Dunbarney Primary School

Primary School

Honesty, Ambition, Respect and Kindness

Life at Dunbarney Primary School Life at Dunbarney Primary School Life at Dunbarney Primary School Life at Dunbarney Primary School Life at Dunbarney Primary School


Welcome to the Playground page for Dunbarney Primary School. Here you will find useful information, photos and updates for what's going on at break-times.


December 2018: Now that Winter is  here, the garden is very boggy, and is therefore until further notice (probably the Spring). The Trim Trail gets very slippery when the wood is damp, and the grass is muddy, so we try to protect the children (and their uniforms) from the risk of damage over the worst months. Please make sure that all children come to school with suitable jackets, as the weather is very changeable and we will only not go outside for break if it is absolutely lashing down. On cold days, a pair of gloves, hat and scarf are invaluable, as that lunch hour can seem a very long time when you are standing outside. 

11 November 2018: We would like to say a huge thank you to the Parent Council who gave us the money to buy new footballs and netballs, as we were down to a few very saggy items in the shed.

4 Nov 2018: Fantastic building skills at the Duplo at lunchtime today.



October 2018: When there are fallen leaves on the ground instead of snow, let's make Leaf Angels! What very enterprising children we have here at Dunbarney.



June 2018: We have all been enjoying the fantastic weather of the last couple of months, and have really had the opportunity to enjoy the garden area as well as the playground. It seems a lifetime ago that we couldn't go in the garden because of how waterlogged and boggy the ground was, so we are really making the most of it during these last few weeks of term.

 The area around the gazebo is still very boggy, so please avoid it. We may still have to shut the garden during wet spells, but everybody has been very excited to get back in there again this week after such a long, miserable winter.


 We've been having fun in the sun this week. Our P2 girls are back on their Duplo house building, and our P1 and and P6 buddies are still having a hoot together.   

Well, March has certainly come in like a lion. Let's just hope it goes out like a lamb. Please remember to make sure your children have gloves and hats on very cold days.


  Here we had a tiny stegosaurus which Liam made from ice on Monday.



     Yet, two days later, the sun was splitting the 

    sky and we had the stepping stones out. Weird!



  Just before the Beast From the East hit!




February 2018:We are always pleased when children are kind and helpful, and give us a hand putting the equipment away in the shed at the end of break, but a big shout-out must go to our Finlay, who is the most magnificent assistant and head-tidier of the equipment, using world class Tetris skills to make everything fit neatly.



February/March2018: the Summer Skis are out of the shed again (maybe a little optimistically), and are proving popular at improving teamwork and co-ordination:




January/ February 2018:More amazing Grand Designs from our P2 architects, who are showing true creativity with their Duplo buildings, working well together and being ambitious to create blocks of flats, upside-down houses, chairs and airports.










November 2017: It's blooming chilly out there now, so dress up warm for break times everybody. We have been having fun with the new Duplo and 3-legged ties recently:







October 2017: well, it's definitely getting colder, wetter and windier outside now, so PLEASE make sure your child is dressed appropriately for all weathers, with warm/waterproof jackets, and gloves/scarves/hats for cold days. Standing in the playground for an hour at lunchtime can feel like a lifetime if you are not wearing something warm (trust us, we do it every day). We only have indoor breaks when it is raining very heavily, and whilst the day might look sunny at 8.30am, it can be cold, damp and windy by lunchtime. The grass and wooden Trim Trail in the garden were all very muddy and slippery just before the holidays, so apart from the odd lucky day between now and Spring we can confirm that



Making the most of the sunshine, and enjoying the stage



Welcome back to everyone after the long Summer break. The children are settling back in well, and are enjoying our play equipment. We welcome our new P1s too, who are enjoying the play equipment and the garden area with their P6 buddies.





Our lovely new P7s are happy to be enjoying the privilege of playing football every day during football weeks on the activities pitch, now that they are at the top of the school. Perhaps more opportunities to practise will mean that they won't put the ball over the wall quite so often!

Our activities pitch rotates on a weekly basis between football, netball, and throwing and catching games. Football and netball work on a break and lunch rota system to allow fair play, and during ball games week anyone can play at any break-time. The netball rota gives the older children more court time, as the little ones tend to choose not to use the court very much. From January to March 2018, the weekly activities will be as follows: 








We are using the school garden again on a daily basis. The children are DELIGHTED to be able to enjoy the grassy area, the gazebo and the Trim Trail again. Many of the children also love to practise gymnastics on the grass, and we are proud to say we have some really good gymnasts amongst our pupils. Others just like to get in touch with nature and have a bit of a rootle about in the garden.There may still be odd days when we can't access it, if it is too wet and slippery, but overall it is wonderful to have the extra space and equipment at our disposal. Long may the dry weather continue.

