National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners

National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners

Education Scotland, Learning Link Scotland, Youthlink Scotland and Glasgow Science Centre are working in partnership to establish a National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners.

The first meeting will take place on 1st June at 10am until 11.30 and will focus on highlighting available resources, breakout rooms to meet others, network and share resources on STEM and Climate Change.

We will be seeking practitioners’ views on the value of a STEM Network for CLD and consulting on our proposed aims and objectives, as follows:

  • Open to all CLD, cross sector and all organisations (ie. Local Authority, Voluntary sector, Colleges)
  • Focus in 2021 on climate change linking to COP26
  • Key focus on supporting confidence of CLD Practitioners in STEM
  • Increasing understanding that STEM related learning opportunities are everywhere
  • Increase knowledge and resources in all areas of STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
  • Effectively sharing resources and improving CLD practitioners knowledge of available resources
  • Peer support role and networking opportunities with STEM focus

Sign up here:

National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners (


Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

This week, 10th – 16th May is Mental Health Awareness Week 2021.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

The Education Scotland CLD team will be showcasing practice involving CLD focusing on raising awareness of mental health throughout this week.  We will be highlighting useful resources and sharing practice examples from across Scotland using Twitter, blog posts, a podcast and wakelet.

Health and Wellbeing Resources – Wakelet

The theme of years Mental Health Awareness week is Nature, we will be promoting spending time outdoors, encouraging sharing of Scottish nature photos and undertaking a team walking steps challenge.

Follow us on Twitter at  @edscotcld for more information and updates throughout the week.

Supporting Children’s Numeracy for National Numeracy Day on 19th May

National Numeracy Day is fast approaching (19th May!) and this week we are highlighting information and resources for supporting parents and carers with children’s numeracy.

Numeracy and Mathematics Glossaries

This glossary has been developed for parents and carers of children and young people in the broad general education in Scottish schools. It provides clear definitions of some of the most commonly used terms in numeracy and mathematics.

Videos to Support Parents with Numeracy and Mathematics Methods and Approaches

The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) worked in partnership with Count On Us and Education Scotland to create eight ‘Learning Together’ videos.

The videos outline a range of methods and approaches including early numeracy foundations, addition and subtraction, and fractions, decimals and percentages.

The Family Maths Toolkit

The Family Maths Toolkit is full of ideas to help parents, families and children aged 13 and under enjoy everyday maths activities together.  The site also offers resources to help educators support family engagement with children’s maths learning.

I am a Mathematician

We use maths every day, at work, leisure and at home. Parents and carers can play a vital role in reinforcing the importance of maths to their children, promoting a positive attitude towards it and making it a fun activity to do together as a family.  This resource will help parents to support their children’s learning with fun activities to do at home.


Scotland’s Virtual Kiltwalk

Since 2016, Kiltwalk Heroes and the Hunter Foundation have raised almost £20 million for over 2000 Scottish charities. Previously, Kiltwalks were mass participation walking events that raise much-needed funds for Scottish charities and projects. Events were held Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh in Dundee with participants registering for a 6/8 mile ‘wee wander’, 13 mile ‘big stroll’ or 26 mile ‘mighty stride’. Kiltwalkers can raise funds for any charity of their choice and thanks to the generosity of Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation, all funds raised will be topped up by 50%.

This year, participants were asked to take part in their own virtual event over the weekend of 23-25 April. They were invited to walk, run, swim, cycle and even boogie their way to raising funds for their chosen charity.

Education Scotland’s CLD Team (and guests) saw the Kiltwalk as an opportunity to not only raise funds for Who Cares? Scotland, it was an invaluable opportunity to engage with colleagues, and feel connected away from screens. On Saturday 24th April, they climbed hills, visited local landmarks, and managed to walk along the banks of The River Clyde and River Tay. They collectively walked over 100,00 kilometres raising money, with Mary Ann’s four legged heroes clocking up over 38,000 steps each!

