Teaching Orienteering 1

Had the delight of working with a variety of educators based in King’s Meadow Primary and Knox Academy over 2 sessions last week. We delivered the British Orienteering Teaching Orienteering 1 course.

Lots of oppoprtunities for practical orienteering and developing young people with a progressive orienteering plan. This will hopefully lead on to greater ‘O’ participation and increased membership for local orienteering clubs.

Thanks to some wonderful insight from Marion Barclay  (PE specialist lead officer) funding was secured to map all schools. All the maps in PDF form can be accessed here


The next Teaching Orienteering course is due to take place at Haddington on the following dates. – 23rd and 25th April 2014. Maximum number of 14 places
To book please complete the course booking form which can be found here.

Knox Academy Highers

Well not really highers but certainly today, Knox High School pupils as part of a 4 day programme during activity week conquered 4 high summits in the Pentland Hills.
Monday involved some rock-climbing and scrambling at North Berwick Law. The group  will be off coasteering and canoeing over the next 2 days. All fantastic Outdoor Learning opportunities and a chance to gain some new skills (even though this required some chocolate digestive bribery).

Good luck with the rest of the programme team.

R.O.P.E … the story so far

A group of 8 S3 pupils have been out on a program of Adventurous Outdoor Activies called ROPE being delived by the Outdoor Learning Service.

On Tuesday the group visited the climbing wall at Tranent, where they learned the basics of indoor-climbing and peer belaying. Yesterday the group travelled down to Lothain Edge above Dunbar where they competed on a Orienteering score course. Conditions yesterday were pretty challenging. Very poor visibility (less than 20m at times) meant that the teams needed to really focus on their contour interpretation to get home that night – let alone finding controls!

Click on the image above (sorry you’ll not see it on the Corporate Network) to view images on fullscreen or to download

The course had a 40 minute time limit with a penalty applied for over-runs. So the challenge was to plan your route to gain as many points (by finding controls), and loose as few by not overuning. In the end Eilha and Eilidh Mc were victoious. While they didn’t score as high as the other teams – they incurred the least penalty points.

Click here for results. And sorry … if I’ve made a mistake in here … just give me a break, with two Elidhs and an Eilha it can get confusing.

So that was the R for rock-climbing, followed by O for Orienteering.

Next week it’s P for Paddling, a canoe trip. Followed by the E (which I intended to be for Explore (but the pupils seem to believe stands for Enything – but will probably be a gorge walk.)

Stop Press! (mennan)

5 schools, 11 teams, 7 challenges, hills, mud and trees – it must be the S1 Challenge!

The rain stayed off till the last 10 minutes of the s1 Challenge held at Pressmennan Woods on Friday. All teams completed enthusiastically on a hilly course round a variety of challenges both in the woods and up on the open (and windy) hills.

It was a combination of stamina and great team-work that saw Ross High School and Musselburgh Grammar (the all girl team) win jointly on the day with 39 points. They were closely followed in joint 3rd place by Knox and PL with 37 points, with one of the teams from North Berwick not far behind in 5th place with 34 points.

Well done to all that competed, thanks for the help from the school staff. And see you all next time at the S6 Challenge on Friday 3rd December at Yellowcarig

East Lothian for Advanced Highers

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Occasional showers and a bit of wind did not deter Advanced Higher Geography pupils from Knox, Musselburgh and Dunbar from visiting some of the top geography spots of East Lothian on Monday.

The first stop was Moneynut Edge above Innerwick and a walk up through Aikengall Windfarm. Sheltering behind one of the turbines the group discussed environmental impact of upland wind farm developments, all the more relevant being within sight of both Cockenzie and Torness. Next stop was Cove Harbour to look at coastal erosion processes – plenty of fine examples of wave-cut platforms, stacks and arches. Plus also a visit quick visit to evidence of Coves smuggling past.

After lunch the group drove round to Yellowcraig and met with Dave Wild of East Lothian Council Country-side Ranger Service. First topic was visitor impact and how this relates to the management of the unique coastal habitats of Yellowcraig. The second part of Dave’s very informative session looked at the effect of invasive plant species such such as sea-buckthorn and piri-piri on the natural development of the dune systems. This was particular interest to the pupils who were undertaking sand-dune transects. Dave’s intimate knowledge and passion for this fine stretch of East Lothian coastline was obvious.

Hopefully the day has helped with ideas for some of the pupils who have yet to start their Advanced Higher Investigation, answered many questions for others – and has hopefully given some new ideas for next year’s projects. Thanks to Dave the Ranger , Mrs Hamilton and Ms Hillison for their help.