Friday, 14 October 2011

Thank You

There will be some sleepy heads this evening, perhaps even this afternoon, following a jam packed week of daytime and evening activities, where every single P7 gave it their all. It has been a genuine pleasure to escort the pupils and we really enjoyed their company. P7s have made lasting bonds - with each other - and with the staff.

The Sciennes staff - each one of them highly experienced in outdoor education - also gave it their all and sustained the 24/5 duty by working very closely as a team. All contributed to this blog but particular thanks to Mr Howie for major input, blogging late into the night on his iPad, and writing in such an amusing tone. We will publish more photographs here after the holiday.

Thank you to Miss Phillips and Miss Swanson for providing an end of camp treat for staff, toasting marshmallows in the fire inside the tepee last night.  Canadian 'Smores' (melted marshmallows wedged between two chocolate digestives - which we all wanted 'some more' of) gave us just enough energy for the final early morning dorm inspection and departure today.

Ms Christie was her usual amazing self: high profile with all the groups day and night - as were all the staff. Mr Wallace really enjoyed getting to know all the children better which will benefit all those who continue to work with him next year at James Gillespie's High School. Mrs Jones is a seasoned camper and accomplished hillwalker who has a long association with Lagganlia. She is also a personal and much loved friend of the school. Grateful thanks to the entire team and also to the extended team back at Sciennes, particularly Mrs Noble, Ms Anstruther, Mrs Atkinson and Mrs Ellis.

We are indebted to all the staff at Lagganlia who go out of their way to make our stay with them as comfortable as it can possibly be, always going the extra mile to accommodate our needs, and for the great skill,  expertise and dedication of the instructors. After a full day's activities from 9am till 5pm, each instructor spent an additional two hours last night preparing certificates with individual comments written personally for each pupil. These were presented this morning and will be carefully stored at school for pupils' JASS folders. All pupils who took part this week will also receive the 'Adventure' certificate; one quarter of the way towards full Silver award accreditation.

Thank you to Ms Ross who has worked so hard back at school to ensure that the twelve pupils who remained also had an enjoyable and interesting week.

Thank you most sincerely to all the families who support us, not least of all financially, in providing what we believe to be an invaluable educational opportunity for our children.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday and we look forward to building on the success of this week throughout the final year at Sciennes. Well done, Primary Seven! Have a good rest - you really deserve it.  Ms Gallagher


Bus One P7a and p7c boys at Dreghorn

Sent from my iPhone

Bus Two arrives with P7B and P7C girls

Hermiston Gait

Sent from my iPhone

Forth Road Bridge

Sun shining and other bus about ten minutes in front of us. Very well done Charlie Irons bus drivers who have been magnificent on our journeys up and down.

Sent from my iPhone


Outskirts of Perth.

The Lagganlia A Team

4 magnificent instructors bounded from the minibus bearing 4 retrieved suitcases and we were soon back on our way. We have now just passed the House of Bruar. We reckon the other bus is only about 15 minutes ahead of us.

Spoke Too Soon!

Things were going so swimmingly and we were well underway on A9 when Lagganlia phoned to say 4 pupils have left their suitcases. Just one of those things - the 4 children put them behind - instead of in front of - a building :-)
However, wonderful Lagganlia instructors are going to bring the cases on a minibus and meet us, so we shouldn't be too far off schedule.

Homeward Bound

All onboard slickly and departed 9.30am. Sun shining for fifth day in a row. Fantastic team! Wonderful week! Outstanding pupils who are a real credit to their families and to Sciennes. See you soon nearest and dearest!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Day 5 - Travel update

We intend to leave Lagganlia at 9.30am and aim to arrive at Sciennes between 12 and 12.30.  Please don't phone the school office.  For regular updates on the journey please check this blog.

Corrie an sneachta - by Josh

30 seconds playing about with an image and this is what you get...  Well done to Josh !

Day 4 - Dance dance dance!

Throughout the week we get photographs taken but sometimes the best pictures come from our army of photographers (aka the pupils of 7a, 7b, and 7c)

Here are some of Josh's!

Review - A week in photographs

Day 4 - The 4 what??? Capacities?? But we're at Lagganlia!

As the disco machine gets put through its paces by Craig, perhaps it is a good time to draw a close on what has been a fantastic week.

This week has seen an awful lot happen which the P7 team can be proud of. All the Sciennes staff witnessed children pushing themselves to the limits. Those who might be a little quieter than others still managed to get themselves up hills or cliffs or the ropes course - no mean feat and one which drew on some serious reserves of resillience and courage. Pupils who might not be the most organised at times followed weekly timetables, got themselves to meeting points, wore the right equipment at the right times and managed to get it all back to the centre at the end. Teachers and pupils shared stories about what they had done, jokes were giggled over, temporary terrors talked about and friendships made.

We implement the new Curriculum for Excellence in school but did the Four Capacities mean anything at Lagganlia? Was the P7 team actually working just as hard at camp as they would have been at school? Let's see shall we...
Four Capacities: 

1/ Successful Learners - 'enthusiasm and motivation for learning' features here, amongst other things. We opened ourselves to new ideas, we pushed ourselves to new limits - the ropes course being a great example of this , we communicated dangers on gorge walks to others, sometimes we worked independently (ropes course), often we worked as a team (problem solving games).

2/ Confident Individuals - we won't list the breakdown here but my goodness did P7 develop their confidence. New skills were learned, old worries about activities moved to one side in the bid to succeed. For some even being away from home, setting tables and being organised would have been a challenge - a challenge which was met and surpassed.

3/ Responsible Citizens - 'respect for others' starts this capacity - there is nothing which gives you more respect for someone than when you are standing at the top of the high ropes course, cold, wet and scared and you look down and see one of your P7 colleagues holding onto your safety rope, encouraging you to make that final leap. Responsibility was a key element to many activities, from equipment checking before hand to helping spot dangers on the other.

4/ Effective Contributors - 'Solve problems' need we say more?

So a big well done to everyone in P7, from the parents and guardians who encouraged beforehand and got all the resources together, to the Lagganlia staff, who provided the most excellent level of tuition and encouragement to our ultimate stars, the pupils who made the week so enjoyable...Well done all of you!

Day 4 - Disco Fever!

As we write this, disco fever is slowly but steadily spreading throughout Lagganlia.  Cheese and tomato pizza with chips and salad or beefburger with chips and salad has been enjoyed at dinner, raspberry cheesecake has been polished off and the super Lagganlia cooks (Inga, Gavin and Peter) have been thanked for their herculean efforts in keeping kids and staff well fed.  Diaries are being done and outfits are being discussed for tonight...
ladies and gentlemen...
Smooth dancefloor moves and wild hairstyles will abound as this little part of the Cairngorms resounds to the sounds of (um, what do young people listen to these days? - Mr H) well, the sounds of various unidentified lyrics and bizzare, overly loud, sounds as Team Sciennes parties into the 'wee small hours' (or as the staff are calling it - "9..00 or 9.30 at the latest"!)
Get the washing machine cleared and the sock drawers ready in anticipation of 75 suitcases or rucksacks being dumped at the door by our tired, grubby but hugely happy campers return to their loved ones.  We're back soon folks!
See you all tomorrow!

Group Six Cyclists - Andrew

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Group six

Group six went abseiling with Miss Phillips this morning. It was a proud moment to see them all face their fears and either hang over the edge or abseil all the way down the 65ft cliff! There were even some very professional bounces as some of them got near the bottom!

Gorge greatness

Group two went gorge walking with miss Phillips. They had a fantastic time getting very sweaty on the walk up and quickly cooling down in the gorge. They all rose to the challenge, relaxing in the 'jacuzzi' and slipping down the many slides on offer. All of the team got soaking wet when they jumped in the scary plunge pool. Well done group two!

Day 3 - People power..!

Dear all,
The group members who received their post today were really happy to get news from home.  Please feel free to comment on this blog and the Sciennes team will try to get messages out to the individuals.
Happy posting!

Day 3 - Capo...capi...capa...Capoeira!

Tonight we were extremely lucky to have Russell, a very talented Capoeira teacher, come to Lagganlia to lead sessions on this amazing Brazilian martial art/dance activity.

Russell had the groups listening carefully to his explanations before letting us try out this sport.  Safe but interesting moves were performed by all!  Sadly an iPhone camera can't quite keep up with the speed of some of these moves but just look at the expressions on the faces!

Day 3 - Who remembered the paddle?

Up north in October - we did say it was a glorious day up here and these lovely images of Group Four by Miss Swanson were too good not to share!

Day 3 - Who needs Speilberg and Ridley Scott when you've got the Royal Mail and the Sciennes Team?

Although we've only just managed to get some images onto this page please rest assured that we've been taking copious photographs and video footage to let the group see when we get back home.  Flip video cameras (what a great idea they were Miss Phillips!) have been used to capture some of the best moments of Lagganlia 2011.  Certain film producers might want to start looking over their shoulders with the video footage we've gathered!  Mrs "Mario Testino" Jones has been out and about capturing images of each group.  They may not look well groomed, they may not be wearing colour co-ordinated clothes and tucking your trouser legs into your socks might not look great ("that's so not stylish" according to Lucy) and there may be a pervading look of tiredness on some faces but we do have photographs which our group may well be proud to put into their end of year memory books.

