Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh
As part of the Natural Connections Outdoor Learning Level 1 Award, and inspired by Mollie Hughes’ presentation on her ascents of Everest, the girls of Primary 5 set out on Tuesday 3 October to tackle Scald Law, the highest peak in the Pentlands at 579m.
Armed with maps, badges, iPads and science kit on loan from the Upper School, each girl took on a role as a scientific researcher and they went about their jobs with gusto. The botanists found abundant foliage along the route and the mycologists spotted many interesting fungi in amongst the trees, including some enormous “fairy-tale toadstools”. The geologists tested the moisture of the ground and the entomologists unearthed a variety of worms, beetles and other minibeasts - a large hairy caterpillar being a particularly exciting find. The hydrologists analysed the river water and were pleased to report that their samples tested a neutral pH7. The ornithologists found an abandoned nest and sighted both buzzard and geese and the zoologists did a marvellous job of tracking animals from prints and poo evidence! Mostly we only saw sheep (likely due to the noise we were making from all the excited chat) but one group did spot a frog! The photographers captured all exciting finds on their iPads. Although blustery at times, the day was dry and the meteorologists’ chart of favourable weather held us in good stead.
The general level of fitness and enthusiasm along the route was impressive, with a large group of girls positively bounding along the tracks. The girls all made it to the summit with whoops of triumph! The 8km journey took us from Thriepmuir Reservoir, across the hills just short of Silverburn. An enormous achievement for all, and for many, the first real hill walk that they had ever done.
The girls demonstrated truly excellent skills of working together, helping and encouraging each other, resilience, sheer grit and determination – and above all, showed a great sense of fun!
Given that the Pentland Hills are literally on our doorstep - the hope is that some will venture out again with their families in the future...
The girls achieved their goal with a massive sense of pride and we decisively completed the Journeying module of our Level 1 Award.
Through our tree studies, we have also completed our Discovering Nature module and the girls’ Natural Connections logbooks are already looking impressive.