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



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Tour du Mont Blanc – A challenging opportunity for Geography and Modern Language Pupils in Summer 2017?

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 !!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The LAWyers in action

Read about how exciting and creative playgrounds can be. Also look out for the fantastic interview responses with East Lothian’s own Law Primary School pupils – the LAWyers.

The Lawyers:
• “Without a bit of risk, what could we play?”
• “I think we should have a bit of risk because
like, I hope most people are clever enough to
not do any dumb stuff on a tiny bit of risk.”
• “What would you think if there was no risk?”
• “I think that because nearly everything has a
bit of risk, then everything would have to go
away then.”
• “We would just have plain concrete, then it
would look like the Savannah desert.”
• “The Sahara.”
• “Like it’s a never-ending desert.”

Adventure is everywhere!loosepartsplayClick on the image to access the full document.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My work experience week with Outdoor Education

My name is Beth and I’m in my fourth year at North Berwick high school, I enjoy sports like basketball and hockey and I also love doing activities outside like hill walking, camping and snowboarding. This week I have chosen to do my work experience with East Lothian Outdoor Education because I enjoy working with children and I also like to be outside learning more about the outdoors and keeping active.

On Monday my first day of work experience I arrived slightly nervous but I  had a very friendly welcome by each member of staff and was introduced to everyone who works at Outdoor education. I then later was showed around the building to learn where everything is kept.

I began my first day by organising and maintaining some equipment that had been used  on previous days. After I went with a small group of around 5 from Prestponpans primary school  and  helped everyone get prepared for our cycle to Dalkeith country park. Together we all cycled along the river Esk, through fields to the park where we stopped and ate lunch. After lunch we continued our cycle going on tracks and trails through the park and then later we cycled back to the centre.Transition Grp Cycle

The children and I all really enjoyed the day despite the rain and it was a great experience for them getting to learn day to day basic skills in a fun more engaging way like general safety, respect for other people and themselves, road awareness or even working as a team making sure no one is left behind, everybody sticks together and everyone is included. We even got a lesson on how to change an inner tube when one of the children got a puncture which was an extra bonus for us all including me as I didn’t know how to this already.

The following day after I got involved in a first aid course becoming a casualty and victim and then getting rescued by the people on the course as if it was a real life situation. This was very interesting for me as I had never done anything like this before and I learnt lots about first aid myself from a different perspective being the casualty instead of first aider.

On Wednesday Keith and I set off to the lagoon where we took children from he Ross High ASN unit canoeing. When we arrived the rain was pouring down but not long after the sun came out and the children cheered up. They loved splashing in the water and some of them even managed to advance there kayaking skills and become more confident on the water.  It was a great experience for the children and for me getting to watch them enjoy the outdoors and play in the water.  img_1123 In the afternoon we went climbing in Tranent with some people from Ross high school, they were in their fourth year and had previously done climbing once before. We all managed to get lots of climbs in and everyone also learnt how to belay each other which allowed us to gain more trust in one another.  I think it was a great experience for them as it was trying new things and doing fun activities while learning. It was also a good experience for me getting to help people who are of a similar age to me.

On the fourth day Keith, Antony, bob and I all went down to the end of North Berwick’s east beach to go coasteering with a group of children from Law primary. The wind in the afternoon was gusting up to 40mph  but we all still had a great time climbing under, over and on top of rocks in the waves. In the morning we all jumped off rocks into deep pools and let the waves whoosh us down channels. Over all it was a great day and everyone said they had an amazing time. When I was in p7  I had done this before with school and it was great to do it again helping the children and encouraging them to do things they might not usually do. Image result for coasteering east lothian

My week of work experience with outdoor education was an amazing week and I’m very glad I chose to do this. I would love to get involved in something like this when I’m older and I’m very grateful to everyone at the outdoor learning centre for making it a fun busy week and letting me get involved in everything possible. Thankyou!



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Adv Higher Biology and Geography out and about

Last Wed and Thursday saw a multi-school, joint subjects fieldwork out in some of East Lothian’s top locations.

Biology and Geography Adv Higher  pupils from Preston Lodge , Musselburgh Grammar and Ross High traveled round the county,   staying overnight at the Innerwick Field-Studies Center.


In the words of Jane Park, Biology teacher at Musselburgh,

“We managed to cover a large part of the required coursework and the pupils were really inspired by our beautiful coastline … think a number of them intend to carry out coastal or countryside investigations as part of their AH project work”


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment