We hope you enjoy reading about adventures on ArranWeek 2 25th - 29th April

Friday 29th April The children will be travelling on the 1:45p.m. ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan.  If the ferry is on time and there is no traffic the children should arrive back at the school between 3.15p.m. and 3:30p.m.  Last week it was nearly 3.45p.m. when they arrived back. We are sorry that we cannot be more exact, but we are at the  mercy of the traffic.

Arran Week 2 25th -29th April

Todays adventure started with crossing the Firth of Clyde on the Caledonian Isles then picked up at the Terminal by our fabulous instructors. Next stop Arran Outdoor Education Centre in Lamlash. After getting kitted out with our equipment and a spot of lunch we headed for the hills. We put our mapping skills to the test along the Dun Fion Hill Walk.  Our adventures didn't stop there with a  talk and  Jenny from COAST then on to explore the rock pools. Thank goodness for drying rooms!!!

Arran Week 1 - 18th - 22nd April

Elderbank PS Blog

Thursday 21st
April 2016

Blue Group

Today we sailed in Lamlash Bay in the morning!  We were Martin’s crew and like pirates, we
had sail the boat and had to move the sail to catch the wind.  We each took turns to steer the boat using
the tiller.  We moved the sail by working
as a team and pulling or letting go of the ropes.  Before we caught the wind we had to use
paddles to move the boat into the wind…no way were we using the engine!

We sailed with the wind in our sails to the Holy Isle where
we stopped for a snack with the wild horses and sheep and caught our breath
before sailing back to the centre for the afternoon’s activities! 

After lunch we went gorge walking…a mysterious adventure but
we knew we were going to all get wet!  We
started walking up a river, climbing through the white water, treading
carefully over slippery rocks and sometimes swimming through the deeper
pools!  The conditions were perfect and
although the water was freezing, we soon heated up!  We climbed upstream to a rock slide, we all
slide down to the deep, cool waters.  Our
final challenge…to leap off the edge of a cliff into even deeper water
below…again we all trusted our buoyancy vests and most of us jumped…It was
amazing and a great way to end a week of sunshine, adventure and achievement!


Red Group

Today was exciting we
went gorge walking and rock climbing.

Gorge walking means
you have to follow a river upstream making sure you don’t slip on the rocks.
Our instructors showed us where all the best grips were and how to avoid the
green rocks as they are the slippiest. The slide and the cliff jump were the
scariest but also the most exciting part of the gorge walk.

When we started our
rock climbing we first had to put on all our safety gear. The harness and the helmet
keep you safe as you go up and down the artificial climbing wall and you have
to work well with your climbing partner to find the best routes to the top. It
was a great feeling getting to the top of the wall and scary but exciting
abseiling back to the bottom. Some of our group even climbed to the top wearing
a blindfold.

It’s been a great
time staying at the activity centre. The instructors are great and the food is
too. We are having a disco tonight and hopefully I will hear some of my
favourite dance tunes. It’s our last day tomorrow and we are going swimming
before getting the ferry home. I am really looking forward to the swimming but
I am also excited about seeing my family back home.  



Green Group

What another amazing
day. Rock climbing in the morning and sailing in the afternoon and all done in
some brilliant Scottish sunshine. We used the artificial climbing wall to learn
the 3 Point Contact climbing technique. Most of us made it to the top before
dropping back to earth on the safety ropes. We had to work as a team with one
climber and a belayer (the person guiding the climber) making decisions that
ensured you reached the top. It felt great to reach the top and a bit scary
when you had to drop off the wall.

Sailing started with
enough wind to take us half way round the Holy Isle. We saw some grey seals
having a fight and Martin our instructor said they were “probably fighting over
some territory.” When the wind died down we were able to use the boat engine to
take us the rest of the way round the island. Mackenzie and Jesse did most of
the steering but we all helped with trimming the sails and getting the boat to tac
(that means to make the boat turn).

We returned to the
activity centre in time for our tea before getting ready for the disco. It’s
also Rebecca’s birthday so another reason for dressing up in my party clothes.
Last day tomorrow and I will be sad to leave. I have loved my week and would
like to do gorge walking and kayaking again but I am tired too and can’t wait
to see everyone back home.

Elderbank PS Blog


Red Group Messages

Red Group

Another fantastic day. The red group achieved two more firsts!! Two children
kayaked around the Holy Isle and then six others crossed over to reach the
shores to the Holy Isle. A lovely picnic on the Isle, surrounded by the goats
and sheep! A short journey back across to the centre then we ventured out on
Wobbly Bob to take us to the sailing boat! With the wind in our sails we
crossed over to Hamilton Isle and saw lots of different birds and a seal
sunbathing!! We all got a turn on the tiller to steer the boat. Afterwards we
had great fun jumping in the water with out life jackets on! A fantastic day
was had by all!!

Blue Team

Today was another day filled with sunshine, adventure and great achievements!
Our day started off at the climbing wall. 
We learned how to work as small teams to support, help and encouraged
others climb as high as they can.  Some
reached the top, others overcame fears as they found their footing.  All of the blue team learned to trust each
other and to trust the equipment used in climbing!!  This afternoon, we ventured out into Lamlash
Bay in our kayaks.  In the calm waters,
we got to grips with kayaking and thoroughly enjoyed paddling, drifting and
playing in the Bay!  Some even managed to
stand up in their kayaks…only for a short time…before an untimely
swim…”Wow…buoyancy vests actually work!” 
Today we discovered a lot of natural born climbers and kayakers…some
even want to have a go when they get home!!

Wow! What a couple of days. After a gusty and choppy
crossing from Ardrossan on Monday, we have all arrived safely at the Arran
Outdoor Education Centre.  On our first
day we took a walk with our team leaders to Dun Fion, a 2500 year old Iron Age
hill-fort. We could see all the way back over to Irvine from up there. We waved
a hello so hope you all saw us!

Today the Green group took advantage of the fantastic sunny
weather and took to the water for Sea Kayaking and Gorge Walking.

Here are some messages from the Green Group

FIONA: Fantastic fun gorge walking and having a nice break
from my big brother!

JASMINE: Gorge walking was dangerous and fun. Don’t worry
though mum I came out of it fine.

CARA: I got really wet gorge walking. I am having fun but
miss my wee sister.

LOGAN: I slipped and fell on my face, my hair was soaking
and so far I am missing my wee brother.

ABIGAIL: Gorge walking is fun. When you fall the rocks are
slippy and it takes a bit of teamwork and effort to get back up.

MACKENZIE: Kayaking was amazing I was in deep water near the
Holy Isle. Mum, will you please remember to feed lucky?

CONNOR: I jumped off a cliff whilst out gorge walking and
even though I bumped my chin it was still awesome fun. Thank you to the nurse
on Arran who put a dressing on it for me.

JOHN: I loved going down the slide during gorge walking. It
was the best part of a trip that has been awesome.

JESSE:  Belly flopping
and sliding into the river was the best part of the day. Jay don’t be stealing
my PS4.

NATHAN: Gorge walking was great. I jumped off a cliff and
had to walk against some strong currents to get to the top of the river.
Brilliant fun!

We have worked well as a team and tomorrow will continue to
build on our skills with a walk up Goatfell, the highest mountain on Arran. If
you happen to be looking over here about lunchtime look for the tallest hill
and wave. We will be waving right back at you!


The Red and Blue groups also took advantage of the sunshine as
they set off on their mountain adventure! 
Both groups set off on different paths as they tackled the huge climb up

The very thought of climbing the mountain they can see
across the water was a very daunting prospect. 
It certainly wasn’t easy! 
However, the groups worked together to support and encourage each
other.  Miss Macnamara and Miss Fish
joined these groups on their epic adventure and in all the years they have
visited Arran with groups of Primary 7s, they have never tackled Goatfell.  It was an absolute pleasure to join these
children as they climbed Goatfell!

Some thoughts and messages from the Red Group

CALEB – Today you would not believe what we have done!  We climbed Goatfell!!  I got to the very top even though I am a wee
bit scared of heights.  I’m having tonnes
of fun!  Missing you all!

MARC – We climbed Goatfell! 
It was really hard and tiring but well worth it!

