During the Winter months, there is very little activity from our orange tip pupae! Our younger pupils are linking the changes in the seasons to what the livestock will be doing, for example, knowing when the caterpillars are likely to emerge. While we wait for Spring, we have been making cages and recently lined them with paper and cellophane to make them easier to clean. We have to be very accurate when measuring these linings, so that the cylinder still fits neatly onto the base. Here are our senior pupils hard at work, drawing measuring and cutting, while Keanan is thinking about the order of the four seasons.
One of the tasks we did for our butterfly project before Christmas, was to make small "carry-cages" which the children could use to take home. This enables us to spread the range of release sites for our butterflies and moths.
There's lots of space for us to go We just need a final layer of soft netting
inside and see our butterflies. The wire netting keeps birds' beaks out!
Hard to believe these big plants We even transplanted nettles
came from the tiny seeds we planted as small tortoishell caterpillar
back in September! love them!
Our butterfly project continues! We have been researching leaf shapes so that we can identify the correct food plants for our caterpillars in the spring. The children have also been constructing rearing cages, using wooden frames and specially fine netting. The netting has to be glued to the wood which can be very fiddly to do, but our children managed to wield the thin brushes very well! The children also learned how to make a sleeve which can be put on a whole plant, to protect caterpillars while they feed. You can just see the children's cylinder cages on the long shelf if you look closely! They are made from cake tins and some acetate sheet.
Our hard work in the continuation of the Butterfly project paid off this year, as the school won a "Change" award from the Social Enterprise Academy. We expanded our work to include selling rearing kits tot other schools and the pupils themselves constructed the netted and cylinder cages. It was agreed that part of our profits would be donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind and we also continued to do a mass release at Rivendell care home (see the "Success!" page. This was a higher award than we had expected and everybody was just delighted! It was great to go to Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms, as a whole school (thanks SEA!) and receive our award from MSP John Swinney. Here are a few photos of the day - the main ballroom (with it's fabulous chandeliers !) where there was a "market place" of all the award winners' stalls the children before the ceremony; waiting for the main event (and feeling a bit nervous!); Angus, Keanan and Aiden collecting the award from John Swinney and the whole school (after a free lunch!) with their award before we headed back home! Huge thanks to all the pupils staff and our special volunteer Mr Barr! To say we are proud of our achievement is a very great understatement!
Next year, we are aiming for the "Champion" award!
We held a Creativity Showcase to show off the work the children have been doing all year, to make a "Big Ballinluig Timeline". We had support from a number of local folks who included former pupil Helen Sinclair, who Aiden and Olivia interviewed at her home in Dunkeld.
The children planned to event and in groups took responsibility for making up a display to show the information we had gathered. Eve drew a plan of the school and the names of the displays people would find there. Pupil's decided what refreshments we would serve and guests could choose form yummy pizza bites (recipes from our senior pupils - see below!); fruit kebabs; veggie sticks and Mrs Browns famous fruity flapjacks! On the day there was a rota of jobs for the children to do , from being waiters to running our film. Some children even volunteered to stay beyond the school day to allow us to continue on to 6 p.m., for families who had working commitments. Our thanks to everybody who attended.
Here are a few photos of the day
Harrison welcomes our first guests who look at the display about Tulliemet Curling Club
A private viewing of our 3 minute film made by the children about their work.
Visitors were interested in our Pocket Garden!
Two of our guests look at old pots and postcards of Ballinluig as far back as the early 1900s - you can still see key buildings like the school; the Post Office and the hotel.
Keanan and Maisie are guides and explain about our work ; Summer and Angus meanwhile are two of our waiting staff and are preparing a plateful of tasty nibbles for a guest!...."and very tasty it was too!" says Meg.Senior pupils recently participated in the finals of the RHET competition "Beat the Takeaway". Working in pairs,the children had to use their knowledge of the different food groups on the "Eatwell Plate" to help them plan a 2-course meal, which was well-balanced nutritionally and used local ingredients. On top of that the children had to cost the meal. The finals took place at the "Let's Cook" cookery school, near Abernethy. Sarah the tutor and Alix from RHET asked the children questions about how they came to produce the menus. The children then had a masterclass in making pizza from scratch, using minimal and healthy ingredients. They were delicious!
