P5 – back with a splash!

Having enjoyed their Easter holidays, P5 were back in “at the deep end” with a day out at Haddington to a complete a river study. It was interesting to compare the River Tyne from the back of the school to the section at the Haddington weir. It forms another important step in our John Muir Discovery award. Fortunately the weather was gorgeous making it a wonderful day.and everyone all had a great time so thanks to Martyn, Ed, Richard and Leigh.

The class was split into 3 groups each, rotating around 3 different activities.                   River profile – looking at rate of flow compared to the depth and width of the river. Also looking at erosion of the river banks, meanders and where the river has come from and where it is going.                                                                                                                             River dipping – looking at the variety of life inhabiting the river (we caught numerous fish as well as insects) with particular emphasis on indicator species that show how “healthy” a river is.                                                                                                                                             Canoeing – looking at evidence of work undertaken to prevent erosion. Discussed terms such as trash line, flood plain and tributary. Also explored the industrial past of the river. And of course the skills of paddling a canoe and the teamwork involved.

Rugby Festival & Edinburgh Castle / Holyrood Palace Trip

In another incredibly busy week P5 managed to squeeze in – making Fairtrade posters and information leaflets for the upcoming Fairtrade cafe, have Mr Torrance into class to speak about Easter, play 6 holes of First Club golf, attend a rugby festival and visit Edinburgh Castle & Holyrood palace.  Phew, we are needing the holidays to arrive to allow us to recharge our batteries.


Illustration Slam

The whole of primary 7 and half of primary 5 were fortunate enough to be invited through to the BBC in Glasgow to become the 40 strong audience for the latest Author’s Live event – Illustration Slam. The audience had to number 40, hence the unusual 1.5 classes! Three famous illustrators were on hand to discuss their work and what it takes to become an illustrator of children’s books. And they had to do this while talking to us in the audience and answering tricky questions. A testament to their skill. Even a famous commonwealth athlete joined in the fun. The children were commended on their behaviour and enthusiasm by the BBC staff. They proved to be fantastic ambassadors for the school.

All 3

For more pictures please visit the post on the P7 Blog.

Drama, Rugby, Science & PIPS

A busy week, even in the normally jam-packed lives of P5. We have had Shonagh the drama teacher in to do some work about a show we will be watching next Monday. It was lots of fun. We have been getting better at writing about characters in our stories and learning about symmetry in maths. In between all that we had our first rugby coaching and had PIPS tests on the computers. There were three tests each!  And in science we learned about air resistance and had a visit from Merchiston school in Edinburgh and they showed us some cool experiments with light and sound.  What a week.


John Muir Update

P5 are continuing to work towards the John Muir Discovery Award. Today we had Rhian in to take a John Muir themed dance workshop. The class had to imagine how different animals would move and then create movements based on these words. Then a number of these movements had to be linked together to make a small dance routine. And finally, groups got together to pair up their dance routines into a combined masterclass!In the afternoon we went outdoors (it was very cold but we wrapped up as best we could) and had a storytelling session. The class created a scary story about a haunted house in Japan. After that we made up stories to explain what was behind some of today’s newspaper headlines that had been mixed up. It was unusual but fun taking our learning outside.

Mr Cain


What’s The Score

P5 enjoyed a fantastic days musical experience with David Trouton. We learned how easy it was to write down music by looking at the amazing story of how and why music notation came about. There were loads of games, exercises, songs and activities to take part in as the workshop wound its way through history, looking at the role played by music from pre-historic times, through the Greek and Roman era to the Picts in Scotland and the medieval church in Europe.

The day culminated in the children producing a musical score to accompany a story, all of which was performed to a suitable receptive and appreciative P6 & P7 audience.

Mr Cain

What a load of rubbish

As part of our on going John Muir award work P5 took to the school grounds, streets and park of Pencaitland in a bid to clear up litter. Conservation at is best. John Muir would have been proud. Apart from the more “ordinary” work this week – maths (time) and writing (science reports) we had the added excitement of a fencing taster, a visit from the SSPCA, started our tennis block, investigated how the eye and ear worked using balloons and stuff and lead the upper area in a popular singing practice. All together now – big fish, little fish …….

Mr Cain


Frisby golf and other first week back stuff

Well P5 are right back into the swing of things after the Christmas break. Well the children are anyway – it’s taken me a bit longer.  We have started our science topic and have investigated different light and sound sources. We have written a book review, had a decimals test, created a Jack Frost collage inspired by the cold weather we saw in America during newsround and adopted a tree in the woods as part of our ongoing John Muir work. Looks like 2014 will be as busy as 2013 for P5.

Mr Cain

Rock On P5

Amidst the excitement of Christmas parties, singing “alternative” carols to other classes, preparing for the church service and generally fun Christmas activities, P5 completed their session on contemporary dance. Learning the groovy moves, being involved in a fun active pursuit and boosting their self-confidence were all just part of the fun. Added to this was the chance to use some new software to record and add visual effects to the videos they made of each other.

Check out their videos below and see what you think – budding pop stars and video producers or what!

Ba Ba Ba group – Dynamite

Awesome Iron Men group – Moves Like Jagger

A-Team group – Party Rock Anthem

Ghostbusters group – Gangnam Style

Fireworks group – Barbara Striesand

Muppets group – The Time Warp

Smarties group – Call Me Maybe

Mr Cain

Chickens Chickens Everywhere

It seems like most of the school (and their parents) have had now had a chance to see and hold the young chicks P5 have been rearing. If you are one of the few who hasn’t then cast your eye over the video below.

See the chickens here

This week P5 in the guise of chicken experts have held sessions with every class to explain how we had looked after the chicks and how to handle them. They then let all the children (and the teachers) have a go at holding or stroking the lovely wee creatures. Unfortunately the chicks need to be handed back on Friday where they will eventually settle on a free range farm.  The class will certainly miss them – they have had a huge impact and were a great link to our work towards the John Muir Award.

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Mr Cain