All posts by Mrs Aitken

P3M Poles Apart

This term Primary 3M have been learning about the Arctic and Antarctic in our Poles Apart context.

We have learned about the climate there and how to compare it to our own, and other climates around the world. We have also learned about some of the animals that live there and the ways in which they have adapted so that they can survive. Creating a factfile with a partner was a good way to collect this information.

Our trip to Dunblane Library last month was a lovely afternoon and we took part in a fun quiz about some differences between the North and South Poles while we were there. The books we brought back to school have been very useful for finding out more facts. To say thank you we wrote letters to the library as our assessed writing piece this term.

A fun highlight of this context was doing science – especially since our experiments involved ice poles! We saw the changing states of water through boiling, freezing, melting and condensation and thought of examples of this that we often see in real life. Some other ice poles then became ice trolls (fictional creatures from Antarctica) which needed insulated during their trip to Dunblane. We predicted which materials would be the most successful to make their jackets and tested each one over a 15 minute period. After these experiments the ice trolls (poles) mysteriously vanished… perhaps they evaporated!

“I learned that polar bears don’t always stay on land. I didn’t know that before.” Lillian

“I liked learning about how the animals adapted to survive in that place.” Callum

“The North Pole is a much safer place than the South Pole.” Olivia

“I enjoyed making coats for the Ice Trolls.” Keir

“I liked when we did the experiments with the kettle and how the water turned into gas.” Laurence

“I learned that penguins have never seen a polar bear before. I thought that they both lived in the same place.” Charlotte

P3A – Visit to Dunblane Library

On Thursday 12th September P3A went to Dunblane Library to look at some books about the Arctic and Antarctica. When we arrived Angela read us a story called ‘Geronimo’ by David Walliams. It was about a penguin who thought he could fly. After that, Angela did a quiz with us and we had to tell her which animals were from the Arctic and which ones were from Antarctica. Then Angela gave us some non-fiction books which would help with our learning about ‘Poles Apart’. We got to look at them and find out more facts with our friends. Angela said we can keep some of these books at school while we are learning about ‘Poles Apart’.

What we enjoyed:

‘I enjoyed when Angela read us the story.’ (Heidi)

‘I liked when me and all my friends were looking at a book together. We thought the pictures of the penguins were very funny.’ (Jackson)

‘I liked finding out more about Antarctica’ (Hayden)

‘I liked when my friends were looking at the books with me.’(Grace M)


What we learned:

‘I learned about 5 types of penguins.’ (Connor)

‘I learned that penguins swallow food then bring it up to feed their babies.’ (Ronan)

‘I learned that Antarctica is a continent.’ (Hannah)

‘I learned that people use polar bear fur for jumpers and rugs.’ (Keira)

Antarctic Adventures

On Wednesday 16th January we went on a really looooong journey…all the way to Antarctica! Our tour guides for the trip were Mr and Mrs McCreath who were entertaining, informative and lots of fun. Our journey started with a song played beautifully on the piano by Mrs McCreath – we joined in singing about p-p-p- penguins. We were then introduced to their cuddly penguin who sleeps in Mr and Mrs McCreath’s bed…we thought he might’ve been better sleeping in the fridge or freezer but Mrs McCreath said he quite likes sleeping in the bed. He must be acclimatising! Next up, our expert tour guide Mr McCreath who has recently returned from a 10 day tour of Antarctica shared his experiences and knowledge with us. He went on a boat (more modern than Captain Scott’s) then chose to kayak as part of his tour – we watched videos of him kayaking through the ice and heard it crunching as he paddled. We all loved seeing the photographs of the animals and there were lots of ‘awwwwww’ moments. The penguins were very funny – playing football, tig, sunbathing and even….kissing! We got to pretend to be penguins huddled together in a colony to keep us warm; the penguins at the front then had to waddle to the back when they got too cold. Mr McCreath used 3 of us with our arms outstretched to show us the wingspan of an albatross – it was 3 metres!! We learned that an albatross can stay in the air for about a year without touching the ground – it even sleeps in the air. Our journey came to an end as we got back on the boat and waved goodbye to the penguins.

A few of our favourite parts:

P3A –

Harris M – I thought it was really funny when you told us about the penguins going along their tracks and they kept changing direction and forgetting where they were going.

Helena – I learned that penguins like to steal stones from each other’s nests and I thought it was really funny.

Eva R – I learned that it took Mr McCreath 4 and a half days to get to Antarctica. It sounds like a really long journey – I really want to go there one day.


P3M –

Johnny – I really liked the p-p-p-penguin song because it had some facts in it too.

Emma R – I liked seeing the cuddly toy penguin from Antarctica.

Luke – It was funny seeing the baby wind up penguin hatching out of the egg.


Finally, we would just like to say a massive thank you to Mr and Mrs McCreath – what a wonderful afternoon for the children and teachers!

