Gathering Learning from around Scotland

November 17, 2023
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Steady Hands Stage 1

We have started a new STEM project. Building some Steady Hand games for our Christmas Fayre.

Children working on making a steady hand game with wire & cardboard boxes

Yesterday me and my class were making steady hand games in the makerspace for the Christmas fayre. The games that buzz at you when you touch a shaped wire with a hoop.


We were making a steady hand game it is a game you need to get all the way across if it beeps you are out. We were in the maker space and mr j wanted us to make a cool game. We made it because all the classes need to make thing for the Christmas fair so people would pay 10p to play and if they win the game you will get a sweet.


I also used my skills to make a box which is stable enough which was done using the make-do so that I can connect the metal wire to the box and have it not fall over.
I have also included a light and buzzer but doing that made the buzzer take all the power and the light wouldn’t turn on and the buzzer barely went.


I was with Alexia we had some mistakes like when we were duck taping the crocodile clips but the thing kept falling off it was frustrating but we got to the end eventually we just have to connect the wire.


In the MakerSpace me and my partner learned how to solve problems, one of the main problems we had was when one of the wires was not working, although it was tedious my partner and I got all the wires tested and turns out the one to actually play the game with was broken, when we found that out we had to swap the wire and wire the game up and it was worth it because it worked really well afterwards.


6 steady hand games

The pupils worked really well with their partners, using their experience with circuits and working with cardboard. I a looking forward to seeing them when they are finished.

We have a couple more stages to go and will be making other games for the attendees of our Christmas Fayre.

November 10, 2023
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Arcade Fun

Yesterday the class joined in with the Create-a-long session broadcast in Teams by Digital NL and Education Scotland as part of #CSScotland23.

We had a bit of bother with the sound, so had get caught up this morning.

The session showed how to make a simple maze game with Microsoft MakeCode Arcade. The class changed the games a little to have a Christmas theme, we hope to use them at our Christmas Farye.

I was impressed by how easily the class managed to work around any problems. Their experience with micro:bit coding and scratch helped.

After we finished the game we started loading them onto our kitronic arcade devices. This took a bit of patience as our AirDrop has become flaky recently.

A montage of screenshots  some makecode arcade games.
Screenshot of the games online

The children have lots of ideas on how to extend the games and are exploring the tutorials to find other ones that we can use. Here are links to some of the games. I’ve not got links of them all yet.

November 10, 2023
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Banton Mill

Last Friday we went a trip to Banton Mill. The was organised by Mr Carter, Mr Morecroft & Mr Barrie. Mr Barrie is the owner of the mill which is now the headquarters of Calders and the home of around 30 businesses. Mr Carter & Mr Morecroft are local history experts.

We learnt about how the mill operated, the water wheel and how it connected to the machinery. We also found out a lot about mill workers and the way the building had changed.

We had a tour underneath the mill to se where the water wheel used to turn, and the remains of the old spinning rooms.

Back in school we investigated how water wheels turn and made model pulley systems from lego.

Lego Pulleys

We also used the trip and work in the class to practise our note taking, the children produced some great mind-maps, here are a couple:

Montage of mind maps produced by pupils about Banton Mill and its workings
Montage of mind maps produced by pupils about Banton Mill and its workings
Banton Mill

October 31, 2023


We had our Halloween party on Friday last week. We took photos of all the Biggies against a green screen.

Greenscreen images

Today we took the photos and used the remove.bg site to take away the green background to make transparent versions. We then found suitable background and created these images in Keynote. This allowed us to think about and practise using images in a way that respects copyright while having fun and learning a bit about graphics.

October 26, 2023
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Autumn Haiku

After reading Write Out: Gathering Sensory Details for Haiku on Kevin’s blog I though we could join in. We are a little late for Write Out which inspired this, on holiday last week.

We watched the video embedded on Kevin’s blog and looked at his classes examples. Then we went out into the playground. A cold breeze and some drizzle did stop the Biggies gathering words. Back inside we polished these a little.

October 13, 2023
Comments Off on A walk around High Banton

A walk around High Banton

On Tuesday, as part of out outdoor learning day, the Biggies had a walk around High Banton. We are studying the way people lived in Banton in the past so went to look at the houses and landscape.

First we had to get our selves kitted out with wellies and water proofing because it would be very muddy and wet at the bit that we would be going to. It was all the way up at drum Nessie farm in High Banton. We started by turning right at the end of the school. Road and then you fallow the road up to the cattery that is at the top of the road and then we saw what looked like a 19th century house and it had been done up it looked amazing.

Going through the cow field

Through the mud. A group of children walking through a muddy field

First we were tasked with a problem we had to go through a field full of cows. And that was the only way through so we had to we started by climbing over the gate but then we realised that the cows were all the way over at the other side of the field so we were fine.


Next we saw a garage that could have been a old house because it was built of rocks. …

We came out at the swan and got a picture of that because it first opened in 1853. Across the road from the swan there was a house that was built in 1811. We know that because it was engraved on the stone above the door.

Rebuilt 1854


Banton Mill
Banton Mill

We then went down one of the roads out of Banton to the mill and took some pictures of it. The mill is really old and was opened in 1836 which is about 200 years ago. When we were coming back we saw the old police house that is just a normal house now but use to be the old police station for Banton. Then we were on the road the school is on and we got a picture of the newest house in Banton that was only finished this year.

In conclusion I really enjoyed the walk and it was nice to see the old houses and buildings in person and not on a screen. I was also nice to walk about and and see the old houses that people would have lived in a long time ago and still do. I didn’t really like all the muddy puddles but other than that I loved it.


A satellite map of our walk.

In school 

When we had went back to school and we looked at all the pictures and we thought of where the were and cut the pictures that Mr J had taken and a map that he printed. We stuck the map on to a sheet of a paper and the the picture’s around the map. We had drawn lines to where the places were and if we knew the name of the place we wrote that and like The Swan and when it was made 1815.


March 3, 2021
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e-Sigol STEM online

We have been taking part in the e-sigol STEM activities, with Gail MacVicker.

Today we planned and set up our experiments for testing fertilisers.

We will try egg shells, coffee grinds, grass cuttings, tea leaves and carrot peelings. We had a think about all the things we needed to keep the same, and that the only thing we wanted to be different was the fertiliser.

Preparing our fertilisers.

Weighing our soil so all the pots are the same.

Measuring our water so they all get the same.

September 22, 2020
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Wednesday 23rd September 2020

Many congratulations to those pupils who celebrated their First Communion last night. It really was a beautiful Mass. Please keep in your prayers the following Primary 5 pupils who will receive their First Holy Communion in Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral this evening:

Emily McIlvanney

Michael McGinnis

Jared Lafferty

Julia Lis

Nina McCarthy

Molly McCarthy

Jacob McKean

Emma O’Hara

Kornelia Mirek

Please remember that tomorrow is an inservice day and that Friday and Monday are holidays. I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend… see you on Tuesday.




September 22, 2020
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Tuesday 22.09.20

Primary 6/7 worked on answering word problems using their place value skills.

After that we looked at items to include in our Agents of Rights Tool kit.

We thought about what each item could represent and how we can use them to show people how they help us remember our rights.


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