Happy Christmas!

Here are some of our pop-up gingerbread houses we made using box folds.
Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we did making them.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone!

Glaitness School Tree Lighting

Here is our own school tree lighting following the St Magnus Cathedral one on Saturday.
Lots more Christmas festivities to follow!

St Magnus Cathedral tree lighting diorama

Thank you electrical engineers!
We have been working on a diorama, or model, of the cathedral with the tree and Christmas lights. Our three electrical engineers have completed four lamp posts with a circuit using bulbs and a torch battery. It looks quite magical when the classroom lights are switched off. Please visit this post again to see more photos - we will be finishing off the diorama over the next few days, and adding 'ourselves'.
Here we are in our own diorama...
and here we are at the real cathedral!

Tag Rugby

What a great day for our first session of Tag Rugby!
 Let's hope we are as lucky with the weather next time!

Meet the Vikings

We have had a few visitors to our class recently, some of them quite friendly and ready to settle down here in Orkney. Many of them have been on long voyages and have raided monasteries.
They had some beautiful possessions with them - impressive weapons and beautiful jewellery.

Viking board games

The Vikings loved board games. A famous one is called Hnefatafl and spread all over Europe wherever the Vikings went. It was the most popular game before chess.   Jarl Rögnvald Kali Kolsson, boasts about his skill at Tafl in the Orkneyinga Saga, so it was most probably played here in Orkney during Viking times.
We have invented our own board games using chequerboards and playing pieces.

Children in Need 2014

Be a Hero!!
Well done everyone who dressed up for Children in Need.

The Vikings are here!

Armed and dangerous - Viking visitors.
We expect to have a few more Vikings appearing in our class this term...

Creating our own PE games

This week and next week we are trying out some games we have created using some of the skills we have been practising. Today's two games worked really well. The team leaders explained the aims and rules of the game clearly and each game was a huge success. We may even have a PE teacher in the making! Everyone enjoyed being in charge of their time in the PE hall and having a chance to try out their own ideas. Great work Class 5. More next week!

Remember we are going to play Tag Rugby outside starting Tuesday 25th November.

Energy from the wind

Today we had a good amount of wind to take the model turbine out and see it change energy from the wind into light and sound energy, and energy which moves things.

Happy Halloween!


How to wash your hands

Do you know how to wash your hands? We do...

When and why do we have to wash our hands?
Check the comments below to find out!

Watch out there are Trolls and Trows about!

In this week before Halloween we have had our own mini storytelling Festival based on the characters from both Norwegian and Orcadian folktales - trolls and trows! The setting for our stories was Muddisdale and we hope to be able to tell our stories around the campfire in the woods one day.

Everyone collaborated on a group story and told it to the class, including sound effects and voices. Here is one of the stories that was told. We hope you enjoy it.

Meanwhile those pesky trolls and trows are hiding around the school - can you spot them?
We will share our poems in the comments below. Please click on 'comments' and have a look.
And, if you are in school keep your eyes peeled for the P5M troll - he is very well camouflaged...

Circuit games

Today we finished the games we had made using a circuit and a buzzer or a light. We found you needed more power to make the buzzer work well if the loop only touched the wire a little. The light worked really well.

Most people managed to finish the game and one was even decorated so that nose lights up. The egg box game had a special holder for the loop and was an easy open box for on-going maintenance issues - well done!

Making maths movies

We know the best way to find out if we understand something is to see if we can explain it to someone else. This is what we have been trying to do in number at the end of our place value topic.

We have recorded a few of the explanations for our maths channel which you can see below and you can find the maths channel on the sidebar.

How to set up a tent

Today we wrote instructions which explained how to put up a tent or how to make a free standing shelter with a ridge pole. First we had to  the success criteria for the instruction writing then we went outside to put up the tent and make the shelters (remembering what we did that was successful for later!).

Making the free standing shelters.

Putting up the tent.
The nice thing about putting up tents and making shelters is that you HAVE TO have hot chocolate with marshmallows when you have finished as a reward for all the hard work.

We can all fit in!
Some people worked really hard today, concentrating on getting the job done and thinking hard and persevering - well done! You have earned Learning Rule points. Throughout the day lots of people visited the tent and enjoyed being inside. Thanks to Mrs Humphries and the local Guides for allowing their tent to come to Glaitness for its second career. We will make good use of it!

