Jubilee Celebrations – past and present!

Pupils at Raasay Primary School enjoyed a beautiful afternoon to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. The highlight had to be the delicious Jubilee Pudding prepared by our amazing cook Annabelle! With our ethos of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ we reused and recycled the Jubilee hats, cups, plates and bunting which we had used 10 years ago for the Golden Jubilee! We had put them away in the cupboard in the hope that they would come in useful again – and they did..

We thought it might be fun to have a look back at the celebrations from all those years ago – so pictured below are our Platinum Jubilee Day photos along with a blast from the past which we hope you all enjoy.

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Local Mod

Raasay pupils participated in the recent local Mod, held in the Gaelic School in Portree. The three boys who took part in the Gaelic Learners’ Poetry Recitation Competitions all came back to Raasay with medals.  They were delighted with the comments from the judge who praised them for the quality of their Gaelic at such a young age from an English Medium School. The entries from the three boys ensured that the Oban Rose Bowl, which is the trophy awarded to the English Medium School with the most points, is returning to Raasay for the fifth time in recent years!

Mrs Duncan, Head Teacher said “it was wonderful to be able to work with the boys in preparing for the first face to face Mod in two years. They were conscientious and dedicated in their preparations and it was pleasing to see it recognised on the day by way of the points and comments from the judge. Whilst we are an English Medium School we have a very strong commitment to the Gaelic language whether it be in the performing arts, drama or in a day to day basis within our school setting. A special thanks to our parents for supporting their children with practices at home and attending on the day. Congratulations to everyone involved in the local Mod this year, participants and organisers – it’s great to have it back in the school calendar again.”

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A Visit from Bilbo – the French Eco Schooner

Over the last two years we have been corresponding with a French School in Brittany – their teacher Bea has taken some time out to sail to Scotland and visit us here on Raasay. Their voyage has an Eco focus and a cultural exchange. Pupils were delighted to welcome them to Raasay and to our school and our first day of meeting together involved a trip out onto the beautiful schooner, The Bilbo. The children had a wonderful time learning about the boat, the journey, Breton culture and language. The pupils and staff were treated to delicious organic apple juice from their farm in france and traditional nougat. We also met the school mascot – Cookie the sheep who has been travelling with them. Tomorrow we look forward to welcoming them to our school where they will share with us pictures from their blog and voyage before joining us for lunch. The children look forward to sharing their Gaelic poetry which they are learning for the Mod and holding a ‘lesson’ for our visitors on local history and culture.

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Scottish Opera Event

Over the last few weeks, Raasay pupils have been learning their parts for a Scottish Opera Event which was undertaken in collaboration with Scottish Opera and other Skye Schools. The pupils worked very hard on learning their songs and ‘moves’ before coming together for the full performance on Tuesday 17th May at The Venue, Portree High School. Parents were able to come alone to be part of the audience and all agreed that our pupils put on an amazing performance.

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Mountain Bike Qualification

Thanks to money secured earlier this year from the Healthy Islands Fund, our five pupils were given the opportunity to take part in Mountain Biking sessions. Our initial sessions last week were based within the school grounds where the children went through all the skills completing Cycling Scotland’s Level 3 Go Mountain Biking Award (including our nursery pupil being the youngest to ever take part in this award!). The pupils will all have the opportunity to use their skills in a couple of weeks time when we have two more sessions planned in which they will be able to put the skills they have learnt into practise around some of the local trails in Raasay. The award money will also give the pupils the opportunity to travel to Fort William with a two night stay at Glenfinnan. They will then have a morning biking lesson on the Wolf Tracks at Fort William before having the opportunity to spend the afternoon watching the World Championships.

