Category: Dumfries and Galloway

P6 Pupils at Noblehill Primary School are European Runners Up in the Microbit Do Your Bit Challenge

During Term 4 of last session, P6 pupils at Noblehill Primary School in Dumfries and Galloway took part in a Micro:Bit Global Challenge.  Their challenge was to design a ‘gadget’ which would support the work currently being undertaken  around the world to support climate change.  The pupils chose Verity, Lilly and Sophie’s design ‘Shell Cam’ as the winners and this was entered into a global competition.  Shell Cam was designed to be hidden somewhere on the beach and video all the different species that spent time there.  This information would then be sent back to scientists so they could track the movement and number of species. 

We have recently heard the amazing news that the design was chosen as runner up in Europe!!! 

3 learners holding microbits and design for do your bit project

The success has been posted on the Micro:Bit webpage along with the answers to a few questions that our amazing team had to give: 

How do you feel being runners-up in Europe?
– ‘Amazed, surprised, actually can’t believe it, it’s just WOW!’ 

Why did you choose to tackle the problem of animals becoming extinct?
– ‘A lot of animals are becoming extinct and food chains are being damaged so we wanted to think of a way to help.’ 

How long have you been using the micro:bit?
– ‘We have only used them 3 or 4 times but we loved them.’ 

 How has taking part in do your:bit inspired you?
– ‘We want to know more about what the Micro:Bits can do as well as help the environment.’ 

What will you create next?
– ‘Maybe a similar kind of thing but more for plants/ flowers, different types of nature.’ 

Well done team, Noblehill are very proud of you!
Lindsey Kirkwood, Principal Teacher, Noblehill Primary School


Using Easi-Speak to develop storytelling and writing by Lynn Eileen Allison, Hoddom Primary in Dumfries and Galloway

We have been using film literacy and voice-recording to develop our learners’ comprehension of a text.


We watched this video: Dragon Slayer | A Short Film by Robert Kuczera and then used stills from it after the viewing to ‘read it’. The pupils in the class were given one picture each to make notes about what they
could see in their photo. They were then asked to put the photos in order that they felt the story took

Having put the images in chronological order they were asked to use their notes to narrate the story by using an Easi-Speak microphone, which in a previous lesson they had been taught how to use, to record and download. Listening to what had happened, it was passed onto the next speaker to build upon the story with their own ideas.

The class loved developing the story and sharing their narration with other classes. So, the following week  they were given a storyboard with fewer shots and asked to retell their story by adding a twist to the story line. Once again, the children enjoyed developing their personal story, with the ideas they had previously generated as a class.


This is the story board they used:

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Self Portraits on Purple Mash from Cargenbridge Primary in Dumfries and Galloway

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Learning at Home with Troqueer Primary School, Dumfries and Galloway

by Cathy Mackenzie, Acting Depute Head Teacher and P6/7 Class Teacher

This video demonstrates Troqueer Primary School’s approach to using Microsoft Teams to support learning at home. Troqueer Primary School have used Microsoft Teams alongside other communication methods, such as our school website and the ‘ConnectUs’ school app, to support children to learn at home. A sustainable model was developed in which the school, which has 10 classes and a Nursery class, was split into 3 large cohort teams with groups of teachers supporting learners. The Nursery staff support learners through their Learning Journals app.

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Every week staff work together to create a weekly learning grid for each cohort Teams group across P1-P3, P4-P5 and P6-P7. This has enabled collaborative working across the school whilst also taking account of the varied roles staff are undertaking, including supporting childcare in hubs. We have made use of other Office365features, including Microsoft Forms, within some of the learning grids. The weekly learning grids encourage children to take part in activities that support wellbeing, life-skills and independence alongside their curricular tasks. A group of staff have collaborated to create whole school interdisciplinary learning activities that are progressive and engaging, linked to a theme of habitats, followed by food. A whole-school learning context was adopted to help families that might have children learning at home across different age groups to learn together. These grids are posted on the school app, website and Microsoft Teams. Children are encouraged to share their learning or ask questions about their work on the weekly learning grid channel on Microsoft Teams.

Wellbeing and supporting interaction between learners and staff has been a major focus of our approach. We have created a range of welcome videos which are frequently shared on our school app and Microsoft Teams. We have also developed other videos to enable learners to see their teachers, such as story videos for younger learners and a series of ‘Around the World’ videos for P4-P7. The playground blether channel enables learners to chat online in a safe environment which is monitored by staff. There are several live chats each week and we are starting to include the use of audio features for these. Children can come along to these to take part in fun discussion tasks, quizzes and other activities with their teachers and peers.



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A Selfie in Isolation! North West Community Campus, Dumfries and Galloway

A Selfie in Isolation

by Jamie McKie, Primary Teacher from North West Community Campus in Dumfries and Galloway.

A Selfie in Isolation, an activity shared by Nicola Orr (@MrsOrrCPS) on Twitter has been used many times by teachers across the country.  Her resources can her found here.

Due to everyone being in lockdown, we’re experiencing home-schooling, coming together as a community and a whole bunch of emotions too! The children gave themselves something to look back on by taking a ‘selfie in isolation’. This could be completed as a family, with a pet or on your own – completely their choice!

To complete this activity, the children had to download the template and then insert appropriate sized text boxes to include information underneath the sub-headings and upload a selfie in the middle. The pupils were encouraged to be creative with font, size and colour. The result and engagement from learners towards this task was very positive and rewarding, I’m sure you’ll agree.