David from Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club set up an Orienteering course for our P5-7 to try. However, there are maps available to use in the park at your own use. There is also an app that can be downloaded and used within Edinburgh. The app is called MapRun.
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We have been using the forest area in Pilrig Park for HWB sessions with our P6 & P7 pupils. Children have learnt to risk assess the area, as unfortunately, this can be misused by the public. Once the area is safe children enjoy climbing in the trees, digging in the mud (we take mud kitchen tools), using the tree swing (see picture) and building dens. We have noticed over the 4 week block that children are able to communicate better with their peers and have experienced more creative outdoor play. We will be returning to this area after the holidays.
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Last week, my Primary 2 class went into our school's forest to explore and make some bug hotels. They used all sorts of natural materials that they could find, including branches, leaves, soil and feathers. They also used man-made materials like tyres. This activity encouraged the children to use their creativity as well as building teamworking skills and seeing what their local natural environment has to offer.
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P3 have been exploring how to dye materials using natural materials. Elderberry and Bramble were commonly used to dye materials in the past and are fruiting over the months of August and September. We gathered berries during our woodland walk, (remembering only to pick a little) and used these to dye strips of calico material. In pairs children folded and twisted squares of material before using elastic bands to hold in place. Different folding techniques produced different patterns which the children loved exploring. Berries were mushed up and water added. The pieces of material were placed in a plastic box to soak for a few hours. They were then laid out to dry and bunting was created for our Outdoor Learning display.
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Wellbeing was a key theme of the day as well as sharing ideas and resources. Enriching and thought provoking discussions amongst participants around OL as a context for learning, effective practise benefits and challenges were really inspiring for all involved. Group 4 who took part in a wellbeing activity linked to Looking on the Bright Side, Resilience Unit. The group were introduced to the story of Little Bear through the medium of storytelling and used nature materials to create their own faces out of clay. Positive self-talk was highlighted in this practical session as well as ideas of kindness and treating others how you would like to be treated.
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P5 have been learning about direction. They used chalk in the playground to chalk out their own compasses. The class identified where north was using the sun and time of day to work it out without a compass (See weblink for more info). Once we had established north the learners place cardinal and ordinal directions on their own compass using chalk. Some groups included bearings in their work. Once comfortable with the use of direction we started to look at Natural Navigation techniques. What clues in nature could tell us about direction. We observed that moss generally grew on the north side of trees as it prefers a damp environment to grow. During our walk learners pointed out examples and started to observe other clues such as shape of tree. They were able to come up their own hypothesis and started to test ideas through observation.
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Probationers from across the city took part in their first Face to Face training of the year. It was game of 2 halves with the first cohort having glorious sunshine and the second having torrential rain! We love Scotland! Regardless of the weather there were lots of inspirational and fun activities created by the 2022 probationer cohort. Groups of 4/5 worked together to create a short lesson from a variety of random objects. They then took it in turns to teach each other and discuss what makes an effective lesson outdoors. Many teams adapted their activity in a variety of ways showing the open ended, child-led nature of learning outdoors to support learners needs. The structure of this training could also be adapted for classes where they are given a variety of random objects and asked to create game/ challenge/ model which they then present to other groups. Games played: Group Juggle Cat Mouse Sticky Feet Bat Moth
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P5 have worked on a series of lessons to build up their map reading and teamwork skills. Today, in the playground, they enjoyed searching for orienteering flags and plotting the points on a digital map. Children used apple maps to screen shot a picture. Pupils then used the "mark-up" tool to plot the location of the flags.
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The children used natural materials and hoops to create their own analogue clocks, before writing their times digitally in chalk.
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A good activity for practising the skills of measuring with a ruler, calculating area and width of rectangles. Activity 1: Children initially worked in groups of 5 to make a rectangle with four bodies and use the square slabs to count length and width. Lots of opportunity to use vocabulary or length, width, area and perimeter which we had previously learnt in classroom. Large square slabs allowed for smaller numbers to be multiplied to calculate area. Activity 2: Children worked in small groups of 2/3 to make rectangles with found sticks. Plenty discussion about the need for straight sticks, matching length and matching width. The children were asked to then measure the length and width with their rulers to the nearest cm (can discuss rounding). Again they calculated the area and the perimeter. Good challenge for some as they had large numbers to multiply and lots of chat about how we could do this - partitioning/ formal method/repeated addition.
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