Who Cares? Scotland believe that Care Experienced people have the potential to change the world. Who Cares? Scotland’s membership is a care experienced community creating belonging and achieving change in Scotland and the world, as part of a movement of Care Experienced people. They do this in a number of ways including:

  • Advocacy for Children and Young People
  • Providing support to Corporate Parents
  • Policy and Research
  • Helpline, counselling service, and life coaching.

The team’s Go fund Me Page will be open until the 3rd May, please support and donate whatever you can. Thank you everyone for your support, see you all next year!

CLD Planning Webinar Series – Registration now open

National partners are collaborating to offer a series of webinars focussed on tools and resources available to complement CLD planning processes.  

The webinars may be of interest to local authority officers, teams, and partners involved in producing CLD plans locally, and will commence in early May.

 Sessions will be hosted on Teams, and will be recorded. To register follow the links below.


CONSUL – Tuesday 4th May, 13:30 – 15:00

In Scotland CONSUL is being used by local authorities for digital participatory budgeting, community engagement and participation – allowing citizens to collaborate on plans and proposals and communicate in an open and transparent environment. The COSLA CONSUL team will offer an introduction to the platform, and offer insight to examples of implementation in a local authority context. Register here.

Place Standard – Thursday 6th May, 13:00 – 14:30

The recent Scottish Government guidance on Community Learning and Development Plans (2021-2024) identifies a range of resources and well-established online tools available to support engagement at a local level, including the Place Standard. In this webinar Place Standard implementation team will highlight key resources available, and showcase recent practice examples. Register here.


Embedding youth awards in CLD Planning 2021-24 – Monday May 10th, 14:00 – 15:30

An opportunity to engage with the Awards Network to consider how to support young people’s achievements through youth awards in their plans. The session will look at: the contributions of participation in youth awards to key priorities – e.g. in education, employability and community involvement; and will include an opportunity to discuss what ambitious outcomes and measures for youth awards might look like. Register here.


Simple digital tools for online participation and engagement –Wednesday 12th May, 09:30 – 11:00

In many places the pandemic has been a catalyst for online delivery of CLD services, resulting in increased digital capacity of practitioners, learners and communities. This session, led by Education Scotland will offer a walkthrough some digital tools to support online participation and engagement including Jam Board, and Microsoft Forms.  Register here.


Workforce Development – Tuesday 18th May, 15:00 – 16:30

This session, led by the CLD Standards Council, will focus on the requirements set out in the Workforce Development component of  CLD Plans Guidance Note (2021-24) with particular reference to: Providing practice placements for CLD students; Recruiting qualified CLD practitioners; and, Supporting the CLD workforce to benefit from engaging with the CLD Standards Council through registered membership.  Register here.


First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, met representatives from the learning sector to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic.

The meeting consisted of a representative from, Colleges, Early Years, high schools, primary schools and CLD. Colleagues shared their experiences of working in challenging circumstances caused by Covid-19. Key messages shared were the commitment of education colleagues to supporting learners and students, genuine interest in wellbeing, support and improving the learning experiences whilst constrained due to Covid-19 restrictions. Even though the group worked across very different areas they all agreed that among the challenges there has been a lot to celebrate in the last 12 months in relation to the dedication and commitment of staff.

The CLD representative Jennifer Nicol from East Renfrewshire was asked to share her experiences of facilitating adult learning opportunities in advance of the meeting and she highlighted areas such as prioritising wellbeing, access to resources and information requirements. Jennifer highlighted that many learners face multiple barriers including low levels of language and literacy, digital exclusion and isolation. Learning and support was adapted to be inclusive dependent on learners’ skills, equipment and confidence. Connecting Scotland was highlighted as playing a key role with staff accessing training as Digital Champions whilst offering tremendous support to learners through the provision of equipment, connectivity and learning.

Positive relationships with the community have been strengthened with learning continuing to be offered, including partnerships with local Colleges which have allowed qualifications to be completed during lockdown. CLD staff have been creative, resourceful, enthusiastic and dedicated to maintaining links with the community whilst learning has been a lifeline for so many people during this difficult time.

