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The weather over the last two weeks has undoubtedly been disruptive and difficult for schools, and parents. But these conditions have also enabled some great ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities and experiences for pupils.
On Wednesday Yester Primary School’s P5/P6 class were treated to a day of Winter Survival Skills by the Outdoor Learning Service. In temperatures ranging from -10C in the shade, to a balmy -3C at mid-day, the class enjoyed the following activities:
- Snow-shoeing – The groups quickly mastered the snow-shoes skills required to journey around the playing fields and into woods outside the entrance to Yester House. Yes, our snow-shoes will just work with a Size 3 wellie! The pupils quickly appreciated how efficient walking is in snow-shoes … certainly better than ‘post-holing’ over your knees in the deep soft powder snow.
- Shelter building – How to make a ‘shovel-up’ snow-shelter with a tarp for a roof. See the picture to know what this is?
- Keep warm – Build a fire to melt snow and heat some water, and leave-no-trace.
- Search for an avalanche victim – The groups learned how to use a transceiver to search and find ‘buried avalanche victims’ – (actually just transceivers buried in a hat or glove, and yes we found them all )
- Keep yourself sorted – Learn how to look after yourself in Arctic conditions, in particular how to keep your hands and feet warm in the ccccccold … they managed this most of the time.
While gaining the winter skills essential for ‘tomorrows adventurers’ the pupils also covered a number of learning outcomes, these included:
- HWB 2-16a – I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.
- HWB 2-17a – I know and can demonstrate how to keep myself and others safe and how to respond in a range of emergency situations.
- SCN 2-05a – I can apply my knowledge of how water changes state to help me understand the processes involved in the water cycle in nature over time.
- SOC 2-09a – Having explored the ways journeys can be made, I can consider the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of transport, discussing their impact on the environment.
We hope to be able to offer similar activities to other schools – but it will all depend on conditions and commitments.