East and Mid – Lothian Schools Orienteering Competition 2016

All schools should have previously received information regarding this fantastic event. However if it has somehow managed to evade you, here are the main details.

What: A (joint Mid and East Lothian) Schools Orienteering Competition and Festival

Where: Vogrie Country Park

When: May 4th 2016 (Start times from 9.15 am to 1.30pm)

Who: Open to all pupils from P5,6 or 7

Why: Consolidation of movement skills/ map reading/ friendly competition/ chance to join local orienteering club and go on to be a world champion/ sweat/ prove to all that your school is the best not only in East Lothian but Midlothian as well!

How: To enter please send an email indicating approximate numbers of pupils and accompanying adults to Andy (aduff@elcschool.org.uk)

More info available at O comp 2016 – info


Ski adventures above the clouds for PL and NB pupils

IMG_3476Pupils from Preston Lodge and North Berwick schools took part in a weekend of ski touring with the Outdoor Learning Service.   Driving north on the Friday with 19 degs C having been recorded in Braemar we were ‘optimistic but realistic‘ as to what snow cover we would find for touring in the Cairngorms.

However those that ‘went high’ were rewarded with a world of blue ski, blazing sun and excellent snow above the clouds – on one day at least.

On Saturday we left from  the top ski car-park and set out in hope into a thick grey fog.



After skinning up Fiacaille of Corrie Cas for an hour the murk started to thin, and after another hour, and just as we reached the Cairngorm plateau, we broke through to blazing sunshine,  a cloudless sky and looked down on the tops of the cloud layer.  A perfect cloud inversion.


As we rested and took off the skins the blue sky disappeared and cloud rolled back in just as we left to ski down Corrie Raibert.


Then the blue ski reappeared as we skinned back to the top of Cairngorm.


And the same happened again as we descended into Ciste Mearid and climbed back out to ski back down Corrie Cas!   In fact all day we seemed to manage to coincide the great downhill skiing with terrible visibility, and the skinned up hill under a blazing sun!  Still a brilliant day, giving these lucky East Lothian school pupils a top intro to ski touring.


They all got to learn new skills and appreciate back-country skiing away from the crowds and in amazing conditions.

The Sunday saw us back on top of Cairngorm, then a great ski down into Corrie Raibert again, linking up the snow patches we had skinned up the day before. After this it was skins on again and we made our way  round the back of Corrie Sneachda and Corrie an Lochain. In contrast to the day before though we were ‘in the white’ for all the journey over the plateau.


Each of the team took turns out front and experienced that weird whiteout feeling of no horizon and no way to see if the snow ahead was up, down or flat.  Two hours of careful navigation later and we dropped out of the clouds for an excellent spring snow descent down Lurchers gully.


Even the one and a half kms slog back back across heather in boots to the car-park failed to take the smiles off the faces.


Another great day. Given how quickly the white-stuff is going though, unless we get some more snow-fall soon, that will definitely be the last tour of the season from us.

If you are a S4, S5 or S6 pupil, or parent of one and want to participate in next year’s ski touring adventures please contact us.  Click here for the gPhotos album of all photos.

Ski-touring-tastic for ELC teachers


For the first time the Winter CPD weekend at Badaguish in the Cairngorms last weekend included a ski touring taster for ELC teachers. The purpose of this session was to let teachers experience ski touring in order to help the Outdoor Learning Service deliver this to pupils of East Lothian schools.

On-piste skiing,  foreign trips and lift passes can be expensive, and so are not accessible to all. By contrast for ski touring all you need is equipment and qualified staff (both of which we now have), some snowy Scottish mountains and a bit of leg power!

We  can now offer amazing ski adventures to pupils across East Lothian schools.  In particular we intend to target pupils who get to learn to ski at Hillend but do not have the opportunity to progress further.  Please contact us if you want to know more, or have a group of pupils you would like us to support you with.

Click here for a slideshow of all the photos.



Last Wednesday night Andy Duff from ELC Outdoor Education delivered a Fire Building course to the staff of King’s Meadow Primary School. We had great fun making fires and using Kelly Kettles.

We cooked pancakes and boiled water for hot chocolate! Now that we have been trained in safe practice we hope to share this experience to enhance learning across the curriculum. Thanks to Andy for his support!

Louise Arnold – KMPS

(If other groups are interested in a similar training event then please contact the Outdoor Learning Service at outdoorlearning@elcschool.org.uk)

Fire boxes …

Open fire , with lifted turf …

Kelly kettle …