Happy Holidays!

 P5 and P6 singing and signing 'Away in a Manger'.
After a great class party with P6 we went to St Magnus Cathedral for our evening Carol Service. There was a big audience! Lots of parents and most of the school were there.
Some of us sang in the choir and some of us played instruments, then we sang, and signed, our first song, 'Away in a Manger'. then we sang 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'.
Happy Holidays!

Speed Info

We pinched an idea from P7-6's blog today!  We exchanged information that we had researched about the reason behind Christmas symbols by speed info.  We sat opposite each other for two minutes and told each other everything we had found out.  We then added to our own notes.
Some interesting information that we shared was:
* Candy cane stripes are supposed to show Jesus' blood and when you turn them around it makes a J for Jesus.
* Between 1900 and 1950, candy canes were sometimes used in churches at Christmas time to keep young children quiet!
* Christmas wreaths are hung on doors to keep evil spirits away.
* Queen Victoria's husband, Albert, made Christmas trees popular in the UK and America.
* The mincemeat in mince pies is actually made from exotic fruits and spices.
* In Greek, Christ is spelt Xristos.  In the sixteenth century, people started using X instead of Christ as a short way of writing Christmas.
We found our information on the internet.  We must remember that we can't tell if it is all completely accurate as people can really put whatever they want on their websites!
It would be really good if some of you posted comments about other things you found out.

Cathedral Carols and Spiced Biscuits

Practising for our Carol Service at St Magnus Cathedral.
This week we made spiced biscuits for hanging up as Christmas decorations. They were fun to make and made the school smell like Christmas time. The best bit was whe we decorated them with icing. We drizzled the icing from a spoon.
It made a very sticky mess!
We attached our Norwegian cookies to cards and wrote, 'God Jul og Godt Nytt Ar', inside.
That is Norwegian for Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.
We were very pleased with the results.
Click on the photos to get an enlarged picture.


End of term 2 Spelling B winners are group D!

Number quiz champs!

'The Road Trip'

                      Well done to everyone!
You all gave a great performance.
Thanks also to all of the friends and family members who came to watch, as well as the other pupils and staff.
Go to our wiki page here or watch the slideshow below to listen to an abridged version of the play.

Sports and monsters

The sports group explained and encouraged us to have a go at netball today. They obviously knew their sport well and organised, explained and demonstrated skillfully. Well done!
The Loch Ness Monster group explained how three of the sightings occurred. First by St Columba and a monk he was travelling with, then the famous photograph of 'Nessie' in the 1930s (or was it an elephant trunk?) and finally the failed attempts and lots of money spent by scientists trying to find Nessie. An amusing and informative presentation!
The team with their own Nessie and the famous photograph in the background.

God Jul

Christmas Dinner
Today Hanne came in to tell us about Christmas and going ot school in Norway. We learned how to introduce ourselves and say 'Merry Christmas and Happy New Year' in Norwegian, as well as practising our counting to 10. Then it was time for Christmas dinner! Do you know that children in Norway don't have hot dinners at school but everyone takes a packed lunch with a sandwich? Today we were glad that we got hot school dinners!

Norwegian visitors

Norwegian visitors in our classroom.
Today we learned lots of new things about Norway form our Norwegian visitors. We sang Santa Lucia for them and listened to a Norwegian song. We learned how to speak a little Norwegian and count to 10.
Here are some of the facts we have gathered:
In Norway there are whales, small sharks, giant spider crabs, seals and fish. There are deer and otters. Bears and wolves are only dangerous when they are protecting their young. If you come across a bear you are meant to lie down and pretend you are dead. Every autumn there is a big debate in Norway about whether to shoot wolves or not because the wolves attack sheep and goats. There are wolves in Sweden as well and they come across the border in the forest. Norway is famous for its fjords which are steep mountains and deep sea lochs
Norway is most successful and famous for winter sports like skiing. In the Olympic games they got gold for kayaking and handball. The most popular sport is football.
King Harald ‘the fair haired’ was the first ruler of the whole of Norway and he ruled Orkney as well. In 1905 Norway became a kingdom again and the Queen was Maude who came from England. There are not many castles in Norway and they are quite small. Most buildings were made out of wood so they would have been no good for defence – they could have been set on fire! People were poor and did not have a rich local ruler to build the castles.
The food that they eat at Christmas is sheep  ribs or pork ribs. Traditional foods include sheep head and cod. They also eat reindeer, whales and elk. Our visitors really liked a traditional stew with beef and cabbage.
Norwegians celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. They like to go around the Christmas tree singing songs. Nisse, like a little gnome,  lives on a farm. It needs to be given porridge or it will be grumpy and ruin Christmas. There is a Loch Ness monster in a deep lake in Norway!

Glaitness Tree Lighting

Today we lit the Christmas Tree at Glaitness School. Class 5 sang Santa Lucia and held lanterns before the tree lights were turned on. Class 3 also sang 'Oh Christmas Tree' and played on glockenspiels.
Later Mrs Sullivan came to play and show us the Hardanger fiddle. It is very highly decorated with dragon carving and mother of pearl inlay - its very valuable. It makes a different sound to our normal fiddles - it has extra strings which ring when the notes are played and it is easier to play two strings at once.
 Mrs Sullivan played a slow tune and a polka. Some of her students are allowed to borrow and play the Hardanger fiddle, but they find it hard to part with it when they have to give it back. Some Orkney students get the chance to go to Norway to learn more about playing the fiddle in Norway.

We enjoyed the music in our school today and we learned more about our link with Norway and the traditions we share at Christmas time.


We are working very hard, preparing for our Scottish Assembly.
If you want to know what it's all about...
you will have to come along on Thursday 13th December!
Keep practising and LEARN YOUR LINES!

Human Compasses!

We are all working on directions at the moment. 
Becoming a human compass helped us to work out how many degrees are in each turn. 
We heard some interesting ways of remembering the order of the compass directions...
Naughty Elephants Squirt Water, Never Eat Shredded Wheat, Never Eat Squishy Worms! 
Do you know any others?



A Royal Visit

This week we have been very honoured to receive a royal visitor from the past. Mary Queen of Scots came to tell us all about her life. She gave an exceptional and very articulate account of her early years having been sent to France, her marriages and finally her imprisonment and death at the hands of 'Good Queen Bess' - Elizabeth I.

We were treated to an enactment of the last few hours of the life of her second husband, Lord Darnley, which came to an explosive end!


The Reading Hour

Did you know this is The Scottish Book Trust's  Book Week in Scotland? Part of Book Week is the Reading Hour which we shared with P2F. We enjoyed it a lot and we hope the other classes have as much fun in their Book Hour. We hope we can do it again soon!

Why is the day so short?

We are coming up to the winter solstice on December 21st when it will be the shortest day of the year. At this time of year we can watch the sun rise above the horizon on our way to school and see sunset in the afternoon at school. By the time we leave school it is dark.
Why is the day so short in winter and so long in summer?

This is because the earth tilts on its axis. If you live in the northern hemisphere it is winter, the days are short and it is colder, because we are tilted away from the sun.

This diagram is not to scale. The sun is much, much bigger and much,much further away!

When there is a lot of activity on the sun a solar wind is created and particles fly across space towards earth. The particles are drawn in to the earth at its magnetic poles. This creates the aurora borealis or 'northern lights'. When this happens we can see the lights if we look towards the north.

We are lucky to have a dark night sky which is mostly unaffected by light pollution. Since we also have more hours of darkness we are more likely to get a good view of the lights which are sometimes called 'The Merry Dancers' in Orkney. The closer to the north  pole you live the better the view you get! Here is a video of the aurora borealis from the north of Norway.

Of course the best view is from space.

Have you seen 'The Merry Dancers'?

Traditional Scottish Sports

Our Scottish sports group have been finding out about golf and curling.
To start with we were given a  knowledgeable introduction to the foundation skills before two groups went through to the hall to try out indoor versions of the sports. After a talk about the history of golf and present day competitions, the group organised the activities themselves and, though this was a challenge, they did very well and had prepared a well structured session during which each group had a chance to try out the sports.
Some great individual coaching was offered. Thank you sports team!
We hope to have time to find out about netball next.

We have new reading books!

Tiger Tubbies - 'one dog and his boy' by Eva Ibbotson.

Groovy Babies - 'Golden Goose' by Dick King-Smith

Bonny Bunnies - 'Cliffhanger' by Jacqueline Wilson

Funky Chickens - 'The Giants and the Joneses' by Julia Donaldson
Brilliant new books by amazing authors! Look out for our book trailers - coming soon!

Traditional Scottish Foods: Shortbread

This week the group that is finding out about traditional Scottish foods made shortbread with Mrs Thompson. It was a great success! Well done. We hope they will have a chance to make another traditional favourite later in the term.

