NBHS S3 Highland Adventure

20 North Berwick S3 pupils are using their activity week to further explore their own country around Moidart and Lochaber.


They successfully travelled the length of Loch Shiel by canoe and foot- camping wild on the shores along the way.
Thursday was been spent up high on the flanks of Ben Nevis – viewing it from sides less explored. Still a considerable amount of snow on the tops in May.
Friday was an ace day with all adventuring on two wheels – some on Mountain Bikes and some on Segways. The afternoon was then spent in the very large fridage that is the ice climbing wall in Kinlochleven – with a little bit of high ropes thrown in for good measure.
Saturday was the return journey back down south and an afternoon spent swinging amongst the trees at GoApe in Peebles.

A cracking week (requiring hard physical effort; organisation; resilience; coping with fears and often enjoyable) – many thanks to Miss Ritchie and other staff from North Berwick High for the organisation. A really powerful week in lots of ways. As one pupil quoted during an end of week review and slideshow – “I chose this trip because I wanted an experience – not an holiday”. They certainly got what they wished for.


First Aid Course for Pupils

Friday saw the delivery of a six hour Emergency First Aid course to pupils from North Berwick High School. This is the very same course that is delivered across the council to emlpoyees who require a basic first aid qualification.

In this case it was part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award training. For the pupils to operate fairly independently on expedition it is important that they have a basic understanding of First Aid. (An essential lifeskill also).

All pupils threw themselves into all practical parts of the course and shared experience and knowledge across the group.

All eleven students were awarded their certificates and I look forward to working with them out on the hill.

 If this is something that students at your school would like to do then please contact the Outdoor Learning Service

Crystal Clear Winners – No Rigging of Results

S3 Challenge, High Wood near Crystal Rigg Wind Farm, Friday 4 November – Weather pretty good considering it was November!

The victorious team was from Ross High. This is the second Challenge of the year that Ross High have won (previously winning the S4 Challenge back in September). Congratulations to all teams that came out to the challenge and experienced the mud and quagmire that is Bransly Hill. A series of problems and tasks faced the teams of  6 students as they navigated around a very muddy course of 5km. The problems they faced included observation; cooperation; communication; mental dexterity; caring for others; navigation.

The next Challenge is the S1 Challenge on the 18th November 2011. Your schools can only win if they are present and represented. (No names D**bar and K**x A****my!)

If you are within a school and would like to enter a team then please get in touch with Martyn/ Bill or Liz

Enjoy the photos below.


Camping it up!

Knowing that most school residential trips take are planned a year in advance let me take this opportunity close to the start of the new school year to let you know about a few trips that your Outdoor Learning Service was involved in over the past year. Some thoughts for your next school trip…

Cost? Educational – how are the pupils involved in the planning and running of the trip. What educational aims and objectives are set for the trip. Preparation by pupils. What happens at the end of the trip? Any follow up work. Anything that can be taken from the trip to use in the classroom? How are the staff and parents from the school deployed – there are lots of great adults out there only too willing to help.


North Berwick High activity week

What better way for staff and pupils to gain respect for one another than to undergo together an adventurous week. This week was organised and staffed almost entirely by staff from the school. It utilised skills and qualifications amassed by a wide variety of school staff (including the Head). This meant that the pupils were able to spend a week at Rothiemurchas and have full days of activity including Mountain Biking in Rothie Forest; Canoeing on the Spey; Walking in the Cairngorms; Gorge Walking. The catering also employed the expertise of school staff. The whole trip meant that the pupils were able to witness the organisation required first hand and be involved in the catering; cleaning; transport; route planning; equipment maintenance etc. A complete education.

Elphinstone School Camp



Click here for a full screen slideshow

A fantastic model of a school camp for a small school. Elphinstone once again employed the services of the Outdoor Learning Service and the Ranger Service – both able to provide free time in the pursuit of high quality education. The pupils’ week consisted of orienteering; Stand Up Paddleboard journey; Coasteering; Kayaking (all within our very own beautiful East Lothian). The pupils camped out overnight in Hammocks and cooked their own supper over an open fire. After travelling down to the Borders – Peebles the pupils camped – more conventionally in tents and did some quality problem solving and team tasks and archery. Toward the end of the week the group undertook a whole day canoe trip down the Tweed from Cordrona to Innerleithen. Staff from the school accompanied the children at every point and the children were fully engaged in the whole process from planning of the trip through to successful execution.


Prestonpans Infant School

How young is too young for a residential experience? For Prestonpans Infants age is no barrier. Pupils as young as  P3 (6 years old)   spent a night out at Innerwick Residential Centre. The pupils were taken to Innerwick 16 at a time over 4 evenings for a one evening expedition. A Woodland discovery day – including hammocks; tipis; camouflage; woodland games. Evening walk at Cove through the the tunnel and down to the seashore for an evening explore of a coastal environment – led entirely by school staff. Lots of help for this (for many) first overnight experience was given by parents from the Infant School.


Please get in touch with your Outdoor Learning Service for advice and guidance on running a school residential experience – and remember to ask around staff and parents – there may be a lot of hidden talent and enthusiasm lurking within!



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