The latest news from Newbattle Abbey College


IMPACT and NAC details in full below

Every Wednesday from 10th January to 20th March (mid-term break 14th February), 10 am - 2pm

Improving Midlothian Parent and Care-givers Time (IMPACT) and Newbattle Abbey College (NAC) – funded by Midlothian Council – are offering a ten-week employability support program. This is for eligible parents and caregivers in Midlothian, aged between 16 to 67 years, who are facing barriers to employment and are currently not in employment and/or education.

The program will include sessions such as self-defense, self-care, and progress to cover more specific employability skills, such as fostering a growth-mindset and providing support with CV writing and job applications to equip participants with essential employability tools, preparing them to pursue future work opportunities with confidence.

Activities will also help participants develop self-assurance, resilience, and problem-solving skills.

The inclusion of the Adult Achievement Award will provide participants with a recognised SCQF credit- rated award to enhance employability prospects whilst acknowledging personal growth and development.

For more info please contact


Christmas at Newbattle

Sat 9 & Sun 10 December, 10.30am – 4pm

xmas at Newbattle

We are delighted that Christmas at Newbattle is returning this December!

We are partnering with 3D2D Events who have been working closely with a fantastic range of craftworkers, designers, makers and artists.

The whole college will be used to showcase the wonderful range of exhibitors and it’s the perfect opportunity to stock up for Christmas.  The dining room will be open serving hot and cold drinks and festive treats.

Tickets: Adults £3, Concession (60 years +) £2 and children under 12 free

Tickets can be purchased online or on the days of the fayre.

Additional information:

Parking will be available, with blue badge spaces at beside the entrance to the college building

No dogs will be allowed except assistance dogs

We hope you can join us and enjoy this fantastic Christmas event with us!


Roots to Learning Shortlisted

The Roots to Learning programme at Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith has been shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing category at RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.

The Roots to Learning programme at Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith has been shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing category at RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.

Roots to Learning was set up to promote positive health and wellbeing experiences through nature and for nature. Initially, established as a pandemic response for young people aged 11- 24 to combat poor mental health and disengagement from learning it has developed into a longer term approach to nature recovery.

Roots to Learning is an innovative programme combining a ‘green prescription’ with an SCQF accredited Forest and Outdoor Learning Award (FOLA) for young people experiencing health and social/economic life challenges.  

An holistic programme involving nature connection experiences, discovering species, conservation activity, understanding seasonal cycles and sustainable use of resources. Blending a person-centred inclusive approach with the environmental nature of FOLAs, provides mutual benefits for the health of people and nature.   

We are most grateful for funding from Midlothian Community Young People’s Mental Health Framework which enabled the project to run.

Judy Paul, programme leader, said “It is exciting to see something so positive coming out of a response to the pandemic. Roots to Learning has developed a very special pathway to promote good health and wellbeing for both people and nature together. It clearly works and it is only the start with young people inspired to go on and share this with others. Watch these roots grow into a forest!”

Roots to Learning was announced as a finalist in the Health and Wellbeing category this week at the Nature of Scotland Awards Shortlist Reception at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by Colin Smyth MSP and sponsored by Beam Suntory.

The 54 finalists will all gather at the EICC on the 22 November to enjoy a night of celebration, where the winners of all 10 categories will be announced.  

The awards ceremony, now in its 12th year and co-sponsored by NatureScot, will be hosted by zoologist, TV presenter and RSPB Ambassador Megan McCubbin and TV presenter and nature enthusiast JJ Chalmers.

They will recognise the individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.

Nature-lovers also have a chance to choose their winner of the Community Initiative Award, which celebrates projects developed and led by the people it serves.  You can see the shortlist and vote for your favourite here.

Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “The Nature of Scotland Awards celebrates people and projects who really make a difference for nature in their local communities and across the country.

“Being at the head of the judging panel is a wonderful part of my job, as I get an unrivalled opportunity to hear about inspiring actions and the incredible things that can happen when people work together. – we can’t tackle the nature and climate crisis alone.

“I am so looking forward to seeing everyone at the awards in November, and would like to thank all of our applicants for sharing their tremendous work with us.”

