Blair Atholl Primary School

Blair Atholl Primary School
Life at Blair Atholl Primary School Life at Blair Atholl Primary School Life at Blair Atholl Primary School Life at Blair Atholl Primary School Life at Blair Atholl Primary School Life at Blair Atholl Primary School Life at Blair Atholl Primary School Life at Blair Atholl Primary School

What's new in Learning and Teaching?

Over a number of weeks last term, Mr Paxton our Liveactive co-ordinator, came and did lunchtime rugby sessions with our infant class. He then worked with older pupils as one of their PE lessons for the week. He is planning to do something similar after the holidays too! Our thanks to Mr Paxton!

Here are P1-3 learning to "pass and run" - each team had to see who could complete first!


Lots of photos from events in the past couple of months - from a "wild" visit from the RSZS at Kincraig drawing our favourite Scottish native animal and handling some amazing animal artefacts (yes that IS a wolf skin!) to P3 and 4 learning about Carroll diagrams, a method of sorting and categorising; to learning about how to care for caterpillars at our outdoor learning open afternoon! You may also spot a symmetrical model and a symmetrical moth! You can see how large our emperor moth and puss moth caterpillars have grown thanks to our daily feeding and cleaning rota!




………...and did we tell you we won the schools choral trophy at the Gaelic Mod again...…!?



P1-3 learned about "Pyramid Music"  - a way of composing sound which builds up gradually and then dies away in the same way. - on the day of our Learner-Led Conferences.

It focuses the children's attention on following a simple musical "score" and to begin to control their timing. Our first attempt was to use sound made by our own mouths/voices (you would have heard lots of "phwrr" "ba-ba-ba" "click -click" "waah-oww waa-oww" if you had heard us! We will develop this by using  percussion instruments. Here are some photos of what it looked like - why not ask your child to explain how it works?


 Teaching Block 3 has begun and will continue to the end of April

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) has a major focus here in Perth and Kinross. To this end we seek as many opportunities for parents and visitors to our school to share their work-life experiences with our pupils. We also ask you as parents to support our work in general if you have any skills, knowledge  or experiences which would enhance our studies. Please contact us if you feel you could help with this!




In preparation for our trip to Kinloch Rannoch, late last session,  senior pupils have spent a few busy days finshing scripts and making props.

We are joining Logierait and Glenlyon for a Showcase day, sharing our work on the Creativity Project. Our is called "Voices from the Past"-. Mrs Barr got a bit of a shock when a Bronze Age chief showed up at her office door.........


On a visit to the infant classroom recently, after reading a "Ziggy" road safety story, Mrs Barr set a road safety technology challenge - either make a red/green man which can change, or design a vehicle with a seatbelt for a toy!

Here they are with their designs! We learned a lot about materials and how they can be fixed together.



Danny and Eva chose the "red/green" man challenge - a flick of the wrist changes it from one to the either! Cameron's team  tried out a ribbon for a seatbelt.



Alisha used different construction to make her vehicle while Isabel was very clear from the very start how she would keep Floppy safe in her lego car!

Even Tiger got in on the act with this rather posh sliding vehicle by Eve and others.




What ARE they doing?




These were some of the scenes to day when Gaelic drama teacher Ariel Killick arrived to deliver the first of three session, developing drama round the theme of the Picts! The children began a 2 hour session with some warm up activities designed to help voice projection; movement and the conveying of emotion.



Ariel is helped us with a performance which we will present at a showcase event at Kinloch Rannoch in late June, followed by another at our Celebration of Success the next day!










Laurie brought in his model roundhouse to add to P4-7s pictish display. His model has a lovely mossy roof and he has created a nice texture with the outside covering.The challenge had been set well before Laurie arrived at our school, so we say "well done" for putting in the extra effort, Laurie!



There was music in the air the other day when Mrs Curley started her "Monday Danceout" at lunchtime!This is a great way of keeping healthy and have fun at the same time! Can you figure out what dance the children were doing?


We were delighted to be awarded a £1000 grant for Gaelic development at our school!

Over the course of April and May, we had three visits from Gaelic drama teacher Ariel Killick, who worked on a piece of theatre centred around the "Picts" strand of the creativity project. Part of the money went towards paying for transport to Kinloch Rannoch school later in the session, for a community drama event. Our thanks to Aileen Ogilvie who helped us construct our successful bid and recommended the tutor for us!


On "Thinking Day" two things took place in our school! Firstly, our Brownies and Rainbows came to school wearing their uniforms and renewed their promise with Brownie leader Donna Robinson, at lunchtime. It was lovely to see the range of badges they have all earned!

