Duke of Hazard

Ross High Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition training. This year, pupils are training for an expedition by sea kayak, Their training continues apace with lots of evening sessions straight after school and last night a quick paddle off the East Lothian coastline and camp – all completed within the time frame from the end of school on Wednesday 1540 to start of school on Thursday – 0845. All pupils were thrilled that they could undergo this training without missing any time at school(!).
A great evening was had by all paddling in quite a large sea and a wonderful camp just up from the beach. The puupils had a chance to experience some risk management and hazard awareness in action – personal and group. Just how powerful are those small waves? – how dry will our launching and landing really be? – how do we keep track of each other’s positions when we keep disappearing behind large swell?
Technonlogy came into play in the form of Mr Laud’s phone (Google Sky Map) which we used to distinguish many a star and planet.

No photos from this trip as hands were quite full looking after group on water and we came off the water as the sun went down. It was very beautiful though – let your imagination conjure up some pictures of large waves with the evening sun dancing off each crest!

In Awe of Ross High and their Bull

This years cohort of Silver level DofE students from Ross High have just completed their expedition by sea kayak, The aim of the expedition was to paddle the length of Loch Awe over three days and on the way document and clean up old fire/ camp sites. The images below show some of the sites they came across and their efforts to Leave No Trace of others. (More images coming soon)

Students completed their expedition and at the very end of their trip discovered a bull stuck in the mud right up to it’s neck. After a call to the local landowner the students got to watch: tractor; 3 fire engines; control unit; quad bike; landrover; police car. With all these resources thrown at him the Bull has survived to sire again!

Congratulations to all students who now need to complete their expedition report in order for this section of their Award to be signed off as finished.
FTAO Ross students. For video content that you can download for use in a presentation please click here
The pictures above can be downloaded for use in your projects also.

Somewhere…beyond the Sea

As part of The Explorer John Muir Award for pupils from Ross High, East Lothian Ranger Service and The Outdoor Education Service came together to deliver a very different exploring experience. Coasteering or extreme rockpooling. Next week the pupils are investigating life within rockpools – this week they were the life in the rockpools and the rest of the intertidal zone.

The pupils have been working with the Ranger and Outdoor Education Services since August 2009. The exploring began high up in the Moorfoots at the source of the river Esk and is now drawing to a close investigating the mouth of the river and beyond.

The whole river study programme has consisted of: map work and model making of the river; journey to source; gorge walking; land use/ measurement in mid section; canoeing on Gladshouse resevoir; River dipping at the mouth/ human impact and fishing; coasteering; rockpooling; coastal fishing industry; boat trip to Bass Rock; celebration and presentation of certificates back in school. Further information and pictures on the work that the pupils have been doing can be found here

The final celebration and presentation will take place in June.

Dancing on Ice

Ross high students undertaking the John Muir Award travelled back to Gladshouse reservoir on a second visit. The first time they had been with East Lothian Ranger Service discovering a wild place – they returned to explore the wild place. The students had been hoping that they could explore the reservoir by canoe. However half of the reservoir was found to be covered in very thick ice. Our exploring of the reservoir took on a different approach.

After trying to paddle our canoes we took to a spot of dragging then finally attempted to sail our canoes across the water. A great days exploring had by all. An alternative ‘liquid’ reservoir day is being arranged for the students to continue their exploration.

Coasteering…Active Risk Management

Ross High pupils coasteering in beautiful December sunshine.On December 4th seven puupils from Ross High along with Mr Berry undertook an immersion course in Risk Management. The S6 pupils were working on risk assessment by undertaking a short journey along East Lothian’s coastline at North Berwick. Also known as coasteering, the half day certainly made pulses quicken for the students. Before setting out on our journey a substantial amount of time was spent in the classroom at the outdoor education base looking at the practicalities of risk management: forecasts; previous weather systems; maps; tide times; group ability; previous experience; equipment; clothing; emergency procedures; contact infromation. Once all of these issues had been gone through the pupils eagerly took to the activity – whilst doing their own personal dynamic risk assessment (challenge by choice!). We returned to the outdoor education base for lunchtime with smiles and memories of a very different and enjoyable lesson on risk management!