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    Outdoor learning is central to the Pringle Centre's daily teaching and at every opportunity, we make the most of the School's outstanding grounds and facilities to bring the curriculum to life and promote the health benefits of being outside and active. 

    Our Friday Afternoon Club is an opportunity for boys to access the curriculum from another angle with weekly trips to a local farm, Water of Leith, Pentland Hills, museums, galleries and the beach. When we don't take the boys off adventuring, we invite guest speakers in to run workshops or organise treasure hunts, outside cooking, art and team building activities onsite.

    During lockdown, we have continued to run the Friday Afternoon Club, with activities for the boys to do at home uploaded online. Last week, a lady from the RSPB was meant to be taking the boys off bird and bug watching so we provided the necessary materials for the boys to be able to do the same from the comfort of their own homes. They made a bug hotel, to encourage insects to their area, and recorded different species of birds using identification charts. This week, we were creating a massive Art Attack, based on the boys' History unit: The Ancient Greeks. Again, we have uploaded the necessary material for the boys to be able to do this. 

    Cooking and learning about food has been high on the agenda for the Pringle Centre this year and we are in the process of designing our Kinder Kitchen, a space where boys can cook and eat outside. Cooking can tie in with a range of different subjects, including Maths, English and Languages, but it is also considered a good tool to build resilience, develop problem solving, teamwork and manual dexterity. Learning about where food comes from has been an important part of the process and boys have enjoyed collecting eggs from the chickens and visiting a local farm termly to check on, and learn more about, the animals there. During lockdown, we have set cooking challenges and have had several boys engage with these. Wild garlic pesto has been a great success and one family have been making their own sourdough starter, tying this in with Science.

    Last week in Science, the boys built vehicles and tested them over a variety of different surfaces. They had to be creative and use what they had to hand. We had lego creations, cardboard ones, cars made of recycles plastics and intricate airfix models. Encouraging the boys to try their creations on a variety of different surfaces, including grass and tarmac, ensured that they made the most of any safe, outside space they had at home; they were also able to tie in their own creations with a wider understanding of the world around them and make observations about movement and transport in general.

    To find out more about Merchiston Juniors, have a look at our website and follow Merchiston Juniors on Twitter @merchijuniors

    Ms Alexandra Torrance, Head of Department, Merchiston Juniors