Inspiring Midlothian Bike Festival 2017

13th June 2017 what a day!  250 pupils from 10 Midlothian Primary schools took part in the Midlothian Bike Festival 2017 at Beeslack High School.  Well done to all pupils at the event you really impressed with your skills.  Congratulation’s to Mauricewood Primary School who were the overall team winners. The results can be found here  –  Mid Bike Fest 2017 RESULTS   

Sean Fallon (Midlothian Council Outdoor Learning Teacher) the event organiser commented that “Midlothian have some seriously talented and resilient P6 and P7 cyclists” after watching some impressive action on the skills and cross country competition courses. 
The event was organised by the Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service and supported by a host of partners including Ikea, Tesco, Alpine Bikes, Endura and others.  We are confident that pupils and staff will enjoy cycling more as a result and encourage others to get out and pedal too. 
Jonathan Stranberg from Ikea, one of our sponsors “was impressed with the set up” and remarked that “all the pupils were having a great time”.  This is testament to all the hard work and effort of all the volunteers and staff from a wide range of organisations supporting the event.  We would like to say a HUGE thanks from the Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service to everyone who helped.
View and Share Photos HERE.
If you were inspired by this amazing event get in touch with Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service for support with cycling activities. Its never too early to sign up for next years event which takes place on the 13th June 2018.
Well done to all our Endeavour and Resilience nominees:
 Kelsie  Paradykes PS
 MacKenzie K   Paradykes PS
 Liam H  Sacred Heart PS)
 Rodrigo G  Kings Park PS
 Murrin M  Kings Park PS
 Isla S  Kings Park PS
 Alastair B  Roslin PS
 Brodie C  Mauricewood PS
 Adam W  Mauricewood PS
 Josh N  Mauricewood PS
Aiden M Mauricewood PS
Katie M Mauricewood PS
Kian W Mauricewood PS

Midlothian Primary pupils compete at the Scottish Schools Orienteering Festival

The Scottish Schools Orienteering Festival on the June 2nd 2017 was a great success for the Midlothian Primary School squad.  This is the first time a Midlothian squad has participated in this event which was very exciting.  It was made up of 20 athletes from P5, 6 & 7  from 5 different schools.  They were selected through the Midlothian Outdoor Learning Develop and Achieve Orienteering squad who have been taking part in training sessions over the last few months.  After all successfully competing at the Midlothian Primary Schools event in Vogrie they were very keen to compete at the National level against Scotland’s best young orienteers.

Sean Fallon the team coach would like to thank all the school staff, parents and ESOC volunteers for their support.  He said “that he was proud of how all the pupils conducted themselves and importantly gave 100% effort in pursuit of glory”

Results can be found on the Scottish Schools Orienteering Association website – HERE.

If you want to find out more about Orienteering then visit Midlothian Outdoor Learning website HERE.

Primary Schools Discover Orienteering

Throughout the winter months I have been helping the Midlothian Council Outdoor Learning team run a suite of Discover Orienteering courses for Primary 5 and 6 pupils. With 15 primary schools involved from across the region, a total of 743 pupils have had the opportunity to experience orienteering, learning new and transferable skills.

Pupils learning to orientate the map.


Using a variety of public parks across the county, pupils got the opportunity to learn navigation skills such as setting the map, feature identification, scale and route planning.

The learners all used our SPORTident computerised system to complete six progressively more challenging orienteering courses which helped to increase their knowledge and application of new technologies.



Testing out the electronic SPORTident system.

During the events we had a chance to talk to lots of  pupils, staff and volunteers and many were very keen to learn more about this fun and challenging sport.  There are a few things you could do to develop your skills further –

(1) Access the free resource called “tri-O” published by British Orienteering which anyone can use to develop orienteering skills.

( 2) In addition to this our Outdoor Learning team regularly go into schools to support the curriculum through orienteering, so if you work in a school please get in touch if you wish to benefit from this curriculum support.