The class debates!

This week we had a debate about whether re-introducing animals to Scotland was a good idea. Bears, wolves and beavers were some of the animals which were once native to Scotland.
Each team made very good points and followed the rules of the debate well, allowing everyone who wanted to speak to have a turn, trying really hard to hold on to their ideas while they waited for a turn, as well as replying to the points the other team were making.

We compared our opinions at the end of the debate with our opinions at the beginning and discovered they had become polarised! No-one had changed their minds or been persuaded by the other team. Everyone had become even more convinced that their opinions were correct.

Had we been too influenced by films like 'Brave' and myths and legends about wild animals?
do we think of wild animals like we do our pets?

Children In Need 2012

P5 loved coming to school in their jammies...so did Miss Gillies! 
We all helped to raise the fabulous total of £630.94.  It was good fun for a great cause.  Some even played football in their pyjamas! 
Thankfully, everyone remembered their swimming kits
so there were no soggy PJs in the afternoon!


Bug Brother by Pete Johnson
These are our wordles made with words we have selected from our reading books.
George Speaks by Dick King-Smith
Everyone individually chose interesting descriptive words or unusual vocabulary that the author uses.

The Sheep - Pig by Dick King-Smith
The more often the words were chosen the bolder they are in the wordle.

Invisible Dog by DIck KIng-Smith
They chose some lovely, rich and juicy vocabulary!
This was the final literacy activity with these books because next week we start our brand new books!

Our first Book Review Glogs

Have a look at our wiki pages to see the Funky Chickens' and The Groovy Babies' reviews of their latest books, The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith and George Speaks by Dick King-Smith. The Tiger Tubbies reviewed The Sheep-Pig by Dick King Smith and the Bonny Bunnies reviewed Bug Brother by Pete Johnson. We have used two of our book detectives' activities to share on the video clips - the summary of the story and an interview with one of the main characters in the book. We hope you enjoy them!. Follow the link to the Glogs on the sidebar.

Scotland the Brave!

Our first two weeks of the term have been so busy! We have decided what we think we know about our topic for this term, 'Scotland', and what we would like to find out. We think we know quite a lot about music and culture but we have groups of people finding out about traditional foods, Scottish sports, myths and legends, castles, lighthouses, kings and queens and nature! This will involve drama and dressing up, model making, cooking and baking, getting sporty and lots of research.

Happily for us the whole school went to see the film 'Brave' which raised some questions! Had bears lived in Scotland? Which other animals had lived in Scotland and were now extinct? Had any been re-introduced? Should they be reintroduced? Lots of useful thinking has been going on which will feed into debates.

We recognised that the film makers had tried to accurately reproduce landscapes and native Caledonian Pine Forest.  for the film.(Did you know there is only 1% of the original forest left?)
This year the BBC Autumnwatch team have been based in Scotland. One of the animals which they have been watching is the beaver which has been re-introduced in a controlled trial at the Aigas Field Centre near Inverness.
There are more beavers living wild in Argyll as part of the Scottish Beaver Trial.
We have begun labelling the big map of Scotland in the classroom...

and designing our own tartan!

P5 Maths Channel

There is a new widget on the sidebar which shows the new P5 Maths Channel. There you will see some of the short videos which we made to show our understanding of a few of the maths concepts we were learning about in term 1. Explaining the concepts and making videos at the end of a topic is a good way of getting a clear understanding of our learning. It also allows us to share what we do in class with everyone at home. Stay tuned for addition and subtraction!

Remember to Save Energy!

Everyone can turn the lights off!

Do you have an XBox? Fraser will remember to turn his off when he is not using it.

We have been thinking about ways to save energy at home and to help us we have made reminders to place around the house. We can take responsibility for turning off many of the electrical devices we use.

Don't leave your TV on stand-by!
Some great ideas!
 Do you only boil the water that you need in your kettle? 
Can you spot a clever sign designed specially for the light switch!
Switch it off and save energy!
Don't forget!

Stick them up!

Switch off and smile, because...

You'll be saving energy, which means...

saving the planet AND smaller bills!
Great graphics!

We can all save energy!

Spelling Stars

Everyone shares the cup!
 This term we have had a weekly spelling 'B' culminating in a written spelling test this week. In our teams we have been helping each other learn the words, so it was only fair that the team with the most points this week shared the team 'cup'!

Individual star spellers!
Those who got full marks today had their achievement recognised with a certificate - well done!