“Invaluable” – Outdoor Learning Service – Making a Difference – User Survey Results 2017

“I only wish more time could be devoted to outdoor learning so we can develop the confidence in the children and help them achieve more successfully at school” (User Survey 2017)

A huge thanks to all our Midlothian establishments who completed our recent 2017 Outdoor Learning Service user survey.

The Survey is now closed and the results are in.

We are delighted that so many took the time to make such positive comments about the quality of how we engage with schools to deliver Outdoor Learning to our pupils across the region.

100% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that:

  • Teaching sessions delivered were effective in connecting with learners needs
  • Equipment, teaching materials supplied and venue used were appropriate for your learners
  • Outdoor Learning Teachers were professional, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful at all stages
  • Outdoor Learning Teachers dealt appropriately with the welfare and safety of the learners

97% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that:

  • Sessions were  effective in connecting with the curriculum and planned learning outcomes
  • Learners enjoyed their outdoor learning experiences when using the service
  • Midlothian Council Outdoor Learning Service was good value

The comments on how you value the service and how it contributes to the breadth of education provided in Midlothian are also much appreciated.  You can see the full survey results at the link below.

We are always striving to improve the service and your feedback will input directly to our 2018-20 service plan.

Thank you all for your support in making our service succeed. We look forward to working with you further in 2018 -19 to develop exiting outdoor learning opportunities linked to curriculum and school improvement plans that help us all continue to raise attainment and learning across Midlothian and deliver Educational Excellence.

Click here for the full survey results

 

Making a difference – Outdoor Learning

Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service connects with learners across the Midlothian Learning Community

It has been another amazing year for Outdoor Learning in Midlothian. With usage of the service increasing again and more and more schools engaging in more varied programmes of Outdoor Learning, providing powerful and potentially  life changing  experiences for our pupils and young people across Midlothian.

As a team we are delighted that we can makes such a valued contribution to the breadth and depth of educational approaches that enable successful  learning and  increased attainment in Midlothian. (click for link)

As highlighted in the recent Midlothian Education Attainment report   “Creating a world-class education system: Attainment and Achievement 2017”

“Outdoor Learning provision and Educational visits continue to be a powerful and important part of our approach to learning in Midlothian.

Continued growth in use of outdoor learning is reflected in the increase in the number of educational visits and demand for support by educational establishments through the Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service.  

Outdoor Learning is embedded within the Curriculum for Excellence and aspires to be regular and frequent for all pupils. Schools are increasingly using educational visits and outdoor learning as part of the educational mix to improve both academic attainment and health and wellbeing of our pupils from early years to the senior phase”

Outdoor Learning has allowed our pupils to discover local and not so local places! Outdoor Learning is enabling our participants to develop, achieve and meet varied curriculum outcomes across our learning community in Midlothian.

Some highlights :

  • Growth92% increase from 2014 to 2017 in Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service (MOLS) sessions delivered.
  • Participation  across Primary and Secondary 2016/17 – 3200 + pupil participant days using MOLS + 1800 pupils attended annual Midlothian “Discover” events and Festivals
  • Educational Visits – over 9000 recorded for 2016/17 period (via new EVOLVE online visit planning and approval system introduced 2015 )
  • CLPL 104 Visit leaders & 42 Visit Coordinators trained across Midlothian since 2015 using nationally accredited course.
  • Training900 First Aid Certificates issued since 2014 with successful SQA accreditation achieved for first aid qualifications delivered by MOLS from 2017
  • Establishment support – Increase in % of all educational establishments using MOLS in 2016/17 year.
  • Pupil Safety – continued successful Adventure Activities (AALS) licence inspections & new outdoor learning activities added in 2017. Improving safety of educational visits supported via (via new EVOLVE online educational visit planning and approval system introduced 2015 )
  • Supporting partnerships 88% Schools using service – Growing demand for wider achievement programmes with schools (e.g’s. Duke of Edinburgh, JASS Schools, John Muir Award)
  • Financial Assistance Continuing management and use of Outdoor Learning financial assistance fund to support eligible learners within Midlothian.

