West Lothian Sharing our Learning Blog

This blog is an area where pupils and members of staff can share successes that have happened in their schools and classes.

The more we share … the more we learn.

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Our Spring Chickens Have Arrived – It’s a Magic Moment!

There was great egg-citement in the nursery this morning when our little Spring chickens started to hatch. Great commentary from our children, we love when we capture one of these magic moments.  Count and sing along :-)

Trading all over the world!

World trade rules are unfair and often disadvantage developing countries.  Today, Primary 5 explored international trade issues to try and find out how this has happened.

We were divided into ten groups, each representing a different country:

  • A most developed country (e.g.France, Canada)
  • A less developed country (e.g. India, South Africa)
  • A least developed country (e.g. Honduras, Kenya)

Each country was given an envelope containing raw materials (e.g. paper) and/or technology (e.g. scissors). The materials and technology differed from country to country, according to their level of development. With the contents of their envelopes, the countries were asked to produce shapes; each shape representing a monetary value they could redeem by depositing in either the Bank of Deas or Valentine’s Bank. The goal of the game was to gain as much wealth as possible.

It didn’t take long for us to discover that the contents of our envelopes were not equally distributed; some did not have enough raw materials or technology to produce any of the shapes. In order for us to do so, we had to negotiate and trade with other countries.

Everyone soon become extremely engaged in the game and there was a real buzz about the room. We were eager to produce tip top shapes and were very active in negotiating and trading with each other. However, there was some very underhand dealings going on! Not all countries were cooperative and helpful; selling resources at astronomical costs, counterfeit goods were being cashed in at the bank, there was dodgy trading at one of the banks and even some materials being sold on the black market by Miss King!!

The afternoon was a great success, especially for Canada who earned an impressive £22,000.  Everyone gained a better understanding of the situation Third World countries find themselves in such as Tanzania who only managed to bank £3,150.

Well done to everyone involved.

Puzzling Mental Maths

Primary 6b have been very busy this week working on their mental maths skills.

Lots of us find mental maths tricky so we wanted to find a fun way to develop our mental strategies.  To help with this we worked in groups to practice our fraction, multiplication and division skills.  To make this more fun, we worked in small groups to try out some new mental maths puzzles.  These included loop cards, tarsia puzzles and jigsaws.  We found this fun because we are working together and discussing different ways of solving problems.

Over the next few weeks we will continue practising

these skills and have some fun along the way!

St Nicholas Superstars!

Away to the BBC Studios!

Miss King e-mailed BBC Studios. She was hoping for a mention on Children in need, but she got more.

P5 have been raising money for Children in need; holding our own coffee morning, cake and candy and a show your spots day.  We produced own Children in Need show to explain how the Rights of the Child are at the heart of the programme.  The show included a Celebrity Come Dine with Me, This is your Life for our longest serving teacher, a visit to The Yard, a purpose built  adventure playground in Edinburgh for children and young people with additional support needs and even a visit from One Direction!

At the end of the show we were live on Radio Scotland with Fred MacAuley telling them all about our efforts.  Then came the exciting bit…

We found out we had been offered tickets to the Children in Need live show in Glasgow. We were gobsmacked!  So, along with Miss King, Mrs Buchanan-Coutts our class teachers, Mrs Brown our Head Teacher and Mrs Thomson our classroom support teacher, six of us

headed off to Glasgow.

We arrived at BBC Studios. We were amazed. The Studios were huge.  When we went inside, we had to wait in a few different rooms. Some of us got our face painted. Then, in front of everyone else, St Nicholas were called to go to the front seats. We felt like V.I.P`s (Very important people).  The stage was amazing – it was just like X factor. We were really excited. We were going over the rules and then the show started. Dez Clark was our entertainer and Jackie Bird was our host.  Jackie came over – we were to be interviewed for the TV show!

There were lots of performances. Some of them included: Susan Boyle, Nina Nesbit, the Children in Need choir and stars of Waterloo Road.  Finally, it was time to go home. It was well past our bedtime, but we were all still buzzing.  What an experience.

Rights Respecting Schools Assembly, Kirknewton Primary.

Day for Change 2014: Why Education is important.