Colin Galbraith, Chair of Awards co-sponsor NatureScot, said: “Our natural world is at the heart of the nation’s well-being, and this year’s shortlisted Nature of Scotland Awards nominees are shining examples of vital, nature-based solutions from people, communities, businesses and organisations across the country.

“As co-sponsor of the awards, we celebrate the inspiring efforts each and every nominee has contributed to Scotland’s mission to tackle biodiversity loss and the nature-climate crisis.”

Anyone with an interest in nature is welcome to attend the Awards, tickets are available at


Image: Collecting rain water and keeping spirits up on one very wet day!

Notes to Editors

Issued by Lisa Motion, 0131 663 1921

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity.  In England and Wales, no: 207076, in Scotland, no: SC037654.

X/Twitter: @NatureofScot

Image caption Collecting rain water and keeping spirits up on one very wet day!



Top marks for Newbattle!

A glowing report from Education Scotland

Newbattle Abbey College has been given top marks in a glowing report by Inspectors of Education following their visit in May. The Inspectors identified a range of strengths in how the College supports its students to succeed and progress to further study or employment. They found that success rates for students at Newbattle are better than national performance levels, including for students who have a disability, and progression rates are high.


Our staff were praised for the quality of their work, with particular mention of how well students who have been in the care system are supported. The report declared the Inspectors’ satisfaction with the College and did not identify any ‘main points for action’.


We provide access courses for adults and young people in transition, enabling advanced entry into university and preparation for employment. Places are still available for courses starting in August 2023, visit our courses overview for more information or call the team on 0131 663 1921.


Prescribe Nature Programme

Date: Each Wednesday from Wednesday 30 August (first session is a taster day) to Wednesday 18 October 2023 inclusive (8 weeks in total)
Time: 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
Refreshments and lunch are included. Waterproof clothing and boots are also provided.

Being outdoors has a positive impact on how well you feel, creating an improved quality of life and resilience when it comes to coping with life’s challenges.

Newbattle Abbey College are running a fully funded Prescribe Nature programme for adults who would benefit from the opportunity to:

* Enhance their well-being
* Improve their mental health
* Reduce social isolation
* Enhance learning and employability

During the course participants will have the opportunity to participate in a range of therapeutic outdoor activities including:

* Forest Bathing – appreciate the colours, smells, sounds and textures of nature for well-being
* Natural Crafts and Woodcraft – learn to use hand tools to make natural craft items
* Nature Discovery – find out what lives in the woodland and the uses of plants and trees
* Woodland Workout and Conservation – learn about conservation, caring for wildlife and improve your fitness

Participants will also achieve an accredited Adult Achievement Award, which will help with going onto further study and employment.

Contact details
For further information, please contact: Judy Paul, Forest College Co-ordinator:



Scotland’s colleges collaborate on national #ChooseCollege campaign

What’s more important than a choice about your future? That’s the question driving Scotland’s colleges as they urge those who are considering their future career options, to choose college.  


Newbattle Abbey College are supporting the national #ChooseCollege campaign to highlight the benefits of college and encourage school leavers and career changers to – choose college. 


Following the success of last year’s campaign, which has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award in the CIPR Pride Awards, Scotland’s 26 colleges are coming together with one voice once again to support the campaign and share stories of how vital colleges are to the educational, economic and community health of the country.  


Organised by the CDN Marketing and Communications Network, last year’s campaign reaching nearly a million adults across Scotland. This year the campaign launches on 31 July, and runs until 27 August, appearing on SkyTV, radio and social media.  


The campaign is supported by promotional videos, images, key facts and case studies. College students and staff are being encouraged to share their stories, using #ChooseCollege. 


Marie Hendry, Chief Executive, College Development Network (CDN), said: 

“Colleges play a vital role in supporting Scotland’s economic, social and educational success – supporting industry to build and engage its workforce, maximising employment opportunities, and addressing the mental health and wellbeing of our communities.  


“We want to raise awareness of the opportunities that colleges offer pupils, school leavers, career changers, apprentices, and anyone looking to develop their skills and take the next steps in their career journeys.  


“The work of the college sector is now more critical than ever, and I am excited to see inspiring examples of what the sector does through the #ChooseCollege campaign.”  


Join the conversation on social media using #ChooseCollege. Discover more at: