Young Tree Champions
Last Autumn P5/6 applied to The Tree Council, Orchards for schools #Forcefornature. We received 10 trees, which we took great delight in planting. This sparked a new interest in learning about the trees around us, capturing pupil learning to springboard our interdisciplinary theme, inspiring further planting of native trees, a tech kit and a workshop delivered by The Speakers Trust. We were one of 20 schools in the UK to be awarded the full kit- we are now Young Tree Champions, working towards status as a Beacon School. The children have enjoyed learning about germination and pollination as they grow their own apple trees from seeds. They carried research into deforestation and climate change, then learned all about photosynthesis. Next session we will create a talking tree trail using the tech kit supplied by the Tree Council. We are going to incorporate two of the new trees within our new Sound Garden. The children have entered a national speaking competition following their workshop.
Children were keen to grow more fruit, inspired by the Orchard project and wanted a poly tunnel to enable them to grow more exotic types. Also keen to grow veg- problem with rabbits and deer eating things so a poly tunnel seemed like a great solution. We are experimenting with a few things currently growing.
Pupils created their very own ‘Sound Garden’, offering a mixture of ‘percussion’ items, thanks to amazing donations including wind chimes, pots and pans, bicycle wheels, bicycle parts and various types of piping.
Pocket Garden – Keep Scotland Beautiful
Primary 1/2 entered last year’s Pallet and Planter Competition with Gardening Scotland. Their successful entry was allocated a space at the 2020 National Gardening Festival in Edinburgh On return to school in August 2020, the children were so eager to continue work on our garden and entered into the competition again, as the only entry from Argyll and Bute and feature on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website. “A pocket garden is a miniature garden that uses edible plants, plants that attract wildlife, and that reuses something which would otherwise have been thrown away” Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Outdoor Literacy Lessons
All children in school were able to take part either remotely using google classroom or whilst attending the hub. All weekly lessons contained videos, examples, photos with lessons involving involved 4 elements such as; first hearing a story about an outdoor graphical feature such as cracks, then thinking about their own ideas or outdoor areas they are proud of (unique skills or behaviours), an outdoor hunt and finally creating/writing a story either on paper or digitally.
Many of the children got involved and sent photographs and sent their stories. The children have been working on improving their descriptive writing throughout this session’s outdoor literacy lessons. Many of the children really demonstrated and applied their knowledge and understanding of their learning through their stories.
The outdoor literacy lessons have helped children engage with literacy, particularly those who have normally struggled for ideas or have been apprehensive of writing. The outside context in Rosneath Peninsula has helped to provide a rich natural environment, which has stimulated their creative ideas. The differing contexts, has supported all of the children’s understanding that literacy is everywhere and has also improved individual targeted pupil attainment, whilst enhancing their mental health and wellbeing.
Parent comment: “This was a great task and my child really enjoyed making a story to go along with the photos we had made beforehand based on the ideas she had come up with for her story. She really enjoys getting to type on the laptop rather than writing on paper.”
Weekly lessons and teaching videos are available for all pupils to access through Goggle Classroom, ‘Outdoor Literacy’ tile. Pupils are able to comment and upload their work online.
Cove Park Artist Retreat – Virtual Workshops (Glow)
Pupils from P1 to P7 created a series of concrete relief tiles that reflect the Core Values and Key Drivers of the school vision and values. In particular they were inspired by the following areas, with each class bubble focusing on 1 of the 4 areas listed below:-
From the School Values…
- Resilience – strength, flexibility
- Respectful/Responsible – kindness, community, safe, caring, team work
From the School Vision…
- Learning for sustainability – life long learning, breadth, progression, depth of knowledge, personalisation and choice
- Outdoor learning – contact with nature, biodiversity, tackling climate change
All 3D tiles are displayed in the school hall and around the school.
Young Leaders – Active Schools
Pupils in P7/6 and P5/6 took part in ‘Young Leaders’ training programme – enables Young Leaders to run activities with younger pupils when in a position to do so. All children took part in the daily mile throughout the session and also during the ‘Daily Mile’ challenge schools competition which ran throughout the summer term, ran by Active Schools.
