Go for It Girls storm Holyrood

Go for It Girls – an inspiring group of young females from schools all across East Lothian who have spent the last year working with Leigh Shearer and a little support from the Outdoor Learning Service – accepted an invitation to share some of their experiences over this past year in parliament and with some MSP’s.

The title of the event at Holyrood was Citizens Enjoying Nature. Four groups were represented giving short presentations on some of the work that was being done by these bodies to promote more visitors into the countryside. The four groups giving presentations were Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Badgers; Scottish Wildlife Trust(SWT); Scottish Countryside Ranger Association(SCRA).

All very interesting presentations on how each of these bodies are encouraging more people into more areas of countryside more often. As part of the SCRA presentation East Lothian’s very own Ranger Leigh Shearer gave a presentation on how the Go for It Girls had been inspiried by the Ranger Service to get out into their own back yard countryside and make a positive contribution to it through partaking in the John Muir Award.

Leigh’s presentation can be viewed below


The girls from the group that attended the presentations worked the room beautifully at the end of the presentations and also made the most of the opportunity to speak to their local MSP (Iain Gray) about their endeavours – see image below

Well done to all girls involved in this project and they will continue their great work by mentoring this next years group.

SEA-ze the Day

A teacher training day with a difference. Staff from Dunbar Grammar and feeder primary schools spent a morning at Dunbar Grammar listening to an inspirational talk by Tori James (youngest, British female to summit Everest) followed by group discussions on how to integrate outdoor learning into their school’s work.
In the afternoon everyone split into small groups and undertook a different activity – these included Blokarting; Cove Trip; Walking tour Dunbar; Tree ID; Mountain biking; Cycle tour Dunbar; Laws Walk; Archery; Surfing; Hillwalking; Forest school skills; Coasteering; Kayaking; Art on beach; Outdoor maths.

A great training day hopefully leaving lots of staff with plenty of ideas on how to make learning outdoors an integral part of their curriculum planning.

Below are some photos from the coasteering trip out. Click on the slide show to view larger images.

Elphinstone Local Heroes

Last week saw Elphinstones P7 camp. In conjunction with the Outdoor Education Service and East Lothian Ranger Service the pupils from Elphinstone Primary have eschewed a week at a residential centre for a week within their local environ. It has enabled the pupils to appreciate their local environment and leave them with lots of opportunities for further learning.

Whilst viewing the photos please make sure that you note: clearing up of someone else’s fire pit; spotting 10 baby eider duck whilst coasteering; the group catching, gutting, cleaning, cooking eating some fish (sea to sauce to mouth!)

The group did as much as possible themselves this week and they all deserve a massive amount of praise for the hard work that they put in. Well done to all the school staff who put in a incredible effort this week also.

The pupils week consisted of

Monday – Kayak – River Tyne and Forth (off Yellowcraig Beach)
Tuesday – Orienteer; Coasteer; Fishing; Overnight Bivi in Hammocks
Wednesday – Travel to Peebles – Initiative Tasks and Woodland Walk – overnight Camp
Thursday – Canoe River Tweed – Overnight Camp
Friday – Pack up – return and Debrief
The pupils are working towards giving a presentation concerning their clean up of fire sites and looking at continuing this work with woodland sites even more local to their school.

Have the pupils at your primary school been stretched recently? Can you say that the learning opportunities were abundant during your school camp? – Elphinstone certainly can.



Extreme Rockpooling

Leaving No Trace

Canoeing the River Tweed

Working hard in Peebles

Hammock Experience

Discovering the journey of food

Somewhere…beyond the Sea

As part of The Explorer John Muir Award for pupils from Ross High, East Lothian Ranger Service and The Outdoor Education Service came together to deliver a very different exploring experience. Coasteering or extreme rockpooling. Next week the pupils are investigating life within rockpools – this week they were the life in the rockpools and the rest of the intertidal zone.

The pupils have been working with the Ranger and Outdoor Education Services since August 2009. The exploring began high up in the Moorfoots at the source of the river Esk and is now drawing to a close investigating the mouth of the river and beyond.

The whole river study programme has consisted of: map work and model making of the river; journey to source; gorge walking; land use/ measurement in mid section; canoeing on Gladshouse resevoir; River dipping at the mouth/ human impact and fishing; coasteering; rockpooling; coastal fishing industry; boat trip to Bass Rock; celebration and presentation of certificates back in school. Further information and pictures on the work that the pupils have been doing can be found here

The final celebration and presentation will take place in June.

Coasteering…Active Risk Management

Ross High pupils coasteering in beautiful December sunshine.On December 4th seven puupils from Ross High along with Mr Berry undertook an immersion course in Risk Management. The S6 pupils were working on risk assessment by undertaking a short journey along East Lothian’s coastline at North Berwick. Also known as coasteering, the half day certainly made pulses quicken for the students. Before setting out on our journey a substantial amount of time was spent in the classroom at the outdoor education base looking at the practicalities of risk management: forecasts; previous weather systems; maps; tide times; group ability; previous experience; equipment; clothing; emergency procedures; contact infromation. Once all of these issues had been gone through the pupils eagerly took to the activity – whilst doing their own personal dynamic risk assessment (challenge by choice!). We returned to the outdoor education base for lunchtime with smiles and memories of a very different and enjoyable lesson on risk management!