Schools Orienteering Festival and Competition 2015

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 6th 2015 (morning or afternoon slot)

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 Martyn (


More info available by clicking on image below

Orienteering 2015 entry Any questions or queries then please get in touch with your Outdoor Learning Service

Primary School late summer paddlesport

Here at East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service we are fortuitous to have some wonderful associate staff who often get the opportunity to deliver to our great pupils across East Lothian. Ed has written about 3 recent days he has enjoyed on the water.

These days were run as Adventure Award Days. There are unlimited numbers of these days to all schools across East Lothian.


Mon 29th Sept, Canoeing Adventure, Haddington River Tyne, Yester PS

With the weather forecast looking like it would be very much in our favor I packed up the canoes and equipment I would need and went to meet the group. Upon arrival and meeting I knew that these young people were going to be enjoying themselves and that they would be brilliant at the session. They were fun, engaging and enthusiastic (some were even a bit keen to get very wet also).

Before everything we began with identifying three things that we would try and do during the session. This was going to be how we would decide if the session had been a success or not.

1. We were going to stay safe! This meant that we would have to listen really carefully and follow all the instructions. Being responsible for our own actions would be really important with this.
2. We were going to try and have an increased awareness of the environment that we were in.
3. To have fun. This was really important as we need to enjoy not only the activity we were taking art in but also the environment we were using (e.g the river)

The group were fantastic and we had a really enjoyable time exploring the river. I felt that the group managed to achieve each of the goals we outlined at the start. I was particularly impressed with the effort that they applied to moving the equipment around (the canoes). This is not an easy task and it has been known for participants to not really engage with this side of the session. Not with this team though.

We got on the water and set off on our trip. We went quite high up the river until it became too shallow to continue. We saw lots of wildlife and identified different reasons why the river is the shape it is.

Once we had figured out how to prevent the canoes from going in circles we were able to really move quick over the water. The group found that canoeing is not about the individual but working with your partner if you want the boat to go in the right direction.

All in all I have to say that I was very impressed with every participant who attended the sessions. Hopefully this will have sparked a bit more of an understanding of the environment and the fun that can take place in it.

Tue 30th Sept, Canoeing / Kayaking, Musselburgh Lagoons, Prestonpans PS

Turning up at the Musselburgh Lagoons it was clear that this wasn’t going to be the easiest day to do some canoeing and kayaking. There was a strong wind blowing over the lagoon and when you are sat in a boat on top of the flat water you make quite a large target to be blown away from where you need to go.

This was a day when developing resilience was going to be paramount. It was not the best day to learn the basics of paddlesport. Nonetheless the group gave everything they had. I was really impressed with how they undertook each of the challenges they were given. I set them all goals at the start of the day to achieve and they managed to achieve these goals. First and foremost to have fun and I think that everyone went away happy (and maybe a bit soggy).

With adverse weather conditions the group managed to follow all the instructions and to have an enjoyable time. Great work team.

Tue 7th Oct, Canoeing / Kayaking, Musselburgh Lagoons, Prestonpans PS

This was my second day working with the young persons from Prestonpans PS and they were just as enthusiastic and keen to take part as the previous group. The conditions we a little better than before however there was still a slight breeze which made it a little tricky when you needed to stay in one place. The group really dealt with this well though and they worked hard to overcome all the challenges that were set to them.

It was much the same as the session before, to develop skills so they could control their craft and play games. To listen and follow instructions, thereby staying safe and being respectful of the instructors and equipment. Finally to have fun.

They were all super keen to get into the water also which I thought was particularly brave. Though we were not far away from the summer, the water temperature had dropped considerably. I think that once in the water they maybe were reconsidering the enjoyment they would receive from jumping in. Fortunately they all came prepared for the day to be a bit wet and as such had their own change of clothes so they could get changed and warm quickly.
Brilliant effort everyone. I hope that you will all continue using the outdoor environment to enjoy yourselves in a responsible way.

If you would like the opportunity to volunteer or become an associate with ELC Outdoor Learning and enjoy your days as much as Ed then please get in touch with Liz




The Land that Time Forgot Remembered

Campie Primary School P5

Over the past couple of weeks all of Campie P5 pupils have taken up the wonderful opportunity to work with the Outdoor Learning Service to investigate their own wonderful East Lothian Pre His – story.

CfE Outcomes
  1. SOC 2-02a  – I can interpret historical evidence from a range of periods to help to build a picture of Scotland’s heritage and my sense of chronology.
  2. SOC 2-04a – I can compare and contrast a society in the past with my own and contribute to a discussion of the similarities and differences.

This involved checking out a couple of fantastic venues in East Lothian – Chesters Hill Fort and Traprain Law. The pupils loked at the concept of time and used a timeline to appreciate the concept of pre-history. On visiting the sites of former settlements they looked at interpreting the settlement patterns. They came to understand the Bronze and Iron age hillforts that once thrived in these harsh and unforgiving landscapes.

Timeline prehistory

As well as time lines and stories around the settlements the children aslo made maps in order that they could better plan an attack on the fort and/or work out how best to defend the fort.


Pupil reaction to the days …described by some of the pupils as, ‘…the best trip EVER!’ and ‘…totally AWESOME’. Some photos of the pupils’ learning at the school’s own blog



‘One Out – All Out’ with Law Primary P6

Not a strike by pupils but a planned walkout and overninght camp by all three P6 classes.

Law Primary P6 classes looked to develop their planning and preparation; physical stamina; independance; social cohesion by walking from the school for 3 mile to a coastal camping spot.

Here the pupils were required to put up their own tents; unpack their own rucsacs and prepare their own sleeping quarters. After which they took part in activities organised by their own class teacher – ‘Capture the flag’; Tiny shelter building; Night Line; Stories (true stories concerning the local North Berwick Witches)

After a hearty meal – all organised and managed by the school staff and a small camp fire the pupils then attempted to ensure they had a good nights sleep (the most challenging part of the whole adventure for some!) ready for the clear up and return walk to school for the next day

Well done to all pupils who seemed to take to their new venture with relish. Thanks to patrent helpers who assisted with the walk to and from school. But the biggest congratualtions and thanks must go to the school staff – being prepared and willing to take the whole class camping and making it a valuable learning experience for all is no more feat. It was a pleasure to be able to help.

More photos below – click on image to view fullscreen

School of Hard Knox

An intrepid group of students as part of their activity week elected to explore a little of their beautiful country on foot.

After a preparation day in East Lothian (the students were responsible for organising food and kit), including a little navigation training and planning of their route, the pupils set off north to the Cairngorms

Ruighe-aiteachain bothy in Glen Feshie was one the groups plans to visit and the group camped a reasonable distance away and were introduced to the bothies; how to respect them; how to look after them; yet enjoying the cameraderie of bothy life.

The group also acheived their planned objective of ensuring that they summited a Munro – managing to avoid the snow on the way!

All in a great well planned by S3 studnets from Knox Academy developing resilience, fortitude and planning skills and ready now to have a lifetime of adventures