Category Archives: Social Subjects

Take part in the Children’s Conference at the PSEC in June 2019

The PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC is an exciting and unique opportunity for schools to participate in a dedicated primary science conference. The event will take place on Friday 7th June 2019 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre as part of the international Primary Science Education Conference (PSEC).

The theme of the conference is Climate Change, Sustainable Living and Environmental Science. Schools will be encouraged to develop their own projects focused on finding a local issue and developing solutions for it and then share their work: either by attending the Conference or submitting a poster/film of their activity.

Schools can register their Interest at and download the free Climate Change Teachers’ Project Pack. The pack has ideas for projects in ten different areas; as well as advice on developing partnerships, planning projects and a Climate Change Special Topical Science Update.

Look out for more information in late 2018 when schools will be able to apply to present their projects at the PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC in June 2019.

Keep up to date with what’s going on:

Follow @pstt_whyhow on Twitter


Join our ‘PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC’ Facebook group

University of Glasgow graduates produce documentary film to take action on climate change in Scotland

In a new documentary film called ‘Climate Change and Scotland’s Future’, University of Glasgow graduates Jenni O’Neill and Cameron Mackay put their degrees to use to look at how one of the biggest issues facing the country they grew up in could be tackled.

Through investigating what people can do to mitigate and prepare for the impacts of climate change in Scotland over coming decades, their journey takes them from Glasgow to South Uist and from National Nature Reserves to coastal towns.

From student expedition organiser and filmmaker, Cameron Mackay, this film aims to promote awareness of climate change adaptation and how we can come together nationally to set up a sustainable future. Cameron says, “I really hope, through showcasing our physical and social vulnerability to climate change and suggesting ways forward, we can start conversations between different people and organisations in Scotland to inspire action”.

The film will be released on the 21st September, to coincide with the Scottish Government’s Climate Week campaign, at a free screening event at the University of Strathclyde. Organised in partnership with Sustainable Strathclyde and with support from Vital Energi, the screening will take place in the Graham Hills Building, 50 Richmond Street, at 6pm and will feature a panel discussion with some of Scotland’s top climate change experts. Everyone from school pupils to university lecturers and all members of the public are welcome to attend! Tickets can be obtained on a first come first served basis from Sustainable Strathclyde. Thereafter the film will be available for free at with an accompanying resource pack as well as on selected websites across Scotland.


Free Tickets:



Twig World – Update on National Contract

Education Scotland, and its predecessor organisation, Learning and Teaching Scotland, have licensed online content from Twig World since 2009.

This online content has been made available to all local authority schools through Glow and has supported learning and teaching in the curriculum areas of sciences, social studies and mathematics.

In March 2016, Education Scotland informed local authorities that the existing contract with Twig World was to be extended for one final year until 31 July 2017. We would now like to remind school and centres of the end date of this national contract with Twig World.

Local authorities wishing to access Twig, Tigtag or Tigtag Junior resources beyond 31 July 2017 have been advised, in a letter sent to Directors of Education sent at the end of February, to contact Twig World directly to discuss local purchasing options. Schools and centres also have the option of purchasing Twig World products directly, where appropriate. Education Scotland has worked positively with Twig World to plan for the end of the contract and Twig World has confirmed that they will be offering preferential rates to Scottish authorities, schools and centres that wish to continue to access their services.

This approach will allow teachers to utilise the flexibility and autonomy offered by the curriculum to make use of a diverse range of online resources to support learning and teaching.

Following the end of Education Scotland’s contract with Twig World Ltd, users will still be able to access the following Twig World products which are freely available:

  • Reach-Out Reporter – a topical science resource for primary science (freely available to all teachers through the Reach-Out Reporter website)
  • Reach-Out CPD – an online professional learning resource for primary science (available through Glow authentication).

Users wishing to access the following Twig World services beyond 31 July 2017 will need to make alternative provisions as the existing national contract for these services will have expired:

  • Twig
  • Tigtag
  • Tigtag Junior

Local authorities and schools wishing to discuss local purchasing options should contact Twig as early as possible to ensure continuity of service. From 1 August 2017, user data will be deleted from Twig World servers as this marks the end of the contract between Education Scotland and Twig World. It is vital, therefore, that local authorities contact TWIG prior to this date if they want this data to be retained. All enquiries relating to purchasing should be directed to:

Scottish Government and Education Scotland remain committed to supporting improvement in sciences, mathematics, social studies and STEM and the following resources will continue to be available:

In addition, Scottish Government is supporting the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) with a grant of £855K (2016-17). This has provided practitioners and technicians with access to a range of high-quality professional learning opportunities in science and technology from early level to the senior phase of learning.

Education Scotland is also working in partnership with The Wood Foundation and SSERC to support the Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAISE) Programme. This represents an investment of £1million in primary science over a 33 month pilot. This will involve ten local authorities initially and following an external evaluation, may be extended to the remaining local authorities over a total of an eight-year period.

Gender Balance Resources available online

Gender Balance logoImproving Gender Balance Scotland, the partnership project between the Institute of Physics, Education Scotland and Skills Development Scotland, has recently launched part of their suite of resources for schools looking to counter gender stereotyping.Primary child putting work on a board

The resources include PSHE lessons on gender and stereotyping, classroom interaction monitoring templates and a poster of top tips on inclusive learning. The resources can be found on the IOP’s website here.

As part of this launch Skills Development Scotland have released a short film including some work by Duloch Primary School, as well as a written case study of the work to date. The project page and the film can be seen on SDS’s page here, and the case study here.




Beyond the Panda education programme

PandaThe RZSS Beyond the Panda education programme aims to provide children with an understanding of China, its language, geography, habitats, flora and fauna and in particular learn about the giant panda and the RZSS China/UK research.

Beyond the Panda travels to schools across Scotland in our new vehicle kindly donated by Arnold Clark. We provide a combination of outreach sessions, teacher training and ‘panda boxes’ for loan. The boxes are filled with games, jigsaws and other fun activities which stimulate learning and classroom discussions. The learning resources enable students to investigate, study and explore a variety of topics within the overall context of giant pandas and China; linking with CfE experiences and outcomes in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy. With the generous funding from the Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh our programmes also provide an introduction to the learning of Mandarin Chinese.

Sandie Robb, RZSS Senior Education Officer, said: “The RZSS Beyond the Panda is a fantastic and truly unique outreach learning experience. Through the China Mobile Library, students are able to learn about Chinese history, geography, culture and language as well as about giant pandas and the conservation work of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. The children really enjoy the educational games, whilst learning at the same time. The RZSS Beyond the Panda allows us to inspire the next generation of nature conservationists.”

Miss MacDonald, St. Peter’s RC Primary, said: “After doing the panda box activities with three classes, I can really see the positive impact it had on children’s learning. All classes were engaged and enthusiastic throughout and when speaking with the children after they completed the tasks, they could tell me lots of things that they had learned.”

In addition, classes who wish to progress further in the Beyond the Panda programme are able to work towards a Pambassador Class Award at bronze, silver and gold levels.

See Beyond the Panda in action –

On the road with Beyond the Panda

RZSS China Mobile Library


Contact Sandie Robb for further information:

@Sandie_Robb #BeyondthePanda

SEPA – Rainfall school education project

SEPA LogoSEPA is looking to expand its existing volunteer rainfall observer program. This work includes the development of an online data entry portal and data visualisation facility.

To complement this work, SEPA is piloting collaboration with around 40 schools nationally. For the pilot we would like a good mix of both primary and secondary educators.

As well as providing useful data for SEPA and the Met Office, the project will hopefully develop a variety of skills and educational opportunities

What’s involved?

SEPA will supply a raingauge and the school will be required to find an optimal location within the school grounds. The raingauge is supplied with a bracket that will need to be attached to a wooden post using screws and a screw driver. Each morning as close to 9am GMT as possible, someone from the school is required to record the rainfall that has accumulated in the gauge. The rainfall measurement can then be entered in the data entry website whenever it is convenient. Although it is most beneficial for us to have a measurement be taken every day, it is OK to have some periods of no measurement such as over weekends and holidays so long as the next entry made reflects that it is a cumulative reading.

