Schools & Young People

We have a number of programmes running for school pupils and all Young People across East Lothian.

Outdoor Learning ‘Teacher in Residence’ programme

New! AWE-some (Adventurous Week of Education)


Targeted Outdoor Programmes

Extra Activity Requests inc. Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions

Holiday Adventure Activity Programme – here

ASN Activities – here

Outdoor Learning ‘Teacher in Residence’ programme

The teaching staff in the Outdoor Learning Service have changed the way they work this year (20/21); focusing on longer-term school-grounds/local area curricular OL support to schools. A move from ‘classroom’ to ‘learning spaces’ model for CfE can deliver high quality learning and teaching beyond the classroom. Click on the picture below to find out more


…this work has been implemented to help school staff and Outdoor Learning teaching staff work together to; plan, deliver and review using Supported Outdoor Learning Lessons as an approach to learning, teaching, and assessment.

To request a member of Outdoor Learning teaching staff:

  1. Please complete a Curricular Outdoor Learning Request Form  with as much information as you can and return it to If accepted, the finer details can be worked through before commencement of the request.

A request is more likely to be accepted if it follows the below criteria:

a. School staff and Outdoor Learning teaching staff work together to; plan, deliver and review a progressive programme.  Using Supported Outdoor Learning Lessons as an approach to learning, teaching, and assessment.

b. Clear Learning Intensions and Success Criteria are identified, and linked with appropriate Curriculum Frameworks

c. Evidence is gathered and an evaluation is carried out producing Tangible Evidence of Impact.

d. Direct references to your School Improvement Plan, which in turn links with ELC Education Improvement Plan & NIF key priorities.

e. Staff training / Professional Learning is built into the project allowing the work to become sustainable without the need for further OL funding.  If this is not the case there is an expectation for the school to look to appropriate funding sources to enable the work to continue (assuming the Tangible Evidence of Impact is positive!)

All teaching projects are fully inclusive, working towards raising attainment using Outdoor Learning as an approach to learning. With a particular focus (depending on the class) on numeracy, literacy and health & wellbeing.  Where relevant and with certain targeted groups, teaching projects work towards Developing the Young Workforce and closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children.  We can aim towards projects delivering SCQF points.  All teaching projects are designed and delivered by fully qualified teaching staff.

When lessons/ projects are in the school grounds or local area the OL Teacher can provide all the necessary advice and training (inc. CLPL courses) for school based teachers, auxiliary staff, adult helpers etc. to develop and sustain teaching in the outdoor environment.

When lessons/ projects progress to include adventurous activities the OL Teacher can provide the technical competence/ skills/ knowledge to deliver these lessons alongside school-based teachers, auxiliary staff, adult helpers etc.

AWE-some Adventurous Week of Education

This is an alternative camp programme called ‘AWE-some’ for P7’s.   We have built the programme to integrate with classroom learning and deliver curriculum outcomes (specifically literacy).  The programmes are put together without the use of motorised transport using the local area for adventurous activities. 

Further information click here



Bikeability is based on the government approved National Standards for Cycle Training, which teaches trainees the necessary skills to ride confidently on today’s roads.

It is a life-long skill that can be instilled at a young age, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, boosting confidence and developing independence.

There are three award levels for Bikeability, with a level to suit all abilities, from beginner to experienced commuter or rider:

  1. Level 1 teaches basic bike-handling skills in a controlled traffic-free environment.
  2. Level 2 teaches trainees to cycle planned routes on minor roads, offering a real cycling experience.
  3. Level 3 ensures trainees are able to manage a variety of traffic conditions and is delivered on busier roads with advanced features and layouts.

Email  if you would like to find out more about how the pupils in your school can take part.

Targeted Outdoor Programmes

Further information click here

Extra Activity Requests inc. Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions

To arrange bespoke sessions please complete the Staff/ Session Booking Form and email to .