Instructions for making Brushbots

We made brushbots! It looks simple but we had to pay attention to all the details in the instructions. We are getting better at writing our own instructions by trying to follow instructions we are given ourselves.

The first day of autumn at Muddisdale

This week we returned to Muddisdale to go on a nature walk to try to identify some of the trees that grow there. We walked round the path and found Sycamore, Rosa Rugosa, Birch, Alder, Whitebeam, Willow and Hawthorn. We had drawn the leaves in class and made identification tags with our drawings, so when we were certain we could identify the trees we hung the labels on them and made a quiz for our family visitors to try out later.

Then it was time to build shelters, this time we tried to build a teepee type of shelter with a tree in the centre. Some groups remembered that they had to try to make their shelter big enough for everyone and made a tepee which was not symmetrical - it worked really well! After lunch we made 'mini- Muddisdales' in trays which needed to have all the parts we had seen - trees, paths, the burn, grass. One even had a mini- teepee shelter!

We ran out of time to make our 'tree troll' and our art letters, but we will go back and do that next time. Back at school we practised orienteering so that we knew what to do on our next Muddisdale trip. Thanks to our parent helpers and family visitors, we hope you enjoyed the trip too.

More 3 minute talks, measure and music

bikes, skateboards and bearded dragons!
measuring wiggly lines

trash band practice

3 minute talks and a special visitor

If your photo isn't here - don't worry look at tomorrows blog post about the talks.

Today we started our 3 minute talks. We learned about a few of our pet cats, horse riding, swimming, ballet and hip hop, boats and rabbits! Everyone was enthusiastic and made good eye contact with the audience. Once they got going the speakers were relaxed and confident too! More tomorrow.

We had a special surprise visitor at the end of the day too!


Our first trip to Muddisdale

Today we went to Muddisdale our local woodland, where we built some shelters in our groups - 'Willow', 'Rowan' and 'Sycamore'. We had to carry a lot of equipment up with us. When we had built our shelters most of us had hot chocolate made with hot water from the Kelly Kettle - we all used the fire steel to make a spark.

Next we played Kim's Game and then did our Woodland Workout. After lunch we created some gruesome woodland creatures - we are not sure if they were trolls or trows...

Energy in the wind

We know that there is lots of energy in the wind and renewable energy from wind turbines is important in Orkney. Recently there has not been lots of that kind of energy around! How unusual! So, to feel some of the energy in the wind we made some kites that work with hardly any wind at all.
We had to listen and understand and follow instructions carefully and step-by-step. We worked in small groups and pairs to help each other. We made some successful kites!


Kakatsitsi, the world famous drummers came to our school today and gave a performance and a drumming and dancing workshop.

Indigenous people website describes them like this:
'Their music takes traditional rhythms and chants from their own Ga tradition and those of a variety of other West African cultures, rearranging them in a modern and accessible way. Since 1996, Kakatsitsi have toured the UK 11times, working with a wide variety of festivals, arts centres and local authorities. The recent addition of a strong dance element, to complement the already outstanding drumming and singing components, has established Kakatsitsi as the leading African traditional group in the UK, with the leading Ga singers, drummers and dancers among their number'.
It was very energetic! We had to concentrate and listen very carefully to the rhythms and remember the dance moves and keep up! The video is quite long because we will be using it to help us with drumming and creating our own 'Trash' bands this term.

We started with the Scrapstore materials this afternoon!


Kitchen Science workshop.

Is there friction in space? Can you measure the speed of light in the kitchen? Why do astronauts wear space suits? Why does the moon not fall to earth? Is the universe getting bigger or staying the same size? Can space really be warped? Wow! Did you know you could find the answers to these questions using things you can find in your kitchen....?

The team from Aberdeen University get scientific in the kitchen!

Our Dynamic Earth and a story

Today we had a visit from 'Our Dynamic Earth' as part of the Science Festival.
We learned about 'Scotland's Time Lords' - how old the earth is and how Scottish scientists found out.
We saw dinosaur poo and a real meteorite from outer space!
 Here is our timeline:

We finished the day with a story from Ruth Kirkpatrick, and we thought carefully about what skills a good storyteller needs to have. These are skills we may need soon...


Windpower technology

This week we have been finding out about the technology used in windfarms. Some of these windfarms are offshore and need ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) to do jobs under the water and on the sea bed.

The wind turbines are enormous!
We measure out how big the Hatston turbine is in our school playground.

