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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Dinosaur Discoveries on Glow TV

On Tuesday, the afternoon group tuned into a live stream on Glow TV to learn about dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. It was fascinating to look at artefacts from National Museums Scotland, such as dinosaur foot prints, poo and fossils on the Smartboard. We discovered that some dinosaurs walked on two legs and some walked on four legs and did you know a new species of dinosaur with feathers has recently been discovered? How interesting! We had fun taking part in the quizzes, guessing which part of the dinosaur the bones belonged to. Thank you to Jennifer and Sara for organising such an enjoyable event.

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Fire Pit Fun at BEYC

In February we are learning how to risk assess and responsibly make fires in our fire pit.  We are discovering how to safely toast and eat marshmallows, bread and cheese.  The children are developing their sense of personal safety while working well in teams. Lots of problem solving and mathematical and science concepts are being explored.  This exciting hands on activity promotes great cross curricular learning;

Gabriel “Too many sticks kill the fire.”

Louis “Wet twigs don’t go on fire.”

Lily “ Marshmallows melt fast.”

Conlan “Smoke nips your eyes.”

Alfie “Blowing gently (on the embers) makes the fire grow.”

AJ “You can burn yourself.”

Beth “We needed sticks and cough (cotton) wools.”

Roisin “We put fire on the marshmallow.”

Ava “We ate it.”

Gabriel “ We were eating them.”

Darcie “We put marshmallows in the fire pit.”

Sadie “We made the fire with sticks.  My clothes were all smoke.”

Jack “Wood.”

Matthew “We had to split some wood, then put some sticks in, then it made fire!”

Conlan “Smoke was in my eyes.”

Megan “I made toast on the fire.”

Reuben “I tasted the burny bit and it was yuck!”

Evan “It was soft and sooooooo yummy!”

Gillan “If you fall in then you will just die.”

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Wild Animals Art Gallery at Bathgate Early Years Centre

Inspired by the African art work of local artist Kirsten Harris and ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ story by Giles Andreae, children at Bathgate Early Years Centre have been busy creating beautiful pieces of art work of ‘Wild Animals’.  Children painted colourful backgrounds with a variety of paints and then looked for their animals in the colours and patterns, which they then brought to life using pastels.

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Primary 2 and 2/1meet Magic Grandad

This week we were very excited to have a special visitor to our classes. Magic Grandad came to visit us with an album of photos from his school days. We can’t wait to find out what school was like when he was young. We hope our parents and grandparents will help us to find out how schools have changed.

Knightsridge EYC National Galleries of Scotland Competition

This year some of the nursery children from Knightsridge EYC took part in National Galleries of Scotland art competition. Over 7000 children from across Scotland entered the competition and we were delighted to be informed that two of our children had won an award in the nursery category. Congratulations go to Owen Davies who won 3rd place and to Katie Ewesor who was awarded a special merit.
As part of Owen’s prize the nursery was given an opportunity to attend the Gallery for a special tour and a practical workshop.
We went on the bus and were welcomed by the staff. We were taken around the Gallery and learned about some of the pictures. We then got messy! We made our own pictures using paint, glue, pens and crayons and produced lovely flowers in vases. We had a great day out. We will display our paintings in our own gallery next week.
Katie and Owen will attend an awards ceremony at the gallery to receive their awards and then their pictures will be displayed in the gallery until October when the full competition exhibition will then travel around various venues in Scotland.
A big well done to Owen and Katie and thank you also to the National Galleries of Scotland for the great opportunity which we all enjoyed.

Creative Apprenticeships: LIVE

Please join us, for Creative Apprenticeships: LIVE

A half hour live broadcast that aims to answer young people’s questions on the topic of apprenticeships in the creative industries.

We’ll be hearing from:

- Apprentices currently in post in the creative industries to hear about their experiences

- Employers who have employed and who are looking to employ creative apprentices

- Training providers and colleges

- Apprenticeshipsinscotland.com

- And a whole room of experts!

Log on to www.youngscot.org on Wednesday 21st May 2014 at 2pm and join us by live tweeting your questions.

Young people can ask their questions now on Twitter. To join in the creative apprenticeship conversation, tweet us @youngscot and include the hashtag #ScotMAWeek14. We’ll make sure all questions are answered.

For more information or if you’re having trouble accessing the stream, please contact us: info@youngscot.org

Primary Five Experience…. APARTHEID

Article 41

You have the right to any rights in laws in your country or internationally that give you better rights than these

On Sunday the 27th April, South Africa celebrated 20 years since the end of apartheid when Nelson Mandela became the first black president following his 27 years spent in prison for fighting against this segregation. Apartheid happened for many years in South Africa and was when people with different colours of skin were not allowed to be together. The country had separate schools, banks, buses and even laws for white people and non white people. People who were not white were treated very unfairly.

To gain a better understanding of apartheid and how unfair and unjust it was, last week primary 5 actually experienced it first hand!

We had a long discussion about equal rights and how unfair it is when people are discriminated against, we agreed that everyone no matter who you are should be treated equally and everyone is entitled to their rights. To gain a better understanding of what it would have been like to live in South Africa during apartheid we were separated into 2 groups. People that were born in January to June were in group one and people born in July to December were in group two. We talked about how we didn’t get to choose what month we were born in, just like babies do not get to choose the colour of their skin, eyes or hair, or the country they are born in, who their parents are or if they have a disability.

Then we were told the ‘Apartheid Laws’ for the day. People that were born in the first half of the year were treated fairly but the laws for the people born in the second half of the year were very different…

A person born between July to December…

  • could not sit with or play with people born between January and June
  • could only play in one small area of the playground
  • had to work until the bell
  • could not take part in class discussions
  • went last for break and lunch
  • had to ask permission to use classroom resources
  • could not receive stickers, rewards and points
  • had to wear an identity badge at all times

Children who were born in the first half of the year wore bibs so both groups could be easily identified.

Children born in the second half of the year were not treated fairly at all, during P.E. even though they won the curling game 7-2, the teachers insisted that the other team won. It made the people in group 2 very frustrated! The unfairness also had an effect on children in group 1 who felt guilty and were angry that people were being treated so differently. We stopped throughout the day and we shared how we were feeling, it gave us a real insight into what life would have been like during apartheid.

On day two the groups swapped over so everyone had a chance to experience both sides of apartheid.

At half past two on Thursday we stopped our segregated P.E lesson and celebrated the end of apartheid and a very challenging couple of days. We scrunched up our idneitity badges and threw our bibs in the air and danced around the hall with our friends who we had been separated from for two days. This was a very valuable lesson, we vowed to always treat each other equally, never to discriminate and to stand up to injustice and unfairness.

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!