Carry on Campie – beach adventures

The final group of P6 have made their way down to Ravensheugh beach today for some high quality outdoor learning in the winter sun.

Five trips have been made in total by groups of P6 pupils with all designing their own adventure day and learning in consultation with their own and OutdoorLearning Teaching staff.

Chosen activities and learning included exploration of the woods, rocks and beach through orienteering; creativity through beach art; exploration of cardinal compass points through use of compass and awareness of natural world (sun/moss/wind/smells); exploring rockpools – what adaptations are required to survive and thrive in the harsh environment.

A quote from a pupil on Campie Primary School blog

There we learned many skills…  …Over all everyone can agree, it was a great day out!!!!!

We look forward to many more great days out with Campie and others.

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



Macmerry Make Moves

The first day of the Macmerry P7’s outdoor activities week was hill walking. It was down to the outdoor learning base at Musselburgh to get geared up with waterproofs,boots,map and compass.Then it was off to the Lammermuirs. Working in two seperate groups the children did some basic map setting skills and then used the map to navigate to various locations. The children took it in turns to lead sections and decided on the day’s route – so led the whole day. (Pity they cannot drive the minibus!! ) We made a circumnavigation of Hopes Reservoir . A beautiful spot with plenty of interest: buzzards; grouse; various fungi. Thanks to the hillwalker who showed us how to use  his gps and even more thanks to all in P7 for an enjoyable day outdoors.


Day 2 saw the children head down to Haddington to explore a short section of the river by canoe and then increase their navigation skills through some judicious map reading in some competitive orienteering in Neilson Park. (for anyone interested in taking the fantatstic sport of orienteering further please contact East Lothian Orienteers and for the equally thrilling and diverse paddlesport see North Berwick Kayak Club)

The final day of Macmerry’s P7 class local exploration and adventure saw them exploring a small river on foot (gorge walking). Water/mud/climb/slide/stretch/help/uncomfortable/support/laugh/enjoy/learn were all part of a fantastic day.

Some photos from the day can be accessed at the pupils’ blog site

Just to say many thanks for organising our three wonderful days with the Outdoor Ed team.  We had a really great time and all learned such a lot about ourselves, each other and our environment.

Ross High ASN Adventures

A great day had by all providing an outdoor learning day for all pupils in all classes of Ross High School ASN unit.

IMGP0253 The pupils enjoyed the great weather whilst experiencing cycling; canoeing; wildlife watching (and stroking); blokarting; kayaking; firestarting. The whole day was inspired by Gordon Muchall (teacher within ASN unit) who brought together a wide variety of organisations to help deliver the day. ELC Outdoor Learning; ELC Ranger Service; Beyond Boundaries East Lothian; Calvert Trust

Thanks and congratulations must go to all the staff and volunteers who worked incredibly hard to help all the pupils throughout the day. (Especially the staff who braved the excellent toilet facilities!) The exhausted but happy faces of all at the end of the day told of a great day. Keith from Outdoor Learning along with Gordon and volunteers will continue to work with individual classes to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors through canoeing every Wednesday at Musselburgh Lagoons. A very special thanks must go out to the volunteers (including a local councillor; a bus driver and others) who gave so much of their valuable time to help all. This day couldn’t have happened without them. Many thanks