We'll try to put some up when we can, but the best images are the mental 'pictures' which will remembered and recalled in the stories which will be told and re-told at dinner time tonight and at home over the next few weeks.

As we write this we can hear the sound of happy (and often damp) groups returning from sailing lessons, gorge walks, canoeing and abseiling.  There's a group of ten pupils sitting around their group leader (Nick) sharing stories and laughing (in a nice way!).  This group comprises boys and girls and members from all three P7 classes - what a wonderful thing to see and proof positive that the 'Lagganlia experience' is such a beneficial one.

The nice Royal Mail person has just delivered a handful of letters which we will give to our happy campers this evening.

Tonight's activity will be Capoeira (which will be fun because they haven't actually been told what this is - some very entertaining theories have been going around the camp since we announced it last night!).

The whole Lagganlia team wants to let their fellow P7s at Sciennes know that they miss them and that they can't wait to hear what they have been doing while we've been at camp.  A huge goodbye to Zoe in 7c - your friends here will really miss you and wish you have a safe journey home.

Day 3 - It just gets better and better!

Day three started far more brightly than yesterday - the sun was peeking through white clouds and would be around for much of the day.

Group 1 were on the slope With Mr Wallace in the morning and then on the archery course. Group 2 went mountain biking with Mr Howie in the morning and then went on the gorge walk with Ms Phillips.  Group 3 and 8 were on all day hillwalks (one of which included a trip to the reindeer centre).  Group 4 went canoeing all day. Group 5 went canoeing with Mrs Christie and in the morning and abseiling in the afternoon with Ms Gallagher. Group 6 went climbing with Ms Phillips and then went Canoeing with Mr Wallace.  Group 7 went gorge walking with Ms Gallagher in the morning and then went biking in the afternoon with Mrs Christie.

The weather was perfect for group 2's mountain biking session. A short 'getting to know your bicycle' session took place before the team tackled the obstacle course next to the centre. A seesaw, the infamous 'big skinny' (otherwise known as 'that-long-plank-you-have-to-cycle-along') and a jump kept everyone on their toes, most of the time anyway!

Javahl, Lucy, Lois, Euan A, Varnit, Yuan, Murran, Joe, Alexander and Adam improved their skills and enjoyed a nice cycle through the nearby forest.

Day 2 - Shiny sun and sticky toffee pudding (how good is it to get both of them in one day!)

Day two didn't look as if it was going to be much fun.  As the groups ate breakfast in the Main Building, Caerketton Lodge or Sgorans Lodge, they looked out on dark skies and intermittent rain.  Did this dismay the teams? No!  At Lagganlia there is never bad weather, just the wrong clothes and each group set off on their adventures for the day. 

Group 1 went gorge walking with Mrs Christie in the morning and then up the climbing
tree with Mr Howie.  Group 2 started off on the ski slope next to the centre and then went on the archery course with Ms Gallagher.  Group 3 went on a climb in the morning and then abseiling in the afternoon.  Mr Wallace enjoyed their company for the whole day.  Group 4 also went gorge walking (actually, if my computer spell check accidentally changes 'gorge' to 'george' and I don't notice it, please rest assured that no Georges were hurt in the making of this blog).  They worked with Ms Gallagher in the morning and went mountain biking in the afternoon with Mrs Christie.  Group 5 went on an all day hillwalk, as did group 6.  Mrs Jones accompanied group 6 for the day.  Mr Howie was with group 7 for archery in the morning and they enjoyed the company of Miss Phillips for  canoeing in the afternoon.  Last, but by no means least, group 8 went in the gorge in the morning and went snowboarding in the afternoon.

Each group worked hard and by around 10 o'clock the grey clouds gave way to sunshine and, with the exception of a little rain shower in the afternoon, the conditions remained good for the rest of the day.

Dinner at night consisted of battered haddock, or macaroni cheese, with potato croquettes and peas.  Most of the group managed to polish off some sticky toffee pudding - what heroes!

Day 2 - Hitting the target and moving onwards and upwards!

