Become a Paddlesport Instructor

Enjoyed being on the water over summer? Enamoured with Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, sit on top kayaking etc? Make your passion part of your work and become a Paddlesport Instructor. Ready to take the plunge?

Coming up on 3 consecutive Fridays – by the end of these successful 3 days you will achieve the status of British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor.

Friday 30 September 2022 – Foundation Safety and Rescue Course – essential learning for all prior to undertaking Paddlesport Instructor.

Friday 7 October and Friday 14 October – Paddlesport Instructor Course

To book please follow this link

The Paddlesport Instructor qualification is designed for instructors running
paddlesport taster/starter sessions within the safety management systems of clubs,
centres or other organisations in:
 ‘Very Sheltered Water’ environments;
 craft deemed suitable for a first time experience.
The primary role of the Paddlesport Instructor is to deliver safe and enjoyable
taster/starter sessions based on their group’s needs and aspirations. The
qualification will support the instructor with practical skills such as kitting up a group
and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities, games and activities to support
learning and how to use mini journeys to support learning, inspire adventure and
exploration. This will be enhanced with support on how these sessions can be
delivered in a way that is enjoyable, safe and rewarding.
We anticipate that the qualification is likely to be used by instructors in clubs,
centres, schools, Duke of Edinburgh, Youth Groups, Uniformed Groups, etc.
Instructors who are involved in running taster/starter sessions for:
 children and young people as part of a wider educational experience;
 people as part of a leisure, activity, social or holiday experience;
 people wanting ‘to have a go’ at the sport; maybe as a potential new
regular participant.

Further information regarding this British Canoeing course on the Scottish Canoe Association website

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 (

Happy planning for adventures 17/18

Adventure Award Days – first steps toward World Championships

Adventure Award Days are now published for next year. These days give whole classes over the course over a day (or half) to experience some real world learning in a variety of outdoor sports. Who knows – the next Orienteering/ Bouldering/ Canoe Sprint world champion may be lurking in your class. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to unleash their hidden talent. Book by getting in touch with your Outdoor Learning Link teacher –

Martyn, Andy or Liz

The sessions listed below are open to all schools in East Lothian – will not affect any other allocation with Outdoor Learning. First to book a day chooses venue. Watersports (Kayak;Canoe;SUP;Sail), Climbing (Indoor and Outdoor), Orienteering all available.

Adventurous Learning

Marcus Baillie of AALS in full flow at one of Saturday’s Adventurous Learning workshops.


The morning was organised and run by Education Scotland and also included workshops by Outward Bound,  The Ocean Youth Trust and The Scout Association.  The plenary session kicked off with a talk and a video made by Zeki Busan for the John Muir Trust.   A very articulate and passionate young man who has been inspired to travel the world’s wild places and to use his experiences to help educate others. The video can be seen here.  It would have been great have know more about what inspired him and gave him the independence and confidence to do this? His schooling, extra-curricular adventurous activities, family?

The session was run by Natalie White, Education Scotland’s Outdoor Development Officer and themed as ‘Adventurous Learning’. It included lots of content to inspire teachers to be more adventurous in their teaching; be that in the local woods, playground, or even in the gym hall  or the classroom. Very much in the spirit of the recent Adventurous Learning from Simon Beames and Mike Brown.

For me though I would like to have seen more discussion and energy being focused on how we can make make high quality adventurous activities accessible to all. Is it lack of funding, lack of clarity about broader educational priorities, unjustified fear of risk – or just too much else going on? Marcus Baillie reiterated perfectly what we all already know about the benefit of the these activities on young people.  In particular his comments regarding  ‘Character’  (see pic above).

For me though, if we are to see outdoor learning in the playground with a class of infants  as ‘adventurous’,  then we need to ensure we have a way for these pupils to progress. To make this truly impactful we need to address the barriers that currently stop them going on to have the opportunity (and confidence and desire?) to participate in their Gold DofE expedition, a ski tour in the Cairngorms, a sea-kayak trip round the Bass Rock or go on an outdoor residential – before they leave school.

There was discussion about the new Progression Framework for Outdoor Learning from Education Scotland and I look forward to see how this can help us address these barriers.

Numeracy through Canoeing

A class from Ross High ASN continued with their once a week canoeing on Musselburgh Lagoons today. As well as practicising the skills of canoeing they also took the opportunity to continue their numeracy work looking at numbers and counting skills.

Ross High ASN Canoe

Plenty of things were present on and in the water to count

  • 2 swans
  • 6 ducks
  • Ran out of numbers for the number of feathers
  • 5 canoes
  • 4 slalom poles
  • considerable number of paddle strokes

We were also able to do comparison of size by looking at who had collected the largest pile of pond weed.

A great day on the water and a pleasure to be able to bring a context to counting for all the pupils.