CLPL news – Introduction to Taking learning Outdoors (Primary)

bushcraft-iconThe Introduction to Taking Learning Outdoors  (Primary) course will take place at Hawthornden Primary school on INSET day May 22nd 2017.

This course is a fantastic opportunity for primary staff who are looking to take their learning outdoors. Staff, with little or no experience of taking groups of children and young people to learn outdoors, are encouraged to take an introductory training course aimed at the age group with whom you work.

Training will give staff the confidence and basic skills to undertake outdoor learning in school/centre grounds and other local areas and develop ideas for outdoor learning.

Training is 6 hours, delivered in one day , and includes a mix of theory, practical(some time outdoors!) and discussion.

We are  hoping to get folks signed up early as this will be a well subscribed course – there is no cost – just bring yourself along and start getting outdoors and making learning connections across the curriculum areas. We will be inviting teachers to share some of their outdoor learning approaches and start to build strategy for outdoor learning.Staff training

Tutors (Rob Heasman –  Teacher – Hawthornden PS & Bill Stephen PT Outdoor Learning) will guide you through this course developed by Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education & Education Scotland.

Where : Hawthornden Primary School

What time : 0900-1600

What to Bring : Lunch, Outdoor Clothing & Rucksack/Backpack (for outdoor walk session)

Costs: free to all Midlothian Council Primary Staff.

How to Book – on learnPro or by completing the booking form at link here and email to


Emergency First Aid Training 2016-17 now SQA !

first-aid-training-courses-2017 Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service working in partnership with the Lifelong Learning and Employability Service, can now offer full SQA certification for all our First Aid at work courses delivered from 2017.sqa-accreditation

CPR during First Aid Training courses
CPR During First Aid Training

All candidates can now receive SQA certification for the SQA level 5 and 6 units for these qualifications



Emergency First Aid at Work (6 hours)

First Aid at Work (Management of Illness in the Workplace  & EFAW) (12 & 18 hours)

Our thanks to Lorne McCall & the Qualification & Accreditations LLE team for all their assistance in this valuable development.

We have been delivering First Aid training to staff within the Education team and wider council  for many years and this certification will improve the delivery and quality of the courses offered to Midlothian Council Staff.

Click on image for a downloadable list of First Aid courses

Details of our First aid Courses (how to book, costs, SQA units  etc)  that the Outdoor Learning Service provide  can be found at the links below or contact Bill Stephen for further information (click here for contact details)

First aid courses webpage for 2016-17 Academic Year.(click on link)

Alternatively you can download a printable list of courses


Discover Outdoor Learning

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

In addition to our Outdoor Learning programmes arranged directly with schools,  this year we will be running again our successful and amazingly popular Discover Outdoor Leaning days aimed at Primary schools to encourage more of our classes to learn outdoors. Last year an amazing 1350 Midlothian pupils attended these sessions, and many (500+) progressed on to attend our  Orienteering festival and Biking festival)

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 and attend as well as links to further information regarding curriculum links and further participation as well as  the;

  • Midlothian Orienteering Festival 2017
  • Midlothian Mountain Biking Festival 2017

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 2016-17 year for some exciting Discover Outdoor Learning Days.

Discover Bushcraft – Pilot Sessions Oversubscribed

Over 200 students attended the Discover Bushcraft Session run over 4

IMG_8910 days. The activities took place at Vogrie Country Park and Penicuik Estate. The P3 & P4 students came from 4 Midlothian Schools.

During the sessions the pupils and staff learned about the art of Bushcraft. Each student participated in 3 different activities. Firstly a fire lighting station – here they used a fire stick and lit a small fire, secondly a hammock station – this is where they learnt about putting up hammocks safely working together in pairs and thirdly an environmental art station – they read a book and made stick men models form natural resources.IMG_8909

The students had numerous opportunities to learn about; managing risk, to evaluate their work, to be inspired by a range of stimuli when working on art and design projects, to work and learn with others. It was no surprise the toasting of marshmallows was a big hit!

There are a few things students and school staff could do to develop their skills further –

(1) Have a look at this web site –

(2) Think about attending Forest Schools training – a leaflet can be found here.

(3) The Outdoor Learning team regularly go into schools and provide Bushcraft sessions, if this is of interest please get in touch.

(4) Keep in contact about future Discover Bushcraft sessions

The pilot sessions were a great success. They provided an activity for a whole class and targeted a younger age group. It was experiential learning – which the students relished.

Outdoor Learning Lesson Plan – Links to CfE

boys in wood

At the Outdoor Learning Service we have always known about the value of the lessons we provide. We regularly discuss this with teachers when arranging activities to ensure their students get the most out of the experiences they are engaging in. Now we have produced an Outdoor Learning Lesson plan that clearly identifies and details links to the Curriculum for Excellence.It is no surprise that a number of Experiences and Outcomes can be linked to the activity days we provide.


The lesson plan is broken down into 4 sections;

1. The stages of the lesson – this is simply the experiences in chronological order that pupils will have when working with our team.

2. The aim – an explanation as to what we hope to achieve at each stage of the lesson, it provides us with basic criteria to assess our success.

3. The example of activity – this section identifies some of the activities that might take place at different times during the lesson. Although similar lessons take place at the Outdoor Learning Service often they can be quite different because of the nature of our amazing Outdoor Classroom.

4. Some examples of the links to CfE – here the stages of the lesson are closely linked to specific Experiences and Outcomes. This is not a definitive list and Outdoor Learning can be used to teach all subject areas – it has numerous cross-curricular themes.

This lesson plan can be used when considering future programmes with the Outdoor Learning Service or possibly when delivering Outdoor Learning at your school. It is a generic lesson plan which broadly covers some of the core lessons we teach at the O.L. Service. Of course, if required we can teach more specific lessons which focus on particular Experiences and Outcomes your class may be working on.

The Lesson Plan can be found by clicking on this link: Generic Outdoor Learning Lesson Plan. If you have any further comments or examples regarding how you are using Outdoor Learning in your classroom we are always keen to hear them at the Outdoor Learning Service.