All posts by Mr Billen

First Ministers Reading Challenge


Abernyte Primary has signed up to take part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, an exciting new reading initiative for children in Primary 4 – 7 (everyone is taking part in our school), delivered by Scottish Book Trust on behalf of the Scottish Government. We hope the challenge can be very much a home-school partnership with challenges taking place at school and at home, with books from school and where possible, from home.

Pupils will have a Reading Passport and Reading Challenge Record to keep track of their reading journey during the Challenge. They will have the opportunity to create their own reading challenges, as well as taking part with the wider school. You will find information about how you can support your child on the Reading Challenge website,

 What are we doing in school?  

  • Reading will be celebrated in a variety of ways and have a high profile in our school e.g. with displays throughout the school, an interactive recommendations wall and a competition to see who can be photographed reading in the most obscure or entertaining location and displaying them in school (start taking your photos anytime now and hand them in);
  • All the adults in the school will act as reading role models (if you know of any guest speakers who would like to come in and talk to the children about reading then please do let us know);
  • Books will be embedded in activities across the curriculum;
  • Reading for pleasure will be integrated into daily routine and time will be given for children to set and keep track of their reading challenges;
  • We will be holding a Reading Challenge Community Open Day.

What can you do at home?

Encouraging a love of reading is really important for children, so have a look at the hints and tips on the Reading Challenge website. Little things you can do to support your child include:

  • Signing up and visiting the library together
  • Discussing your favourite books
  • Making time for quiet reading

Scottish Book Trust have also put together some book recommendations to help children start their reading journey. You can search through these together on the website where there are over 300 titles, as well as book lists submitted by from children’s writers, well-known public figures, learning professionals and more.

Children and families are also encouraged to submit their own book lists – you can do so by emailing no more than 10 titles along with a short paragraph about who you are and the theme of your list to

When does the Reading Challenge take place?

The challenge will run from now until June 2017. We’re excited to be taking part and hope that you can join in the fun too!  If you require any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

“Flushable” Wipes?


In response to recent reports in the news (, pupils designed and conducted their own fair experiment to test where or not “flushable” wipes really are suitable for flushing.  According to the voluntary code that guides manufacturers, wipes should break down in the water system within 3 hours, but the sooner the better, so as not to block pipes and sewage systems.

After 3 hours, we found that only the toilet paper had broken down:after-2-hours

After 1 WEEK, the only “flushable” wipe to break down to any degree was Andrex, the rest were ripped in places but almost whole.

Lucy(P7) reports: “After 3 hours only the toilet paper broke down but after a week Andrex broke down too.”

Maya (P4) reports “Out of the wipes the Andrex was the best and the least best was the Kirkland Signature.”

Ellen (P5) reports: “I learned to not flush wipes down the toilet even if they say “flushable” on them”.

Early Learning and Childcare Parent and Carer Consultation Nov–Dec 2016


All families in Perth & Kinross with babies, under fives and school aged children are encouraged to give their views on

  • the future delivery of Early Learning and Childcare (formerly known as Pre-School Education)
  • their experience of arranging and using childcare services
  • their anticipated needs around childcare in the future

You can complete the online survey by going to  ELC Parent & Carer Consultation 2016

The survey will close on 31 December 2016.

Paper copies of the survey form are available from all Local Authority Nursery Classes and on request from
Tel 01738 472350 Email or
Childcare Strategy Team, Community Wing, Perth Grammar School, Gowans Terrace PERTH PH1 5AZ

Titanic Junk Modelling

We have been learning to “upcycle” materials that would have otherwise been thrown out, to create 3D models of the Titanic (or it’s life boats).  We learned lots about design and overcoming problems through trail and error or by responding to feedback.

Here are our finished models:

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Junior Carsonians’ trip to Megginch Castle


Lucy (P7) reports:

“We went to Megginch Castle and learnt about the first women marine engineer called Victoria Drummond. We got a tour around the castle where she lived with her family. Her dad worked for Queen Victoria and Queen Victoria became her god mother. In the castle there were a lot of old things like the sled Napoleon used to escape, pictures of her family, old music playing stuff and secret passages (we even got to go inside one of them). Victoria knew she wanted to do marine engineering so she went and did her exam, but they did not want to let her pass it because she was a woman. Instead of failing her they failed every one. But she did not give up she did her exam 37 times! before they let her pass it. We looked round the rooms we even went into the dungeon! After we had finished looking inside we went outside – we went and saw her grave and the little church beside it. I really enjoyed the trip and would like to learn a lot more about Victoria Drummond.”