CLPL for Teachers – “Teaching in Nature”: September 2015

logo_in_header_gflTeaching in Nature is training course for teachers, aimed at developing professional practice in outdoor learning.

Using these places, rich in learning possibilities, we also socially and emotionally engage our learners with the places and topics. In recent years we have come to understand that connection with ‘place’ needs to come before we learn about the bigger social and environmental issues we face as society.

It is a long term programme that supports you to plan, implement and evaluate a challenging and fun outdoor learning experience for your pupils. Teaching in Nature is a collaborative process, sharing good practice and learning with your colleagues from other schools. It will also challenge you to develop an interdisciplinary approach to outdoor learning with colleagues.

Full course information can be found on the CLPL pages of eduBuzz, where you will also find an application form.  This should be completed and returned to Matt Robinson at Grounds for Learning.  Closing date for applications is 4th September 2015, with the course commencing on 11th September.

Costs for this course will be met by the Training and Developemnt Team, however there will be a cover cost implication for successful candidates.  Further information can be obtained from the Training & Development Team –


Fertile Ground Conference

environmental arts towards change

25 & 26 October 2014, Bleachingfield Centre, Dunbar, East Lothian



North Light Arts will deliver the ‘Fertile Ground Conference’ on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 October in Dunbar, East Lothian, with the aim of creating a space to nurture a conversation exploring creative ways to engage communities in the potential for change through public art with an environmental agenda.

Speakers include: Chris Fremantle of Eco Arts Scotland; Matthew Dalziel of Dalziel + Scullion; Judy Spark of Grays School of Art; Natalie Walton, Head of Education, Hepworth Wakefield and Matt Baker of The Environmental Art Festival Scotland. There will also be artists presentations from Robbie Coleman, Jo Hodges, Emma Herman-Smith, Hannah Imlach, Karen Gabbitas, Akshaya Narsimhan and Diandra Saginatari.

Creative Scotland, East Lothian Council and Scottish Natural Heritage have provided funding to enable North Light Arts to deliver this conference which aims to cultivate a fertile ground in which to discover the unique potential of our locality through engaging artists, environmental visionaries, science specialists and local organisations, developing an active process of dialogue, debate and cross pollination.

To book follow this link
Free creche and children’s workshop for delegates to the Saturday morning talks: please book early. Discount for EH42 postcode

For further information email:
Please book early.




Local Orienteering Events

East Lothian Orienteers are putting on a local orienteering event at North Berwick Lodge Grounds.

This small, friendly event will be an ideal introduction for all interested in orienteering; young people that have previously engaged in orienteering through school and Outdoor Learning training events; all staff that have recently undertaken (or are about to) Teaching Orienteering 1 through Outdoor Learning; in fact anyone of any age with an interest in a fantastic competitive sport.

It will be a great event for those with no previous experience of the wonderful sport of Orienteering. Further local events are on the poster below.

ESOA Spring flyer

Look forward to seeing you there.

School Orchard Information


Helping Children Grow


Fruitful Schools makes it brilliantly easy and fun for pupils, teachers, parents and friends to plant fruit trees and get growing. We provide fruit trees, planting information, inspiration and support which makes this great idea come alive. Our aim is that all our children should  get the chance to enjoy picking and eating fruit from the tree. Growing fruit is a real pleasure and its also a life skill. Children need to know where their food comes from. It comes from fruit trees in abundance!

School orchards work really well in nurseries, primary schools and also in secondary and special needs schools – planting fruit trees is not expensive and the fits well with the school year.

 The fruit trees are planted from November to April when the trees are dormant. Our planting instructions give you all the information needed to help you plant and grow successfully.

School orchards are growing in popularity – for the good reason that they are a great idea and fit well with the school year. There is an article on this, in the TESS magazine.

Please use the link for more information about School Orchards 








Outdoor Learning – Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Supervisor and Assessor Training Jan. 2013

Two courses for those interested in organising and assessing Duke of Edinburgh award courses in East Lothian will be run in January 2013. Courses will be based at the East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service. These DofE accredited courses are essential learning for those embarking on D of E programmes.