The height of the turbine from base to tip of blade when it sticks straight up - 67m

The length of one blade from the centre to the blade tip.

We have done lots more estimating and measuring this week too.

and more work with electrical circuits...

 If you are feeling energetic this weekend why not get out on your bike and work on those foundation skills! Here is some inspiration from Danny McAskill. and more here talking about how he made the video.

Observational Drawing

This term we will be going up to Muddisdale to find out about the variety of living things there. It is important to be able to look carefully and see the detail in the things we find. Here are some of the drawings we did of the leaves, flowers and berries of some of the trees that grow there.
Could you identify the trees from our drawings?

Pylon challenge!

As part of our Electricity and Energy topic we tried a technology challenge - to make a model pylon using newspaper. It had to be a tower that would be at least 1 metre tall and hold a rope 1m off the ground, be self supporting and use only minimal tape. We also wanted to work well as a group and listen to each other's ideas. Everyone did really well - with a couple of huge successes in the design and build of the models and hard thinking by everyone.


We are happy to be back at school!



Here are a few of the other feelings we like to have at school!


Last days of P5 2013/2014

What a lot we have done this year! Just have a look back through the blog posts to see all the different learning activities we have done.

This term we presented our personal projects. The standard of presentation was very high so we shared our work with the rest of the school by making a display where everyone could see it and appreciate our hard work.

The solar system, the human brain, dolphins, Meerkats, whales, volcanoes Viking helmets, horses, gardening, Orkney chair making, how to make brownies, sharks, the ploughing match, how to set up a trampoline...
what a variety of topics we know about!
 We will not be bored in the holidays! Now we know how to make a kite from things we might have around the house. There was not much wind for our flying trials but this suited the plastic bag kites. The paper ones are a bit heavier and need a little more wind. Unfortunately and unusually for Orkney there has not been very much wind at all the last two days of term! If you want to look at the instruction video again  here is the link... http://youtu.be/ln9YvlhikAg

Have a great summer everyone!

Steel Pans

As an end of year treat, we went to up to Papdale School to learn to play the steel pans today.  It was very noisy and so much fun!

There were bass, tenor bass, seconds, guitar and tenor pans.  It was harder than we first thought but we started to get the hang of it.  We were learning to play The Banana Boat Song which is a traditional song from Jamaica.  It was great to learn a bit about a musical culture belonging to some of the teams that will be competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
I will try to upload the video clip soon.
Take a look back at the Sports Day post as I have added more photographs.

Wideford Hill

Today we 'finished' our trip to Wideford Hill by going up in the minibus to see the view.
Wow! We could see the mountains in Scotland, Westray, Auskerry, Deerness South Ronaldsay and everything in between. We had a really good view of Kirkwall and saw how the sea would have come into where our school is now back in the time of the Vikings. We did our 'keep warm' dance and collected words for a word cloud.

Mission Explore challenges -  achieved!

Mission Explore at Muddisdale and Wideford

We continued our John Muir Mission Explore challenges at Muddisdale and Wideford.
This time James won the 'plastic-free lunch' challenge - well done!
Yum! NO plastic!

We started our day with a few Woodland Workout activities amongst the sycamore trees - it was great fun and a good warm-up. Next we had a look at the biodiversity in the first two habitats - amongst the trees and the grassland around the trees. Further on we stopped to micro-explore the stone walls - a few spiders in there! We noticed the patch of land squeezed between the golf-course, the Muddisdale plantation and the farmland - this is probably as close as we can get to seeing what the landscape looked like before people turned it into farmland.

Micro-exploring the cracks!
Can you see the difference between the old and the more recently built wall?
We had a look at the third habitat- farmland.
There was much less biodiversity in the farmed fields than on the verges of the path.
Next challenge was to count 1000 steps - we did it! and when we completed the challenge we had gone a LONG WAY!
Unfortunately the top of the hill was covered in cloud to there was no view to enjoy but we did get windswept and we did stand on top of a high place. We had a short look at the habitat on the hill and had our lunch.
On the way down we managed to Pick Up Three Pieces (our own challenge) and then we arrived back at sunny Muddisdale.
Time for a game which involved trying to memorise collections of natural objects...
 and a game of 'Ants'.
Now we can see the top of the hill!

What's missing?

We love the 'ants' game!

We found that there was much more biodiversity than we expected!