Ross High Pupils Reaching High Places

As part of their John Muir Award pupils from Ross High ventured out of school and into the woods.  Here, with the help of the Rangers and Outdoor Learning service, they aimed to discover more about the benefits of the woodlands for themselves as well as the wildlife.  Taking on various challenges they perfected their animal climbing skills (which will be explored later…)

The woods were not a new discovery of a wild place for the group.  On a previous visit to the area they had selected and cut down sections of trees to begin laying down a new path to make area more accessible for everyone.  


 Revisiting this area again they were able to see how their work had been continued.  In further exploring the woods it was obvious that not everybody is as careful and considerate of the woodlands as one would hope or expect.  To help conserve the area and make the woods safer to enjoy for themselves and others (human and wildlife) a quick sweep and litter pick of the woodland floor was done.  There was plenty to be found…


 Having helped make the area cleaner and safe for everyone the pupils had a go at completing some woodland challenges.  The first was to try and get between two large oak trees by balancing on a single line!  Here were some of the different ways.  Everyone managed to get across but maybe not quite as fast or graceful as a squirrel would have!


Next the pupils tried their hand at climbing up trees (well a cable ladder attached up a tree!)  


It was a lot harder than it looked!  Most pupils, however, were able to get all the way to the top and this gave them a chance to see things from and in a different way.

Finally there was a chance to have a go at ‘flying’!

As humans it is great to think about and admire lots of different things.  The pupils decided there were lots of abilities different animals had that they would quite like – including to fly like a bird and have the speed of a cheetah.

Overall it was great to explore more of this woodland area, discover different ways of enjoying it by thinking about how different animals climb around and use the woods, and to make it a cleaner place for everyone to enjoy.  Hopefully you have enjoyed reading about and sharing in this experience and maybe you will get a chance to go down to the woods today (or sometime soon)…


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.


Level 1 Paddlesport Coaches

Congratulations to all new UKCC Level 1 Paddlesport Coaches across East Lothian Schools and Ranger Service

Chris Laud; Julie McCabe; David Gill; Gordon Muchall (all Ross High); Mhairi Walker; Elizabeth McGillivray (Preston Lodge); Leigh Shearer (Ranger Service)

Andrew Berry (Ross High) is well on his way to becoming a UKCC Level 2 Coach

Level 1 coaches from previous years across the authorities school’s include Brian Frost; Gordon Kidd; Anne Cormack (all Preston Lodge); Suzanne Ritchie (North Berwick High)

Becoming a paddlesport coach takes a considerable amount of time and effort (and finance). The enthusiasm shown by all staff in seeking to become paddlesport coaches has been incredible and hopefully it has increased their enthusiasm for paddlesport and that in turn will be passed onto the pupils that they work with.

As a level 1 coach with extra training from the Outdoor Learning Service the coaches are able to work with support and mentoring at a variety of flatwater venues across East Lothian.

Ross High School have already begun a kayaking after school club and will be integrating the paddlepower award scheme and the Cross Stream Challenge into their programme. Ross High are currently undertaking efforts to attempt to get access to the local swimming pool for a series of winter paddling sessions.

Ross High have an ongoing programme of Duke of Edinburgh expeditions through sea kayaking or canoeing and the enthusiasm and dedication of the level 1 coaches will be able to support and promote this.

Preston Lodge High School already have access to their local pool on a Friday afternoon and use it wisely to help promote paddlesport as a means of training to undertake Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions.

The next aim of the Outdoor Learning Servcie is to try and secure funding for a fleet of polo boats and associated equipment with the thought of setting up canoe polo league across East Lothian Schools.

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

Wallaby hunting

Ross High School Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award practice expedition took place this last week over three days. As a group paddling sea kayaks they went exploring Loch Lomond. In some particularly tricky weather conditions all pupils equipped themselves very well.

On this expedition the Outdoor Learning Service were fortunate to have the support of two staff members of Preston Lodge High School – Brian and Anne. The pupils marvelled at how well they packed their boats and realised how important all those little luxuries that can be taken sea kayaking are.

No trip to Loch Lomond is complete without a visit tro Inchconnachan where a fair few Wallabies live and thrive. There were some unbelievers amongst the group initially until we went Wallaby spotting on one of our evening camps.

Well sone to all pupils and they now have time to plan and prepare for their assessed expedition in June 2011