This was the second of 4 sites visited with Advanced Higher Geographers from Trinity Academy as we worked our way downstream. The pupils measured flow rate, wetted perimeter, depth profile and size/angularity of substrate. The particular location used involved a lovely 10min woodland walk from easy parking on Redford Road. The site is ideal for study – easy access stream bank with a pronounced meander showing deposition/erosion on opposite banks. Depth was all within welly limits (we visited in November). Dreghorn woods are a fascinating location to work in; the grounds of an old castle (now long gone; blown up by the army decades ago), the woods contain both First and Second World war training trenches, an old curling pond, an ice house and many impressive specimen trees including sizeable redwoods. There’s a display board with a map and some interpretation near the entrance off Redford Road.
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As part of Junior Rangers Programme Primary 5 pupils discovered the geological history of the local park by examining rocks in an old quarry. We were lucky to be supported by Edinburgh University on the day. Rock rubbings, geological timelines and exploding jelly volcano made for a great day! Here is a wee video on how to make a jelly volcano. Our volcano was just a mini version but worked really well.
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Our bushcraft & survival skills course teaches participants techniques that can be used to survive in the wilds. Our interactive demonstrations are then put into practice in a variety of scenarios. Participants will learn the following: Principles of survival and survival mindset Fire lighting using friction and other methods Improvised shelter building Wild foods, flora and fauna Improvised cooking methods Signalling and navigation Knife safety and cutting skills No previous bushcraft experience is required for this course.
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An outdoor classroom created and maintained by a local East Lothian primary school that can be used by others so long as they are respectful of the structures that have been built and they replace the firewood that they use. Hidden within a wooded area - you need to look closely to find this!
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P1’s and P5’s worked on Mandala designs as part of their learning of Diwali. It was interesting to see how the different ages approached a similar task and how introducing lines of symmetry quickly turned an Art/ RME activity into Maths. Working in cooperative groups pupils used a range of loose parts materials to design their own mandala patterns. Hoops and sticks were used for some younger children to help guide them however some older pupils chose to use hoops to add to their design. Bottle tops were particularly popular and the use of chalk enhanced the designs further. Photos were taken of pupils designs so that they had a record of their work and children understood that they would have to tidy up at the end of the session. This tasks works well using loose parts and can be recreated in school grounds easily. In a woodland setting more natural materials can be used especially in autumn when leaves can provide some gorgeous colour.
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Youth Vision listens and responds to the needs of vulnerable young people aged 10-24 in the Edinburgh region. The young people at the heart of Youth Vision and often struggling with or are excluded from formal education and are not engaged in training or employment. We provide a variety of age and stage related groups, Forest Skills aim at transition groups primary 6/7 to Secondary s1 s2, working in local greenspaces. Back on Track is a small group working with young people in S4 over the academic year., Staying on Track provide a continuation of care and support as young people leave school from 16yrs plus, providing 2 days’ work experience, awards and 1-1 support. Saturday Wilderness group, 13yrs -24 yrs. Ran by Young Leaders. Young Leaders, support the running of all groups , learning leadership skills and more.
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A whole day at the woods. Exploring wildlife (species identification and habitats). Appreciating nature. Team building activities, e.g. den building. Storytelling. Safety- risk management.
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As part of P6 and P7 JASS award, they went to explore what Autumn treasure they could find. Taking a stroll down one of the parks historic walks (Horse Chestnut Avenue) they found hundreds of conkers which they then used to create pictures, make jewellery and play conkers. The groups loved finding the autumn treasure and enjoyed learning how to play conkers and strategising the best way of preserving. They used a small drill bit with protective gloves to drill a hole through the centre and then threaded string through. Children were involved in risk assessing the activities and decided on their own rules to help keep them safe. This area was planted over 250 years ago by the Gilmore Family. During this time parks and garden design was beginning to capture imaginations of wealthy landowners who began to create landscapes to demonstrate wealth and importance. A decorative tree was planted, like horse chestnut, to provide shelter and scenic avenues to be enjoyed during leisure time.
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Classes have been learning how to use tools such as bow saws and knives to help them create structure and make cutlery. Simple tasks such as den building can be enhanced by introducing tools. Children were able to cut lengths of deadwood to size and used these from their structures. Learners were highly motivated by these tasks and were actively engaged throughout sessions. Creating purposeful objects i.e. Marshmallow sticks provided instant reward as well as demonstrating how the skill applied practically. Learners loved toasting and eating their marshmallows. (Halal/ Vegetarian marshmallows can be sourced from larger supermarkets and toast well.
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The class visit this park weekly to develop habits of physical exercise. The park is high up in the area and includes different levels allowing for running up/downhlll. The park has a path cutting across the upper level which is useful to use for setting boundaries for the children. We play a variety of games in the park including Helpie, Crossover Tig, 100 cones, Tig games and can set up a wide relay course.
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