Teaching and Learning 2016 -2017

    Sports Day

Congratulations to all pupils on their enthusiasm and commitment to fun sports. Their attitude towards the activities was outstanding and they can be proud of their positive, caring and respectful behaviour. These amazing photographs were taken photographs were taken by Donna Dugdale and capture the spirit of the day.

Jamie’s Medals…

Jamie achieved excellent success with two golds in the U11 100m and 400m. Congratulations Jamie what an amazing achievement.

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Author Visit

We had a lovely visit from author Ben Blathwayt.  It was particularly fascinating to see how he developed the story with pictures first and then words. A lot of the pupils could identify with this and can understand why it can be a good thing for them to draw pictures of their weekend news, or stories before we tackle the writing work with them.

It always inspires pupils when they see ‘real – live’ authors as I believe it also helps them to brink books alive and be able to engage with them.  Ben signed books for the children.


Ulva Community Cafe field research

When the P6/7’s were on the Stirling trip Lucy ventured over to Ulva for literacy learning and P.E. She also researched and investigated how Ulva Primary pupils lead their cafe to help inform the running of our own cafe. On the way back we stopped at Allan Cameron’s to enquire about the benches he had for sale for our trail.

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Moy Castle & Lochbuie Beach Clean

Ulva school joined us on polling day for our Loch Buie learning adventure. A big thank you to Flora for giving us a guided tour of Moy Castle and a Big well done to everyone for using our beach cleaning skills this time on the stretch of beach to the castle. Thank you to Grace and Harry’s granny for the Brownies. Grateful thanks to Pennygown Quarry for providing the skip.

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Mull Coastguards Visit

We applied our active listening skills when the coastguards visited us. They shared information about their job and how we could keep ourselves safe. After break we developed our co-ordination through practising some rescuing techniques throwing ropes. We asked questions and had the opportunity to try on clothes and explore the tools needed for the job. We were also lucky enough to sit in the coastguard vehicle and hear how loud it was.

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Mull Aquarium

P3 visited The Mull aquarium today whilst the P6/7 took part in active island maths day (co-ordinates and shape position and movement as part of a transition project with Tobermory High School. Slide show below…

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Science Day with Professor Bowman

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Greenpeace – Beach Clean



Nature Trail Guides

Kerry, the Glengorm wildlife ranger came to help us develop our skills as trail leaders and to show us how to forage for food. We discussed and shared our knowledge of the our local environment before making our own nettle soup on the beach.

Garage Band at Lochdonhead

This term we are learning to understand notation, beats and rhythm in our music lessons and are looking forward to the exciting prospect of creating our own musical composition. We are using our technological skills to support the significant aspects of music through the app ‘Garageband.’ This is being delivered in conjunction with CAST · Laura and Kirsten will be leading the Garageband workshops in the classroom and we enjoyed our second session on Friday.

School Sport Award

We were delighted to welcome Councillor McCuish to present us with our Silver Sport Award on Thursday. The sportscotland School Sport Award is a national, Lottery funded initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education (PE) and school sport opportunities. The sportscotland School Sport Award:

  • Encourages schools to self reflect and continuously improve
  • Puts young people at the forefront of the decision making and planning of PE and sport in their school
  • Helps schools to increase young people’s opportunities and engagement in PE & school sport
  • Helps schools to put PE & school sport at the heart of their planning, practice and ethos
  • Recognises and celebrates successful PE & school sport models

Well done to everyone involved for all our hard work.

School Sport Award


Nature Trail

Our nature trail is beginning to take shape. A sign post, leaflet holder and swan post discs signs have been placed and the children have planted wild flowers in ceramic pots along the way. Next steps are to design and create our map, leaflets and information boards.


Pupils and parents were in school at the weekend to create the camouflage design chosen by the pupils for their conservation garden science laboratory. Our next steps are to hopefully add to the creativity of the camouflage theme with green netting, twigs and leaves. Thank you to everyone who helped and donated paint. We all think it looks fantastic and are pleased with the results. We hope you are too…

Taylor’s Leaving Party

Taylor had a wee leaving celebraton on her last day before the holidays.  Thank you to everyone who joined us to wish her well.

Mull Otter Group – Talk

Mull otter group visited the children on Friday 31st March to talk with the children about their conservation work on Mull.  You can find out more about what they do by visiting  http://www.mullottergroup.co.uk

 Art Workshop Visit

We visited An Tobar to experience a workshop and exhibition of the artist Graham Fagen and his work on The Slaves Lament and The Rope Tree. The workshop was delivered by Lee McCrone and supported by Alex Stevens. We used all of our senses during the visit to analyse, evaluate and appreciate art and developed our technical drawing ability and teamwork skills to imagine how life must have been for those enslaved to travel across the seas. We made links across the curriculum with literacy as we learned that Graham Fagen based his work on a poem by Robert Burns. We discovered that Robert Burns wrote his first poem to raise funds for his trip to Jamaica to run a plantation and be in charge of slaves. His poem was published, he became an overnight success and never left for Jamaica.

