Rockpool Rambling!


P1-7 enjoyed a school trip to North Berwick Seabird Centre for indoor and outdoor workshops. We first watched a PowerPoint on the type of marine creatures that we might find in the rock-pools at low tide. We learned their names, what they looked like and what each creature feeds on. 

With support and guidance of the Seabird Centre staff, the children spent the morning enjoying exploring lots of rock-pools at the beach beside the Seabird Centre. It was great fun but some of us were over-enthusiastic wading into the rock-pools and managed to get soaking wet! We had to look hard as the creatures were very well hidden and camouflaged. We collected what we had found in trays so that we could see the creatures more clearly and then returned them to the rock-pools afterwards.


Learning Street Sense

 Today P3/4 observed and recorded road traffic through Main Street in Elphinstone. It was also an opportunity to discuss and consolidate our learning in the classroom on road safety and the children were able to decide and give reasons for safe/ unsafe places to cross the busy road through Elphinstone. There was plenty of discussion on various road markings and the purpose of the double yellow lines and zigzag markings painted outside the school. 

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Through the programme ‘Streetsense’, pupils have been engaged in a variety of interactive activities on road safety.

Success Criteria: Green cross code

  • I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.
  • I know and can demonstrate how to travel safely.

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Success Criteria:  Safer route

  • I have explored a variety of ways in which data is presented and can ask and answer questions about the information it contains.
  • I can access, retrieve and use information from electronic sources to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts.

Howden Walk

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Today Leigh took us on a different walk down ‘The Howden’. We timed it well as we arrived at the same time as the farmer with his tractor and plough.

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On one side we saw a field that had already been ploughed and on the other was a field that had been planted with seeds and was already green with new shoots.

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Leigh showed us the hawthorn plants that we were going to plant. She explained how hedges are very important for wildlife like rabbits, foxes, badgers, moles and stoats.

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In partners everybody worked together to plant  hawthorns in all the gaps in the hedge. In a few years these plants will have grown  together into a tall thick hedge.

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Botanics Visit- Exploring with our senses!


P3/4 enjoyed a day’s visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh for two educational workshops. These workshops support our topic on Living Things. We were met by Katy who ran both our morning and afternoon sessions on ‘Plants We Use’ and ‘The Secret of Trees’. ………..What did we learn?

Plants We Use

  • From the common to the exotic, to find out how plants are used every day for food, clothing, shelter.
  • To learn where plants come from.
  • To find out which parts of the plant we use.
  • To discover how plants benefit our society.

Secret of Trees

  • To follow the journey through the parts of the trees from roots to leaves to seeds to discover their secrets.
  • To explore using our senses and find out how important trees are to our lives.

The children enjoyed taking an amazing sensory trip through the natural world. They were encouraged to touch and smell the plants and Katy ‘treats’ to taste that came from plants they saw; papaya, pineapple, chocolate, ginger, banana, and jellybeans!

I was excited when I got to touch the plant and it felt smooth. Sara

My favourite thing was when I learned how a tree defends itself. Did you know that bark defends a tree? Jamie

The thing I remember about the trip was the big lily pads. Arran

I liked tasting things that was made by plants. I learned that roots suck water. Grace

I liked seeing the enormous cocoa beans and tasting it too. Kelvin

I learned that a kind of cactus gives us golden syrup. Matthew

I enjoyed the most was tasting the cocoa beans and feeling stuff and smelling as well. Jonathan

I liked touching the plants and running around the grounds. Max

My favourite thing was to see exotic plants. Some were funny. We were trying jelly beans, papaya and chocolate. Oli

I learned that bamboo makes lots of different things and that plants make medicine. Faith

My favourite thing was when squirrels came really close to us. I remember that some leaves were soft and furry. Abigail

 I liked looking at all the plants and doing the activities. Mason  

I was excited when I got to touch the plant and it felt smooth. Sara 

Woodland Exploration Adventure!

What a glorious sunny day we chose for our woodland exploration day! It was perfect for all the planned activities with Leigh, our outdoor education Ranger. We found lots of minibeasts and Leigh showed us evidence of animal activity in the woods. We learned about Scottish wildlife and their habitats. In teams, the children solved food chain puzzles and noticed that all food chains begin with plants. The children enjoyed finding the animal models that Leigh had hidden in the undergrowth. They looked very realistic! We learned how plant seeds are spread by animals and weather and we even managed to hear the broom seeds popping in the heat of the sun!

The children split into teams to build a suitable hedgehog home out of twigs, leaves and feathers for Leigh’s hedgehog. Much fun and much laughter was had splashing and wading through the burn and under the bridge! We completed the day with campfire fun toasting marshmallows. Sticky! Jena and Leigh showed us how to make charcoal from willow bark which we will use in future art lessons. We packed a lot into one day and learned a great deal about the outdoor environment on our doorstep. 

Writing a Personal Account

Learning Intention: To write a personal account on our Outdoor Education trip to Musselburgh Lagoon.

Success Criteria:  

  • I can write several pieces of relevant information
  • When? Who? Where? What? Why? How?
  • I can write about what happened in the correct order
  • I can use my phonics knowledge to spell words correctly
  • I can use joining words: and, but, then, because

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Sharing our Learning: After writing most of our personal account, we shared what we had written with our shoulder partner. They gave us feedback and this helped us to improve our work.

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Harvest Time

The fields at the back of the school were harvested this week and so we went out to watch the combine harvester at work and to learn about the farmers’ work at this time of year. We talked about different crops and what the farmer’s wheat grain might be used for.

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Back in school the children looked at Wheat and Barley plants. We took wheat grains and each had a turn trying to grind the seeds into flour between two stones. It was hard work!

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Apple picking!

Our school trees are bulging and heavy with juicy ripe apples. P3/4 had great fun picking them and we collected an enormous bag full!  We all tasted some apple and agreed that they tasted much sweeter than the shop apples.

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The apples were placed in bags to sell. Thank you to all parents who bought our bargain £1 bag of Elphinstone grown apples.  There are plenty more available!

Sara brought in a delicious apple cake that her mum made with her bag of apples. It disappeared fast and the children all gave it the thumbs up!  

Canoeing at Musselburgh Lagoon


What a fun afternoon we had at the Musselburgh Lagoon with the Outdoor Education team. A cancellation by another school enabled the class the last minute opportunity to go  canoeing! It was a fantastic experience and the men made us laugh with their funny antics and games. You’ll see from the video that there was much fun and laughter and everybody had the best time. We certainly got VERY wet! 


Journey Sticks


We each found a special stick to call our ‘Journey Stick’. Wool was wound around it and, as we walked through the woods, we found lots of interesting items to attach underneath.

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Our exploration generated a great deal of discussion on the different objects we saw and touched. We chose our favourite things to attach to our journey sticks. There was an assortment of feathers, flowers and seeds and lots of leaves with unusual shapes or plants with nice smells.