keep on calculating!

#Successful learners





Technology To Enhance Literacy

P4-7 have been having a great time exploring new software to support their learning in literacy.

The children have been researching Christmas traditions in France as part of our Modern Languages topic for this term.  We have used Book Creator to publish an information book on their findings.

We selected a template design, imported appropriate images, recorded pronunciations and used the ‘read to me’ function to dictate auto text entry.

We have created a library of our books.  Your child will be sending you an email with an invitation link in it to allow you to view their personal creation. Why not scan the QR below to have a read of some examples for yourself!  There may even be a song to entertain you from Ruby and Maya.

#Successful Learners

Ruby and Maya
Rose and Alfie
Ava Lily



Remembrance Day Observed

Today marks the day WWI ended, at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918.

The whole school came together to remember the members of our armed forces who have served, and still do serve us around the world today.

We talked about what the poppies we wear represent.  We also discussed why we raise money by selling poppies to help and support those who have made sacrifices.

We shared how we observed the two minute silences held around the country yesterday for Remembrance Sunday.  Some children were at church, some were in the supermarkets and some marked the occasion in their own homes.

We all stood together today and held a one minute silence to show our respect and thanks.

#Responsible Citizens

Maths in our Community – Real Life Challenge

As part of Outdoor Learning Day, P4-7 visited our local Post Office shop today.  Margaret, the manager of the shop, kindly gave permission for our pupils to carry out a budget challenge working with money on the premises, working with real stock.

The children were given a choice of budget with which to select and plan party food and drink for our imagined class party.  They had to choose and cost items on the shelves, decide how many of each item was needed for our group and, thus, give a total unit cost.  They then had to find a final cost for all their selected the party items to determine whether they had kept to their budget.  If they were over budget, they were required to make decisions as to what items to keep or swap for alternatives.

The session was very productive; providing a real life context for using money.  Margaret was keen to lend a hand and help the children make decisions on their ‘purchases’.

Our thanks go to the staff at our local Post Office – community participation!  Morning shoppers were happy to see a productive team in action.

# Successful Learners



Lactalis Supporting Portpatrick Learning

Presenting our new Ipads!

Portpatrick Primary have had a great learning boost as a result of our links with local Industry employer, Lactalis McLelland.

Mr Nick Dietz, HR Manager, very kindly donated 5 Ipad minis to our school to help support our digital literacy development.

The children are thrilled to be able to now access a wider range of technology to enhance our learning across the curriculum.

Mr Dietz gave his time to talk to the children about the skills for work that a company such as our local creamery look for in an employee. He also chatted about how science, technology, engineering and maths are used to run an efficient organisation;  making the cheeses we all know and love.

We are keen to expand the quantities of Ipads we hold to allow greater engagement.  To this aim, the school is pursuing funding options to allow us to do so.  Watch this space…

A very big thank you is given to Mr Dietz and Lactalis McLelland for their generosity.

Lactalis McLelland#Effective Contributor

Curling’s Cool

P7 had a grand time this morning as they were given the chance to layer up and head out to the North West Castle for a morning of curling. They got an opportunity to glide around, sweep the ice and slide the stones along and then got straight down to business for a mini session of games!

Finally all the boys and girls mixed up for a final game and although our Portpatrick pair gave a noble performance, it was Leswalt that took the title.

The P7’s had a great time – many thanks must go to Mrs Thorburn for transporting them and supervising them this morning.

A Fab-boo-lous Time

This afternoon pupils at Portpatrick primary were creepin’ it real as they got dressed up for their annual Halloween party. The party was run by our wonderful House Captains, Findlay Thorburn and Lillie Baker who organised some fang-tastic  games for everyone to participate in. Everyone was in great spirits and the effort that went into the costumes was incredible.

The winners of the games are as follows;

Costume Parade: P1-5 Louise

P6-7 Alba

Halloween Corners : Stephen

Halloween Jungle Tig : Ruby

Halloween Statues : Ruby

Wrap the Mummy : Erin’s Group

Best Dancer: Maya

Then we had Dookin’ for Apples to round off a wonderful afternoon.  A very special mention to Findlay Thorburn and his mum for creating some wonderful handmade Halloween prizes, it was very much appreciated by all.

See below for photos.

Our Prize Winners;

Party Fun ;

Class Photos;

RSNO in the Rhins

Primary 7 enjoyed their first day at Stranraer Academy in the company of all the other Primary 7 pupils from the cluster.  The day had an enjoyable focus of Music, with members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra travelling down to Stranraer to conduct a workshop with all the pupils.

Our pupils were singing, dancing, playing games, composing and learning about the orchestra and their music in a fun filled day.  After lunch they were joined by older pupils from the Academy who came along to listen to the final performance from the musicians.

All returned to Primary, more familiar with Stranraer Academy and informed and entertained by the orchestra.

Bonfire Safety

The whole school were given some very wise advice on how to stay safe during this season’s bonfire celebrations.  Representatives from both the Police and Fire Brigade came to talk to children about the dangers that are present when they are near fireworks and bonfires.

Everyone agreed that Guy Fawkes celebrations are great fun, but that we should all make sure we take simple precautions to keep ourselves out of harm’s way.  We now know how to behave sensibly around fire and fireworks.

Thank you to our emergency services.

#Responsible Citizens.

RHET Farm Visit – STEM in our Community

P5 and 6 were given the opportunity to visit Balgracie Dairy farm as part of a R.H.E.T. organised initiative.  The pupils were given a guided tour and an explanation of farm processes that apply technology, science and engineering to carry out tasks.  They learned about the many, many jobs that are required to keep a healthy and productive dairy stock and how farming is undertaken in an environmentally responsible way.

All the milk from Balgracie farm goes to Nestle to make Kit-Kat chocolate.  We were treated to a few ‘biccies’ to take home with us to sample after our visit!

The children then applied their recount writing skills to share their experience with their partnership Glow e-buddies.

See below for an example of recount writing from Ruby P5:

All about Balgracie Farm!  Ruby Rankin P5


Today P5-6 went to Balgracie farm on the 29.10.19 at the farm.  We learned about dairy farming.


When we arrived we had to dip our feet into a soapy bucket to kill any germs so we didn’t infect the animals.  Then, Mrs Mc Nicoll gave use a pair of gloves and we were not allowed to take our gloves off.

Baby calves:

Next, we went to see baby calves. They were all six weeks old. They had blue or red tags on their ears. Blue was for boys and red was for girls. When the calves are born they have to get colostrum milk within six hours or they get ill.

Milking parlour:

After we saw the baby calves we went to see the milking parlour. Mr Drennan showed us the milking pumps they use to automatically milk the cows.  He demonstrated the automatic nut feeder that gives the cows food to eat whilst they are being milked. He also showed us a yellow cream that you put in the udders so they don’t get bugs.

Sleeping barn:

Next, he showed us the cow beds.  They were made out of rubber.  There was a motorised pooper scooper to clean away any slurry.  The slurry is used as fertiliser for the fields.

# Successful Learners

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 (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 (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 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

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.

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: