Happy Holidays!

Here are some of the pop-up gingerbread houses we made in the last week of term with real sugar and sweetie decorations.
We took inspiration from the video below when thinking about the forest setting for our fairytale houses. If you look very carefully you might be able to find a few forest creatures in our pop-up pictures, perhaps even a fox!

Our homework this week...

...was performing in the Primary School Christmas Musical! On Tuesday evening the hall was packed and just like in the play itself the performance turned out to be fantastic! The singing was super and the acting was excellent! Everyone really enjoyed it - let's hope for another cracking performance on Thursday afternoon. Well done classes 5, 6 and 7.

Our new Grammar Channel

Sometimes we understand something better if we have to explain it to someone else. Even if we think we know something well sharing our knowledge with an audience really helps us clarify it and remember it.
 These are our first grammar videos.
We worked really hard at creating them, but we might decide to revisit and improve them later.
Let us know what you think.


Last week we did some drama to inspire us for our writing. 
We learned about how to write playscripts and everyone did really well with their first attempt.
This week we acted out some of the scripts written by children in the class.

 It was good to act them out as it helped us to see what worked well and what needed improved.  There was a great improvement in the confidence shown in performing skills today.
Well done everyone!

Children in Need 2013

Lots of us dressed up to raise money for
Children in Need on Friday 15th November.

This is not the cheeriest photo (we should have taken more!) but we did have a good time helping the school to raise over £600 for the charity.
One member of our class went the extra mile by organising her own competition, asking people to pay to guess how many sweets were in the jar.  What a great idea!
You can see more of the ways your money will be used to help children throughout the UK, including here in Orkney:

Brave, bears, maps and movies.

This week we found out where Scotland is on a world map, on a map of Europe and in the UK. Within Scotland we identified where the big cities are and what the different parts of Scotland are called. We had to listen carefully for information in these tasks as well as carefully observing maps and finding information on websites.


Luckily for us we can watch the film 'Brave' as part of our topic. We had a good discussion about how the animation was made - first the script, then the actors read the script with lots of expression and the animators fit the drawings to the recorded voices.

But how accurate is the film? What is made up? How did the film makers use  myth, legend and folktale and how did they mix it with the real landscape and history of Scotland? We looked at a video by Ray Mears to find out about the Caledonian Pine Forest and the animals that live there.

Then we had a debate about whether animals that used to live wild in Scotland like wolves, beavers and bears should be re-introduced. We all had to listen carefully and respond to the opinions of the other team.

We are also finding out about apps for the ipad.
We hope that we will be making our own animations this year with an ipad app!
If you have found any useful problem solving or puzzle apps please let us know by commenting below this post.

What did you do at school today? or, Prickly Problems and Preparing Performances

This term we are thinking hard about problem solving.This was our first problem today.
Can you spot the best strategies?

This week the strategies which we used were making a model or drawing a picture, making an organised list or table and looking for a pattern.
We decided it was too expensive to go to Arizona, find a cactus and wait for 4 years to see what happened, so we drew pictures or used LEGO to make a model.

model cacti - year 1,2,3 and 4

If you try this problem, you'll need to READ and THINK carefully.
The cactus doesn't grow 2 pads every year - it grows 2 pads on each of last year's pads...
When you figure out the pattern you can calculate and predict for many years ahead.

Rehearsals for the Christmas performance are well underway.
Monday afternoons this term are for practising in the hall.
We P5s are singing at the front of the stage while the P6s and P7s perform and sing on stage.
We have to be patient but ready for the cues to sing!
We hope everyone at home is looking forward to it!


We have been finding out about renewable energy and investigating windpower. Some of the off shore wind farms ( called 'arrays') are enormous! The London Array will be the biggest in the world.
We watched an amazing video which shows the huge size of the turbines and how the foundations are put in to the sea with a big hammer. We found out about the jobs the  remotely operated vehicles or ROVs do under the sea and how they are needed to lay the cables safely under the seabed.

There must be lots of different jobs that underwater ROVs could do so we designed our own and build lego models to share our ideas. Here are a few of our designs which we made into lego models.

We chose a windy day to investigate the wind and the Beaufort Scale , and once we got them in the right place the anenometer and the model turbine were flying round! The anenometer measured F7 in the playground! This must have been a gust, but as you see in the chart below the photo it was definitely a steady F6.

No shortage of wind in our playground!

Wind speed  - we were measuring from 2pm to 3pm.

Power Station VIsit

We have visited the power station to see how power used to be generated for the whole of Orkney with diesel engines. The station is only used for back up in case of emergency nowadays. 30 people used to work there but now only 3 people look after the power station. We found out about how much power the engines can generate and how much power is sent to us through the submarine cable and eventually to our homes, and what is done with the extra energy generated by wind turbines. If you would like to find out more please read our comments below as we add them. Everyone will be sharing what they have learned.

Mission Explore: Muddisdale

Inspired by The John Muir Trust we have taken up the challenge of completing some missions of our own at Muddisdale and Wideford. We went with Class 5,6,7 to complete as many missions as we could in one morning. This involved getting up close to nature, listening, looking, feeling with our hands (and for some of us with our feet!), counting, remembering and creating.
We have many more missions to complete - we will be back!

Pylon challenge

For our 'Electricity' topic we have been learning about how electricity is generated and carried across the country by pylons. While constructing our own model pylons we found out how important triangles are to make structures strong and how important good joins are.

Of course they need to be made out of triangles but they don't need to be boring!
Look at these ideas for pylon designs in Iceland.

Tag Rugby Festival

The weather held for our Tag Rugby Festival and made it a great day out at the Picky outfields.
Glaitness had eight teams of ten made up of P5, P6 and P7 children and played friendly matches against different schools (and their own!).

 Each team had 7 players on the field at any one time.
This meant that subs had to be ready at the half time horn after 6 minutes of play.

The standard of play and skills is improving with the P7s in particular showing off some impressive skills. Well done everyone!

Glaitness BIG 5 at the Science Festival

Our Glaitness BIG 5 posters are being displayed at The Picky Centre in the Scottish Natural Heritage display for the Science Festival. We hope that lots of people will see them! Why not go and have a look! Please leave a comment on this post and tell us what you thought. You might notice how our survey results changed the overall results for Orkney.

Our posters look great!
 One person representing each of the poster groups went over to see the display.
Information about all the animals that were in the survey is in the SNH display.

The only animal that is the Orkney BIG 5 and our BIG 5 is the puffin!

The Glaitness Big 5 survey results

Our survey of the school to find out what the Glaitness Big 5 are is complete! We started off by making a list of amazing animals that live in Orkney. They had to be well-known, awesome or amazing. We made a list of 12 and collected votes from P1 up to P7.

This is the result in a pie chart:

If you are wondering why there are only 11 animals represented, this is because the herring gull did not get any votes at all!

So the BIG 5 are - orca, otter dolphin, short-eared owl and puffin. Keep checking our blog to see our posters for the Glaitness BIG 5 soon.

Tying Ourselves in Knots!

We were tying ourselves in knots in our drama warm-up this afternoon!  We were learning the importance of working together.

This is not what we were supposed to end up like!

That's more like it!

Welcome to the Class 5 blog!

We are back for a new year of learning!

We are starting with a quest to find the Glaitness Big 5. Scottish Natural Heritage have identified  Scotland's Big 5.

Our local SNH office have identified the Orkney Big 5 - you might have voted for your choice at the County Show.

Now we are finding out what our whole school think should be Orkney's Big 5.

Get on your bike this summer!

Get outside and active this summer. Danny McAskill gives us inspiration!

See his amazing video 'Imaginate'.
Girls ride bikes too!

Why not try the bikeability course organised by the Active Schools Team this summer.

Meeting a Professional Athlete

On Friday, we were treated to a visit from Sean Corrigall.  Sean is a professional rower who is about to represent Scotland again next month.  It was really inspiring to meet someone who comes from Orkney and is competing alongside Olympic Gold Medallists.  He told us about how he got involved in rowing and the kind of training he has to do.  We were surprised to hear about the hours he trains for and how much he has to eat to give him enough energy.

