Tay Canoe Expedition – BCHS


The Beeslack CHS Tay canoe expedition took place from the 15th to 18th of May 2017. A short video of the expedition can be seen below. The expedition participants were 6 S3 students. These students were part of a Personal Development Group at the school.

The aims of the expedition were:

  • Complete a progressive canoe programme culminating in a 4 day expedition
  • Develop student’s independent living skills
  • Develop student’s resilience
  • Draw out learning points through daily discussion and review

Before the expedition the group took part in 2 canoe training days at Whiteadder Reservoir and Musselburgh Lagoons. We also completed some camp craft sessions and met with parents to discuss the trip.

The trip was four days long;

  • Day 1 – drive up, meet Biscuit (Canoe coach and river leader), refresh skills on Loch Tay, set up camp and cook dinner
  • Day 2 – canoe river Lyon and short section of Tay, cook dinner and evening activities
  • Day 3 – half day canoe on Tay, strike camp and pack for overnight wild camp. Paddle on Loch Tay to overnight wild camp – campfire!
  • Day 4 –  strike camp, in depth review, paddle Loch Tay, depart for Penicuik

The expedition was challenging for all participants at different times, for many different reasons. We regularly discussed and reviewed the participant’s experiences to draw out learning points and identify transferable skills. The input staff made with the participants was invaluable.  In addition, Biscuit’s input and the efforts he went to, to build strong relationships with the participants quickly – was extremely beneficial.  With his help we managed to get even the most nervous of paddlers down the white water sections with smiles on their faces!  The students that attended worked hard, they gave 100% and participated fully – it was very pleasing to see this – I hope they will now transfer back some of their learning to their daily life.

 

500+ Pupils Attend 2017 Orienteering Festival – Final Results

Over 500 pupils took part in the recent Orienteering Festival at Vogrie Country House. An amazing turnout to a fantastic event using this superb venue.
A huge thank you to the staff at Vogrie, the Active Schools team, ESOC and all the staff in the Primary Schools who entered their enthusiastic pupils and made the event possible.

The event was organised by the Midlothian Outdoor Learning Service and has been a great success and we hope to run again in 2018.

Three linear courses were set out for P5, P6 and P7 that challenged their navigational abilities.

  • We had over 500 entries-  made up of pairs, teams and solos.
  • A total of 12 primary schools.
  • Several schools brought over 50 pupils, some bringing over 100 – amazing.

All young people appeared to enjoy the opportunity to partake in this event. Plenty of smiles from our confident, successful learners.

Congratulations to all the pupils who took part. The winning schools in each category are:

P5

Adam & Callum – Cornbank PS

Fastest School – Cornbank PS

 

P6

Kyle – Loanhead PS

Fastest School – Roslin PS 

 

P7

Aiden – Gorebridge PS

Fastest School – Roslin PS 

Results can be found here: Orienteering Results 2017. The key to the school codes can be found here: ML-ELC Primary School codes  – these are all the results for all schools – you can see how well your individual teams and pupils performed. We will arrange for trophies for the fastest students to be sent to each school.

We will be running more Discover Orienteering in the 2017/18 year, but for those that wish to take their talent further and pit themselves against others from across Scotland then you need to enter some great events coming up;

Scottish Schools Orienteering Competition – Closing date for Entries  – 23rd May 2017

More Orienteering opportunities locally can be found on these club websites: ELO  and ESOC

Ski Aosta 2017 – “more than just a ski trip”

A fantastic Aosta ski visit this Easter with a range of school age learners and adults that gave our residential visit a community engagement and learning edge.

Our group skiing in Pila, Aosta – great weather with the Matterhorn in the distance- an amazing environment to develop & learn in.

A huge thank you to all the helpers and volunteers involved and of course couldn’t happen without the years of dedication to this visit by Bruce Fraser formerly of Lifelong Learning who has now retired.

The value of these educational visits should not be underestimated. Visible Learning was evident throughout , not just with the physical skills involved in skiing but I witnessed the amazing resilience, confidence, communication, support, positive behaviours and of course an overall sense of fun that our young Midlothian people exhibited.

This Relational Schools study outlines the benefits of ski trips – click on image for more on the research

All this going on while pupils are immersed in the amazing culture, language and history in the stunning mountain environment of the Aosta Valley. Real opportunities for “character development”.

Personal qualities are among the SAL’s (significant aspects of learning ) visible during alpine skiing – click on image for more curriculum links

It was great also to see during the visit some of our ex Midlothian skiers working in Italy, achieving positive destinations!  The Outdoor learning team are delighted we could enable this visit and excited about the future and looking forward to building our next ski visit, to build on the skills of our young people.

Again thanks to all our Midlothian pupils and learners who made this such a brilliant residential and a visible success. We can’t wait to work with you all again.

Watch this space for further details on our next Ski & Achieve residential visit.

 

Discover Biking – Over 250 Students get biking

Over 250 students attended the Discover Biking Sessions run over 8 days. The activities took place at various locations within Midlothian – including Loanhead Park, Penicuik Park and school grounds. The P6 & P7 students came from 8 Schools.

During the sessions the pupils learned how to do a simple bike check. They learned how to change their gears and use their breaks affectively. They put these skills into use by ascending and descending some steep slopes safely. After this they had the opportunity to test their ability on the Bike Skills course – completing the slalom, rumble strip and track stand. Once they practiced that a few times they got timed – with penalty points for any mistakes.

The skills the students learnt were transferable. They could easily complete a simple bike check before a cycle at home, or cycling over the rumble strip is similar to cycling over tree roots in a forest. It was rewarding to see all students’ confidence improve in the two hour session.IMG_0005

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

(1) Have a look at this web site www.gomtb.org.uk

(2) Attend the Primary Bike Festival

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

(4) Keep in contact about future Discover Biking sessions

This year again, – Discover Biking was a great success. If your class participated in these activities – why not challenge them further with a journey on bikes next?

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.

ESOC

 

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.