Finally it was announced that Olivia and Eve were the winners, with Mathew and Craig runners up- once again a great result for Logierait, beating a number of other schools to get to this point!
Back at school the children prepared some notes from the day and shared them with the others.
Here they are with their trophies and certificate (they also received a fantastic goodie bag!) and in the kitchens, making the toppings to their prepared dough.
Eve and Craig wrote the next two articles themselves to share some of our most recent learning with you..........
We have decided to do a project about our area in the past. Hopefully we create the Big Ballinluig Back in Timeline. We are inviting members of the community to an open event in June so they can see what we’ve learnt. We are trying to identify people in a photograph of dancers in 1949. Mrs. Barr found an old log book up in the attic/loft and we are studying it. We also found the date that the dancers [from photograph] were entered into a Scottish country dancing competition. If you know any information we would like to hear it. So keep your eyes peeled!
So far we have visited Tynreich Standing Stones and explored life in the Bronze Age, Mr. Brewster of Rotmell farm came and spoke to us about farming through the ages and then Olga, a local artist helped us learn how to make bowls and mugs. We have Mrs. Guthrie an archivist at Blair Castle coming to visit us.
We have been fortunate to have teaching student with us, both before the Christmas holidays and for another four weeks after. Miss Hulbert worked with a group of senior pupils, exploring the impact of different surfaces on friction. The children work is on display in the entrance hall - why don't you ask them what they discovered?
At a pupil focus group, P4-7 talked about how more children can be involved in school improvement – not just commenting on what we have done, but also helping to plan what comes next!
We then thought about a display. They started off wondering about “red, amber, green” but then Eve’s idea of “stars” was the start and from there it was built up into the....
“Galaxy of Learning”,
where all the skills stars would come together! Later that week we gathered art and craft materials and made this large display. We plan to add writing and photos to show us developing the skills from the school’s two main priorities for improvement this year – writing and creativity.
The children then shared their idea with the younger pupils...and here it is!
Continuing with "pupil voice", the children had all contributed to a mind map of ways in which they thought playtime could be improved. They had thought about peer play; playground games, for which Olivia and Eve are leaders and other times when children could play together. Here is Mrs Brown asking them to explain their thoughts...
....while during the same Get Together, our younger pupils had the chance to "lead the learning", following some research work they did about St Andrew. They presented information they had discovered in the form of drawings, photos and facts. Older pupils gave them feedback about their work and their presenting skills!
We were delighted to welcome a new visitor to our school recently! Olga, (already a familiar face to many of us from her work at the nearby garage!), is also a very talented artist! She agreed to come and help us with our creativity project, thinking about how people might have made their own pots etc in the Bronze Age. We didn't realise how time consuming it would be - but after a quick demonstration from Olga, we started making our own coil pots - base first; then the coils; then the smoothing and melding work which took so long and we now appreciate the effort such a simple thing requires! have a look at our photos below! Afterwards, Summer did some research to find out the types of decoration possibly used in those times, which we will copy when we paint our pots.
Thankyou so much Olga for helping us!
Just before the holidays our Primary 2 girls, along with Mrs Taylor and Olivia, went to the post office to send off Storystarters everyone had written. The envelopes were headed for the pupils at Kinloch Rannoch school, with whom we have made a connection, in working on our creativity project, "The Big Ballinluig Time Line". Our stories were inspired by the visit to the standing stones (see below) and were set in the Bronze Age. Our starters set the scene for the other pupils to develop and finish. Today in the post we received their stories for us to do the same with! How will they end? Watch this space!
