2017 S6 Outdoor Learning Challenge

IMAG0987The Outdoor Learning Challenge for S6 teams from all Secondary Schools will be held at Vogrie Country park on  the 29th  March 2017

As always an exiting that is a mixture of team  and journeying skills around the estate. Teams of 6 from all Secondary Schools can compete to win this years trophy in this amazing Outdoor Learning experience.

To register a team for the 2017 S6 Challenge – email outdoorlearning@midlothian.gov.uk

Information for DHT/S6 Year Heads click here

Click here for poster for S6 Pupils

Click here for team registration form

We will send out further information nearer this years  event. You can see images and results for last years event by clicking here

 Curriculum for Excellence & the S6 Challenge

The challenge enables teams to work effectively to achieve success on the varied challenges set up around the Vogrie Estate through exploration and discovery.

As well as the wider capacities of the CfE in encouraging effective contributions from all team members to guarantee success.This event contributes too many curriculum subject areas including Health and Wellbeing outcomes e.g;

Movement skills, competencies and concepts (HWB 21-22a), Cooperation and competition(HWB 23a)  and evaluating and appreciating (HWB 24a) These events are physical and mental challenges which naturally encourage  physical competencies and fitness but are also designed to  develop;

Cognitive skills  e.g. decision making, problem solving and creativity , concentration and develop Personal Qualities, i.e. motivation, leadership, communication, trust respect, tolerance and resilience.

Details for booking your team are above and have been  sent out to S6 coordinators , however you can also contact the team to declare interest now! don’t miss out on this exicting event.

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.

Mid Bike Festival 2016 Powers into Action

Limbo bars IMG_9438

Wheelie good IMG_9622There were 165 red smiling faces after competing in the various cycling activities at the inaugural Midlothian Primary Schools Mountain Bike Festival.   Riders in Primary 6 and 7 proudly represented their schools.  90 riders competed in the XC course and 75 in the skills event, all showing great skill and enthusiasm for the sport. 
The organiser Sean Fallon a teacher from the Midlothian  Council Outdoor Learning Service would like to thank all the school staff and participants for taking part in difficult conditions with great sprit and showing massive amounts of energy.  
This event would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our partners from Sustrans, Midlothian Active School, Beeslack High School, Midlothian Mountain Bike Club , Scottish Cycling and the Midlothian School Travel Plan Co-ordinator.  A big thanks to you all!
We were very fortunate to have a large number of prizes donated thanks to our sponsors from Halfords Straiton, Sustrans, Transgression park and Midlothian Council. 
Group goodie bag IMG_9558
Competitors with Goodie bags from sponsors

Gordon Burt (Midlothian I-bike officer) would like to add that this was”a great way to get schools together for a bike festival. This was a magnificent effort by all.”


TEAM RESULTS – Combined XC and Skills Events
Roslin                 1st
Loanhead          2nd
Paradykes         3rd
Lasswade          4th
Lawfield            5th
Sacred Heart    6th
St Matthews     Not a full team.
Individual Results Skills Course
School Class Name Time Boy/Girl Individual ranking
Loanhead 6 Kyle mcclay 00:54.1 Boys 1st
Roslin 6 David Hulton 00:59.4 Boys 2nd
Loanhead 6  Max wyllie 01:00.1 Boys 3rd
Roslin 6 Evie Black 1:02.17 Girls 1st
Loanhead 6 Kirstie Lang 01:03.0 Girls 2nd
Loanhead 6 Eliza Ralph 01:03.1 Girls 3rd
Sacred Heart 7 Ross Bryant 00:51.1 Boys 1st
Loanhead 7 Ryan turner 00:54.1 Boys 2nd
St Matthews 7 Callum Myers 00:59.6 Boys 3rd
Loanhead 7 Lana Kennedy 01:01.0 Girls 1st
Roslin 7 Mia Gray 1:02.47 Girls 2nd
Paradykes 7 Ellie Cummings 1:05.19 Girls 3rd
 Overall boys winner IMG_9451   XC action IMG_9513
Individual Results XC Course
School Class Name Time Boy/Girl Individual rankings
Roslin 6 David Hulton 2.49.00 Boy 1st
Lawfield 6 Dylan Kenny 2.59.93 Boy 2nd
Loanhead 6 Cameron Cairncross 3.05.94 Boy 3rd
Roslin 6 Evie Black 2.50.60 Girl 1st
Sacred Heart 6 Isabel Bovo 3.01.28 Girl 2nd
Paradykes 6 Kayleigh Gordon 3.18.09 Girl 3rd
Sacred Heart 7 Ross Bryant 2.30.19 Boy 1st
Paradykes 7 Euan Walkingshaw 2.40.88 Boy 2nd
Lasswade 7 Josh 2.54.21 Boy 3rd
Tynewater 7 Verity Kinch 3.04.16 Girl 1st
Loanhead 7 Yasmine Foreman 3.15.37 Girl 2nd
Lasswade 7 Jessica Thomson 3.17.00 Girl 3rd
A FULL list of results can be found here –  Mid Bike festival 2016 results.
 500m Sprint challenge Mike IMG_9455
500m Sprint Challenge
P6  Girl-Amy Robertson-33.9-Loanhead
P6 Boy-Fergus Jones-34.0-Paradykes
P7 Girl-Yasmin Foreman-31.6-Loanhead
P7 Boy-Calum Evans-32.2-Paradykes
Honourable mentions to Elena Clark 32.0-Lasswade and
Verity Kinch-31.8-Tynewater
A certificate for all riders can be printed by clicking here >>  Participants certificate Bike Fest 2016.
If you would like to cycle more please get in touch with your local club the Midlothian Cycle Club.
The Outdoor Learning team will again be organising our very popular Discover Mountain Bike sessions in 2016-17 .  Information on last years discover event can be found HERE.

900+ Pupils Attend 2016 Orienteering Festival – Final Results

imageOver 900 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 Midlothian and East Lothian Outdoor Learning Services and has been a great success and we hope to run again in 2017.

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 over 900 pupils – up on last year.
  • A total of 24 primary schools. 12 from ML, 12 from EL – well up on last year.
  • Several schools brought OVER ONE HUNDRED pupils – 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 Midlothian winning schools in each category are:


Nadia & Charlie – Hawthornden PS

Fastest School – St. Mary’s PS 


Cameron & Innes – Kings Park PS

Fastest School – Tynewater PS


Sarah – Mayfield PS

Fastest School – Tynewater PS

imageResults can be found here: Orienteering Results 2016. 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 2016/17 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.(click link) – Closing date for Entries  – 26th May 2016

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

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 – www.owlscotland.org

(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.