Windy Winter Walking – A Breeze for Musselburgh Grammar Girls

Based at Badaguish, staff began the week with an Avalanche Awareness CPD day and were joined on Wednesday by seven S2 and S3 students from Musselburgh Grammar. The unusual lack of snow cover in the area meant that skiing was off the cards, but students good-naturedly overcame their disappointment and took to hillwalking in difficult conditions with gust-o!

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On Thursday they battled their way against the wind along the Sugarbowl path, climbed icy boulders through Chalamain Gap and summited Creag a’Chalamain. Having determinedly found one of the few areas of snow, they practiced creating snow steps with winter boots and ice-axes and of course some snow sliding! After stopping for refreshment Cairngorm-style, the girls breezed back to the bus with the wind behind them.

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On Thursday evening, in the darkness of the forest at Badaguish, the students went hunting… for us! Practicing the use of transceivers (ordinarily used for avalanche rescue) and working in teams, they successfully tracked and found the unfortunate staff being hunted through the trees. Adrenaline was certainly flowing and great fun was had on both sides.

In contrast, Friday was a beautiful sunny day. A brief scramble up a steep slope was followed by leisurely walk among the ancient Caledonian pines, emerging at the magical Green Lake – An Lochan Uaine. From there we headed up to Ryvoan bothy for lunch, a fire and smores – hopefully worth carrying a share of firewood for!

After lunch four of the group with a taste for an amazing view climbed Meall a’ Buachaille. The other three students wound their way through the pine forest on the far side of the Lochan to try their hand at slacklining between the trees. Their advice: “Focus on the furry pompom of the hat ahead!”

Thanks to Mr Brown for all his work, for making this trip possible and for recruiting such a great group of winter walking women!


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World Orienteering Day

2017 World Orienteering Day

Wednesday 24 May 2017

World Orienteering Day in 2017 aims to be another record breaking event!

On Wednesday 24 May 2017, the International Orienteering Federation are again encouraging people of all ages to take part in orienteering events and activities across the UK.

For more information and how to register event go to

Be part of a World Record attempt. For help and advice in putting on your own orienteering challenge at your school; and involving your pupils in a truly global activity then get in touch with Outdoor Learning


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East Lothian Schools Orienteering Competition 2017

East Lothian Schools Orienteering Competition Recognised centre logo for stationery

When and where?

  • Thursday 1 June 2017
  • At Musselburgh Lagoons
  • All day Start times from 0930 – 1430
  • No cost
  • Open to all from P5/6/7

The schools orienteering festival will take place at Musselburgh – easily accessible (public transport/ walk/ cycle/ easy parking for buses)

For more information and available start times please see the google doc below.(Scroll the document to see the schools currently entered)

  • To enter please email Martyn Pegg with: name of the school; number and year group of pupils; organizing adult that will be attending; favoured start time (see google doc below for available slots) as soon as possible. A more detailed list of individual pupil names will be requested closer to the event.

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The Tour du Mont Blanc – A challenging opportunity for Geography and Modern Language Pupils in Summer 2017?

Passing through France, Italy and Switzerland The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a 170km trek around the Mont Blanc massif, with a total ascent of over 10,000m – that’s more than climbing Everest! The reward; stunning scenery, the chance to improve your foreign language skills, learn about the Geography of the areas – and meet other trekkers from all over the world while staying in mountain huts and refuges.


The trip is organised by the ELC Outdoor Learning Service and led by our own qualified International Mountain Leaders.  It will take place in the last week of the 2017 Summer Term and the first week of the Summer holidays . The trip is open to any pupils across the current S3 – S6 years in an ELC school who are up for the challenge.

While this is an adventurous and challenging trek  in it’s own right with many benefits in terms of Health & Wellbeing and Personal & Social development, we are also very keen to include Geography and Modern Language outcomes in it’s objectives.

In brief …

  • Curricular focus: Human & Physical Geography and Modern Languages (French and Italian)
  • Open to:  Current S3 – S6 across all ELC schools
  • When: Last week of the Summer Term , first week of the Holidays – 14 nights, 13 days walking.
  • Group size : Min 8 – Max 12
  • Leaders; Andy Duff plus 1
  • Cost:  Approximately £1000. Dependent on numbers. Cost will be fully inclusive;  food, hut accommodation, flights and insurance.
  • Funding – Pupils will be strongly encouraged to organize fund-raising events and apply for sources of funding
  • DofE: This would qualify as a Gold DofE residential (but not exped)
  • The process  : Expression of interest (Dec) , Parents evening (Jan) ,  selection / training session (Feb), the trip (Jun/Jul)

If you have pupils in your school , especially those who can use this to improve their Geography and Modern Languages,  then please contact Andy Duff at the Outdoor Learning Service ( and he can provide more information. And if you have some walking experience please let me know if you are interested in accompanying your group as an assistant leader?

A PDF of the parents evening presentation at Knox on Wednesday 25th Jan is here – TMB 2017 presentation



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Macmerry Pupils Go to Great Lengths


Measuring the Field


Estimation of 50 metres !


“Metre sticks”



This year the P4 class of Macmerry are  going wild for their numeracy! Yesterday was spent in New Winton woods , and measuring was the name of the game. From the moment the students left school estimations were taken and measurements made.  Using everything from smartphones, to trundle wheels, maps to rulers . As a regular session , the students are getting to know the woods really well , and they were soon scavenging to find woodland items which they thought might measure up to their estimations. they compared leaf sizes , collected metre long sticks, and paced out 100 metres . By the end of the afternoon everyone was confidently estimating lengths .


Next week ……Weights !!

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