We were all out and about when we walked to the stone circle within Tynreich Nursery. Stewart Shillcocks the owner of the nursery, told us about the mysterious stone circle, which is believed to date from the Bronze Age. We learned that the largest is the heel stone and this would have cast the shadow of the sun at both summer and winter solstices. The site was excavated when a woodland nursery was being crated for the Duke of Atholl in 1855. Two urns were found with human ashes inside - one was broken but the other is possibly still at Perth museum! Historians believe the circle was a gathering place for an extended family, possibly using the river nearby, its course changed since then. There was no copper in the rocks here, so again, it is believed the people exchanged amber for copper to make tools etc. Our thanks to Mr Shillcocks for taking the time to provide us with lots of interesting information for our creativity project - and all right on our doorstep! Here are some photos of our outing.
It was "E I E I O" all the way, as the whole school visited Rotmell Farm, near Dunkeld, as part of their Health and Wellbeing work. The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit and learned some interesting facts about farming - as well as making friends with some of the chickens! We have been given the honour of choosing a name for a new Aberdeen Angus bull. Our thanks to farmer Mr Brewster; RHET representative Alex Ritchie - who co-ordinated the visit and all the H&S considerations! - and Mr Meldrum who drove the minibus!
Here is a selection of photos from the day - and our drawings of the bull with the names we have suggested!
Trip to Vane Farm RSPB Reserve
We couldn't have asked for better weather as both our schools joined forces at the RSPB reserve. Pupils worked in two groupings to learn more about the natural world around us.
Here are some photos of the day!
How do you make a model of the Eiffel Tower from newspaper and sellotape?
That was the question pupils had to answer when we got together for a joint schools problem solving challenge!
The answer was: with lots of teamwork - discussion; co-operation; collaboration; communication; nifty paper-rolling skills and lots of fun!
Here's a "before" and "after" for each of our groups!
....and...... the finished items! (one with a little extra help from Millie!)
We joined our friends the Ballinluig Blethers for a games afternoon at the village hall. It is such a pleasure to meet up with the ladies, who had organised a range of games. We contributed some Easter nest cakes to the snacks and had a fab time with wii bowling; indoor curling, golf and more! There had to be one daft race of course and the balloon between the knees always goes down a treat! Thankyou everybody for making it such a lovely afternoon - it really makes us feel part of our community!
Mikolaj goes for a "strike!" Will Olivia manage to keep that balloon under control?!
Keanan lines up a perfect putt! Craig almost gets a "stone" in the "house"!
Our younger pupils have continued their learning about weather and part of their studies was to find out how people measure the strength of the wind. They made their own wind gauges using strips of different weights of paper, from tissue paper to thin card and taped them onto a ruler. They then took them outside to see how strong the wind had to be, to move each one. In our picture below you can also see the windmills the children made, again to see the effect of differing strengths of wind.
We hold pupil focus groups every term, discussing different aspects of school e.g. number developments; setting targets. This time we talked about the joint events we have with our partner school, Blair Atholl. The children carried out a carousel activity, which involved working in four groups and giving their responses to four different questions. By moving from table to table the children wrote their comments using a different coloured pen so that we could see the different ideas each group had.
Here the children are with their final results, which were shared with staff and discussed for future planning.
Our youngest pupils learned about weather. They have made rain gauges; learned about snowy weather through their book study "The Snow Lambs" and have even tried their hand at being TV weather presenters! Here is Maisie, using the ipad to film Emily as she tells us what the weather is going to be like, using the map and weather symbols. (Hopefully she will give us some sunshine!)
In August 2016, our pupils were studying the classification of animals - minibeasts in particular for our youngest children. Here are some photographs of a Zoolab visit, as well as senior pupils "leading the learning" with younger children.
Can you spot a mollusc; an arachnid; an insect; two reptiles reptile and a crustacean? Which one do YOU like best!
Here we are sorting cards into animal groupings - we used a key to identify each one, just like trained natural historians.