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Miss Drummond’s African Adventure

Miss Drummond went to South Africa last October with a team of four other people to visit the Country and look at schools there.   They stayed with families who lived there.

This is a map of where she travelled.   The distance was four times the length of Scotland in total.   She flew from Port Elizabeth on the coast to Bloemfontain on a very tiny plane.   She was very scared.   The rest of the time she travelled by car on roads filled with potholes.  At the last stop in Durban she went on a cruise on a massive boat.

Grey Primary School

This was a school she visited where parents have to pay to send their children.  This school was similar to our school.   The children all wore uniform.   It was shorts and a shirt in the summer and trousers and blazer in the winter.   They had lots of computers and whiteboards like we do.  They speak English and Afrikaans and they play loads of sport.   Mostly cricket and rugby.

Molehabangwe Junior School

This school was very different.   Children here had no computers and hardly any jotters or paper.   They have no toys in class or in the playground.   Children here come from very poor families who cannot afford a lot of food so they get fed a meal of soup and a slice of bread.   Most children could not speak English but they sang Miss Drummond lots of songs and were very happy.

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Qaqawuli Godolozi Pre-school

This is a nursery school she visited where children did have quite a lot of toys, but the children were living in very poor conditions, some of the children only get one meal a day and it would be very small.   Look at the tyres they play with!

Missionalvale Project

This was a chirty for a township where people live in tin huts with no electricity or running water.   Lots of children here have AIDS and will possible die before they are adults.   This charity feeds 750 families every day with one meal of soup and bread.   Miss Drummond was swamped with children wanting their photos taken as lots of the children had never seen a camera before.

Hope House Orphanage

This was an Orphanage which had 30 children, most of them were toddlers and children under 8.   Nearly all of them have a mum or dad but they were brought to the Orphanage because their parents couldn’t afford to look after them.

The bath was just a little shallow dip in the concrete that would not even cover their legs.   The children slept on dirt mattresses on the floor.   They had no toys or books, just a bare carpet to play on.   Their clothes were dirty and too small for them.

The Orphanage does not get much money from the Government.   They have to rely on donations from people in the community to stay open.

People want to adopt these children but their parents won’t let that happen.   This is because they want the children to earn money for them when they are old enough.   It is very sad.

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There were lots of wild animals in South Africa.    We can only see animals like this in zoos in Britain but here they live in the wild, finding their own food and living free.

There were rhinos, elephants and baboons, who just sat in the middle of the road!   Imagine seeing hundreds of these guys on the road when you were walking to school.

The baby lion was only four months old.   Miss Drummond was able to pick him up and cuddle him, he was very sleepy.

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Visits to a Diamond Mine and a Gold Mine

A visit was made to a Diamond mine in Kimberley.   It’s the biggest man made hole in the world and diamonds have been mined here for a very long time.

The man in the picture was a diamond dealer, he can look at diamonds and tell if they are rare or flawed.   He has to cut, grind and polish diamonds on a special machine using other diamonds.   One little mistake can cost him thousands of pounds.

The ring Miss Drummond is wearing cost £75,000, the price of a small flat in Britain.

They also visited a gold mine and went 2500 metres underground where people were drilling for gold in small tunnels.   It was very scary and dark.   Water flowed down the tunnels when you were crawling through.   The roofs were held up with little piles of brick and wood.   She was terrified.   Next time you see any gold jewellery, have a think about the job that these mine workers do so that we can have gold.   It is a very difficult job.

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When Miss Drummond was in Kimberley they had one of their worst storms in 25 years.   Look at this lightning strike.   The team were out on safari when the storm struck.   The medical centre was flooded and lots of damage done to buildings and cars.

Miss Drummond had loads of fun when she was visiting South Africa – the team taught the Afrikaans people how to do country dancing.  They had outdoor barbecues almost every night, which they called Braais.   A policeman showed them how to shoot pistols, shotguns and rifles safely.   She even got to drive fast cars around a racetrack at high speed.   She made lots and lots of friends.

