North Rhins gains National Recognition

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

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

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

Portpatrick: Portpatrick Respect Movie.MOV

Respect for All Policy: RfA Final Policy October2020.pdf

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

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

New Playground Addition

There was something new in the playground, awaiting the boys and girls on their first day back today! Back in September we were successful in receiving some funding from Maths Week Scotland. The only condition was that we had to use this to promote Maths, so we decided to purchase a new wall-mounted Snakes & Ladders board game with fancy magnetic counters. This will enable pupils to work with numbers to 100 in a fun way both at break times and during lessons if they go outdoors.

Have a keek below to see some smiling faces giving our new game the thumbs up!

 

Festive Friday Feels

To celebrate the last day of term and to give those Christmas jumpers another outing, the boys and girls came to school today in their festive knits.

As a final festive treat, we spent the morning down at the community hub, watching an online pantomime – “The National Elf Service.” There were lots of giggles and shouts of “it’s behind you!” throughout the performance from the pupils (and staff!) as we helped the main character, Sam, to ensure that Santa and his elves stay healthy for Christmas, so they’re able to make and deliver all of our presents!

Half way through the panto, we stopped for a snack, kindly provided by Connors restaurant. We tucked into an amazing spread of marshmallow snowmen, strawberry Santas, chocolate orange segments, Christmas pudding crispies, and Christmas tree biscuits. A huge thanks to Connors – it was absolutely delicious! 

As if we hadn’t had enough treats, we arrived back at school in plenty of time for our Christmas buffet lunch – the best type of lunch there is! Some people went up for seconds (and even thirds!) – I’m surprised we weren’t all in need of a nap come the afternoon! 

To finish the day off, we each received a goodie bag (thank-you to the RNLI for some of our treats!) to take home and enjoy over the holidays.

Our Christmas celebrations may have been slightly different this year, but they’ve certainly been memorable nonetheless. Happy holidays everyone!

Reverse Advent Calendar

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

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

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

Festive Jumpers & a Fabulous Feast

Pupils came to school today dressed all festive in their Christmas jumpers as part of Christmas Jumper Day – and didn’t they look wonderful! We had all sorts – shiny, glitzy jumpers; fluffy jumpers; and jumpers that light up and flash!

At lunch time, we put the Christmas tunes on, pulled our crackers and tucked into a delicious meal of turkey with all the trimmings, kindly served by Tracy and Mrs Henry.

We’re all certainly in the Christmas spirit now and looking forward to more festive celebrations next week!

P1-3 Book Week Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

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

We hope you have fun using these with your child!

Fond Farewell to Larraine

Today we said goodbye to our wonderful school cleaner, Larraine. After working at Portpatrick Primary School for 10 years (yes 10!!), Larraine has decided to put her feet up and retire!

The pupils presented Larraine with some gifts from the children, staff and the Parent Council to remember Portpatrick Primary by – she loved the handmade card with a photo of her wearing a flowery headband!!!

Thank-you Larraine for everything you have done for Portpatrick Primary, both in your capacity as our cleaner and in volunteering. Enjoy your well deserved retirement – and don’t be a stranger!

Bye Mr Brawls – Happy Retirement!

Today we said thank-you goodbye to our superstar janitor, Mr Brawls, who has sadly retired from Portpatrick Primary. Mr Brawls has been at Portpatrick for over 3 years and has worked his socks over – nothing was ever a problem to him!

Our House Captains and a few other pupils presented Mr Brawls with some retirement gifts, to fondly remember his time at Portpatrick Primary by.

Thank-you for everything Mr Brawls – we’ll miss you! Enjoy your retirement!

Making Music in the Sunshine!

P1-4 pupils had a wonderful session with Susi Briggs on Wednesday afternoon, as part of the Rhins Coastal Path project. Susi popped back this afternoon to complete her input with the class – and what a lovely time we had out in the sunshine making music!

We started by humming along to familiar tunes – pupils suggested sounds we could make such as meowing, barking, howling rather than saying ‘la’ all the time – we had quite the menagerie!!  We then kept the beat to a different tune by tapping, clapping and jiving! Pupils started to compose a class song on Wednesday all about the things they saw at the beach last week, so we had a practise of our song, standing like a professional choir on the outdoor steps!

Next, we got the instruments out – this was the bit we had all been waiting for!! We practised playing our instruments at different speeds and volumes – we definitely needed our listening ears on for this one given the noise level!

After that, we split into 2 groups – 1 group explored the instruments and looked and which instrument would be best to match a given word/phrase, e.g. the clip-clop of horses hooves, the shimmering of the waves. The other group worked with Mrs McHarg to decide on actions/movements for given words – we pretended we were limpets on the shore and used our arms to wave like seaweed. We were then given a song and we had to choose instruments and actions to match the words – and then performed it to the class.

After one final version of our class song which was recorded, we thanked Susi for a fabulous afternoon of music outdoors!

P1-4 Coastal Path Project

P1-4 joined Elizabeth Tindall on the beach yesterday as part of the Rhins Coastal Path Project. Thankfully the sun was shining (although Mrs McHarg & Mrs Rice both wished they took their gloves with them!!).

The pupils had a fun filled morning learning lots about various things on the beach. First, we had a nurdle hunt – these are small pellets of plastic that get washed up on the shore line. We hunted for limpets and sea aenmones and learned why/how limpets stick to the rocks on the beach.

Next, we searched for some perfectly sized stones and cleaned them in the rock pools (some children were also “cleaned” after slipping into the water…!!). Whilst waiting for our stones to dry, we listened to Elizabeth tell a story using her story stones and then used acrylic pens to create our own.

After a break, Elizabeth explained about the different types of seaweed on the beach and we went to see how many different types we could find – the most common ones were bladder rack, sea lettuce and sugar rack. Pupils seemed rather horrified to learn that toothpaste has seaweed in it, as does some types of ice-cream!!!

At the start of our session, we found some larger stones to place at the edge of the sea, so to finish off our session we went to find our stones – but they were no where to be seen! Elizabeth then explained that the tide moves in and out over the course of the day, and we played a little game at the edge of the water (although some overly-enthusiastic pupils ran a bit too fast and didn’t stop at the edge of the water, ending up with soggy feet!!!).

Everyone had a fab morning and learned lots about the beach. Huge thanks to Elizabeth for the past 2 days’ input – we are really looking forward to our next session with Suzi next week!