The Narwhals go kayaking!

canoe polo - giant bbeach ball and no paddles!
 In the second after school kayaking session the Narwhals had fun with balancing challenges and a game of canoe polo with a difference.

boat balancing as you paddle!
We finished the session with a relay race towing a team member to the deep end. Well done everyone - your skills are really developing.
We will have one more session for each group after the Christmas holidays.

The John Muir Award - getting started.

We have begun our work towards the John Muir Award by thinking about the difference we can make to the environment around us. At the end of the Arctic Voice topic we looked at our own global footprint and thought about ways in which we could reduce our impact on the planet.
Now it is time to get active!

Sue, our RSPB field officer, reminds us of how long materials take to decay.
 In primary 4 we found out about th eglobal impact of marine litter, now we are going to do something about it in our local environment.

The bird has died because its stomach is full of plastic.

A bale of packing tape at Birsay with a gannet stuck in the middle of it.
 Did the gannet mistake the floating bale for a shoal of fish?
We have made a plan of action for the next two terms and we hope to get lots of people throughout the school and community involved.
If you think you can help us or spare some time please get in touch.
You can see our plan on the John Muir Award page on the wiki.

Tag Rugby indoors!

Today was our last session with Liam. We had to start off in the activity area as it was too icy outdoors, but it turned out to be challenging and good fun.

Liam and Cameron demonstrate.

Call, throw, catch, change places!
Thanks Liam and good luck!

Christmas Carols at the Cathedral

On Thursday evening we had a carol service at St Magnus Cathedral. Every class had a Christmas song to sing and the choir and orchestra, woodwind and strings group played. The audience all had a chance to join in with the carols too.

Mr Griffiths with Jordan, Joanne and Emma playing the Finnish folk song.

Primary 7 sing ' Santa Claus is coming to Town'.

We hope everyone who came along enjoyed the Service.

Tree Lighting

St Lucy and attendants.
On Saturday the St Lucy Tree Lighting ceremony was held at St Magnus Cathedral.  Children from Glaitness and Papdale took part in the choir and procession. This year St Lucy and her attendants were from our P7 class.

Class 7 participants and their certificates.

This morning at assembly St Lucy and the procession came in to light the school Christmas tree and the choir sang Sancta Lucia in Norwegian.

Thank you for a lovely start to Christmas time!

Blue llamas go kayaking!

This week we had the first kayaking group session. Everyone learned how to get in and out of a boat, capsize and empty the boat safely. 

Bobbing about in buoyancy aids - blue llamas get wet!
 After trying to paddle the boat in various ways with hands only, everyone looked relaxed.

Using hands as paddles.
 Then we started using paddles - what a difference!
Time for a relay race!

Getting to grips with paddles.
Gradually everyone began to get a bit more control, until...

getting into position...
 they were whizzing along quite happily!

Whizzing along

Well done everyone - you took on the challenge, persevered and learned lots!

Inuit inspired printmaking

In Art we have been making prints with Mrs Firth. We started by looking at images of birds in Inuit Art. Then we made a printing block and inked it and tranferred the image to paper.


How to make a model igloo

Last week there was not enough snow to build an igloo outside so we used John Rae's notes and drawings, and a Ray Mears video, to make a model igloo.

Arctic adaptations

We are continuing to find out about the Arctic and how animals have adapted to deal with the freezing temperatures. This week we investigated how effective blubber is at insulating animals from the cold.

Here we are spreading the lard evenly around the hand of the volunteer inside a plastic bag.
We took the temperature of the hand inside the blubber mitten before it went into the ice water.

The volunteer put their hand inside the mitten into the ice water (1degree C) for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes the temperature of the hand in the glove had gone up!

Then the volunteers did the same with their other hand without a mitten made of blubber. They lasted for 1.5 minutes and the temperature of their hand dropped from 30 degrees C to 8 degrees C!

Finally everyone wanted to find out what it felt like to put their hand in the ice - water... they lasted for 45 seconds and there was a lot of shrieking!!!!!!!!!

We concluded that 4 inches of blubber would easily keep a polar bear warm in sub zero temperatures.

Why not have a look at some of our Prezi presentations about Arctic food chains on our new wiki project pages!
Here is an example - this is Leah's Prezi:

Children in Need

Here are some of the entries from Class 7 for the Children in Need baking competition.
Don't they look delicious!

******double click on the picture to enlarge and see all the yummy detail!******

Tag Rugby

The latest video on our Sports channel shows us playing Tag Rugby at the Pickaquoy astroturf pitch with Liam.


Thanks to all our parents for helping us put on such a sucessful bakesale to raise funds for hiring the pool for our after school kayaking later this term.

Following our Blog

There are a few new additions to our blog on the sidebar. We have a new blog ready for BBC School Report 2012. Though this event is not until 15th March we will be using this blog to practice and get ready for the big day. The template we are using for this blog means you can follow us on your mobile phone. Let us know if it works!

 You will see there are now 2 video channels, one for curriculum activities and one exclusively for sport. The sport channel will be where we put videos of ourselves playing sports and taking part in sporting activities, as well as reporting on sport in the school community in the lead up to the Olympic games.

Class 7 play Ringette on the Class Seven 2011 Sports Channel.
We are adding labels to all our posts. These show skills which the children have had the opportunity to achieve in the activites described in the posts. We hope that we will be able to use these to build statements about what we have learned in Primary 7.
We will add these learner statements to the wiki later.

Finally this blog is all about having an audience. It is very motivating for us all to know that our work is being shared beyond the classroom. Please leave a comment - tell us what you have looked at and what you have enjoyed, and also what you would like to see here. Encourage family abroad to look and leave comments too - lets see if we can light up our globe visitor counter as much as possible!

Harvest Assembly

Class 7 sang 'Herrin's Heids' and played 'Leaving Stromness' today at Harvest Assembly. Joanne, Jordan and Emma played 'Harvest Time' on the clarinets and our orchestra players played 'Hava Nagila'. Well done everyone!
Have a great holiday and see you next term!

The last debate

We have finished term  1 with a series of debates. The last debate was about comparing life in Orkney in 1861 with life in Orkney today. Everyone is getting better at listening and responding to the points the other team makes and often we are persuaded to change our minds by the end of the debate!

The last debate was about comparing life in Orkney in 1861 with life in Orkney today.
Were people happier? Was life better? What do you think?

Making model open boats

We designed and created model open boats using some of the methods we know are used to make traditional birch bark canoes. We only had glue and string to make the joins. We used PVA as a waterproofing for the skin if we thought it need it. It didn't work quite as well as resin and bear fat to close any leaks. Everyone made gunwhales as part of their framework but there was a mix of hull designs. Some had a distinctive V shape along the keel while others were the traditional open canoe flat bottomed hull. Most people modified their designs to some extent as they made the models, and everyone learned a lot.

Stromness street walk and museum visit

We went to Stromness to see the street which has not changed much since the days of John Rae.
There are plenty of plaques on the buildings to show places that were important in the days of sail, when tall ships filled their ships with fresh water from Login's Well and the cannon fired as ships left and arrived from Hudson's Bay.

Thank you to Stromness museum for letting us gather information and to Stromness Primary School for welcoming us into their dining hall and playground.

What did we learn?

Why canoe?
This is what we learned:

" You had to work as a team when you were all in a canoe."

"It shows you that it was not easy living at that time."

" You have to have good groupwork skills to make a shelter."

"You can get knowledge of the past by trying it!"

" Understanding what it was really like to be voyageurs and traders."

"We got to experience something similar to what the people working for The Hudson's Bay Company and the native people did."

"You can do OUTDOOR activities like make a campfire, use a kelly kettle and canoeing."

" We learned how to paddle a canoe and light a fire."

"We learned how to stay safe round a campfire."

" We learned how to cook dough on a campfire."

" We learned not to stand up in the canoe, or we would capsize."

Finally we decided that,

"It is good fun and healthy."

"We got fresh air instead of sitting in a classroom."

Voyageurs, campfires and canoes.

At The Ouse in Finstown we set up camp and sent our voyageurs off to trade for furs at the trading posts. We used the Hudson Bay Company trading game we created to set the scene and set up negotiations. Meanwhile back at the campfire we made bread dough twists and ate them with maple syrup. Later we boiled some water in the kelly kettle for hot chocolate before packing up and carefully leaving no trace of our camp.

Many thanks to our parent helpers, and to Ron, for making the day such a success.

Shelter building at Muddisdale

We went to Muddisdale to build shelters based on designs agreed by the groups. Each shelter had to be built in 15 minutes and everyone had to fit inside. Once they had built the shelters they ate their bannock and butter inside.

The Hudson Bay connection

This week Kim Foden came in to tell us about her ancestor Magnus Twatt who grew up in Orphir and spent 30 years working for the Hudson Bay Company in the late 18th century.

Kim shows us how the teepee is contructed.

We learned all about Magnus's life and heard how Kim found out about Magnus and discovered her Cree cousins at Sturgeon Lake.

Some of the Canadian artefacts Kim brought in to show us.
In the afternoon there was a technology challenge, to construct a model shelter that could be moved from place to place. Some groups tried to use the teepee construction, while others tried to use the traditional A frame tent shape.

The families visit Kirbister and Corrigall

The Taits, the Bains and the Sinclair family visit Kirbister and Corrigall Farm museums to experience for themselves what life must have been like in 1861.

After a morning's work around the farm making stooks and simmens, grinding bere and sweeping up, the families celebrated a good harvest with music, dancing and songs.

Family drama

This week we have been getting ready for our visit to Kirbister and Corrigall Farm museum.
Each family group have developed the characters in their families and created family trees.
There was a visit from a photographer, everyone sat very still for the photograph to be taken.

'Watch the birdie!'
 The daily lives of the families at this time of year are full of hard work, especialy as there are only a few men folk. Many of the younger men have already left the toonship for Hudson Bay. One of our wives has not see her husband for a year and doesn't expect to se him again for at least another 12 months!
An evening around the hearth after a hard day working in the fields.
 As usual the older members of the family tell stories of life in their youth and tell a few favourite folk tales. There is still sewing, mending and knitting to be done for the women and the men might be repairing tools or furniture. The harvest Home dance is very soon so practising the fiddle is important too.
Practising the nine-pins for the Harvest Home dance.
We are looking forward to dancing, singing and music at Corrigall next Thursday.

Think of a number

Glad to be back!

Time to warm up number skills again.
 Lets get started with 'think of a number' .