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Health Day – Salen.

Pupils travelled by mini-bus to join Salen and Ulva pupils at Salen Primary School for a variety of skill packed workshops essential to developing their health and well being. Our pupils learned about: mindfulness, yoga, heart start, modern day slavery awareness, internet awareness and learned about local salmon production and were invited to try some. Thank you to the experienced community member s who gave their valuable time to support our children’s education.

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Star Reader – Celebrating Successful Learning

Today (Thursday 23rd March 2017) we travelled over on the ferry to Oban to celebrate Alex’ reading for enjoyment success. She has read one million words in six months and was awarded a book of her own choice from Waterstone’s to celebrate.

This is an amazing achievement and she has read a total of 24 sizeable books to attain this. A big ‘thank you!’ is extended to the parent council for funding the trip and the award. The pupils all took the time to look around the store and evaluate the choice of books on offer and selected one or two for themselves and used their World Book Day gift vouchers. Before heading back to Mull on the ferry we stopped at Wetherspoon’s where we were well looked after by the staff and enjoyed a lovely lunch. Learning is always a journey and it is good to reflect on our successes and achievements and for our children and pupils to be active participants in that.

AR has been of huge benefit to our pupils and continues to inspire them to achieve. The results of this are evident, not just in their reading but in their remembering, understanding, application,  analytical, evaluative and creative literacy skills across the whole curriculum.

“Well done to all our pupils!” and “Well done Alex!”

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 Engineering Topic

Thank you to Tom (Harry & Grace’s Dad) for coming in to visit us on Friday.  Tom shared  his engineering experience and helped us to develop our inventions as part of our topic work on engineering.


Lochdon Nature Trail

Jan Dunlop came along to the school to assist and advise the children on the development of our new nature trail around lochdon.  It is all starting to take shape now, we are very excited to share our first pictures of the way markers being planted!

Scientific Explorers

On Wednesday afternoon we had  an afternoon of science and art. We investigated the lichen in our school grounds and explored their physical and biological characteristics. We paid attention to detail by sketching and painting the lichen. We thought of words to describe it and annotated our drawings. We then looked at the lichen under the microscope and were amazed at how different it appeared magnified. We painted new sketches and labelled them with new words and descriptions. We researched using the iPad and the computers to find five facts each about lichen and shared and discussed them with the class. We will share our new knowledge with visitors on our planned nature trail.

Gaelic Learners

Miss Blackhall visited last week to support our Gaelic learning in the school. The pupils enjoyed playing bingo with the numbers to twenty and playing a variety of games indoors and outdoors to help learn our colours.

Community Cafe

The pupils, supported by parents, very ably organised and hosted their Lochdonhead Cafe Craft community cafe on Monday 6th February. A variety of handmade crafts were on offer, alongside coffee, tea and cakes. The pupils demonstrated that they were successful learners when they ran  a game of bingo and contributed effectively to the whole afternoon. We are delighted that we have had offers from two community members to come and join us to support the home learning club and entries were made to our ‘Reasons to be Joyful 2017 book.’ We would like to thank the community and parents for their continued support.


Lunchtime Sports Club

Two P6 pupils are becoming sports leaders and running lunch time clubs. Harry was the first to start his ‘pool club on Friday’ and everyone came along to join in the fun. It was a brilliant success and in Harry’s evaluation sheet he recognised how well everyone did with learning to hold and use the cue. Jamie will run his running club on Monday lunchtimes. If any parents or community members would like to come in and support either of the clubs please do not hesitate to get in touch.

pool.jpgWriting Across the Curriculum

The children enjoyed the first morning of school developing their active listening and talking skills through sharing their Christmas news. They  then discussed the significant aspects of learning, the learning outcomes and success criteria needed for writing across all curricular areas. This formed our assessment rubric for the term ahead and the children used it to assess their Christmas news written work. They used their touch typing skills to type and next display their work on a wall in the downstairs classroom with accompanying pictures. They worked hard and clearly had a very exciting time during their break.

