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Perfect Festive Books for Everyone, Scottish Book Trust


Perfect Festive Books for Everyone

Scene from Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Have you still to find the perfect festive book for a friend expecting their first baby? Or the ideal story for a family who don’t celebrate Christmas? Don’t worry! Your friends in the Early Years team are here to help with their seasonal book suggestions for everyone:

Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock and Helen Stephens

Oliver Elephant

This charming story feels really nostalgic to me – bringing back happy memories of trips to Jenner’s at Christmas with my Granny. So magical! With a lovely rhyme and featuring Helen Stephens’ beautiful illustrations it tells the story of Mummy, Noah and Evie-May Brown as they do their Christmas shopping and Noah loses his beloved toy Oliver Elephant. But don’t worry, all is well in the end. (chosen by Kirsty)

Santa’s Beard by Matilda Tristram, Tom Duxbury and Nick Sharratt

Cover image from Santa's Beard

Santa is too hot with a white fluffy beard, so his beard decides to take off and find a new face to live on. Will it be a baby’s face? Will it be a princess’? No one wants Santa’s beard! (poor thing). This book is hilarious and lots of fun – there is a tactile white beard that can be stuck to various characters throughout and Nick Sharratt’s vibrant illustrations make it perfect for engaging wee ones at Christmas. (chosen by Emma)

A Dot in the Snow by Corrinne Averiss and Fiona Woodcock

Cover of A Dot in the Snow

A Dot in the Snow is a beautiful wintery tale, perfect for sharing whether or not your family celebrates Christmas. It follows a curious polar bear cub, Miki, as he follows a dot in the snow. The dot turns out to be a little girl, all dressed up for the cold and ready to play. This story is a treat for all the senses and I love the magical pictures that throw a frozen landscape in and out of focus as the weather changes. If you’re looking for a book to curl up and snuggle in with your small person, this would be perfect. (chosen by Catriona)

Goodnight Santa by Michelle Robinson and Nick East

Cover of Goodnight Santa

The beloved Goodnight series is back and full of festive magic! Enjoy the excitement of Christmas with a gentle, calming twist. Get ready – Santa’s coming, ho ho ho! Say goodnight to snowmen, choirs and stockings by the fire. Get a special sneak peek into Santa’s workshop. Make sure he’s got his list then quickly off to bed before Santa comes. A wonderful book to help little ones wind down with their grown up at the end of a busy day. (chosen by Tracy)

Snow Rabbit by Camille Garoche

Cover of Snow Rabbit

If you’re looking to introduce a friend to wordless picture books, Snow Rabbit would be my festive pick. Winter can be a magical time, with snow and frost transforming the world around us; this beautiful picture book encapsulates this sense of wonder perfectly. Two girls gaze out of the window onto a snowy landscape – one goes out to make a snow rabbit for her wheelchair-bound sister but inside it starts to melt. So into the snow they go, where magic happens. A wonderful way to use your imagination as you tell the story together. (chosen by Ruth B)

Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Tim Hopgood

Walking in a winter wonderland

If you’re looking for a book to celebrate baby’s first Christmas, Walking in a Winter Wonderland is just perfect. Tim Hopgood brings this traditional winter song to life with his beautiful illustrations. Cosy up as you walk through the snowy forest with charming wildlife and sing along as you stroll through the winter wonderland. The vibrant illustrations give this classic song an enchanting, modern twist. Babies love to hear the sound of your voice and singing is a great way to soothe them when they are unsettled – this book includes a recording of the song so you can sing along as you share the book together. (chosen by Tracy)

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

The Grinch who Stole Christmas

“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” This classic Christmas tale of a change of heart from a grump even worse than Scrooge is perfect to read aloud to your bump or newborn. The rhythm will be the thing that they will notice along with the sound of your voice, so watch out for some kicks or some stretches when you read this! It also means they don’t miss out on one of the best bits of the festive season – curling up with a good story! (chosen by Beth)

The Very Long Sleep by Polly Noakes

The Very Long Sleep snow scene

The Very Long Sleep is a snowy tale about what animals get up to over the frosty winter months. Some hibernate, and some don’t (much to Fox’s disappointment!) A great alternative Christmas read for little ones who love animals – the nostalgic illustrations by Polly Noakes are just beautiful. (chosen by Ruth G

If you still need some inspiration for that perfect Christmas gift, we have plenty more books to choose from on our Christmas Countdown11 more Festive Books and 12 Festive Baby Books lists.

And don’t forget that you can also win one of our favourite festive books, The Snowman, in our Bookbug book of the month competition.