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South Africa was a wonderful country but it has lots of problems too.   Lots of children and adults are living in very poor conditions and we should spare a thought for them when we moan about little things in our lives.   Our class, P5/6, has received pen pal letters from South Africa and we have written back to them.   We hope to keep in touch with our South African friends.

Back from France.

We got home in the early hours of Saturday morning at about 1.30am.  We had phoned all the parents when we were at Durham services to say it would be about 1 am,  we wanted them to be there waiting for us!!   The children were great on the journey home,  they enjoyed their visit to the market in Eu before we headed for the tunnel.  We made good time and did get an earlier shuttle but unfortunately the traffic on the M 25 was very slow moving  and took much longer that it should have.  We changed drivers at Toddington services on the M1 , we had to go to the next services for oil and while there we all got our tea.  This ranged from Burger king, KFC and fish and chips.   We ate on the bus.

When we stopped at Durham everyone was having a  drink in the cafe while the driver had his break,  a gentleman came over and said he’d like to congratulate us on the behaviour of our children.  He was very impressed with them.   He said  he was a secondary teacher.  We thanked him very  much for his kind words.  They were all sitting  in groups around the tables chatting to each other and one group was playing cards.   

A big thank you to Craig Kinross who gave up a week of his holidays to come with  us.  We couldn’t have managed without him!

Oh well,  that’s it all over  for this year,  here’s to the next time!

The budding authors of Primary 3M

3M have been writing fantastic imaginative stories over the past few weeks so I challenged them to take their imaginations and working as a team write and publish their very own book!

3M were fantastic and rose to the challenge by exploring the infant library to find books that had lots of stories in them.  They discovered these were known as a collection of stories so set about making their own collection.  3M also discovered that each collection had a theme so some groups decided on using the setting as a theme to their story, others used a character.

Once each author wrote their own story they then came together as a team to publish their book.  After designing an  exciting front cover and a contents page 3M have proudly put their collections on display in the corridor.  So if you are passing our way why not stop and pick up one of our fantastic books.

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Thanks for Life -End Polio Now Purple Pinkie day

When the Rotary Club of Longniddry and District asked if we would help raise money for the End Polio Now campaign we were only too happy to help.  Some of the older members of staff remember children of their generation who suffered from this terrible disease and  also being given the vaccine on a sugar lump.  Nowadays it is squirted straight into children’s mouths.   Mr McPhee and Mr Kirkpatrick  came to school to tell the children about the campaign.  The school raised £164.29 which means that 338 doses of vaccine can be bought.  The local Rotary club , Rotary  international and the Bill Gates Foundation   make contributions based on our contribution.  Thanks to everyone who made a donation.

P567 Carnival masks

Our Italian teacher Simonetta talked about carnivals and we made masks using card, glitter, straws and feathers. On the 9th of February were are having a carnival party with games, food and dancing. We are allowed to dress up if we want but we must wear our masks!!

KEEP WATCHING for photos from the event!

Nikola and Carmen (P5/6)

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Peer Mediation

Pupils from both P6 and P7 are being trained as peer mediators. 

 What does this mean? 

The children are going to be trained in helping  children, who  are having problems in getting along, find  a solution to their problem.  This project is running very successfully in Ormiston and it sounded like a great idea to have it in Cockenzie too.    There are many incidents that take place in the playground between children that could be resolved very quickly with a little guidance.  The children will also be trained in recognising things that they can deal with and ones that need adult help.  The P6 pupils will train on the 26th and 27th of January and the P7 pupils will have their training on the 10th and 11th of February.

Once they are trained children who are interested in being mediators will then be on duty on a rota system.  The children who decide they would like to be mediators will then help decide where their station will be and how it will run.  Staff will be around to help them should the need arise.  Even although they might not wish to be a mediator,  the children  will learn skills in the training that will be useful on a day to day basis. 

Common Ground Mediation  are involved in  delivering the training to  the school and this is being funded by East Lothian Council.  Carol and Morag have been in to do some training with staff and  were at our assemblies on 8th January.  We hope to share what we have learned with parents too.   Look out for a date for that!