Scottish Parliament Outreach session

 Today we found out about the Scottish Parliament. We created our own parliamentary parties and elected members to stand in an election. The Animal Welfare Party won the election! The debate we had was structured like a real Parliamentary debate and we had a presiding officer - Ryan! Greig used the gavel too, to start off the proceedings.

Paper - origami poppers and newspaper structures

Today we made origami paper poppers. This is an easy quite easy task and it was practice at following a 'how to' video with really clear instructions and good description. We will be going on to  more advanced origami tasks soon and using what we have learned about making 'how to' videos when we create instructional videos of our own. If you want to have another go at the paper popper task here is the video. If you want us to try another one you have discovered yourself please be prepared to explain the instructions to us all without the aid of a book!

Later we worked in teams to complete a paper technology challenge. We had 45 minutes to build a structure that would hold an egg at least 1m off the ground. The shapes that worked were cones and triangles but it all depended on how well the paper spills were made! Too loose and they collapsed! The winning design was based on an idea similar to corrugated card. We know that folds make paper strong, so lot and lots of  paper folded into zig zags and enclosed in a cylinder was really strong and very stable. With a wide cylinder at the base and then a slightly smaller one above that and another even smaller above that the group made a structure with minimal tape and few joins...! Awesome!


We explored the qualities and properties of woollen fleece by using it for felting. We used a beach stone and some natural fleece with a strand of dyed coloured wool make it different and special. In pairs we worked at the fleece wrapped round the stone inside a bag with soapy water. We had to keep it moving for a long time before the fibres started to stick together to become fabric.

While we were doing this we thought about the adjectives which described what we noticed through our senses about the material as it went from dry and light to wet and heavy. We listed the verbs that described what we were doing too. It will take a while for the felted stones to dry.

McLaren 2014

2014 marks the centenary of pioneering Scottish artist Norman McLaren. He was a celebrated animator and world-renowned artist. We are lucky enough to be able to take part in an animation workshop this term which is part of the Homecoming 2014 and Culture 2014.
Before the workshop, when we will work with a skilled animator, we are doing a few activities produced by the Centre of the Moving Image, in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada. Norman McLaren lived and worked in Canada like many Scottish emigrants and their descendants.

Today we made sound pictures and stories and then we tried drawing a portriat of someone with a continuous line and without looking! Here is a slideshow of the results.
Some of them are rather good!


 We watched  'Le Merle' - his animation about a French blackbird nonsense song. (Canada has 2 languages - English and French) We cut out shapes and created out own creatures made from similar shapes. The fewer the pieces the simpler it is to animate.

Materials - metal

Although we can't work with molten metal or use machinery to form shapes with it we can use metal in the form of wire. A group explored the properties of metal wire by forming 2D shapes with it. While they did this they began to gather adjectives which described the metal and verbs which explain what they were doing to shape it.

The Year of the Horse

Our 'Great Wall of China' has developed and now displays lots of ways of celebrating The Year of The Horse by a few different classes. You can see that paper is used in lots of different ways, from lucky money envelopes to paper fans and lanterns. We used our cutting skills to create decorated paper horse heads and tangram horses. Other classes used folding skills to create dragon puppets.

We also used the Chinagram app on the touchscreen of the ipad to practice writing Chinese characters.
We found out about the drawings they originally represented and how to say the sound or word.

Sponsored Silence

Huge congratulations to the boys who took part in the sponsored silence today.  They did so well and the rest of the class were really supportive of what they were doing too.  Thanks to the generosity of family, friends, staff and classmates, they have raised well over £200 already and more money is still coming in.  The new hospital is being built at the moment and this money will go towards things needed for it and also towards the care of those needing it right now.  Well done boys.  We will update you all with a final total when we have it.

Tweet Tweet!

Last term, after many activities about bullying, we made this display at the main door to our playground in the hope that it might make all of the pupils think about the choices they make when they are out playing.  Lots of the children and staff have been talking about it and we think that getting people discussing bullying is a really good start.  Hopefully it will lead to changes in behaviour too.
Mrs Linklater emailed a photo of the display to the Scottish anti-bullying organisation Respect Me and today we received the really exciting news that they have tweeted it!  Check out the following link:

We're In The Mood For Dancing!

We've been having great fun learning dances over the past few weeks.  Avril Cromarty has been coming in to help us.  So far we have danced the Dashing White Sergeant, the Westray One Step, the Maple Leaf Stomp and Strip the Willow.  It is such good exercise and will help us to join in at social events that we go to in the future.