Category Archives: Outside of School

A Feast for the P5s’ Senses – Textures, Colours, Sounds, Movement and Shapes!

The P5s, Mr Renshaw, Miss Brolls and four parent helpers went to the Scottish National Modern Art Galleries (MOD1 and MOD2) off Belford Road in Edinburgh on the 13th of September to take part in an Art Workshop and a tour around our national collections of modern art and enamelled and bejewelled works by the artist Raqib Shaw.

We split into two groups with Art Educators Poppy and Heather and headed















outdoors to explore the sculptures and question, “What is Art?” We went onto the Charles Jencks’ landform, looked at Reclining Figure by Henry Moore and touched Conversation with Magic Stones by Barbara Hepworth.

The childrens’ responses were fascinating. What interested them was very different and they recorded their focus of interest with our i-pads. They then selected from these and used Pic-collage and Book Creator apps to make photo-journals of the day.

Then we took part in using our imaginations and making sculptures ranging from wind turbines, a fox linked to a carving in the artscape, faces within faces, castles, and other ideas based on conversations, digital images or their imaginations. It was fantastic to see them so immersed in the creative task that some children didn’t want to leave to go for a sneak tour at the Emil Nolde colourful paintings exhibition.

Lunch was outside amongst the artworks and a temporary art playground where you are encouraged to touch the works. The Sun Gods were kind and we enjoyed our picnics on the benches.

Then it was inside to see the Tesco Bank Competition winners to give us inspiration for next year and a look at the incredibly detailed artworks by Raqib Shaw. Utterly mesmerising but don’t just take my word for it. Ask your child what inspired them the most from the day and what was their favourite artwork and why.

Most of the two modern a rt galleries are free and you are welcome to picnic in the Resource Room there or outside on the picnic benches. They invite you to Walk, Talk, Move and Make. See or sign up for their newsletter at They are always looking for volunteers!






Other outdoor family fun ideas at

Curious and Curiouser at The National Museum and P5s

Curious and Curiouser
The P5s and 6 parent helpers went on a STEAM outing to The National Museum of Scotland on the 23rd of April 2018. We were met by the two Ruths – Ruth the Enabler and Ruth the Director of Public Programmes (and a parent of Theo) and were introduced to the curious world of possibilities that are our National Museums. Ruth told us about the 25000 objects on display and roused our interest in how we might explore further the excess of 1 million artefacts across all their museums. We were told we might see only 100 in 1 day! Lots to spark the imagination…
We started in the Wildlife Photography exhibit with the finalists in a worldwide annual competition and some very young entrants under 10 years. We then had the challenge to find interesting ways to digitally photograph some of the animals in the Natural World galleries. We are going to select and edit from these to have our very own wildlife photography competition. Our next creative challenge was to sketch in some of the other galleries. Theo suggested the diorama of Scottish wildlife in the basement and we started to draw in our artists ‘sketchbooks’ and did quick drawings as well as more detailed studies with notes. These will be used in creating an artwork back in class.
Finally, we went to the Science and Technology galleries where there is a lot of fun stuff in their great new exhibition spaces – highlights were:
My favourite part of the museum was the Energy exhibition because of the Fun activities:Matthew C

My favourite part was the basement because I saw all the fossils and I also liked the exhibition Oliver doak
My favourite bit is when we got to do free time I loved the hamster wheel. And the exhibition the pictures were cool: Sophie G
I loved playing with the plasma ball and I loved looking and at the pictures though some were really sad . Charlotte C
I had a good time at the museum my favourite part was seeing what we weigh as an animal : Kaylie P
My favourite bit was all of it especially the exhibition we saw weird crazy funny happy and sad things it was a really good experience I had a amazing time me and primary 5 had a great time and I deffinetly go back : Freiah T
The museum was very big and packed with enormous adventures it was also extremely fun one team which was my team lost track of time and almost missed the coach until Miss Anderson found us. We got lost because we were so amused by the wonders of the museum. My favourite area was the animal area because it was very interesting and mesmerising (did you know most of the stuffed animal skin is real!) I also had fun designing a bike but I only got 1/5 stars my star was for her position apparently she could see well. I would go back to visit the museum again to see the art exhibition again and to see Tim Peakes space craft. I HAD AN AMAZING TIME! :Joni Rafferty 

I loved when we went to the energy bit it was my fav bit I liked the hamster ball it was fun :katy 

It was very fun when we sketched the animals .My fav part was the dinosaur bones and the stuffed animals .I found the Viking grave cool because it was a skeleton bones.Emme E

I HAD to then take Miss Anderson’s class to visit my favourite secret part but I’m going to keep that a secret and you will have to discover it for yourself. The only clue that I can divulge is that it is watched over by a mysterious Bog Lady?! AND I didn’t even get to take the pupils to the rooftop for a great view of Edinburgh. A million or more reasons to return. Miss Brolls and P5A

Look out for P5C blogpost of their recount of the visit and for our photography exhibition!