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Supervisor training, Thursday 17th January 2013, 09.30am – 3.30pm

Aimed at ELC staff and volunteers. This course covers understanding the role of the Expedition Supervisor, Assessor and other adults involved in the delivery of the Expedition section.  Attendance will develop Expedition Supervisors with an understanding and consistent interpretation of their role and responsibilities within the DofE, ensuring a high quality expedition experience for all young people.

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Assessor training, Wednesday 30th January 2013, 09.30am – 3.30pm

For ELC staff and volunteers. This course provides the opportunity for new Expedition Assessors to have their training, skills and learning accredited by the DofE and nationally recognised. The programme has been designed to provide Expedition Assessors with a clear and consistent understanding of their role and responsibilities.

(Cost Free – ELC Staff/Volunteers – External Staff/Volunteers £40.00)

To book please contact the Outdoor Learning Service 0131 653 5217

More CPD opportunities at the Outdoor Learning Website – or visit our online brochure.

CVS Action Earth Grants 2012 (Scotland)

CSV Action Earth which aims to empower people in Scotland to make a positive difference to the quality of their lives has announced that it is running two grant schemes in 2012 which are looking to increase numbers of volunteers on locally based environmental projects.

These are the CSV Action Earth Awards which offer grants of £250 for projects who are providing or improving habitats for wildlife, enhancing local nature spots and getting communities volunteering together; and the CSV Local Nature Reserve Awards which offers grants of up to £500 exclusively for projects taking place on Local Nature Reserves (LNR).

Grants will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Thanks to Juliet Robertson of Creative Star Learning for sharing this.

Newhailes’ Green Learning Festival returns for another year, with new workshops to choose from.

 Green Scene is a two-day event for primary schools. It is taking place on the 11th September for P2 to P4 classes and 12th September for P5 to P7 classes.

During their visit school groups attend three workshops. Each one lasts an hour and is provided by different heritage and environment organisations. Classes are usually divided into 2 groups of no more than 17 children so the students can get as much out of the day as possible.

 Schools can sign up for either one or both of these days.

Due to its popularity in previous years we some new organisations will be taking part: Changeworks, RCAHMS and Buglife. Some providers will be joining us again including Historic Scotland, Scottish Seabird Centre, and Hopetoun House Ranger Service.

This is a great opportunity for your students to have fun while learning about history and their environment, in the setting of Newhailes’ historic landscape. It is usually great fun too!

The day starts at 10.15am and ends at 2.30pm.

If you are interested please fill out the School Booking form Green Scene 2012 as soon as possible as spaces are limited due to the high demand. This year the deadline is Friday 22nd June. We will send you confirmation of your booking and further details.

Thank you

 Stuart Whittaker

 We look forward to hearing from you soon!

If you have any queries please contact Stuart Whittaker, Lothian Area Ranger, 0844 493 2124,

National Navigation Award SiIver 28th and 29th April

Still places available on this weekends national navigation award course being run by East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service.  

Would you like to enhance your enjoyment of the countryside?

Would you like to develop sound navigation skills and practice including planning your own walking routes?

Would you like to gain confidence at map reading whether the weather is clear or misty?

all neccessary equipment supplied by the Outdoor Learning Service and the course is free.

Dates : Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th April – Meet at Musselburgh Outdoor Learning Base

You can book your place on the course here

Fancy a run in the Woods?

Over the next two days your Outdoor Learning Service is hosting Primary and Secondary Orienteering Competitions at John Muir Country Park.

You, yes you, are invited to come down and join in on Friday anytime between 1100 and 1400. The course is a Score Orienteering course and will take no longer than half an hour. You are required to visit as many controls (particular points in the woods) as possible within half an hour. Come on down and challenge your colleagues or just enjoy a Friday lunchtime strolling through John Muir Country Park with a purpose.

There is no cost for entering the event, however if you wish you may make a donation towards a local Outdoor charity –Beyond Boundaries East Lothian.

Come along to John Muir Country Park near Dunbar and look for the Outdoor Learning flags in the car park – brief instruction will be given. Enjoy the end of the week with a quick run (or walk) around one of East Lothian’s gems.

Any queries concerning this event please e-mail Martyn (