(Main image from Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Tim Hopgood)

P5 Table Tennis Championship

Taken from Gareth Hill’s post on:

27 P5s signed up for the Dunbar Primary School P5 Championship. The tournament came about because Haddington Table Tennis and East Lothian Table Tennis led PE Support sessions delivered in the school.

However as the tournament progressed it became clear two players were standing out. David C and Tom F were on different sides of the draw and were set for a collision course in the final. In the semi finals both lifted their performance again and moved swiftly through to the final.

In the final it was David who took the crucial points. In the first game the score was 8-8 and David played a driving forehand down the line which clipped the edge of the table and then gave him a boost to seal the first game 11-8. In the second game Tom raced to a 6-1 lead. David wouldn’t be denied though and powered back tol take the game 11-9. With it being best of 3 David took the title.

Also the school staff took part in a teacher training and 8 staff will now be delivering TT to the pupils which means the sport will only grow in the school.

If you wish to know more about Table Tennis for Primary Schools in the cluster please contact Active Schools Coordinator Gareth Hill on or 07976377642

Education Scotland Thank You

Article from ‘Inform’:

Education Scotland has thanked Campie Primary School, Dunbar Primary School, and Ross High School for their hospitality after the schools welcomed international trainees from Kuwait this month.

The Kuwait assessors visited our schools for two days during a visit to East Lothian between 20 November and 1 December. The focus of these visits was to support the new Kuwait assessors to evaluate learning and teaching in literacy in the primary schools, and the English department in the secondary.

Education Scotland’s Graeme Logan said: “The Kuwait trainees were very impressed with their visit to Campie, Dunbar and Ross High schools. They found the staff very open, friendly and willing to share their practice. They learnt a lot from their classroom observations which will support them to improve their skills and knowledge in self-evaluation. They very much enjoyed engaging with the children and young people who were strong and proud ambassadors for their schools. We value our partnership with your schools in supporting our international engagement and look forward to further joint working next year.”

Anna Boni, also from Education Scotland, added: “I would like to formally thank the senior teams, staff, children and young people in Campie, Dunbar and Ross High Schools for the way in which they supported the learning of our Kuwait trainees. I know that my team and I found the support provided by the schools to be of the highest quality. Their championing of the learning of the Kuwait group was far beyond expectations. The attitudes of the children in so openly accepting the influx of visitors from a very different culture was commendable. The generosity of spirit of the teachers who allowed us to observe their craft in class and also gave of their time to engage in professional dialogue was greatly valued.. I know that the Kuwait groups benefited significantly from their two days in your schools. I think the schools, while probably exhausted by their constant stream of questions, also enjoyed the visit.”
Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School also welcomed international visitors this month. This November, a group of international health care professionals visited the Musselburgh school to see how they use the Scottish Government’s Improvement Methodology. Staff discussed how the school’s vision and values were developed by the children, parents and staff, explaining how the school lives these values, and how this underpins their Quality Improvement work.


Joyeux Noël

International Visitors

We had some international visitors from Kuwait in school this week.  They were here to learn more about how to evaluate learning and teaching.

P7 pupils took them on a tour of the school when they first arrived and then the group spent time in a variety of classes observing literacy lessons.

We really enjoyed welcoming them to our school and they had lots of positive things to say about their visit!


Sportshall Athletics

A team of P6 & P7 pupils attended the East Lothian Sportshall Athletics Competition this week and came first! They had a brilliant time at the event and Mrs Silver, Classroom Assistant, said their behaviour & attitude was outstanding!

Congratulations to Kings Meadow who secured second place in the competition. Dunbar Primary & Kings Meadow now progress to the East Regional Final.

P4 Young Artist Competition

The Rotary Young Artist Competition is organised by Rotary District 1020.

P4 enjoyed taking part this year and entered some ‘Harry Potter’ themed art work as part of their class novel work at the time.

The competition aims to encourage young people to:
•experiment with creativity
•use traditional or contemporary methods of fine art
•show interpretation of their chosen topic
•express their ideas through the medium of fine art

Members of Dunbar Rotary Club visited our assembly on Friday to congratulate three pupils who got through to the final stage of the competition. Well done!

P7 Mentor Group – WWII

The P7 Mentor Group organised a Q & A session with WWII survivors. Here’s a little bit of information about our visitors:
May – She was 10 when war broke out and had family who fought in it.
Elspeth – She was 5 when war started and went to stay with family as her parents were in India. Her family took in refugees who had lost everything in the Clydebank blitz.
Mike – Evacuated to the south coast from East London. He remembers seeing Doodlebugs flying over.
Margaret – Her dad was a doctor so saw a different kind of war.
The P7s learned so much from their visit and we are so grateful to May, Elspeth, Mike & Margaret for coming in to speak to us. A wonderful experience for our pupils. Thank you.