Category Archives: Anytime Anywhere Learning

Capturing the Decisive Moment

Second Level have been working on digital photography leading up to and during Digital Learning Week. Primary 5s led the way after their successful photography trip to the National Museums. The latest challenge involved the young photographers looking at the work of French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson who specialised in street photography in Paris and who was describes as trying to capture ‘the decisive moment’.

They went round the school trying to hunt down interesting subjects and then had the advantage of digitally manipulating their efforts – a luxury in the digital age of i-pads and apps that Cartier-Bresson did not have. They used Art Set, Snap seed and Photoshop express to change a few selected images. The children had to narrow down their winning shots to one and these were then printed off for a school exhibition. They were helped by the Technical troopers from P6 and P7 and Miss Sherlow was on-hand to offer advice on downloading and printing.

A lot of the school-life images focussed on portraits and here is what the pupils said, thought and felt. Some captured the moments of school life in black and white just like the master himself.

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.

Surprise visit to mark Digital School Award

Pupils at Mid Calder Primary and Nursery School had a surprise visit from Donna McMaster, West Lothian Council’s Head of Service for Education Curriculum, Quality Improvement and Performance, recently.

Mrs McMaster dropped in to congratulate the school on gaining national ‘Digital School’ status for excellence in digital technology in teaching and learning.

The Digital Schools Award recognises the dedication and innovation shown by Mid Calder Primary in areas of leadership and vision, digital technology for learning and teaching, school culture, professional development and resources and infrastructure.

Donna McMaster commented: “I was delighted to have been invited to Mid Calder Primary School to congratulate pupils and staff personally on their achievement.

“Mid Calder is the second primary school to achieve the Digital Schools award in West Lothian, earlier this year Kirknewton Primary School was also recognised as a digital school.

“Bathgate Early Years Centre was the first facility to pick up the prestigious award in West Lothian, and it is believed to be the first early years centre in Scotland to achieve the accolade.

“It is fantastic to see the work which has been achieved to embed technology into the school ethos and how technology is being embraced by the pupils, staff, parents and carers.”

Depute Head Teacher, Sarah Burton, Mid Calder Primary, West Lothian said: “The Digital Schools programme offered our school a supportive structure to evaluate our digital learning journey and where we needed to go.”

“It has also enabled our Technical Troopers pupil group, to take on a valuable leadership opportunity within our school. We are very proud of how digital learning is embedded in our school from nursery to primary 7, and this award was a chance to celebrate this work and share with others.”

Digital Schools Award Accreditation

27th June 2017

Dear Mid Calder Primary,

Following your recent Digital Schools Award Scotland validation visit by June Jelly, I am delighted to inform you that Mid Calder Primary School has been successful in its application to become a Digital School in Scotland.

On behalf of all the partners involved in the Digital Schools Award Scotland I would like to congratulate the whole school on achieving this award.

The Digital School Award is recognised by Education Scotland and we are delighted that your school has been among the first to receive this new award.

We are confident that Mid Calder Primary School will be a pioneer among schools where digitally enhanced teaching and learning is helping our children and young people prepare for living and working in the 21st Century.

Kind regards

Aoife O’Connor

Programme Coordinator
Digital Schools Award Scotland

Digital Schools Award Validation Visit

This afternoon, Mid Calder Primary School welcomed a special visitor- Mrs Jelly, a Digital Schools Award validator. The purpose of this was to find out if our school could become the third one in West Lothian Council to be given the Digital Schools Award.

Mrs Jelly’s visit began with a presentation from some of our past and present Technical Troopers who shared examples of the amazing digital learning that goes on in our school. They described Mid Calder’s journey to becoming a Bring Your Own Device school, as well as explaining the impact that this has on both our pupils and staff. Miss Burton and Miss Sherlow also shared the many achievements and recognition Mid Calder has received for our use of a range of digital tools to support and enhance learning.

Mrs Jelly was then invited to visit our nursery and several classes across the school to see digital learning taking place first hand and to engage in discussions with our pupils and staff. Both her and Mrs Compton, who joined Mrs Jelly on her visit, were extremely impressed by what they saw and heard.

A big thank you to all of the pupils and staff who showcased digital learning so confidently, and to Mrs Compton for her continued advice and support. We eagerly await the results in the post. Watch this space…


Digital Parenting – Issue 5

The next edition of Digital Parenting is now available to read, print and download. Digital Parenting contains really useful information and advice for parents and carers to help keep their children and young people stay safe online.


Digital Learning in P1

This  week we practised logging on and off  the netbooks independently.

Logging on can still be quite tricky as we need  to recognise both lowercase and uppercase letters.  Logging off correctly means that the netbook is ready for the next person to use.

The Technical Troopers came down to support us with all of this which was very helpful. Once we had all logged on successsfully, we discovered that the Technical Troopers had planned a Purple Mash activity to help us consolidate some of our learning about pirate ships.

As we painted each part of the ship we were able to name the part and say something about its purpose. We were then shown how to save our work too, so we can share it with our families at home.

A very big thank you to the Technical Troopers for helping and supporting our Digital Learning this week. We loved having you in our classroom.

We also used the netbooks and  i-pads this week in Literacy and Numeracy tasks. A very popular game that helped us to recognise and read words was the Poop Deck Pirates game.


In Maths and Numeracy we used Hit the Button and Dino Park Maths to practise our addition and subtraction.

Digital Leaders for Digital Learning Week

To celebrate Education Scotland’s National Digital Learning Week, our Technical Troopers have been working extremely hard to make a #digitaldifference in Mid Calder Primary School. They have delivered lessons across all stages of our school, teaching our pupils how to use a range of digital tools to enhance their learning. Primary 4A, 4B and P3 received a lesson on how to use the Glow tool Forms, while P7/6 and P5A learned how to the Glow tool Sway. The Technical Troopers helped our Nursery children to develop their positional language by using the Bee-Bots, as well as supporting P1 with logging onto the netbooks and accessing a pirate themed activity using Purple Mash. Primary 6 were taught about the language of coding using Hour of Code, while P5B continued to develop their programming skills using Scratch to create a simple game. P3/2 were shown how to use the different features of iMovie to create a short film about their IDL context.

The Technical Troopers received lots of positive feedback from both the teachers and the pupils, and they did a fantastic job at sharing their own digital skills confidently to make a #digitaldifference.

Developing Digital Detectives in P5B

We are learning to identify reliable sources online

– I can state what makes a source reliable
– I can spot signs that a source might not be reliable and justify my opinion
– I know the importance of double checking the facts I find online

To celebrate National Digital Learning Week, P5B became Digital Detectives and were learning all about how to spot the truth online. We discussed the different ways we can find out information and, as we live in a digital age, we realised how much we rely on the internet to find out facts and help us with research. However, we are also aware that we can’t believe everything we read online! We learned about lots of different ways that you can check if a source is reliable, for example, by looking at the date it was published or updated, considering the credibility of the author, and double checking the facts using a least one other site. We were given a range of QR codes and URL links and we had to use our detectives skills to work out whether or not we could trust each site.

In addition to this, we have also been receiving coding lessons from Sean and Ben in Primary 7 to celebrate Digital Learning Week. We had been using Hour of Code to learn about the language of programming, and then we heard that P7 were becoming Scratch experts so asked them to share their skills with us.In our first lesson, they helped us to explore the features of Scratch, and in the second lesson they extended our skills and helped us to begin to create a simple game. By the end of our two lessons, we were even able to teach each other following learning conversations with our experts.

We have also been using our own and the school’s devices to take part in the Scottish Sumdog contest this week to develop our mental maths skills.