World Book Day

Welcome to a world of books. Imagination is free. Anyone can come. After reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe we wanted a wardrobe to walk through too. For the World Book Day competition we had to design a display that answered the question “What makes us a school of books?” This was our answer…



Interdisciplinary Learning

Maths, expressive art and literacy were among the learning in producing props and scenery for our school Christmas show. The children were creative and applied their teamwork skills whilst learning alongside Mrs. Grierson. They have began practicing their chosen songs for the Christmas play and are enjoying the experience. Look out for a sneaky preview of the costume designed for R2D2 in the pictures below…

After School Science Club

The children enjoyed an afternoon of Human Biology with Jane. They drew around each other on paper. Then added features and vital organ. An explanation of what everything does was given. Next week they will create the main bones in the body and stick the bones onto their own bodies.
All topics to be covered include some worksheets, art work and lots of imagination. Evidence of their active learning will be collated for the Award. Each child should be able to add 3 more stickers to their LogBooks; thereby earning their First CREST Certificate at the end of term. Jane will also present one of the Lapbooks to Blue Peter for a GREEN Award.

Community Christmas Lunch

Well done to Taylor and Lucy who showed confidence in their singing and highland dancing skills on Friday at the Isle of Mull hotel. They treated the guests to a rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and two highland dances and were thoroughly applauded by their audience. They handed out Christmas cards from us all at the school, along with an invite to our Christmas show. Thank you to Lucy and Taylor for this fantastic achievement. You did the school and the community proud.

Whilst the Cats Away…

With the older pupils away on a school pantomime trip in Glasgow, the two remaining pupils were not missing out on fun in their learning. We planned out the day together using a mind map and chose the order of activities. We were focused on our ELLI creativity skills which we discussed and decided that meant: Having good ideas, being confident, willing to have a go, making things, drawing things, writing things and painting things and working together as a team. First was Wake Up and Shake Up, next was preparing Christmas cards for the community lunch, then drawing and cutting out letters for our World Book Day display.  We also did our RWI reading, accelerated reading and maths using Sumdog. After school in our home learning club we practiced our singing and dancing for the Community lunch tomorrow.

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Art and Design

We are having lots of fun today using our creative skills to make props, scenery and costumes for our Christmas Show.

Nature Trail Field Trip and Digging for Worms

On Friday 18th November, with great excitement, we set off on the ferry to Oban to visit and walk the Dunollie Nature Trail. We were studying our natural environment and looking for information to help us in the creation of our own Lochdonhead nature trail. As part of a marine science investigation we were also participating in Great British research into lug worms around the UK. The weather and tide were ideal for our woodland and beach visit.

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Global Citizenship

Jordan from Project Trust came into school to deliver a workshop on child poverty and the impact it has around the world.

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Courgette Cake

The pupils baked courgette cake and muffins with vegetables grown in the school garden.

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Road Safety Calender Competition

This morning pupils have been working on their entries for the road safety calender competition.  The competition is open to all school in Argyll and Bute, the winners will be announced after November 10th .  Good luck everyone.


Budding Playwrights

Today we worked hard on developing further ideas for our Christmas play.image
We used our team work skills to craft some more of our script, develop our plot and characters, and to discuss suitable songs. We designed our stage backdrop and costumes and wrote letters to members of the community asking for help with providing materials for our props and costumes.

Grounds for Learning

Sian came into school today to help us review and evaluate our horticultural learning from over the last year. We were very proud of our beetroot, onions, potatoes, sage, strawberries, tomatoes and sunflowers. Next year we want to grow them again but look at deeper tubs for our carrots and explore self pollination for our pumpkins as we did not have as much success with these. We all agreed that the wild flowers in our boat were spectacular and helped attract butterflies and insects.  We want to plant some bulbs soon so that they grow next spring and take some cuttings from our strawberries. We tasted our chilli’s and discovered that they tasted very strong.

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Halloween Party Fun

Our pupils and Ms Bidwell all dressed up and ready for an afternoon of spooky fun and games.  Halloween biscuits decorated by the pupils.  All the pupils put a lot of thought and effort into decorating their biscuits.   Well done everyone.

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One Painted Science Lab…

Today we applied paint to our science lab walls. The pupils were very proud that it took just two days whilst still finding time for reading, spelling, handwriting, maths, structured play, letter writing and designing the props, characters, scenery and writing of the script for our Christmas show. What a busy start to term. Tomorrow we are looking forward to fitting a table shelf to hold our microscopes.

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Painting Our Science Laboratory – Engaging our Learners

We wanted to paint our laboratory white. On Wednesday during maths we used our problem solving skills and developed our measuring skills to work out the surface area of our shed so that we could find out how many litres of paint we would need. Today some of us remembered to bring in some old clothes so that we could begin to transform our shed. We used teamwork skills and organisational skills to help us in our creative vision. One coat of paint is now completed.

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First Science Laboratory Learning Experiment…

We had a lot of fun last week using our new science equipment and laboratory to explore the chemical science behind the construction of bubbles. We created, observed, experimented and investigated volume, elasticity, surface tension, light, and geometry.