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Spors Gaidhlig Activity Day

On Friday 29th April, pupils had the opportunity to undertake a paddle boarding session delivered by Spors Gaidhlig. This is their second session this year and the weather couldn’t have been better. All our pupils thoroughly enjoyed it and had the opportunity this time round to try out the paddle boarding on the sea. They started off at the West Suisnish Jetty and paddled along below Suisnish House before making their way across Churchton Bay, round by Goat Island and the Ard Uidhish before returning back to Clachan Beach. The pupils were able to build on the skills previously learnt on the first session with all them showing great confidence and skills, balancing on the board and manoeuvering the paddles. The team joined us for a delicious local lunch of Raasay Venison burger followed by rhubarb cake (from the rhubarb in our garden). We are looking at more opportunities to come together in the future and are planning some more paddle boarding and perhaps some gorge walking. Many thanks to Spors Gaidhlig for organising the event and we hope it won’t be long before we welcome you back. Moran Taing

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Our Climate Focus Week – Learning about Bees

On our first week back after the Easter Holidays we have been focussing on learning about environmental issues. During our literacy, we read up about the lifecycle of bees and how important they are because they polinate flowers and help plants make fruit and vegetables. We learnt all about what the queen bee spends most of her time doing (laying eggs) and is in charge of the hive. We learnt that worker bees have many important jobs around the hive. The worker bees are also all female and they keep the hive cool by flapping their wings, they build the hive and keep it clean, protect the hive and collect pollen and nectar from flowers. We also learnt that drones have only one job – that is to mate with the queen, that bees make honey to provide food for the winter and that royal jelly is a food that is only fed to the queen and the larvae. In the summer, a queen can lay up to 2500 eggs a day and a bee flies at approximately 15kmph. Bees flap their wings about 200 times every second and a bee will only sting if it feels that it is in extreme danger. A worker bee lives for about a month and they do special dances to tell other workers where to find pollen. Around the world bees are becoming an endangered species and if there are no bees, we will have no food. We found out lots of interesting facts and we also learnt that bees are very clever and that scientists have trained them how to kick a bee sized ball into a net. Apparently they are visual learners and if they see another bee doing this then they will do it too (who knew!). Prior to our visit to see ‘real’ bees (thank you Hannah and Simon, we designed our own bee-friendly garden following some comprehension work on what made a bee-friendly garden. We did a short science experiment showing the important role bees have in polinating flowers. Each child was given a bee wrist band and a ‘flower’ – this was a paper bag with some powdery crisps inside – pupils ate the crisps to demonstrate that they were taking the nectar from the flower and then moved on to another paper bag (whereby they showed how the pollen was moved from flower to flower). After lunch we went to Hannah and Simon’s to learn about and see their bees and the honey production. We were even kitted out with special ‘bee’ hats and we got to see how beekeepers use smoke to calm the bees before removed the honeycomb frames. Simon also showed us the bottom of the hive where the queen bee lived and all the worker bees lived in a separate area. We also got to touch and smell the block of beeswax and discussed how beeswax was used in the past and even today in different products. Simon also told us that up to 60,000 could live in one of the hives at one time – if all the hives were full that would equate to around 400,000 bees. We had a very informative and interesting afternoon and we look forward to our next visit where we will be observing the extraction of the honey from the hives. In the meantime, Simon very kindly gave us a jar of Raasay honey (wild flower) which we will be having on our toast at snack time. What a fantastic opportunity to learn first hand about the importance of bees in our environment – thank you Simon and Hannah.

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Roman Lunch and Feast

Our last day of term had a distinctly ‘Roman’ feel as the pupils had been studying the Romans as their topic this term. Our fantastic cook, Ann, very kindly (and creatively) produced a ‘Vesuvius’ sausage and mash which went down a storm with the pupils! Pupils then had a Roman feast where they reclined in their togas and enjoyed some of the foods the Romans might have eaten including: olives, fish, grapes, cheese, breads, salads, nuts, honey and olive oil. Ann also brought in her photographs of a visit to Pompeii to share with pupils.

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Easter Egg Hunt

On the last day of term, pupils enjoyed a fun Easter Egg Hunt which involved them following the clues hidden all around the playground to eventually find a stash of Easter Eggs!

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Walled Garden Produce

Pupils at Raasay Primary School are very fortunate to get locally grown, fresh produce supplied by the fantastic Raasay House Walled Garden. Every week our cook gets a delivery of seasonal produce which she can incorporate into her menus. We have noticed an uptake in meals and pupils enjoying a wider variety of different vegetables. Pictured is Rona delivering our supplies. Thank you to all at the Walled Garden for their fantastic work throughout the year.

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