Through our network of associate instructors we can provide expedition supervision to support your school or community DofE group.  Our DofE expedition packages are as follows:

Training Session4 hrs4 hrs4 hrs
Training Expedition Route Planning3 hrs3 hrs3 hrs
Training Expedition2 days3 days4 days
Qualifying Expedition Route Planning3 hrs3 hrs3 hrs
Qualifying Expedition2 days3 days4 days

See here for staff cost. Costs are for one member of staff supervising one walking group, includes all equipment hire and an additional cost for overnight supervision . This does not include potential costs for an additional assessor (if required), camp site fees, mini-bus hire etc.

Some content in this section is pre COVID-19Our current priorities are supporting Education Recovery, Learning Outdoors in and around the school grounds.

Adventure Award Days

Inter-School Challenges, Competitions and Festivals

First Aid for Pupils

Scottish Winter ‘Brilliant Residential’

Adventure Award Days

To book an instructor led session:

  1. Check the PUPIL EVENTS – Outdoor Learning Calendar
  2. Phone or email the Outdoor Learning Service to arrange provisional dates times and numbers
  3. Complete a ‘Curricular Outdoor Learning Request Form’ and email it to to confirm the booking.

These are orienteering, climbing and paddle-sports sessions for pupils run at venues across the county.

This is an opportunity for young people to gain the skills needed to progress in a range of Outdoor & Adventurous Sports. Young people have the opportunity to gain local and national certification.  All awards meet a range of CfE experiences and outcomes.

Inter-School Challenges, Competitions and Festivals

Click on the image below to discover what we have on offer this academic year

First Aid for Pupils

Many schools take up First Aid training for their pupils. This has been successfully delivered to pupils from P1 onwards. Training is specifically tailored to suit the age and ability of pupils. Please complete a ‘Curricular Outdoor Learning Request Form’  and submit to

For staff First Aid Training please see our For Training section of the website.

Scottish Winter ‘Brilliant Residential’

We are offering a school the chance to have their pupils go on a Scottish Winter ‘Brilliant Residential’ There is a nominal charge of £20 per pupil for this trip. This then includes all transport food, accommodation, and winter adventure activities (led by Outdoor Learning Teaching staff). This offer is open to any ELC school. Numbers will be limited to approx a dozen young people. To take up this offer please get in touch with and be prepared to complete a ‘Curricula Outdoor Learning Request form’

This fantastic opportunity is made possible through your Outdoor Learning Service being able to deliver professional learning to Outdoor Professional organisations. – (BAIML; MTA)

The majority of our work is coordinated through East Lothian Schools, but some sessions / courses can be booked directly by parents/ guardians on behalf of young people.  These are…

The Adventure Academy

Higher Geography Field-Studies Residential – Cairngorms National Park

Winter Adventures – Weekend Residentials – Cairngorms National Park

Local & National Competitions

School Holiday Programme

The Adventure Academy

What is the Adventure Academy… A group of pupils from across East Lothian Council schools who meet and work together on a range of outdoor adventurous activities including rock-climbing, orienteering, canoeing, kayaking and mountain sports.

When and where  … Fortnightly on Thursdays after school 4:15 – 6:15 pm at the Outdoor Learning Service base in Musselburgh.  Monthly weekend day trips, a winter weekend residential and a Summer expedition in the last week of the summer term.  Click here for session times for 2019-20 academic year.

Who is it for … Any S2-S4 pupil who wants to be inspired, stretched and challenged by outdoor adventures.  It’s for anyone who’s interested in outdoor pursuits as a hobby, or  maybe even considering a future working in the outdoors.

What will it cost …  A nominal charge will be made for transport, entry fees and any residential costs incurred.   We do not anticipate these being more than a couple of pounds per session. The residential will be approximately £40 dependent on the accommodation required.  There is no cost for staff time or equipment.  Financial assistance can be made available please contact us in confidence.

What will I get out of it … learn new skills,  maybe gain some awards, work as a team, build your resilience and confidence. Have adventures!

