Pupil Adventure Events 2017/18

Adventure Award Days

  • Below is a table of scheduled ‘Adventure Award Days’ and other pupils events including Secondary Challenges.
  • These opportunities are mostly free and open to all age ranges.
  • This list is not exhaustive of the offers from your Outdoor Learning Service. If your class/school has ideas on how to embed outdoor learning opportunities and require some specialist help from an Outdoor Learning Teacher then please get in touch.
  • Please don’t miss: the Festivals – Orienteering and Watersports; Residential – fieldwork and winter/summer adventures
  • Bookings for the scheduled dates below to be made through Keith Christie (outdoorlearning@elcschool.org.uk)

Happy planning for adventures 17/18

Teaching, Learning & Play in the Outdoors – Scottish research from University of Stirling (School of Education), SNH & Education Scotland

Teachers who bring their pupils into the outdoors find it makes their learning more enjoyable, challenging, active and collaborative according to significant Scottish study recently published.

IMG_3369 - Version 2

Click on the picture to access the report…

The University of Stirling (School of Education) study shows that outdoor learning in school and pre-schools has increased since Curriculum for Excellence was introduced but that further increases should be made. The survey of nursery, primary and secondary schools looked at over 1000 outdoor lessons from randomly selected schools across Scotland during the summer term and compared results from surveys in 2006 and 2014.

Suzanne Hargreaves, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland said: “Across Scotland, through Curriculum for Excellence, early learning and childcare centres and schools are providing children and young people with more opportunities to learn outdoors. This is having a positive impact on learners, increasing opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and personal achievement. Learners are more engaged which in turn creates better challenge and enjoyment.

“Whilst these findings are positive we have some challenges ahead. Greater provision is required, particularly in secondary schools in order to capitalise fully on outdoor learning of all kinds, including residential experiences. Schools in areas of deprivation also face challenges in providing this type of learning. We will continue to work with schools and outdoor learning organisations to support practitioners in realising and capitalising on the benefits of outdoor learning, and to help ensure these opportunities are open to all learners across Scotland.”

The research report on Teaching, Learning & Play in the Outdoors is now available on the SNH website or by clicking on the picture above.

This research considers to what extent, in what ways and with what impacts schools and pre-schools are utilising the school grounds, local areas, and other places beyond as settings for the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence. It revisits SNH Commissioned Report 225: Young people’s interaction with natural heritage through outdoor learning to consider changes in provisions of outdoor learning and play in Scotland. It also provides new baseline measures on the impacts of taking learning outdoors.

The research also shows that Scottish schools are teaching all subjects outdoors.  This was further emphasised with the publication of Education Scotland’s Religious and Moral Education through Outdoor Learning. This resource designed to encourage professional dialogue, explores how high quality learning and teaching in religious and moral education (RME) can be delivered through outdoor learning.  The recently published Education Scotland Opening Up Great Learning; learning for sustainability” document promotes a whole school and community approach to outdoor learning.  A further specific “Opening Up Great Learning; outdoor learning” document is to follow!

Elphinstone High Quality PE through Outdoor Learning

Thanks to funding from Education Scotland Core Physical Education FundElphinstone Primary have come together with the Outdoor Learning Service to deliver progressive Biking and Orienteering to the current P7 class.

Elphinstone Bike


The funding has enabled the purchase of a fleet of bikes and orienteering equipment. Currently the bikes are being used to deliver Cycling Scotland Go Mountain Biking Scheme. The fleet will be used to deliver BikeabilityScotland levels to pupils without bikes throughout the school. As the bikes are kept at Outdoor Learning, the school have made it clear that they are available to any other schools when not being used by ElphinstonePS. Inroducing biking at Elphinstone will hopefully lead to more pupils being confident to cycle to school and explore their local area.

Elphinstone Orienteer

Orienteering equipment includes electronic timing equipment and will involve delivery of Teaching Orienteering 1 course to all staff within the establishment. The progressive Orienteering sessions will lead to the pupils taking part in: a local competition; Scottish schools competition; possibly British schools competition and maybe beyond!

This current 12 week block is particularly looking at the pupils taking responsibility for themselves and peers and looking at engaging with the local sporting community through their sporting exploits – East Lothian Orienteers and Musselburgh Monarchs BMX club


Unlocking Potential

It was great to witness the enthusiasm that is present in probationary teachers across East Lothian for teaching outside of the classroom.

As part of this years probationer programme all teaching staff new to East Lothian were invited to an afternoon session at the Outdoor Learning Base – Musselburgh. The title of the afternoon was ‘Unlocking the Potential of Outdoor Learning’. The outline presentation is available below by clicking on the image.

Unlocking the Potential

The afternoon consisted of short discussion sessions interspersed by a series of simple outdoor learning activities.

All teachers were surprised to be made aware of the alternative Experiences and Outcomes documents hosted on Education Scotland. The symbols of trees and buildings next to every E and O. It is difficult to find an Experience and Outcome which has only a building next to it!

Curriculum guides for Outdoor Learning

Looking forward to hearing about more innovative learning taking place beyond the classroom across East Lothian. Thanks to all staff for a great and enthusing afternoon.

“…excited to apply what I have learned…”
“Great course …”
“Excellent input.”
“…spells outdoor were excellent…kept us all engaged”

TREE-mendous Outdoor Learning

StoneyHill Branch Out
StoneyHill can’t Leaf it Alone
StoneyHill Learners suddenly Twig
Root and Branch change to Learning at StoneyHill
StoneyHill Barking up the Right Tree

Lots of possible titles for the learning that StoneyHill Primary have been undertaking with the Outdoor Learning Service!
links Wood Map

The P5 pupils from the Primary School have been travelling a mere 30 minutes across East Lothian to look at Woodland Ecology and Bio-diversity at Links Wood near Ravensheugh Sands.

The pupils spent the day exploring the woods and had an outdoor classroom using a teepee; made a fire and helped themselves to hot drinks using a ‘Kelly Kettle’.

They discovered a wide variety of trees through leaf identification. The pupils also witnessed the impact tht non-native invasive species have on a woodland environment (notably rhododendron).
Leaf hunt

All students looked at furthering their work they had done in the classroom concerning cooperative learning by taking on specific roles within their group work.