Natural Navigation

Breakfasted today to Evan Davis on BBC Radio 4 interviewing the author of The Natural Navigator, a new book that advocates dispensing with compass and GPS in favour of the navigation techniques of our ancestors and country folk.

Natural Navigation
Natural Navigation

Look’s like it’s worth a read … may have some good new ideas incorporating ‘green navigation’ into a navigation, bush-craft or survival skills lesson.

You can hear the BBC R4 segment at

Prestonpans have a windy time on the Tyne

Pupils from Prestonpans Primary had to work hard to paddle up the Tyne in windy and blustery conditions today.

The school’s watersports are normaly held at Musselburgh lagoons at the end of the summer. The change of venue seems to have been a success with the pupils enjoying undertaking a short journey up-river form the weir just above the Aubigny sport centre in Haddington. This was the third of a total of six days on the river for Presontpans Primary and is giving all of the P6s a try and learn some basic paddling skills.

Peer Belaying

An approved document from the OEAP (Outdoor Education Advisors Panel – the English/Welsh equivalent of SAPOE (Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education)). This document will be of interest to all party leaders who use any centre/establishment with climbing or high rope course elements present.

The document is available to read here

This checklist is aimed at visit leaders / assistants who may be present with a group of young people during a climbing or high ropes activity session but who are not directly responsible for the technical aspects of the activity.

High Hopes for Cockenzie Primary

Tuesday and Wednesday saw Mrs Munro and Miss Drummond’s P5s enjoying some fine spring weather at the Hopes reservoir and surrounding Lammermuir Hills .

Click here for full-screen slide-show.

This was the first two of five days of hill-walking being provided to Cockenzie Primary. As well as basking in the first warm days of Spring both groups got to enjoy messing about in the last of the melting patches of snow.

All of the pupils were responsible for leading different legs of their journey around the reservoir and back over the hill-tops. They all learned how to read an Ordnance Survey map, how to to calculate how far they have walked by using the map’s scale – and why it ‘hurts more‘ when your route crosses lots of those brown lines on the map. (Going up-hill over lots of contours!). However one group did have fun on the descents – click here for the video.

For more photos also see the posts at the Cockenzie edubuzz blog.

Adrift on the Tweed

Some more staff development took place this past weekend with 2 days of canoe training. All participants are currently working towards their 3 star canoe award (SCA award). Included in the participants were staff from North Berwick and Preston Lodge High Schools.


 Preston Lodge (with support from the Outdoor Education Service) have an ongoing programme of paddlesport pool sessions and will soon be moving into doing some pupil training on Musselburgh Lagoons (a local sheltered water venue). All this will lead to their Duke of Edinburgh award expedition section being undertaken in either canoes or sea kayaks. A fantastic opportunity for all students.

North Berwick High – in conjunction with the Outdoor Education Service –  are currently developing a week long trip in which pupils are investigating the geology and land use of some remote areas of the North West Highlands by canoe, foot and bike. This fantastic educational excursion can only take place due to the hard work and dedication of school staff in working with the outdoor education service to develop their skills through acquisition of Mountain/Hill and Paddlesport coaching/leading awards.

A big thanks to all school staff who continue to put in a huge amount of hard work and determination to ensure that their pupils have access to tremendous energetic learning opportunities and a Curriculum for Excellence.