Here in Barra, just like the rest of the country, we have been basking in the sunshine and making the most of the opportunity to be outdoors as often as possible!
May is always a busy time in schools and there's lots to fill you in on since our last blog post!
For the last six weeks we have been joined on a Tuesday morning by our new P1 pupils ... the children have loved welcoming our new pupils to their school and have done a great job of being kind and friendly so everyone feels settled for coming back together to start the new session in August! Our new pupils showed great enthusiasm for outdoor learning and joined in on some Teach on the Beach fun. Among other activities, we spent time nestled on the cliff side observing the fulmars nesting before hitting the beach to give building our own cairns a go!
We never get bored of this view!
We were delighted to welcome bird enthusiasts Bruce and Kathy Taylor along to one of our May sessions. Bruce and Kathy have visited the school before to share their knowledge of birds they have come across on Barra and the children always find their talks really informative! We spent some time on the machair in front of the school watching the different birds visiting the playground and surrounding area. We spotted lapwigs, starlings and meadow pipits as well as black hooded crows circling above the hills behind us. They also brought along with them some of the different equipment they use for us to get a really good look!
It was great to see the children being independent in their learning ... using reference books, exploring their local environment, asking lots of questions! When we were at the beach Kathy showed us some nurdles. Nurdles are small, coloured plastic pellets that look very much like lentils. Many end up washing up on our shores and there was recently a nurdle hunt organised in Vatersay so it was very useful for the children to see these first hand so they can look out for them during beach cleans both in and out of school. Bruce had also brought along some sea beans he has collected. The following link has some useful information for anyone who wishes to know how to spot these!
On 17th May we took part in Outdoor Classroom Day ... one of the activities the children enjoyed most was developing their creativity using macrophotography! This was a great way to encourage everyone to explore the outdoor environment and using the cameras encouraged the children to find different species, look for patterns and alternative view points.
Given that the photography element of our day was such a success we decided to have a Nature Photography Competition over the weekend. This was a great way of involving parents in our learning and encouraged the children to get out and about to observe their environment through the lens! It was fantastic to come into school on Monday morning to so many photos from the pupils who had taken part!
As I am sure you will agree choosing a winner was a tough job but in the end, and with a little help from my colleagues, we chose Alanna's beautiful picture ...