The value of the data record increases with age and so ideally we would like our volunteer schools to view this as a long term, ongoing venture. More detailed information will be disseminated to schools taking part. The data entry website can be viewed at

If you are interested in taking part please contact Cordelia Menmuir at email: Tel: 01738 448 835

Further resources to download:

SEPA Rainfall_Citizen Science

Rainfall Observer_Project Overview

Scotland’s Environment Website launches new Citizen Science portal

SEWeb-Logo-Two-Lines-with-backgroundWhy we built the portal

Citizen Science is really important to the partners in Scotland’s Environment. It generates data which are used to make decisions, set priorities and debate issues, but just as importantly, it promotes citizen education, empowerment, health and wellbeing. By building this portal, we want to improve the support that is available to Citizen Science projects, especially in relation to gathering data, making it easy to view and understand, and easy to discuss.

What the portal does

The portal helps us to bring information on a variety of projects into one place, covering topics as diverse as weather, soils, air quality, water quality and protected species. We want to make it easier for participants to take part in projects, find a home for new projects they have created, see their contribution and discuss it with others. The portal also provides a place for us to try out new approaches towards data gathering and engagement, new tools and new resources.

Visit the portal at:

Visit Scotland’s Environment website at:

Twigworld available to all Glow users for a further year

Tigtag and Twig online resources are currently accessible via the Glow login and are used by schools across Scotland.  These award-winning resources provide high-quality videos and accompanying learning materials for sciences, mathematics and social studies. They were procured by Education Scotland in July 2015.  The contract was for one year initially with the possibility of a one year extension.

Education Scotland and Twig World have agreed to this one year extension which means that both Twig and Tigtag, and also TigTag Junior and Reach Out CPD, will continue to be available to state schools through Glow until 31st July  2017.

It will not be possible for Education Scotland to extend the contract further beyond this date.

Scotland Excel, the local authority procurement organisation, will include Education Software and Digital Content as an additional lot within their re-tender of their Education Materials framework with a start date of 1st April 2017.  It will therefore be for local authorities to purchase digital content via this route in the future.

Twig LogoTigtag LogoTigtag Junior Logo

Scotland’s Environment : Focus on Air Pollution

scotlands environment

This month Scotland’s Environment newsletter focuses on air pollution.

If you’re looking for resources to help discuss air quality in the classroom, then you’ll find lots of Curriculum for Excellence aligned resources on Get Learning | Scotland’s Environment Web .

Here’s some other resources that will support learning about air quality:

To keep informed about other teaching and learning resources, subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

You can also download a copy of the Citizen Science & Curriculum for Excellence briefing paper, packed with lots of other excellent resources from here.

SEPA Logoeducation scotland logo

Scottish Attainment Challenge Innovation Fund: Applications Open

SAC LogoApplications have opened for the £1.5 million Innovation Fund to help schools close the attainment gap.

Schools can choose whether to apply quickly for funds to run projects that are ready to start in March 2016, or to consider bids for the 2016/17 financial year. The Fund is open to all publicly funded primary, secondary and special schools in Scotland which are not already benefitting from the Attainment Scotland Fund.

SAC Innovation Fund

Funds of £3,000-£10,000 (per school) are available for projects that will help children and young people experiencing socio economic disadvantage. Applications are encouraged from partnerships of schools working collaboratively or individual schools.

Under the twin track application scheme, schools can apply:

  • Fast track: by 21 February 2016 for projects that will start in March. Notification will be given between 1 and 4 March.
  • Standard track: by 31 March 2016 for projects that will start in the year from April 2016. Notification will be given by the end of April.

Proposals should have a particular focus on literacy, numeracy or health and wellbeing. They can be new ideas, or a project with a specific focus, building on what has had the greatest impact within a school, cluster or group of schools. This may include projects involving parental / family engagement and career long professional development or those that help develop and realise aspirations for children and young people.

The guidance and application form are available:

Information is also on the #SAC Scottish Attainment Challenge Glow site (login required), where practitioners can seek advice and collaborate on applications.

Get help with accessing #SAC Glow site