John Muir Awards
Primary 6 pupils attained their John Muir Award, gaining accreditation across the Autumn term during Forest School programme. Pupils drew a picture of their outdoor paradise and shared things which would spoil that special place for them. Top of the list was LITTER. Pupils visited the beach and carried out a mini beach clean, Supported by Surfers against Sewage and removed almost 9kg of rubbish! This was sorted into recyclables and general waste back at school. As a reward for their hard work Primary 6 learned the science of the fire triangle- oxygen, fuel and heat- the rules of outdoor fire safety, and the policy of ‘leave no trace’. They then made Smores as a tasty treat. Pupils worked in teams to build mini National Parks on the beach form natural materials and presented their creations; explaining all of the features included to the rest of the group.
High 5 Awards – SVQ 2
69 awards were awarded this session to pupils across P2 to P7, for recognition to attained skills during clubs attended 19/20 and progress made during the Autumn for individuals in sports and Tennis.
Every child submitted a portfolio of evidence detailing their attendance of the differing extra-curricular activities they attended and the skills they acquired during these activities. This was acknowledged and supported by the coaches and volunteers running each of the activities, and recorded within our achievement system.
Accelerated Reader Awards
This session pupils across the school enjoyed reading on a daily basis through AR library books or accessing their own device via MyOn digital library, increasing pupil their word counts to new levels! Highest word count awards were gifted to a child from each class at the end of term, with the overall school achievement award going to two pupils, both reading over 2,700, 000 words each this session!
Health & Wellbeing Officer – Care Experienced
Over the course of the session up to 13 children have received one to one weekly intervention sessions with our allocated Health & Wellbeing Officer. Through a combination of emotional resilience activities building self-esteem, pupils built up trust on a one to one basis, nurturing principles saw the development of significant gain for targeted individuals, this was evidenced by capturing pupil voice, increased engagement with the officer during one to one sessions and feedback from individuals during SHANARRI discussions.
Teddy Bear Policy
Following initial authority trauma awareness training and increased pupil voice support by Health & Wellbeing Officer, further trauma awareness training was delivered during the February In-Service, with all staffing attaining across RPS. The creation of the teddy bear policy to ensure a safe, happy and secure learning environment was initiated with pupils, staff and families in partnership. We have successfully been awarded the ACHA housing grant, which will help launch this school community policy.
This increased trauma awareness for families and staff, and increased staff knowledge to recognise trauma behaviours in children, supporting us to reflect on practice supporting classroom management strategies and also revise learning and teaching.
Building on staff evaluation, pupil voice and our partnership with our Health & Wellbeing Officer, we were able to secure agreement with Oral Health to launch a whole school community tooth brushing campaign. All children across our school community are involved in daily tooth brushing and feedback from pupils has been very positive;
“I love brushing my teeth!’ P6 pupil
“It’s really easy, we do it every day after lunch.” P5 pupil
“I’ve got lovely teeth because we brush them everyday.” P2 pupil
A further survey will be conducted in the new Autumn term.
The Standards in Scotland’s Schools, etc. Act (2000) requires schools to produce annual improvement plans outlining priorities for development as listed previously. In addition to this the Head Teacher is required to prepare a standards and quality report annually for parents accounting for her stewardship of the school. This includes details of the main achievements of the school over the past twelve months. Copies of the 2021-2022 Standards and Quality are available from the school office.
As we have progressed through our 5th year of Scottish Attainment Challenge, the impact of improvement within attainment levels across core curriculum subjects in stages P1, P4 & P7 have improved significantly. Intervention strategies to facilitate targeted learning with children in small groups or on a one to one basis have supported strengthened progress and achievement.
School Improvement Plan and Standards and Quality Report
Good attendance is vital to success of our young people. Statistical evidence suggests that there links between attendance levels and pupils’ attainment. We reflect on our class attendance on a termly basis, and our schools has an average attendance of 95% for the last consecutive 4 years.