Fair Isle Primary School, Shetland

News from Britain's most geographically isolated school

FIPS Fundraising Coffee Morning!

November 23, 2023 by Miss Stout | 0 comments

Last week was Children in Need week, so we decided to host a coffee morning for the isle on Friday 17th November.  We decided to raise money for two charities:  Children in Need and UNICEF.  We are learning about children’s rights this year. Through no fault of their own, children’s rights are not always met around the world.  This might be because of war, natural disasters or poverty.  The situation in Gaza/Israel is devastating. UNICEF is one of many charities helping to bring aid to people who need food, water and medical supplies. We are proud that we can do something to help.

For the coffee morning, we designed games such as: guess how many sweets in the jar, guess Pudsey’s birthday, an IRN BRU coin slide and an amazing raffle! Lots of people in the community gave us raffle items. Staff and parents made mouth-watering cakes and we made some tasty shortbread in school. The day before the coffee morning, we walked to the shop to buy all the ingredients plus some prizes, some raffle items and sweets for the jar. Later on, we made up the mixture and baked it in the oven. It was delicious!

On Friday morning, we set up the hall with UNICEF posters and pictures of Pudsey, along with all the tables and chairs needed.  We got to wear our fantastic Children in Need T-shirts which were special because… we got to colour them in which was fun, although we don’t know what will happen to them when we wash them!

As it was Triona’s birthday, the whole hall sang happy birthday to her and she had a little cake with a candle to blow out.  She turned 79.

Ander won the coin slide (again as he won this at the Harvest festival one).  Neil got the closest answer for the number of sweets in a jar (96 when there were 94). Andrew won ‘guess Pudsey’s birthday’ and got a box of chocolates. Many people won raffle prizes.  Eileen and Amy got huge boxes of school veg.  Luca won the Fair Isle knitted hat.  Gillian won the Shetland tea towel (that she put in!) and Dave and Elizabeth seemed to have very good luck!  Some BT workmen came along too which was nice of them and one of the workmen won the Terry’s Mint Chocolate Orange – he kindly gave it to the school kids to share between them… yum yum!

People bought many raffle tickets and gave generous donations on the door. Thank you to Ross Thomson for his amazing donation from afar.  In the end, we raised an incredible £600 that we split between the charities!  What an amazing community!


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November 7, 2023
by Miss Stout

Rights Respecting School Award

We were recently awarded our Bronze Certificate: Rights Committed after sharing our action plan and self-evaluation with UNICEF.  We will continue to work on developing our understanding of Children’s Rights over the coming months.

Halloween 2023

November 2, 2023 by Miss Stout | 0 comments

The children had a fun day full of Halloween activities. Heidi and Ander did some Halloween spelling and addition. Luca and Harris wrote spooky stories with a focus on descriptive adjectives then read them to our Primary 1s. Freyja researched the history of Halloween to write a piece for the Fair Isle Times. All children created Halloween decorations in woodwork which involved measuring, sawing, hammering nails and decorating! We had a party in the afternoon with games and bobbing for apples. After school, the children and little Brodie went guising around some of the crofts, performing their Halloween sketch!


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Birdwatching and Farewell Sally

October 30, 2023 by Miss Stout | 0 comments

Last Friday was our final session with Ranger Sally (Fair Isle Bird Observatory) before she leaves Fair Isle for her next venture, completing her masters and researching puffins! The children loved working with Sally this year and have enjoyed the activities she has organised, such as building a bug hotel, pond dipping, rock pooling, making trawler nets and searching for plankton, and citizen science projects like The Big Seaweed Search and submitting data from our annual beach clean (Da Voar Redd Up) to the Marine Conservation Society.

Most recently, Sally has taught the children about bird migration so our final session was a local walk to identify migratory birds. We found 10 different birds on the chart Sally gave us. We will miss Sally and wish her all the best!


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CHROMA visit

October 22, 2023 by Miss Stout | 0 comments

CHROMA came to Fair Isle and worked with us all week on a creative project.  It was about El Gran Grifon, a Spanish Armada ship that was wrecked on Fair Isle 435 years ago.  We met Claire, the producer, and the musicians – Lydia plays the oboe, Caroline plays violin, Stu plays clarinet and Jo plays the bassoon. We got to compose our own music and we learned an Elizabethan sword dance with Claire

We went to Muckli Uri Geo to collect shells, pebbles, bits of seaweed and other things.  We used these things to make necklaces and other crafts.  Jo showed us macramé knotting.

We did some writing in class as though we were the Captain’s hen aboard the Gran Grifon. The story was read out as part of our show.

We did a performance in front of the whole island.

Harris played the triangle and drums. Luca played a different sounding drum and Chinese bells. Heidi used a washboard looking instrument and castanets. Ander played a drum and triangle, and Freyja played the fiddle with bells on her foot!

Our story was read out loud whilst we played and then we did our sword dance; it was brilliant fun!

After that, Chroma played some really good Spanish tunes.

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Harvest Fundraiser

September 28, 2023 by Miss Stout | 0 comments

On Sunday 24th September, it was our community Harvest fundraising event. The children came up with two games for people to play at 50p a go:

Guess the length of the carrot (from our school garden) in mm.

Guess how many corn kernels in the jar (this was tricky … and we actually counted every single one beforehand).

We also donated a box of our vegetables to the table for people to buy. Steven bought it – thank you! There was a raffle, a lucky dip for the children and delicious home bakes. The adults played ‘slide the pound coin to the whisky bottle’ (closest wins the bottle) and the children played ‘slide the 10p to the Irn Bru’ which Ander won!

All the money raised will be split between the Goodwill Village in India and support for Morocco and Libya.


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Rock Pooling at Muckle Uri Geo

September 15, 2023 by Mrs Maxwell | 0 comments

On Wednesday afternoon, we met with Ranger Sally (FI Bird Observatory) and Nick (our local nature expert) at South Lighthouse for a rock-pooling session.  Some of the children’s finds included brittle starfish, tiny shrimp-like creatures, shore crabs, anemones and a variety of sea-snails. We used an identification chart to find out the names of different types of seaweed.  Nick took a couple of samples home to examine further and confirmed that the tiny banded snail that Luca found is called Cingula trifasciata and is a first record for Fair Isle.  Nick explained that it has been recorded across Orkney with a scattering of records in Shetland (according to National Biodiversity Network).
The children had a wonderful time and it was a lovely, sunny day to be outdoors, learning more about the flora and fauna of our beautiful isle. Thank you Sally and Nick!

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Visit to the George Waterson Memorial Centre and Museum

September 13, 2023 by Mrs Maxwell | 0 comments

The 10th September 2023 marked 100 years since the War Memorial in Fair Isle was unveiled.  This afternoon the pupils visited our island’s museum to learn more from Anne and to see some exhibits linked to WWI and WWII.  Anne showed us a traditional Fair Isle scarf that belonged to a Spitfire pilot.  It was knitted by the pilot’s sister and worn on each flight.  We worked out that the scarf was approximately 80 years old.  Next we looked at variety of French handkerchiefs that were gifts for loved ones that soldiers brought back from the war. We saw a pair of baby shoes from 1945 and plaques that soldiers’ families received if they had died on duty; many Fair Isle soldiers were killed by disease rather than in battle.  Anne showed us a fragment from a bomb dropped on South Lighthouse during WWII.  We also looked a special device from WWI that was used to peek out of trenches.  It was extremely heavy!  Before we left, we explored the different exhibits on display and asked questions.  We are lucky to have a memorial museum like ours to learn more about the history of our isle.

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