Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee La Frayere Bocca, Cannes!

Kaitlyn and Darcy show off their Christmas card


Our tree (sapin) with questions and statements
The nursery class at La Frayere

Today we sent Christmas greetings to our partner school in Cannes, France.  The nursery children there showed us their cadeux (presents) from Pere Noel (Father Christmas) and their sapin (Christmas tree).  We found out about Christmas traditions in France and asked them some questions about the galette des Rois, a special pie which they slice up and whoever finds the bean inside becomes the King or Queen.

International Migrants Day

Yesterday we found out why people come to different places to live.  We found out that people have moved around for a long time even people on Fetlar had to move when they were cleared off the land in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  We researched about migrants in Scotland and how there are not many of them or refugees so people shouldn’t be worried. We also thought that if we help them they could help us by teaching us new things.  We sent a letter to Tavish Scott to ask him to let more migrants come here. We also found our that the UNCRC says in article 22 that migrant or refugee children should have the same opportunities as children here in Fetlar. @UN #migrantsday

Planting new trees

Today with the help of one of our ferrymen Pete we learned life skills and planted out lots of trees in the school grounds and in ‘Fetlar forest’.  We tried different planting techniques ensuring the location and equipment were right before we laid them down.  Pete showed us how to space out the saplings so the roots don’t compete with each other and grow well.

We have chosen Global Goal #15 as one of our main goals for our life on Fetlar and so helping to look after the land and plants on it is important to us.

Also as a rights respecting school it gives us a chance to apply Article 29 from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child which states that we have a right to take part in activities which help us be the best we can be.

Amazingly, while we were in Fetlar Forest we temporarily disturbed a long eared owl nesting in the conifer trees.  We got a little clip of it flying above us. I hope you’re just as excited as us.

Thank you Sainsbury’s, Woodland Trust, Peoples Postcode lottery and Yorkshire Tea for funding this initiative.

Geographical and cultural partnership with school in Cannes

Fetlar have a partner school La Frayere in La Bocca district, Cannes on the Cote  in France.  This morning we shared some British songs with the nursery (maternelle) department and they sang some songs in French and English to us.  One of our children said ‘I was a little confused about what to say to them at first but that will get easier’ another said ‘It was funny to see them having a group hug but that’s what nursery children do sometimes’.  Our nursery child liked that they learned a song which we can sing in French and English as well.

We are going to meet up every few weeks to share Christmas preparations with them.



UK Parliament Week #vote100 Women’s right to vote in Shetland

Thanks to Marsali Taylor for giving us a presentation on the fight for the right to vote in Shetland.  We had lots of drama activities to help us understand aspects of a complicated and long drawn out campaign.  We also made a timeline and found out about the main reasons for women wanting the vote then.  We then completed a ‘diamond 9’ reasoning poster to display what we thought the order of those main ideas were. Aaron thought that some of the reasons just ‘stood out’ for him so it was easy to order them.

Discovering the Archives and King Magnus Lawmender exhibition

The smallest writing from Yell.
Record of food distributed to Fetlar crofters in 1804
Teacher at Fetlar. A daily record 1890.
More teachers daily records.
Minutes of Suffrage meetings held in 1909. Very few left in the world.
Biggest book!
Ephemera book.
Finding the Suffrage minutes book.
Parchment and hide books.


Finding the location of a document in the repository.


How to treat naughty children in the middle ages.


How to ‘swaddle’ a baby


Part of the exhibition on medieval Norway.
Comparisons of life for children from different social classes in Shetland during the medieval times,

Smallest writing






Yesterday the children from Fetlar visited the Shetland Museum and Archives and gained VIP access to the repository (place where very important documents about Shetland are held)The found the oldest, largest, smallest and animal hide written documents held there.  The documents are held in a specially protected vault and they got to press the button to operate the storage mechanism.  They looked at documents as part of their topic on Fetlar past and present including school records and minutes of suffrage meetings held in Shetland.   They also were shown around the exhibition showing how children and the poor existed in medieval Norway and Shetland, and how King Magnus Lawmender‘s new law code of 1274 affected society here and in Norway.   Thanks so much to the amazing team at the Museum.

I’m a scientist get me out of here!

Today the children at Fetlar teamed up with scientists from the Wellcome institute in London to find out what was involved in being a scientist.  They’d previously decided on chatting with scientists in the sustainability zone due to the work they’ve been carrying out on Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals.

In order to prepare the children prepped by discussing the qualities they felt that a scientist needed to effectively carry out their jobs. They then thought up some questions they’d like to ask and we scheduled a live chat session for half an hour.

Once the live chat started time flew and an incredible number of questions and answers were carried out.  ‘It was amazing because I loved how there was always a new question being asked either by us or the scientists’ was Aarons comment and Jack said ‘ I really enjoyed the chat because I learned lots of new things and also liked teaching the scientists!’

Mrs Kavanagh’s trip to Cannes

Mrs Kavanagh went to Cannes in the south of France during the holidays with other teachers from Shetland. She visited some primary schools, taught some lessons, visited centres of cultural important and experienced traditional cuisine. She’s really looking forward to sharing her knowledge with children on the northern Isles.

As part of the Erasmus programme and facilitated by LfEE’s Richard Tallaron and Julie D’Eathe in Shetland, Fetlar will link up with L’ecole primaire Bocca la Frayere. We will hopefully grow in understanding of each other through discussion in each others languages and sharing information. Thank you to everybody involved, including the Head teacher Gerard and teacher Aline at la Frayere, who along with other French teachers will be visiting Shetland at the beginning of November.  We look forward to showing them a warm Shetland welcome.

NSPCC Visit 2nd October 2018

Thank you Heather Smith from the NSPCC for your visit to Fetlar Primary School today.  The children are much more aware of the rights in the context of their personal safety than before and what they can do to get the help of a trusted adult.