Mrs Paterson has devised a new system for fair play with the tyres: the tyres have been split into 3 equal groups, in 3 separate parts of the garden, and must be kept within that area. This shares them out more fairly and seems to be working by helping to avoid conflict.



At this time of year the weather is prone to sudden changes and swings of temperature. Please make sure your child is equipped for all eventualities, and put sun cream on in the morning if sun is forecast. The lunch hour can feel very long if they are not adequately dressed for the prevailing weather conditions. A fold-up raincoat kept in the school bag, if you have one, can be very useful if the day starts off sunny and then takes a turn for the worse. We would always rather be outside than indoors at break time, as the children need fresh air and exercise, so we will not be coming inside if there is a little rain.

 Isla and Jessica spent morning and lunchtime break building a luxury "bug hotel" by the garden hedge today.


Some of the younger children found "Wiggles the Worm" in the playground last week. They made him a safe haven under the hedge and protected it with sticks and leaves, so that he could burrow safely back into the soil.



Cheered on by the P6 buddies, the P1s were enjoying shooting goals on the football pitch last week, as this action shot shows.




Getting in some very early practise for the Sports Day 3-legged race.






We have bought new vehicles for small world play, and Mrs Simpson has kindly donated another car mat and a garage, so some of our younger children are greatly enjoying the opportunity for a bit of quiet time during break.

 Some of our Primary Ones built Katie Morag's Island in the playground at lunchtime. They have been learning about it in class.



March 2017: We have been celebrating World Book Day with a "Where's Wally?" hunt in the playground. Wally was hidden away before break and all the children had to look for him when they came out. The first person from the Infants (P1, P1/2, P2/3) and the first person from the Upper School (P3/4, P4/5, P5, P6, P7) who found him won a prize. There was a big scramble before Owen won for the Infants end and Connor for the Upper end. Well done to the worthy winners.   



   Here we see some excellent buddying between P6 and P1, as Isla takes Ryan for a drive in the playground.     


February 2017: The rotas for football and netball have had to be changed again, because there has been a great deal of arguing and poor sportsmanship in the last couple of weeks. Unwanted behaviour on the activities pitch, and the failure to respect the rights of other children to play safely and fairly, will result in loss of pitch time for individual children or whole classes.


January 2017. We have new hoops and new skipping ropes (thank you Mrs Paterson). We are keeping warm by staying ACTIVE!!




It can still be pretty cold at the moment outside, even if the day seems quite sunny initially. PLEASE make sure your children are wearing suitable clothing for their outdoor play each day, as they will be very uncomfortable if they are not warm.




We now have class crates for the P1-3s to put their coats or jumpers into outside, if they are too warm. These are being used well and will hopefully make it easier to return lost items to the younger children, as long as the items are named. Older children should hang their coats up on the railings if they are too warm, but they must take them outside with them.  This is to try and prevent children wandering around the school unsupervised during breaks.

We are seeing excellent buddy work and children playing well together during our break-times, so keep up the good work everybody.


                                P6 and P1 playing together at lunchtime

  Our upper and lower school have been working well together at the 3, 4 and 6-legged race! These were taken before they all fell over in a big, giggly heap. laughing


   We generally tend to use the garden area and Trim Trail between April to October, but this is totally weather dependent. During the Winter the ground gets very soggy and muddy, and the wooden equipment becomes too slippery for the children to play on safely, so playground staff make the decision about when the garden area is open or closed on a daily basis. Our priority is always the safety of the children. 

 We do live in a changeable climate, so please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for spending an hour and a quarter outside each day, whether that's with a hat and sun-cream on, a waterproof jacket, or full snowsuit!. It is only when it is absolutely lashing down that we will call a wet playtime, as the children are much better getting fresh air and a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy, so they do need to be prepared for all weathers.


Your playground staff are Mrs Anderson, Mrs Marshall, Mrs Dewar and Mrs Johnston. They will help with any issues, upsets, bumps and bruises.


  Mrs Anderson        Mrs Marshall           Mrs Dewar          Mrs Johnston


Our Playground Charter

We have a Playground Charter which the Rights Respecting Committee drew up which shows the Rights Respecting behaviours which we want to promote within our outdoor play area. These behaviours all relate to articles from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and we have signs up around the playground reminding the children of the behaviour which we expect everyone to demonstrate. They also link into our four core school values of Honesty, Ambition, Respect and Kindness. Our Charter is as follows: 

  •  We play safely and fairly.
  •  We look after each other.
  •  We let others join in our games.
  •  We are kind to others.
  •  We are honest and truthful.
  •  We look after our equipment.
  •  We share games and take turns.
  •  We are respectful and polite.
  • We are friendly to everyone.
  •  We say sorry if we have done something wrong.                                                                                

Our Parent Council very kindly gave us money last year to buy new playground equipment, which the members of the Rights Respecting Committee chose, as well as the signs showing the Playground Charter articles. The following photos show some of the equipment in use, as well as the changing seasons at Dunbarney.