Today is ‘Day for Change, 2014’ and the theme this year is Why Education is important. At our assembly we learned that:

  • Education changes lives
  • Education is the key to ending poverty and disease
  • Education is a basic right

Education gives children the tools to do more and do better. Children who go to school are more likely to live longer, be healthier and have better lives. However, not all children are fortunate enough to be able to go to school. UNICEF helps children who are affected by war, poverty, disasters, amongst many other barriers to get an education.

We performed a play about a girl called Nancy, who had to work hard making embroideries to sell to tourists in order to make enough money to afford a tutor who would teach her to read, write and do accounts. When Nancy grows up she wants to be a Doctor.

Learning about children who struggle to get an education or who do not have the opportunity for learning made us think hard about how lucky we are to have a good education.

Scottish Focus Week at Kirknewton Primary

Kirknewton Primary celebrated our Scottish culture and heritage during our Scottish Focus Week. We had lots of exciting activities going on throughout the week which ended with each class showcasing their work at our Assembly.

Primary 1 had an afternoon of tasting Scottish food and drew graphs to record which was their favourite – I think porridge was the outright winner, yum!! They also made their own tartan and linked this to pattern and shape work.

Primary 2 made a gigantic Aitken Drum which moved around the assembly hall while they sang the song! They celebrated Rabbie Burns by having a Burns Supper with the haggis piped in by a real piper.

Primary 3 learned about Scottish Landscapes, learned a Scots poem ‘Ode tae a bumble bee’ and sang Ali Bali Bee.

Primary 4 were learning about Mary Queen of Scots, drew Scottish Thistles and learned new Scottish words using the poem ‘Lament for a lost dinner ticket’ by Margaret Hamilton, by looking up a Scots dictionary. They then used these words in their own poems.

Primary 5 told the story of ‘Jordan’s new jaiket’ by Mathew Fitt. They had fun learning the Scots words.

Primary 6 learned about famous Scottish inventors.

Primary 7 learned ‘Oh the world must be coming to an end’ and illustrated the song with wonderful art work depicting all the Scottish food from the song.

Raising Attainment in Literacy at Kirknewton Primary

As part of our development work in raising attainment in reading we have introduced an Early Years Library combined with a listening and talking area. Research suggests increasing opportunities for listening and talking in the early year’s increases attainment in reading as children develop. As part of this initiative we are introducing new listening resources throughout the school.

Kirknewton P 6 Pupils launch into Space!!


Primary 6 at Kirknewton Primary visited Dynamic Earth as part of their Social Studies work on Space. Here are some of the highlights and comments from the day:

Working in teams we made models of space probes using lego.

We attended a workshop called Space is big!

We had to guess which rock was a meteorite. It was very heavy and metallic.

We had great fun and learned a lot.

We found out what it would be like to be an astronaut!!

Thank you to the PSA for funding our trip.

Pupils of Primary 6

Kirknewton Primary Pupil Groups


Pupils at Kirknewton Primary have been working together in their house groups on the following initiatives in school: Eco, Fair Trade, Rights Respecting Schools and Health. It’s great fun as we get to work with other boys and girls from different stages of the school. We found out about the work already done in these areas then made an action plan of how we were to carry forward our work.

Harrysmuir Primary celebrate Scottish books and authors

The new term at Harrysmuir started with a fabulous week that focussed on Scottish books and authors. The children thoroughly enjoyed a wide variety of cross-curricular learning and were encouraged to develop their reading and writing skills through a range of activities. Children made story boards, looked at story settings, completed character studies, made comic strips, wrote book reviews and diary entries and designed posters. ICT was used to support and enhance learning and a wide variety of Art and Drama activities featured throughout the week.

Julia Donaldson stories were popular within the infants and Support for Learning with classes focussing on: The Smartest Giant in Town, Zog, The Snail and the Whale, What the Ladybird Heard and The Singing Mermaid. In P4-7, the 3 books nominated by the Scottish Book Trust: The Accidental Time Traveller, The Really Weird Removals.com and The Black Tide were the focus in most classes.

Throughout the week each class decorated their classroom door and display areas in the corridor. On the Friday morning, all children had the opportunity to walk around the school to see all the amazing displays. They then voted for their favourite. P7K were the proud winners this year, with P2M in second place, P6D/F in third and P2C in fourth.

Once again we are taking part in the Scottish Book Trust Awards and all classes are currently reading the three nominated books. The Primary 7’s have read the books to their Primary 1 buddies and they have all loved listening to the stories and carrying out the follow up activities. Voting will take place in the next few weeks and we look forward to hearing the results.




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