How do I apply … download the application form here and return to  Including the words ‘Adventure Academy’ in the subject.  Numbers are limited!

Once you have been allocated a place through the Outdoor Learning Service… Pay here

Higher Geography Field Studies>

A residential field-studies course to the Cairngorm National Park (3 days/ 2 nights), run jointly with ELC Secondary Schools.  It provides an ideal opportunity for those who are new to Geography, or those who want to gain more confidence, to learn some of the key processes and techniques required at Higher level.

As part of the Higher Geography course, all pupils have to complete the added-value unit.  This requires the pupils to carry out fieldwork, process the data then analyse the results.  A report on their findings is then written up, under exam conditions and sent away to the SQA to be marked externally.  This makes up 1/3 of their final mark.  In order to learn how to collect data, as well as process it, we have chosen to visit the Cairngorm National Park.  As this is a glaciated area, we will also take the opportunity to visit some key landforms to consolidate learning about the processes and features, as well as look at the land uses and conflicts that exist there.  Prior to the field trip, we will have a meeting with the pupils to discuss the various topics that will be covered so that they can start thinking about what type of project they want to do, and carry out any background reading.

The cost of the trip includes travel, accommodation, food, equipment and all activities.  Please note that although the cost of food is included in the price, the accommodation is self-catering and therefore pupils and staff will prepare all the meals. A packed lunch will need to be supplied for the first day.  We stay at Badaguish Forest Lodges ( and pupils will be sharing rooms.

Usual Itinerary …may change dependent on weather

Day 1 : Meet at East Lothian Outdoor Education at 9am to collect kit and pack the trailer. Travel to Aviemore with a picnic stop along the route.  Visit Aviemore and carry out fieldwork.

Day 2:  Cairngorm Mountain Resort: – Talk from the national park ranger, Look at how the physical landscape influences land use, study the impact of tourism on the mountain and collect data in the ski area.

Day 3: Cairngorm Mountain: Meet a local business person, walk into the neighbouring corries to the ski centre and collect data

Day 3 pm:  Return to school for approximately 7pm

Once you have been allocated a place through your school Geography Department… Pay here

Winter Adventures – Weekend Residentials – Cairngorms National Park

This year we are back at the fine facilities of Badaguish in the Cairngorms National Park.

Why attend … The Scottish winter mountains can be a challenging environment.  They are an excellent place to help you gain skills and confidence. We will help you experience some amazing conditions and hopefully learn some new winter skills – such as using an ice-axe and crampons, or for those that can already ski, maybe some touring off-piste on skis.  And as at least two of us teach Geography there’ll be plenty of glacial features and processes explored and discussed.

Who can attend …We run two weekends one for S3-4 and another for S5-6. Max group size is 12 per trip.

Dates … This years dates can be found here

Logistics … we will leave after school on the first day of each trip from the Outdoor Learning Service in Musselburgh, returning on the evening of the last day.

Activities will be dependent on the conditions and the group, they will include …
Planning your winter day  – weather forecast, snow-pack, route-choice, what to take?
Winter navigation
Winter technical skills – use of winter boots, ice-axe, crampons
Snow craft – building emergency shelters, snow holes
Avalanche awareness and emergency response.
Winter hill-walking
Snowshoeing – dependent on conditions
Ski-touring – very dependent on participants prior experience and conditions. We can discuss when you arrive

What’s included …
Self-catering accommodation in 4, 6 or 8 bed dorms
Instruction and coaching from ELC OLS staff
All technical and safety equipment, including outer waterproof clothing and winter boots.

What to bring …
See here for a kit-list
Linen for bedding is provided but you need to bring a towel!
Enthusiasm and a smile

Cost  …
£95 fully inclusive of equipment, food, instruction and transport

Interested … Book and pay online here


Local and National Outdoor & Adventure Sport competitions

Once you have been allocated a place through your school… Pay here

School Holiday Programme

Click on the ‘For Pupils; tabs to book here