Snow Day Antics and Building Ideas

Move over George Clark and your Amazing Spaces TV programme. I hope some of you took up the Igloo Challenge. Did you manage to make a roof? How did you build it? How could you make it better next time? I know some people made an igloo that could fit ten people inside. How big would that need to be? What questions would you ask an Innuit about their igloo-building skills? What other small shelters are there in warm countries? There are great design ideas on the Tiny House/Homes website and in Scotland some people build huts in woods that can be very inventive so look at the Reforesting Scotland 1000 Huts Movement. How would you design a great den/hut?

I hope you are working on using French every day. In class we are using French colours and in P5-7 Spanish too. Use Google translate or YouTube to find ways to practise these – rouge, orange, jaune, vert, bleu, rose, noir, blanc.

Finally, I hope some of you tried to help others that may have found it difficult to get to the shops for milk and bread. For some people who are HOUSEBOUND this is a problem that faces them every day and not just a Snow Day.

Forget The Beast from the East. Ice Art from Harbin Anyone?


Have a go at making an igloo? With help from adults you can make snow bricks and a great den. How will you decorate the interior?

The Scandinavians have long dark winters but try to create warmth with candles, blankets etc What is Danish hygge?

Check out images of Harbin in China and their amazing snow and ice sculpture event for 3-D ideas.

Go to new places to enjoy the snow and the views. Take some pictures of wintry trees and then use these as an art inspiration. Victoria Crowe is an artist who has done just that. Google her.

What can you make with icicles? What can you make with powdery snow or another kind of snow.

Il neige. It is snowing in French. How many other languages can you say that in? The winner wins an ice-cream. Try making a fun-flavoured ice-cream outside!

If you can get on skis and sledges and swish through The White Stuff!


P7s’ Eye and Mind-Opening Visit to the Gallery of Modern Art One and Two in Edinburgh on the 28th November


Miracles at Mid Calder

A Leither who Left us all Thinking!

P7s went to the National Galleries of Scotland MOD2 on the 28th of November for a tour of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s studio and to explore a few of his sculptures in the gardens and cafe there. They went to explore further the work of this famous Scottish artist, born in Leith, who had great success not only in 3-D work but also in printmaking, collage and textiles.

In class we had discussed the Pop Art movement and worked on Pop Art posters with bright coloured backgrounds and collaged onto these with drawings of what they thought were the most popular cultural items of their times. Now it was time to find out from Duncan and Mo at the National Gallery more about his sculptures of man and machine such as the monumental Vulcan and The Master of the Universe.

So what did we think:

I was amazed by the fantastic responses of the children about the meaning of the artworks and what creative ideas they had. When we looked at the recreation of Paolozzi’s studio we discovered that maquettes were small models for sculptors to work from and we saw the explosion of interesting things he had around him.

Olivia enjoyed seeing the studio that Eduardo Paolozzi had and seeing all the finished and unfinished works that he made. She wants to learn more about him and how he fell in love with Art. Kiera thought it was interesting to see the artwork in his studio and there was lot to see.

Then we got the chance to “play with shapes” and were free to make our own 3-D artworks from card and tape and the pupils rose to this imaginative challenge and got the opportunity to evaluate their peers’ work. The parent helpers, Mrs Ramsay and Mrs Smith were invaluable in encouraging and supporting the frenzy of work.

Bethan enjoyed making the sculptures with her friend but wanted more time to finish them. Calum enjoyed making models and having fun with his friends.

Afterwards some of the children chose to look around some of the NOW exhibit at MOD1 and others chose to play in the sculpture garden. With a smaller group wandering through the sounds and sights of the Turner prize-winning Susan Philipsz’s work it was quite an eerie, melancholic experience with 7 turntables each playing single notes for 17 minutes and in the next room salt paintings of different kinds of tears that linked with the sad music. Really moving. Especially to see some of the least engaged pupils at the start of the day truly immersed in the experience. We had an opportunity to look into the mind and work of a great new artist and in doing so this allowed us to open our minds.

Cade liked the turntables because the men in the rooms told us about them and we got to listen to the sounds but he got bored quite quickly.

Well done to everyone! Great creative thinkers.

Mid Calder Swimmers

It was great to hear that three pupils from Mid Calder PS took part in the West Lothian Schools’ Swimming Championships on Sunday. Bethan, Olivia (both P7) and Fraser (P7/6) had to qualify for these championships and then took part in two races each on the day. Well done to each of them for their achievements! Their results are below:


16/27 Girls 12 and under 50 metre freestyle.

11/17 Girls 12 and under 50 metre butterfly.



12/27 Girls 12 and under 50 metre freestyle.

6/15 Girls 12 and under 50 metre backstroke.



16/21 Boys 12 and under 50 metre freestyle.

5/5 Boys 12 and under 50 metre butterfly.

Loch Insh Residential

As our residential week comes to end, I would like to say a big well done to all the pupils who attended. They all demonstrated their resilience and perseverance by trying all activities and not giving up. They also showed our school values of being responsible and respectful when visiting Culloden and the Highland Wildlife Park.

A big thank you also to Ms Richmond, Miss Sherlow, Miss Anderson, Mrs Combe and Mrs Findlay got attending camp with the pupils and making this trip possible.

It was great to see all the likes and comments on Twitter and we will try and add more photos to the blog next week.

Hope you all don’t have too much washing!