(3) Join a local club such as Edinburgh Southern orienteering club (ESOC). Below this post are a list of upcoming ESOC events you may wish to get involved with.

(4) Take part in the Mid/East orienteering festival on Wednesday 3rd May 2017 at Vogrie Country park. Book via your school.

(5) Take part in the Scottish Schools Orienteering festival on Friday 2nd June, held at Lanark Race Course.



We would like to thank all the pupils for taking part in an enthusiastic and energetic way. Many thanks equally to the school staff and parent volunteers for helping to make our events such a great success.

Finally a special thank you to the members of ESOC who gave up their time to share their expertise. All much appreciated by the teachers in outdoor learning team.


Develop and Achieve Coaching Orienteering Sessions

The aim of these coaching sessions is to support primary school athletes to develop skills which have already been introduced during the discover orienteering or elsewhere.   By offering these additional sessions we are helping athletes to enjoy orienteering and giving them a pathway to achieve in to the sport.
About Orienteering
There are many reasons to get involved in the sport from increased health and well being benefits to just having fun in wild places.  Orienteering is an inclusive adventure sport which offers great enjoyment through challenging and exciting training and competition opportunities. It is also a great family activity where you can have fun learning together.   You don’t have to be the fastest runner or the best navigator but you need the determination to develop skills in both areas.
These develop and achieve session will be supported by Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club as well as the Midlothian Outdoor Learning Services.
Dates and proposed venues
Group 1 –     (selected from the November Discover O sessions)
March – 10 (Dalkeith CP) and 17* (Penicuik Est),  24 (Bush Est)
Fridays 2pm to 3.30pm
*no transport available on this date.
Group 2 –      (selected from the March Discover O sessions)
April  21 (Bush Est) and 28 (Penicuik  Est)
Fridays 2pm to 3.30pm
All coaches will be British Orienteering Federation qualified and have a current PVG check. These sessions  will be insured by Midlothian Council.
FREE (Midlothian Outdoor Learning to cover any costs)
Entry prerequisites
Athletes in P5 to P7 are invited to join the Midlothian Develop and Achieve squad sessions.  The sessions are open to all but any pupil who have already been at a Discover Orienteering event will get priority.
Option 1 –  Parents/Guardians take responsibility for their own child’s transport
Option 2 –  Pupils are collected from the front of the Penicuik Leisure Centre and taken to the training and back at the end.  Not available on the 17th March. Transport will leave 15 mins before the session begins for Bush estate and Penicuik Estate and 30 mins before for Dalkieth CP.
If you would like to book a place or more information please contact Sean Fallon, Email or phone – 01968 664117 or mobile 07786198407

CLPL course – Outdoor Learning Cards Staff Training


The Outdoor Learning Cards activities are an exciting and inclusive way to engage all levels and full classes in learning onsite or in local outdoor areas.  The course has been developed by The Outdoor Education Advisers Panel .  The activities contribute directly to a wide range of educational and development aims for young people and cover four elements of Outdoor Learning that can be delivered on a school/youth club site and surrounding environment:

Orienteering – developing good map reading skills
Team Building and Problem Solving – how to challenge your young people
Bouldering – Use of low level climbing walls
Journeying – Local visits organised by young people

Next Scheduled Course :  22nd May 2017.

Venue :  To be Confirmed!

Time : 0900-1600

STOP PRESS  – The first 10 applicants this year will receive their cards FREE!

Cost: £ 100.00 per Midlothian Council delegate  – includes all training & full set Outdoor Learning cards and handbook /CD

Booking : Via learnPro or complete the booking form and forward to

olc-detailWe can also train school staff groups  in using these cards and ideas effectivley within there immediate school environment contact us for more information.

The Cards are supported by a Handbook and CD that provide detailed information on all aspects of activity delivery. All key elements for succcessful delivery are explored further in the 6 hour training course

Contact us if you would like a bespoke course delivered at your school/establishment.

We look forward to seeing you on our next course