BREE – We climbed Goatfell and it was fun, interesting and
tiring but in the end I was proud in the end! 
It was a lovely view!

JORJA – We climbed Goatfell and I thought it was very tiring
but I was really proud of myself!

EVE – We climbed Goatfell! 
I managed to make it to the top and it was really fun!

JAKE – I am so proud of myself because today I went on a 6
mile walk up Goatfell!  But I do miss my
mum…I know I’ll see her soon!

EMILY – Today we climbed GOATFELL!!! Yes!  A group of 11 year olds climbed to the very
top of the highest mountain in Arran!  I
can’t believe we did it!  I was so tired
but I did it!!

Miss Macnamara – Today was an exceptional day!  I was with the first ever Elderbank group who
scaled the great heights of the world famous Goatfell.  I saw my group help, encourage and support
each other.  There were times when the
youngpeople wanted to give up…but they didn’t!! 
We climbed a most difficult route up. 
At times we couldn’t imagine reaching the top.  But just as we saw the top, inspiration took
grip.  We pushed onwards and upwards to
the summit.  As we climbed people who had
already made it encouraged us as they came down…  “Nearly there!”  “The view is beautiful!”  “You guys are doing great!”  The encouraging comments kept coming further
inspiring us up the steep, steep climb. 
The last push – so many steps up, up, up…We saw the summit!  The sense of overwhelming achievement was
sensational!  For some it took a few
minutes to realise we were actually at the top! 
The view was stunning, clear skies, mountains, islands and open sea.  In all my 20 years with groups, I had the
pleasure of sharing such a fantastic achievement with this group of fantastic

Some thoughts and messages from the Blue Group

DYLAN – It was hard to climb Goatfell, unfortunately we
didn’t make it, we made it to the shoulder, had our lunch and then went to a
fresh river instead and enjoyed the sunshine, drinking fresh water from the

ADAM – Today I went up Goatfell and it was really great
fun!  But afterwards my legs were really
sore!  The delicious hot chocolate made
my legs better!

LOGAN S – I had a really good day!  It was fun going up Goatfell!

CAITLIN – Today I climbed Goatfell!  It was really fun!  I enjoyed it a lot after we climbed up and
came back down, we had fun at some waterfalls! 
We took our shoes off and dipped our feet in the fresh cool water.  We also had a cool drink from the waterfalls!

REBECCA – I think I did so much better today than I did

MELISSA – Today I climbed Goatfell!  WE never made it to the top…but it was so

STACIE –  I am proud
of myself because I climbed Goatfell, well almost!  I miss my mum and dad but I am staying

Miss Fish – Today was a great day filled with adventure,
smiles, teamwork, determination and achievement.  I was with the first ever group attempting to
climb Goatfell, the highest mountain in Ayrshire and one that most of us see
from across the water!  The sun was
shining, our bags were packed and off we went…

Some of the group were like mountain goats…natural born
climbers and others were out of their comfort zone, who when they looked at
this amazing mountain in front of them thought “No chance!”, or, “That’s
impossible!”  But then with some
encouragement from their team mates began to think…and then I heard the words
“OK, I’ll try!”  And that is exactly what
every single person in the Blue team did…they tried!  They were tired and wanted to give up…but
they didn’t!  Our aim for the day was to
get to the shoulder of Goatfell, and maybe, just maybe reach the summit…We ploughed
on, stopping for plenty of breaks on the way. 
After so many steps and doubts, we made it to the shoulder of
Goatfell!!  Just standing at the shoulder
looking across the Clyde at the mainland, we could see for miles…it was just
amazing!  Imagine eating your lunch
sitting about 700m high, in the sunshine, gazing out across the Firth of Clyde
looking at Milport and finding familiar landmarks on the mainland!  It wasn’t until we climbed back down from
Goatfell that the overwhelming sense of achievement arrived…The group stood
staring at Goatfell, found the shoulder and just stared in utter disbelief,
“Did we actually climb that?!”  “Wow, I’m
impressed!” Every single team member in the Blue group should be extremely
proud of themselves for what they have achieved today.  I am very proud of them and delighted to
share their achievements with them…what a great group of children!