We were not able to access his website on the school computers but it is really worth having a look at.
Watch out for him competing for Scotland in the home countries regatta this summer and hopefully in the Commonwealth Games next year.

Muddisdale Storytelling Dens

Today we went to Muddisdale to build storytelling dens and tell our traditional tales to P2T.
After the storytelling we had a treasure hunt, then some of the P2 children retold our stories back to us or told their own stories!

Orkney summer flowers on the maritime heath

Here are some of Orkney's flowers growing on the maritime heath at Mull Head.
How many can you identify?
This habitat is very similar to another we have studied recently - can you guess which?

Picking Up Three Pieces at School!

Today we got new tabards and used the litter pickers which P2 got for our Pick Up Three Pieces initiative to make 3 teams of litter pickers in the playground!

Sports Day

I am very sorry that the photos of sports day are not on the blog yet.  I have been trying to put together a rather fantastic slideshow but something has gone wrong!  I will get back to it when I return from my trip away.
Mrs L

More Traditional Tales of Trolls and Trows

We have published a few of our stories on P5TV, including two retold by Tom Muir. We hope you enjoy them!

Jessie and the trow.

A troll story.

A trowie tale.

The Trow's Riddle.

A Sanday Trow story.

The Trow and the baby.

Tom retells two stories:

A trowie story.

Sarah and the troll.

Litter Warriors at Scapa on World Environment Day.

 Today we walked from school to Scapa to remove marine litter from the beach.
After arriving we stopped to take some fuel on board for the task.
We started at the waterfall end of the beach and worked our way towards the PU3P bin.
We found a lot of bird bones in amongst the dried up seaweed, as well as a dolphin's jaw and seal bones.

Before long our buckets (donated by Tesco) were getting full mostly with short lengths of plastic rope and some single use containers.

We stuck to the tide lines and rarely needed to look anywhere else - this was where the litter had gathered and a lot of it was tangled up in the dried up seaweed or buried in the stones and sand.

Here are a few of the filled buckets...

which took team work and...

cooperation to fill and carry all the way along to the bin.

'Pick up THREE!'
We filled the bin almost to the brim with this lot and after lunch tackled the section of beach below the Royal Oak memorial garden.

This builders' bag may have been lying in the sand for over a year. Most of us have seen it and maybe had a go at trying to remove it and given up. But today it didn't stand a chance of evading the combined power of our litter warriors!

Great job, well done!

Re-using plastic and inventing alternatives

Before we head off to Scapa tomorrow to Pick Up Three Pieces (probably mostly plastic) it was time to have a look at the models and prototypes some of us had made. We had considered how we could re-use plastics or make things almost entirely without plastics in them. We had a night light/garden light made from a green plastic drinks bottle with beautifully decorated wings, a fruit bat notelet holder and hanging display, a purple spider pencil holder and sharpener (much nicer than the original plastic version), a giant paper piggy bank and a funnel made from strong paper which could be used for dry foods like rice and even a small amount of water. The centre picture is an awesome alternative packed lunch box complete with handle and belt to keep it tight shut, inside it has a sandwich container and yogurt pot and drinks bottle. The glass containers are padded for safelty and insulation and there is not a scrap of plastic in sight! Eco-tastic and it looks great too - we might see it next on The Dragon's Den!

Teaching P3

Today we taught P3 about how to help people who are ill or injured.  We have learned a lot about first aid last term and this term.  We worked in groups of three to write a short playscript about a scenario where something happens to a friend and we have to help them.  We also made up little activities for the P3s to do to show how much they understood.
Helping someone who has a burn. 
Helping someone who is not breathing.  
 Helping someone with a nose bleed.
Helping someone who is choking.
Helping someone who is unconscious but breathing.
 Helping someone who is having an asthma attack.
 Helping someone who has a bad bleed.
Helping someone who has a broken bone.
P5 gave super explanations.  I think we have some future teachers in the making!  P3 listened well and showed good learning.