2017/18 is also already a huge continued growth year for the service & establishments also showing increase in offsite educational visits and as we start to look to 2018/19 we encourage establishments to get in touch with your Outdoor Learning Teacher at the service for 2018/19 as next years diaries are already filling up!

A huge thanks to all our staff within the learning community who make this happen. As our learning community and school establishments increase we are looking forward to working with you all to continue to develop and grow our pupil participation in outdoor learning in 2018/19.

Shaping Outdoor Learning in Midlothian

Invitation – Developing a Midlothian Outdoor Learning Strategy – Working Group Meeting Friday 6th October 2017 1330-1500

The virtuous cycle of improvement – Education Scotland HGIOS4 2015

Outdoor learning is becoming an increasingly popular and powerful approach to learning across our schools in Midlothian. As an authority we recognise the importance of this approach and need to grow opportunities for our young people to have “regular and frequent” outdoor learning opportunities that are embedded within the curriculum areas.

Educational visits and Outdoor Learning experiences provide exiting opportunities for our young people to contribute to their learning, allow establishments to develop pupil attainment and deliver many of the elements of the current HGIOS4 framework and the Curriculum for Excellence.

Many of you are already active and providing excellence in this area & there are many great examples of highly successful uses of outdoor learning across the region. A sustainable & cohesive strategy is required however, across Midlothian to enable continued success and to enhance and link these experiences to attainment and learning.

With this and other aims in mind we wish to create a working group that can help shape, develop and enable an outdoor learning strategy for the region that could ultimately result in more of our learners benefiting from successful outdoor learning experiences.

We intend to hold a first meeting on the 6th October 2017 1330-1500 – (Venue TBCF based on expected attendance numbers)

We seek interested parties and “outdoor learning and visit champions” to attend & contribute to what we hope will be an exciting opportunity to develop opportunities for our learners and provide also a local working network for outdoor learning within Midlothian.

Email us at outdoorlearning@midlothian.gov.uk and confirm if you hope to attend. A more detailed agenda and suitable venue will be notified once numbers are confirmed in the coming weeks.

We look forward to seeing you.

Discover Primary Outdoor Learning 2017-18

discover-orienteering
Click here for Session Dates, Times & how to book.

Last academic year an amazing 1023 Midlothian pupils attended  Outdoor Learning Service Discover sessions, and many  progressed on to attend our successful Orienteering festival (500+) and Biking festival(250 +)

This year in addition to our bespoke Outdoor Learning programmes arranged directly with schools, we will be running again our successful and popular Discover Outdoor Leaning days aimed at Primary school classes to encourage more of our pupils to learn outdoors.

Our Discover Outdoor Learning Sessions this year are aimed at ;

The information booklet available here (Or click on the picture)  gives all the details you need to book for this year and attend as well as links to further information regarding curriculum links and further participation as well as;

  • Midlothian Orienteering Festival 2018
  • Midlothian Mountain Biking Festival 2018

discover-bikingPlease contact the named Outdoor Learning Teacher as per the booklet if you wish to arrange attendance at one of these popular advertised sessions.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2017-18 year for some exciting Discover Outdoor Learning Days.

Lasswade PAVE Group -Outdoor Learning Success

Sailing Canoes on the Whittader

We’ve been working hard with the PAVE, LLE team &  pupil groups on a variety of awards to support their NC vocational units including NC personal and Vocational Skills level 4. Its been a pleasure to support them to achieve their NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme) foundation climber + and their SCA (Scottish Canoeing Association) Star awards as part of their development.

Success with NICAS Awards Level 1

As always great  to work with the staff at PAVE and support staff at Lasswade High School

We’ve witnessed some amazing visible learning moments throughout the course using the NICAS syllabus  climbing at Ratho EICA and the SCA 1 star syllabus paddling in a variety of locations and carrying out varying lengths of journeys (and much more paddling and climbing  beyond the award criteria too) as both physical skills and growth mind-set development are evident.

Developing movement and cognitive skills using poling techniques

 

Using MOLE’s to record and check outcomes and understanding

We’ve also used MOLE’s (Midlothian Outdoor Online Learning Environment) to record course outcomes and some wider learning back in the class.

 

We wish the group every success and continued successful attainment and pathways in the future.