Our P3 Unity Assembly

On Thursday 4th October, both P3 classes led the assembly.  We had been learning about unity and how important it is to work together. We told the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’ through drama. Our four fabulous narrators, Eva M, Harris K, Rachel and Ruaridh spoke clearly and fluently to tell the story. Our showstopper was singing and dancing to ‘We’re All in This Together’ from High School Musical which highlighted our theme of unity.  Our dancers were very committed and voluntarily spent their lunchtimes learning the dance routines and they were brilliant on the day!

We would like to thank Pamela (Rubber Chicken Theatre) for lending us some props, face painting our actors and glittering our dancers.

Mrs Aitken and Miss McDonald are very proud of our P3 stars!

Well done to you all!


Welcome to P3A!

We have all had a brilliant summer holiday and are enjoying being back at school with all of our friends.

We have had a busy few weeks since we came back to school. We are really enjoying hearing the story of ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’.  Here are some of our favourite parts of the story so far:

Helena – ‘when Grandma has her new medicine’
Rachel – ‘when George starts cooking the medicine’
Fraser S – ‘When Grandma grew really tall and went through the roof’
Findlay – ‘I liked when George was finding all the ingredients for the medicine; especially the animal pills’

One of the first things we did was describe George and Grandma using adjectives. Here is a photo of what we thought of them both:

Next, we used watercolour paints to create our own medicine bottle.  Leah, Orlaith, Rachel, Farah, Fraser S, Jack, Findlay and Yasmin loved mixing the colours together. We then thought of a name for our medicines and wrote a label to explain what the medicine was for.

We looked at our Twitter page and we then thought about the story so far and wrote our own hash tag summaries.  Some of these are:

#hidetheemptynbottles (Rachel)
#potionfizz (Leah)
#Grandmaishorrible (Orlaith)
#Grandmaisweird (Luca)
#eatmorecabbage (Eva)
#Georgeissad (Finlay)

We have also written our own tweets as if we were Grandma telling everyone what happened the day she tried George’s medicine.

We are learning how to use a dictionary in class and have created our own ‘George’s Marvellous Dictionary’. We found the definitions of words from the story and added these to our own dictionary.


We can’t wait to read the rest of the story and find out what happens next.

Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast

On Wednesday 20th June, we were invited to Dunblane High School to watch the dress rehearsal of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. We walked so fast that we got there 10 minutes early.  When we arrived we sat in comfy chairs that were up high so we got a good view of the stage.

Our favourite parts:

– When Belle fell in love with the Beast (Lucy G)
– Seeing Belle wearing a beautiful dress (Marissa)
– When Mrs Potts asked LeFou if he wanted a cup of tea and hit him in the face (Grace)
– When they sang ‘Be Our Guest’ (James)
– When Beauty and the Beast became friends (Eva)
– I liked all the costumes; especially the Beast one (Phoebe)
– We thought the actor of the Beast looked like he was from ‘The Greatest Showman’. He was a good singer too (Zoe, Rosie, Amy and James)
– It was funny when Beauty and the Beast kissed (Rosie)

The best part was getting to go onto the stage – we got our photos taken with some of the cast.

Thank you for letting us ‘Be your Guests’.

Why we love Dunblane…

Our context this term is ‘Dunblane Detectives’.
We have been talking about all the things we love about Dunblane. Below are a few of our list poems about why we love Dunblane. Enjoy…

I love Dunblane because there is lots of places to go and explore.
I love Dunblane because it is fun.
I love Dunblane because the wildlife is nice.

I love Dunblane because there’s lots of places to explore.
I love Dunblane because there is a fun swimming place called the Hydro.
I love Dunblane because there are restaurants with good food.
I love Dunblane because there is a good Tennis Club.
I love Dunblane because the weather is always different so it is a surprise every day.
I love Dunblane because people are healthy.
I love Dunblane because it’s a happy place.
I love Dunblane because there’s good schools.

I love Dunblane because it has bins to put litter in.
I love Dunblane because it has good places to go.
I love Dunblane because people are collecting rocks and you re-hide them too.
I love Dunblane because I like the books in the library.
I love Dunblane because it has Newton Primary in it.
I love Dunblane because the people are nice.
I love Dunblane because I live there.
I love Dunblane because it has hundreds of places to walk.
I love Dunblane because it rains a lot so flowers can grow.
I love Dunblane because I live near the corner shop.
I love Dunblane because I live near the school.
I love Dunblane because I live near the clubs I go to.

I love Dunblane because there are lots of things to measure.
I love Dunblane because it has the best schools.
I love Dunblane because it is the best place in the world.

I love Dunblane because there are a lot of clubs.
I love Dunblane because there’s a swimming pool.
I love Dunblane because I have a lot of friends.
I love Dunblane because my Gran and Grandad live in the same street.
I love Dunblane because I have the best life.

I love Dunblane because there are lots of places to explore.
I love Dunblane because it has a really good Dunblane Centre.
I love Dunblane because it is a cheerful place.
I love Dunblane because it is not too hot and not too cold.
I love Dunblane because there are lots of places to walk.
I love Dunblane because there are loads of shops.
I love Dunblane because it’s small.
I love Dunblane because there’s lots of parks.