Later that afternoon the seniors from the  "Healthy Helpers" ECO team began planning a (free)  "pop-up-tuck-shop" which the children hope to run later in the session. They used ideas from a recipe folder given to us by Miss Crawford before she left. The whole HH team will publicise, shop and bake the items they wish to sell.

Here is a photo of our girls all dressed in their uniforms and the Healthy Helpers selecting which recipes they think would be most practical for the tuckshop.



As a family homework project, pupils from our senior class brought in round houses they had made. This was a follow up activity to the Picts focus for our creativity project in term 1. The children have used a wide variety of materials, both natural and man-made, to produce a range of house types each with it's own special ingredient! In real life they are absolutely amazing!  Well done to everybody who used those creativity skills- problem solving, curiosity, imagination and open-mindedness - plus an incredible amount of hard work!


STEM work from our senior class

The children have been developing their skills in creativity and scientific thinking, by carrying our a range of experiments through STEM (science; technology; engineering and mathematics).

In the photos below you can see Catriona holding an "art robot", which Jamie, Holly and Catriona are testing and improving in the following photo; bridge building using lolly sticks; making an "egg lander" (that's a raw egg cushioned inside suitable materials chosen by pupils) and in the final three photos, Katie is asking the question "What weight can 4 paper cups hold?" - well the answer was, (a rather hopeful!) Nathan! Dimitris and Finlay show how only one the the cups was starting to show some crumpling.





School Improvement - is that an elephant?

Yes it is an elephant! After a pupils focus group in December with Mrs Barr, pupils from P4-7 designed two, possible displays, to show how they felt our school improvement plan was doing from the pupils point of view! They finally settled on the "elephant" (they never forget!) who was immediately christened Elmer and pupils will now add to the display, to demonstrate how their class work links to our school improvement priorities. Liam suggested and then designed, a themed caption slip as well for pupils to write on. Why not have a look at it when you are next in the school?

Here are representatives from each class group beside Elmer and a close up of those skills.....



Here are some photographs of pupils helping the team of archaeologists carry out test trench digs in our school playground, following the discovery of a skeleton in 1986. Our grateful thanks to Guard Archaeology and particularly Mr Bob Will who came and not only spoke to the children but involved them too by starting the dig on a Friday! This provided a super "springboard" into our creativity project about the Picts and connects to DYW - Developing the Young Workforce.









P1 are settling in at school!

Here are some photos of the children doing their "morning tasks". This encourages independent working and as the groups are currently mixed, helps the children get to know each other, especially those who are new to our school. With a total of 9 pupils, this is our largest P1 class in many years!



     Manipulating plasticene helps                                                    Following visual instructions helps with sequencing.

       develop fine motor skills. 




                       Following patterns helps develop                           The "gears" help develop problem solving thinking and  

                            visual discrimination skills.                                                                team work



Trip to Vane Farm RSPB Reserve

We couldn't have asked for better weather, as both our schools joined forces for a visit to the RSPB reserve at Vane Farm, near Loch Leven in June 2017. The children worked in two separate groups to learn more about the natural world around us - and have  a play in the outdoor play space!

Here are some pictures from the day!


                Welcome to the reserve!         Pond dipping - careful you don't fall in!


                      In the classroom!                  Out and about with binoculars!


 How do you make the Eiffel Tower using newspaper and sellotape?

That was the question for pupils when we met to carry out a joint schools problem solving challenge! The answer was:  communication; co-operation; collaboration; teamwork and lots of fun!

Here is a "before" and "after" for each of our groups!






......and.....the finished item! (one with a little extra help from Millie!)



We regularly hold Pupil Focus Groups throughout the session, where children from a selection of class groups meet with Mrs Barr to talk about a range of aspects of school, from maths, to target setting. Recently all our pupils worked in mixed age groups, to think about the joint events we do with our partner school Logierait. The children were asked to think how they could make these better; how they helped their learning; what they liked most about joint events and to share their ideas for new ways the two schools could work together. We used a technique called "Carousel", where every group moved from table to table writing down their ideas for each new question in a different coloured pen. Logierait pupils did the same and staff will discuss these to help us plan for the future.





The children discussed how to make scale models of the planets of the solar system and made them from a range of 3D techniques. When it came to the sun, it would have been virtually impossible for us to re-construct it to the size it needed to be in three dimensions - 4 metres in diameter- so the children worked out how to make a 2D version instead. - and here it is!

All the children standing are holding the planets - some so small in comparison, that you can hardly see them!