Sarah's group - Group One - gorged and tree climbed.
Emily Ellis loved the gorge walk even though she was soaked through with water still leaking out of her jacket back at the centre. Lewis Pritchett went under a big rock and then ‘bombed’ into the plunge pool.  He loved all the slides too. The whole of Group One climbed the tree! Sean Kilday said he climbed right to the very top, even though he was scared of heights. The group's teamwork skills were hugely important as each member pitted themselves against the might of a terrifying 60 foot tree... What made this task even more intimidating was the fact that the tree was at near a cliff, so that people on the tree were looking over an even bigger drop... Success would be measured in how each group member conquered their personal fears. Group members supported each other by lifting spirits (and sometimes whole bodies) and giving directions as to the next step up the tree. Amazingly each and every member of the group got to the top and rang the bell. Tom, Olivia, Sean E, Sean K, Lewis, Emily, Ben S, Laura, Charlie and Megan all congratulated each other on their success. Some mocking of Mr Howie also took place as he 'helped out in an advisory capacity'!

Group Two were on the slope in the morning and had archery in the afternoon with instructor Gordon. Adam taught Joe how to parallel ski. Lucy had never skied before but got to the top of the slope. Gordon taught Varnit better technique for archery and now he can hit the middle of the target. Yuan hit the bullseye on her third shot. Javahl took six shots but then hit the blue circle. Murrin hit the balloon on her second attempt. Lois hit two balloons in five shots and Euan Alexander has learned how to fire an arrow.

Group Three were climbing and abseiling all day with instructor Tomas and Mr Wallace.
Eda was really apprehensive about the activities but did both. She said she felt really brave and proud of herself. Hannah did very well to clamber up the rocks and was proud too. Their group built a fantastic tepee shelter while people abseiled one at a time.

Group Four tackled the gorge with instructors Rob and Andy and Ms Gallagher. It was fantastic fun and the group were extremely caring and co-operative towards each other. Josh led the way but always held out a hand to those behind him. Ms Gallagher loved the plunge pool and Kamran and Humzah enjoyed the slides. Amy and Ellis were great at trying upright but also loved getting wet. Owen was cold but happy. Liam and Tabith relished all the challenges. Ms Christie cycled with them in the afternoon and the group loved the new circuit training course. Amy and Owen had one to one personal tuition from Andy to improve their stability while the rest of the group looped around the centre.

Group Five had a fabulous time on an all day hillwalk with instructor Kevin.

Group Six went on an interesting and bracing hillwalk with instructor Kris up a smalll hill near Kingussie called Creag Bheag.  Daniel, Leon, Aidan, Andrew, Euan, David, Aleena, YuNing, India proved to be very good hillwalkers with a few of them earning the name of 'Mountain Goats' from Mrs Jones.
The walk took them through mixed forest, open land and up peaty, heathery slopes then  up a steep, rocky path towards the cold windy summit where they had their lunch. It was worth the effort as the views across the valley were wonderfully clear. They could see the town of Kingussie, Kingussie High School and its rugby and shinty pitches. Beyond that were Ruthven Barracks and the River Spey winding its way down the valley. Mrs Jones was really impressed with their level of fitness and also with the positive team effort in getting to the top. When they got back to the centre Kris made time to let them cook bread over a fire in the tepee.
Nick's group - Group Seven- went onto the archery course first. Lots of listening skills were developed as instructions on how to use a bow and shoot correctly were absorbed. Everyone achieved some shots they were proud of and a few members of the group managed to hit their balloons. Accuracy and consistency were the main aims as the group tried to hone their new skills. Peter F and Ferdi B managed to hit the balloons and Mr H rebelled in the only activity he is any good at!

Group Eight were in the gorge on Tuesday morning with instructor Martin and Miss Phillips. Everybody tackled all the challenges, including the 'jacuzzi', the plunge pool and the slides. Taran pushed everyone out of the way to be first and was the star leader.

Activity Groups

Group One
Sean Ehsani, Sean Kilday, Tom, Lewis P, Ben S, Charlie, Megan, Olivia, Emily E and Laura.
Group Two
Alexander, Euan A, Javahl, Joe, Adam, Varnit, Lucy, Lois, Yuan and Murrin
Group Three
Caleb B, Callum, Thor, Angus, Holly, Jasmin, Eda, Sanaa and Hannah
Group Four
Owen, Liam, Kamran, Humzah, Josh, Amy, Tabitha, Ellis
Group Five
Ben D, Rameen, Jack, Jamie, Ruaridh, Rowan, Milly, Flora, Morven, Emily H
Group Six
Daniel, Leon, Aidan, Andrew, Euan H, David, ALeena, YuNing, India
Group Seven
Myaha, Sana, Anouk, Ellie, Beth, Ferdi, Peter, Struan, Jonathan, Caleb W
Group Eight
Hazel, Daphne, Isla, Erin, Max, Lewis, Luca, Taran, Eamon

Monday, 10 October 2011

Sun Shining!

