Beinn Dearg or Ben Jerrag?

A new service has been released by the Gaelic Development Agency to provide you with a sound-file of Gaelic pronounciation of Scottish mountain names.

All you need is the mountain’s name and it’s OS NGB, then go to and enter your request. This seems to be powered by Gaelic speaking humans so please don’t abuse the service! And if you don’t have a map handy to get the OS NGB … try this really useful site

Personally I’m holding out for the app that you just point at the hill and it speaks to you …

Now, whether we should just pronounce the names phonetically or add that Gaelic flair and risk confusing the emergency services is up to you to discuss over a mince pie and a mulled wine. Have a good Christmas!

Duke of Edinburgh – Supervisor and Assessor Training Jan 2013

Two courses for those interested in organising and assessing Duke of Edinburgh award courses in East Lothian will be run in January 2013. Courses will be based at the East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service. These DofE accredited courses are essential learning for those embarking on D of E programmes.

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Supervisor training, Thursday 17th January 2013, 09.30am – 3.30pm

Aimed at ELC staff and volunteers. This course covers understanding the role of the Expedition Supervisor, Assessor and other adults involved in the delivery of the Expedition section. Attendance will develop Expedition Supervisors with an understanding and consistent interpretation of their role and responsibilities within the DofE, ensuring a high quality expedition experience for all young people.

(Cost Free – ELC Staff/Volunteers – External Staff/Volunteers £40.00)

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Assessor training, Wednesday 30th January 2013, 09.30am – 3.30pm

For ELC staff and volunteers. This course provides the opportunity for new Expedition Assessors to have their training, skills and learning accredited by the DofE and nationally recognised. The programme has been designed to provide Expedition Assessors with a clear and consistent understanding of their role and responsibilities.

(Cost Free – ELC Staff/Volunteers – External Staff/Volunteers £40.00)

To book please contact the Outdoor Learning Service 0131 653 5217

More CPD opportunities at the Outdoor Learning Website – or visit our online brochure.

Student Winter Skills – Bookings open!

We still have places available on the student Winter Skills for the weekend of 15th – 17th March 2013. This open to 5th and 6th Year pupils.

This course will provide the next generation of aspiring mountaineers with the opportunity to aquire and practice the following winter skills …

Snow craft – building snow belays, shelter building,
Use of ice-axe and crampons
Winter navigation
Snow pack analysis

Based at Lagganlia, inclusive of transport, instruction, catered accommodation and equipment; the cost is £80 per person. If you have pupils who are seriously interested in attending please email a list of names.

Click here to see previous Winter Skills posts.

Maximum Impact (Zone) – Minimum Co(a)st

Law Primary used their allocation of Outdoor Learning to great effect this year to allow an entire year group to experience coasteering. All at zero cost to the school.

Law Primary Coasteer

At North Berwick they have a fantastic stretch of coastline that is great for exploring by a short journey along the impact zone.

The pupils walked from their school to the beach where they got changed into wetsuits; gloves; helmets; wetsuit boots; buoyancy aids – all equipment designed to protect the wearer from the harsh environment (and to protect the environment from a harsh user!)

Law Primary Coasteer

All the pupils experienced a short coastal journey (in and out of the water) in small groups of eight. Despite using the sam stretch of coastline each of the 12 groups had a very different experience because of different states of the tide; differing weather conditions, sea state on each day; different ‘challenge by choice’ threshold of each group.

Law Primary Coasteer

This experience can now be used by the pupils in their classroom across a variety of topics that they may be investigating – e.g. coastal erosion; marine life; local history; inspiration for creativity; risk awareness; moon and tides; weather systems and the sea.

The pupils have put together a great display in the Foyer fo Law Primary School – some very positive and interesting comments from pupils!

A full slideshow of images is available here

Primary Outdoor Learning Days 2012/13…Last few spaces available…

The Primary Outdoor Learning days so far this year have been well subscribed. These additional days on top of outdoor school provision already provided by the service are designed to encourage schools to get more pupils involved in outdoor learning. So far a very successful year ;

  • 440 pupils have attended the Paddlesport Sessions and  taken part in Paddlepoower Start Awards
  • 125 Pupils attending the Climbing/Indoor Climbing sessions
  • 700 Pupils attending Orienteering sessions around East Lothian

These free sessions, staffed by ELC Outdoor Learning Service Teachers build pupils skills in these activities as well as the generic skills and benefits from engaging in experiential and outdoor learning . The sessions also benefit pupils and schools by providing further opportunities to enhance delivery of the core capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning.

There are only a few spaces left for the Orienteering sessions and Indoor Climbing – get in touch (  0131 653 5217) to book a session & you can check availability here.

Go on get outdoors and get learning.