The S Team return to Scapa

Today the Glaitness S Team set off for Scapa again.
This time it was Class 7 and Class 5 who walked to Scapa Beach to remove marine litter.
With the help of some parents we managed to fill 20 bags of various sizes and types of litter and remove dangerous plastics from the beach which might entangle marine creatures or which might be mistaken for food by them. Class 7 were able to tell Class 5 children how plastics don't biodegrade and break down harmlessly - they are around forever, just in smaller and smaller pieces!
Searching the strand lines.
 Along the high tide line we found some larger pieces of plastic debris and countless amount of fragments of nylon and plastic rope. There was also a significant number of dead birds and bird feathers and bones which made us wonder if some of the tangled balls of plastic fibres had already been ingested by birds, killed them and then been left behind after the birds had died and decomposed. Did you know that on average there are 30 pieces of plastic in the stomachs of birds?
Jenni explains her job.
 We met Jenni and Kate who came to tell us about how they check on the biodiversity on the shores around Orkney. Jenni is a marine biologist and she finds out about the variety of living things on the beaches and if pollution is affecting them.
She showed us how they take a sample from a sandy beach like Scapa, where at first it might appear to be nothing living there at all.

First they take a sample by pushing a tube into the sand and lifting out the core.

The sand is sieved in the sea water.

Any living things are left behind.
These are the creatures that the sea birds are poking into the sand to find.

We had a look at the tiny animals in the petri dish.

Sue tells us about some of the natural things we found.

20 bags full! Well done the S Team!!!
Many thanks to the parent helpers and our experts for coming along. Thanks also to the Council Waste Management Services for arranging for our green bags to be taken away!
Watch this space for the installation of our 1100 litre bin!

Scapa Flow trip aboard the MV Graemsay

Our route from Stromness around Graemsay, through Burra Sound, passing Cava and Fara and Houton.
Many thanks to Anne Bignall and Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership for our recent trip to Ness Battery and aboard the MV Graemsay to have a look at some of the WW2 buildings which were part of the defences around Scapa Flow.

Ness Battery

We visited Ness Battery in Stromness to find out about how Scapa Flow was defended 
during World War 2.

Thanks to Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership and Stromness Tours for a great visit.
When we came back we designed our own tourist leaflets using the
Stromness Tours flyer as a starting point and the Ness Battery website to check our facts were accurate and correct.

Here are a few sample pages:

Mini - Olympics

Over the last few weeks Class 7 have been training for the Olympics - the Class 7 mini-Olympics - with Miss Flett. Finally the day arrived and everyone took part in hurdling, throwing and jumping.

P7 mini- Olympics finished with the relay race.

The medal ceremony took place at whole school assembly.

3rd place went to 'Fish fingers and custard'.

2nd place went to 'The bean team'.

1st place went to the 'Dynamos'.

Well done everyone!

BBC School Report statistics

Class 7 received their certificates today for their fantastic BBC School Report broadcasts.
We are very pleased with the statistics on our BBC School Report  blog.
586 hits yesterday!
We hope our audience enjoyed our work.
If you have not seen it yet please go to:

World War 2 Scapa Map

Annotating the map of Scapa at  HQ.
Today Anne Bignall of the Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership came in to tell us about the defences in Scapa Flow during World War 2. We added barrage balloons, anti aircraft guns, lights for spotting aircraft, minefields, undersea communications cables, submarine nets and lots and lots more to our big map of Scapa Flow. We used a de-classified map of Scapa to help us find out where to put everything. Maps with all of this information were top secret in 1940!  Next week we will be visiting the Ness Battery to find out what one of these places was like. We will also be exploring the coast of Scapa Flow from Stromness from aboard the MV Graemsay - that will allow us to se the remains of many of the buildings you cannot see easily from the land.

BBC School Report

We are busy gathering and writing news for our BBC School Report broadcast on March 15th. Please make sure you are tuned to our dedicated blog at BBC School Report at Glaitness 2012.

The Olympics interviewers.

The new swimming pool interviewers.
The marine litter reporting team meet Mr Ian Harcus to find out about the 'Fishing for Litter' project.