Our trip to Almond Valley

On Friday 27th April, we went on a big bus to Almond Valley. It took about 50 minutes to get there. When we arrived Mrs Aitken went in to tell the staff that we had arrived. Then we all got off the bus and put our packed lunches in the Picnic Barn so we didn’t need to carry them around with us. After that, we had our snack as we were walking to see the animals. Some of the animals we saw were rabbits, goats, ducks, guinea pigs, turkeys, donkeys, hens, pigs, sheep, sheep dogs and birds. Two groups then went to the bouncy cow and the other three groups went to the bouncy pillow and the trampolines to bounce around and have fun. At 11 o’clock, we all went to Morag’s Meadow Soft Play. There were lots of places for us to climb and slide down. Next, we went on the tractor ride – it was bumpy and slow but we got to see some animals. After that we had 15 minutes to go to the play park and then we went to the Oil Shale Adventure Zone. It was so much fun; we got to go down a zip wire, climb up and down ladders, play in a ball pit and run around lots. There was even a wee scary bit with scary music – we liked it in there. At 12.30pm we went to the Picnic Barn to have lunch with our friends. Then we had an hour to choose what we still wanted to see at Almond Valley before we got the bus home. Lots of us were very tired and some of us had a little sleep on the bus.
(Written together by P2A)

‘I loved playing in the play house and going on the secret slide.’ (Luke)

‘I liked going down the hill on a sledge with wheels.’ (Eilidh)

‘I liked it when me, Lottie and Ethan were doing gymnastics on the trampolines.’ (Euan)

‘I loved when our group went to the zip wire because we got Mrs Aitken to go on it by herself.’ (Lucy G)

‘I liked it because my mum was there too.’ (Sofia)

‘I loved doing front flips on the bouncy pillow.’ (James)

‘When me and Amy fell off the bouncy pillow we decided to build ‘Almond Valley’ out of sand.’ (Zoe)

‘At the park, I played music on the xylophone.’ (Johnny)

Thank you to our fabulous parent helpers who joined us on the trip!

P2 Family Learning Afternoon

On Tuesday 27th March we had a fantastic family learning afternoon sharing our learning about measurement. We got to be ‘teachers’ for the afternoon and our parents/grandparents got to be the ‘pupils’.

The activities which were on offer were:

1) Estimating and measuring toy dinosaurs with paperclips
2) Using cubes to measure the length of dinosaur pictures.
3) Estimating and measuring the lengths of items in the classroom with our hands.
4) Estimating and measuring the lengths of items in the classroom with our feet.
5) Measurement scavenger hunt in the playground.
6) Using metre sticks and trundle wheels to measure the length of dinosaurs in the playground.

Here are some photos of us in action:

Lucas – ‘My mummy didn’t really know much about measuring so I liked teaching her all the things she didn’t know.’

George – ‘I liked measuring lots of dinosaurs with my mum.’

Anna –  ‘Me and my mummy had to work together to measure the tree.’

Rosie – ‘I told my dad to bring his measuring tape so we didn’t need to use the trundle wheel.’

Johnny – ‘I taught my grandma how to measure because when she estimated it was not very close to the right answer. Now she knows how to do it.’

Marissa – ‘Granny helped me with the writing and I helped her with the measuring.’


Learning in the Community

On Friday 9th March we walked down to Dunblane Library where we were met by Angela Seaton. When we arrived we sat down on the big rug and listened to Angela as she showed us a non-fiction book all about dinosaurs so we learned lots of new facts! After this, she had a book with lots of dinosaurs in it and we had to choose a number from 1-80 and she would open the page and we would have to try and pronounce the name of the dinosaur first (quite tricky) then she read out a few facts about it. The last book she read us was our favourite – it was called ‘Dinosaur Poo’ by Diane and Christyan Fox. We thought it was really funny and we laughed the whole way through the story. After this, we got to sit with our friends and look at a huge selection of dinosaur books and decide which ones we would like to take back to school.

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Douglas – ‘We looked at lots of non-fiction books.’
Marissa – ‘I liked reading lots of stories about dinosaurs.’
Lucy G – ‘I liked learning lots of dinosaur facts from encyclopedias.’

Next, we walked along to Dunblane Cathedral where we met Mrs Anderson. She spoke to us about what a baptism was and she had a christening gown which was over 90 years old on a doll which some of us got to hold. We learned what a baptismal font was and why some of them have 8 sides. Mrs Anderson chose 4 of us to walk down the aisle pretending to be a mum, dad, godmother and godfather to demonstrate what would happen at a real baptism. We got to decide on the name for the baby. The first time we did it the baby was called ‘Geoffrey Michael’ and the second time we did it the baby was called ‘Elizabeth Austin Bottomley’.

Elita – ‘We learned about christenings and I got to be the Godmother.’
Lottie – ‘I liked being the mum for acting out a baptism.’
Thomas – ‘We looked at the font.’

Finally we had our lunch in the Cathedral Halls and then spend the rest of the afternoon in the Laighills Park. The sun came out for us and we had a great time playing  with our friends!

James – ‘I loved the roundabout.’
Eva – ‘I liked going right up the hill and sliding down the slide.’
Phoebe – ‘I liked going really high on the swings.’