P1/2 visit to “Ros Crana” holiday barge

3rd Dec 2015

Martin and Carrie of Caledonian Discovery gave P1/2 a terrific guided tour of one of their holiday barges, “Ros Crana”, which is currently being prepared for next season on its winter mooring at the top of Neptune’s Staircase at Banavie, Fort William. The boat is 44m long, which makes it 1m less than the maximum possible length for travelling along the Caledonian canal. The maximum length is determined by the dimensions of the locks which allow vessels to be raised and lowered to the level of the next stretch of water.

Martin explained that the canal was built to allow vessels to cross from one side of Scotland (entering from the Atlantic Ocean at Corpach) to the other (exiting into the North Sea at Inverness). Nowadays, the canal is still used by many different types of vessel, but by far the majority are holiday boats such as yachts and motor cruisers. Ros Crana is very much a holiday vessel, and is no longer used for its original purpose, which was to transport goods throughout the european canal system.

Our tour guides very generously gave up their time to show the children around the boat, both inside and out. It can accomodate up to 12 guests and 4 crew. We saw the wheelhouse, the cabins, the upper lounge and the lower lounge, along with a drying room and galley. All too soon, it was time to go, so we waved a fond farewell to Ros Crana and wished Martin and Carrie well. It was a super trip…thank you.



Little engineers

P1/2 had a go at making working turntables to allow cars and boats to pass over/through their “canals”.

What did they do?

Using models and toys as inspiration, the children tried to think of ways to open and close a canal bridge and allow traffic through…they created a turntable using a combination of k-nex cogs and spindles (and with some extra kit from Mr. McConville) and cardboard.

What happened?

They found that the turntable was very hard to turn and thought about how to make it easier – some of them thought that placing the turntable on rollers might help. That was still tricky, but they did manage to turn the table themselves with the first cog, then they took the truck across the top and the boat underneath.

Here are some of our pictures…

Eco-schools Green Flag Status

We were delighted to receive notification from Eco-schools Scotland, part of the Keep Scotland Beautiful charity, that we have been awarded our second Green Flag award for our efforts to consider our environment over the last 2 years. Very well done to all the children and adults who have taken part in the initiative. We hope that the next blog post you see will be from the children themselves to explain their next moves towards retaining the green flag for a third session in two years time. Here we are showing off our brand new flag, which is now very proudly displayed within the school.


Welcome to the P 1,2s

What a super start it has been to our new term. The new P1s have settled in so well and their P7 buddies were absolutely terrific helping out for the first two weeks. While the buddies will still be “about”, now that the P1s are already gaining in confidence, they will be able to call upon their buddies when needed rather than have the buddies with them all the time.

The swimming has been great fun. I can see that some children who were a little bit apprehensive about the water are now getting themselves thoroughly involved in the lessons…well done to them, and thank you to our two willing helpers for getting wet with the children. Thanks also to all the parents who are helping out with the swimming. We literally couldn’t do it without you!

Not forgetting the P2s who have been so mature in their new role…taking on the responsibilities of senior class members very well indeed…keep it up P2s!

and here is our new P1 class on their very first day at school…

P1 18th Aug 2015