Orienteering pack puts Midlothian schools on the map

Every primary and secondary school in Midlothian has been plotted on orienteering maps and an educational pack of maps and orienteering equipment for pupils  was handed over to schools  at a ceremony in Bonnyrigg recently.

Pupils from Hopefield Primary school were the first to have the opportunity to get to grip with the maps in their school ground, as pictured here with Scott Fraser, National Development Officer for Orienteering – a former Newbattle Community High School pupil – who presented the map packs to representatives from each school in Midlothian.

Scott was instrumental in drawing up the maps and he is very positive about developing orienteering for young people in Midlothian. Each school received an orienteering pack which consists of: –

. 30 colour maps
. Orienteering markers (three types) and orienteering cards
. Control punches, and
. A computer disc with an electronic  map of the school grounds.

Following a successful bid to ‘Awards for All’ for funding by Eoin Keane, a teacher with the Outdoor Learning Service at  Greenhall Centre, all schools and school grounds have been  mapped in full colour for use in a variety of ways including orienteering, maths, science, physical education, social subjects and health and well being.

In addition, training for staff has been organised in Level 1 Orienteering and in map software so that use of the map packs can be maximised, and early discussions have taken place with local orienteering clubs, Edinburgh Southern and Interlopers, to look at pathways for young people to develop the sport.

Chalmers Smith, Midlothian Council’s outdoor learning co-ordinator, said, “The map packs are a great resource for schools as they can be used in so many creative and diverse ways. Learning to use maps is a life skill and using a high quality, colour map of your own school grounds is an ideal place to start. The maps open up further opportunities for youngsters and young people to experience learning out of doors.”

In addition to the school maps, parks at King’s Park, Newtongrange and Ironmills have also been mapped which will allow for progression and further challenges.

On 26 November 2008, the second Orienteering Festival for P7 school pupils in Midlothian is due to take place at Vogrie Country Park. All P7 classes are invited to send a team of 4 to take part in this fun event – where there will be prizes for the winning boy and girl and the winning team.

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