This is a great, small and secure place for OL in Leith. There is a number of willow structures, a circle of stumps to sit on, trees to climb and lots of plant species to learn about. The park has a fence around the outside making it safe for younger pupils. Our Forest Friday group from nursery use this space weekly.
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This free event is currently running from now until March 2023. Schools are invited to book via The Collective website. Pupils were able to play with loose parts and touch different textures within the exhibition. We built this visit into an outdoor learning lesson as we walked up Calton Hill and around the monuments. We spent a long time at the trig point admiring the view!
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The children worked in pairs at the top of the hill to identify the features of the natural landscape that they could see. From the top of the hill you can see hills, mountains, oceans, coastline and valleys.
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Literacy lessons - creating muddy recipes. Pupils have loved playing in the outdoor kitchen and I was looking for ways to extend this play. Pupils wrote their own recipes. However, some worked in small groups to "cook" using the new recipes.
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Liberton Primary Staff spent October in-service day with the Outdoor Learning Team up at Bonaly. We had lots of fun exploring how to take learning outdoors. During our session on Expressive Art, we looked at the work of Andy Goldsworthy. We created spirals using fallen leaves. Staff were tasked to create a spiral that showed gradient of colour. Much discussion was had about how simple activities could be connected to a range of curriculum subjects and topics. We discussed the mediative nature of creating spirals and labyrinths and how these can be created using found natural materials or rope. Staff created a school autumn mandala which each group added to during the session. We also looked at the power of storytelling to bring topics to life and connect children with nature.
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Embracing the conker season and loving it. Conkers are one of the most wonderous and joyous treats of the season. All ages loved breaking them open to discover the treasure inside. Children were limited on the amounts they could collect due to the environmental impact "Pick a little, if there is a lot and not at all if there is a little." P3 and P7 used palm drills to drill holes in the conkers to make necklaces and other craft. Before drilling the class discussed how we would use the tools safely. I demonstrated and had a small group at a time drilling while the rest of the class hunted for other types of seeds in the surrounding area. We also made spider webs using colourful wool and cocktail sticks and some made little creatures.
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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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