Amazing Weepans weather the storm at Innerwick

What an amazing week with the “weepans”. It’s been a challenging week of weather, but hey that doesn’t deter the P3 classes from Prestonpans Infant School they were out there getting on with it!

We are fortunate at ELC Outdoor Learning to work with a lot of amazing people across the ELC community (and we see lots of examples of great work) but I just have to emphasise that It has been a great pleasure for our service to work with the pupils and fantastic staff (Special thanks to Susie Graham for coordinating) from Prestonpans Infant School – and here’s why;

Resilience – Something amazing is happening at the weepans! The pupils were very confident, polite supportive of each other, willing to learn and let’s be honest through some difficult weather (a reminder they are only 7 and 8 years old!)  – a huge amount of fun to spend time with. OK I admit as Outdoor Education teachers we have great jobs – but these guys made the difference from a good week to an inspiring week.  It’s not every school that would even consider letting their P3’s out of the school grounds never mind a residential!! (bogus and imaginary H&S reasons are often quoted to us at Outdoor Learning for not going outside.) Boy and girls, teachers and parents– you are a real credit to your school!

Community :  This is with a bold capital C!! The pupils staff and parents are all hugely supportive of getting the P3’s out and on a residential experience, lots of staff involved and of course the pupils reminded me of their sense of pride about themselves, their school and where they live by singing their song – really inspiring (honestly I was moved every time!), boys and girls staff, parents and helpers again you are a real credit to your community (But I’m sure you know that!)

PS: Parents – The cakes were awesome! ( I was allowed one or two)

Partnerships : So many people involved and organisations who gave time, resources and money to make this happen. It’s amazing what the school have achieved here by funding this from a variety of organisations ( Included Public & Private) which meant no cost to the pupils – Lets remind ourselves here of the success– every single P3 pupil signed up! Again well done- a real credit to the community – This is Community Planning actually working not just written down! And it makes a real difference to peoples lives!!

Communication : Edubuzz – Thanks so much to the team who manage this service this has allowed the pupils, staff and parents to keep in touch throughout the whole experience – a real community website approach and a hugely valuable service to schools and community that deserves more recognition. A special thanks to David Gilmour in the Education Team for the unique and inspirational Edubuzz world.

Our outdoor experience allowed us to discover more about John Muir, the local environment, teamwork, trust, leadership, art, living forests, campcraft, super sandwiches, leave no trace and much more.

I’m immensely proud to have been a part of your amazing adventure. I can’t wait to work with you all again – You are all stars! and thanks also for Supporting the Innerwick Residential  Centre

Check out more info and images at  https://www.edubuzz.org/prestonpansinfant/

This is snow joke

Last weekend eight students from Musselburgh and Dunbar Grammar Schools attended a two day Winter Skills course delivered by East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service. The group were based at Lagganlia Outdoor Centre and spent two days in the Northern Cairngorms.

Saturday was a ‘mountain journey’ from the top-car park at Cairngorm Mountain up into Corrie an Sneachda. During the day the group learned to use boots and ice-axes to cut steps in hard-packed snow, and then how to use crampons to travel on on the ice that covers the upper corrie. The weather was ‘challenging’ and gave the group ample opportunities to practice low-visibility navigation using map and compass in near white-out conditions.

Sunday was a snow-craft and skills day in the Alt Mor area near the ‘Sugar Bowl’ car-park. The recent heavy snow gave plenty of areas to progress movement on steep ground and to practice ice-axe braking to arrest falls.

The weekend gave these these 5th and 6th year pupils from East Lothian schools an opportunity to start to learn the basic skills needed to safely experience the beautiful and hostile Scottish mountains in winter. And maybe for some this may inspire them to progress their mountaineering adventures after they leave school. Thanks to Mr Brown from Musselburgh who helped organise the MGS pupils and for his assistance with the smooth running of the weekend.

Wet ‘n’ Wild

The Outdoor Learning Service hosted the first of (hopefully) many kayaking pool sessions with the charity Beyond Boundaries East Lothian (BBEL) This is an East Lothian Charity which exisits to provide a wide range of outdoor activities for people with disabilities, including learning disablities, aged 16 and over in the East Lothian area.

All participants enjoyed themselves in the warmth of the pool in both the polo boats and the inflatable kayaks.

 We are very much looking forward to working more with BBEL in the pool over winter and getting folks out and about come the summer time. We have discovered some more paddling talent within East Lothian and very much look forward to helping them develop their skills further.

Click on image above to view slideshow of photos from the day