 Sun Shining

Trouble free journey with lunch stop at Dunkeld. The sun beamed as we arrived at Lagganlia. Beds made - to a fashion- then off out to explore the grounds. Dinner was delicious homemade soup and bread followed by steak or vegetable pie, carrots and potatoes. Groups 1-4 then groups 5-8 showed great team work, taking turns to lead along a nightline rope completely blindfolded by dark goggles. Great hilarity with giggles echoing through the forest. Tumbled into bed at 9pm tired but happy and looking forward to an exciting adventure filled week ahead. Looks like some groups may get an opportunity to sail because the weather is so good. 
Here is an update to our wonderful first day post.

Welcome to our report on the first day at Lagganlia! 
The two coaches arrived at the centre just after lunchtime and our soon-to-be-adventurers were given a tour of the Lagganlia buildings and lodges.  Everyone was terribly impressed with their quarters and soon began to unpack their things and sort their beds.  Only a few people needed a helping hand with their duvets and the mantra 'put your hands into the corners and pick up the duvet with them' could soon be heard around our little part of the Cairngorms.

Pupils were quickly sorted into their activity groups and set about their first organised exploration of the magnificent countryside around Lagganlia.

Dinner time at Lagganlia on the first night is always an exciting occasion and there are always lots of questions... Will the food be good? Will there be enough? What will we have tomorrow?  (And thats just the staff asking!) There was no need to worry.  Dinner on the first night consisted of healthy lentil soup followed by generous portions of steak (or vegetable) pie, baby carrots and potatos.

In the evening everyone filled out their diaries and then went on a nightwalk.  This truly terrifying test of child against the darkness of the highlands was hugely enjoyable and each group used a variety of different ways to cooperate so that everyone was included and everyone overcame any fears.  Mr Howie making growling noises also added to the general merriment.  Mr Wallace, Ms Gallagher, Mrs Jones, Miss Swanson and
Miss Phillips were able to lead the groups around a veritable labyrinth of rope lines, nets and 'spider webs'.  Everyone learned a lot from this, the most important lessons being to listen to the helpful instructions coming from their fellow pupils and that some scary things, which seem insurmountable at first, can be met head on and dealt with. 

Mr Wallace was incredibly impressed with how quickly almost every dorm of boys settled down for the night.  They were also very quiet in the morning and staff really appreciated this.  It made for a calm and purposeful start the next day.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lagganlia 2011

P7 Lagganlia Monday 10th October- Friday 14th October

A table for each class will be set up in the Gym Hall on Monday morning 10th October. Drop off luggage behind the table and then please wait outside in the playground. Pupils can register that they have arrived in school – and give class teachers any medication - from 8.30am– before going back out into the playground.

All medication, including any travel sickness pills, should be clearly labelled with name, class and instructions.

£10.00 spending money can be brought (though £5.00 is adequate) and should be looked after by your child in a named purse or wallet. Loose change is best. No mobile phones and we also would advise AGAINST bringing valuables such as Nintendo DS etc.

All children should have visited the toilet before coming back into the Hall at 9.15am.

We will gather in the Hall until the buses arrive. (Parents are kindly requested to wait outside to ease congestion.) Pupils will then carry their own luggage and board the buses one class at a time. Suitcases will be placed in the hold and cannot be accessed until we reach Lagganlia, so make sure to take day bags with packed lunch and drink onto the bus.

When on the bus, Sciennes’ staff will help stow jackets and day bags and check seat belts are fastened correctly.

We expect to leave between 9.30am and 9.45am and families are welcome to wait to wave us off.

We will update families on our adventures using this blog.
A paper copy will be posted daily at Reception.

We expect to return to Sciennes around 12.30pm on Friday 14th October.  If there is any significant change to the expected arrival time then school will send a text message to all parents. Updates about the journey will be posted on the blog.

Families are welcome to send letters to:
Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Education
PH21 1NG

A copy of the clothing list can be downloaded from the Sciennes Website

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Not Many Sleeps Now P7!

Watch this space for details of our Lagganlia adventure.

What are you looking forward to the most, P7? Abseiling, orienteering, hillwalking, night line, field studies, gorge walking, problem solving, archery, snowboarding, tree climbing, mountain biking, Capoeira, drumming, disco ...?

Do you remember our wonderful adventure at Benmore?

Click here to link to last year's blog.

Our Team

Ms Gallagher, Mr Howie, Miss Phillips, Mrs Christie, Mr Wallace, Miss Swanson, Mrs Jones

P7A, P7B, P7C