The First Minister extended her thanks to all CLD services across Scotland and the hope is that more opportunities will take place for education sectors to come together to share experiences and network in the future.

Photo from FM’s Twitter feed.

Mental health information and support – SAMH


At times over the last 12 months we will all have felt changes in our mental health and witnessed changes from those around us.

SAMH (The Scottish Association for Mental Health) has a range of information and publications to help you support your own mental health and those around you by increasing knowledge, understanding and highlighting positive coping mechanisms. There are also a range of supports and services available at national level if you experience levels of distress.

When does low mood become depression?
We all feel low sometimes, but these feelings may become a problem if they’re interfering with your life, don’t go away after a few weeks or keep coming back.
SAMH’s information covers what you need to know:

Anxiety is something we can all experience at times. It’s okay to feel this way but it’s important to remember that there’s lots of things we can do to look after ourselves.
SAMH’s information guide covers what can help reduce anxiety to a manageable level:

Stress is a normal part of life, but sometimes it can become overwhelming and difficult to cope with.
SAMH’s resource explains what might cause it and how it can affect you. It includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support:

5 Ways to Better Wellbeing
We all have mental health, just as we have physical health, and it’s important that we take the time to look after it.
Evidence suggests there are five ways to improve our mental wellbeing:
• Be active
• Connect
• Learn
• Give
• Take notice
Find out more:

We all feel angry at times – it’s part of being human. But anger becomes a problem when it gets out of control and harms you or others. SAMH’s resource is full of practical suggestions as well as info on support available for you and your loved ones:

National Distress Brief Intervention Service
Since June 2020 third sector partners have been working closely with NHS24 to provide a national Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) service. By calling 111 and accessing the NHS24 mental health hub any adult age 16 and over in Scotland has access to this service. The DBI programme is built on the vision of connected compassionate support with the national programme consisting of two parts, with part 1 supported by NHS24 to help ease any individual. If further support is required they are referred to the DBI service with a promise of contact within the next 24 hours to start providing support.
Part 2 is provided by commissioned and trained third sector staff who contact the person and provide problem solving support, wellness and distress management planning, supported connections and signposting. Support is offered for up to 14 days.
Call NHS24 on 111 to access this service.

Adult Achievement Awards

Adult Achievement Awards

Adult Achievement awards give learners the opportunity to gain a qualification for the learning they have undertaken in a variety of places:

  • In the community
  • At work
  • In the home
  • In college
  • Through volunteering

The awards are currently available on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. There are no entry requirements for the awards. There are a range of organisations delivering the awards including local authorities, colleges and third sector organisations. The Adult Achievement Awards have been developed during Covid-19 to be delivered and assessed online so learners can still complete qualifications in spite of restrictions.

Newbattle Abbey College is the national accreditation centre for the Adult Achievement awards. The college produces Learner Guides, Reflective Journals and Tutor Guides and organises training programmes for tutors. It also provides administrative support and quality assurance advice. We recently had Sandra Grieve from Newbattle present to our Adult learning webinar in March 2021 to highlight the relevance of Adult Achievement Awards through an online approach– see her slides here:

For more information on Newbattle Abbey College: Adult Achievement Awards | Newbattle Abbey College

Case Study

Recently we highlighted the work of The Adult Achievement Award Partnership in Dundee and Angus as they creatively adapted the learning to be delivered online. There have been a number of learners who have completed the qualification through distance learning supporting their Health and Wellbeing during lockdown as well as allowing them to complete a qualification. The partnership consists of a number of partner agencies who work together to support and develop the delivery of the award, including a tutor network. The organisations include Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action, Dundee Carers Centre, Dundee City Council CLD, Angus Council Planning and Communities, LEAD Scotland and Alexander Community Development.

See our national Improvement Hub for more information on how the delivery of Adult Achievement awards has been adapted through Covid-19 by Dundee Carers Centre and Brechin and Montrose Communities Team. Adult Achievement Awards – Covid-19 response, developed for online delivery | Practice exemplars | National Improvement Hub (



Glasgow Science Centre Release Free Resources for Community Learning and Development

Education Scotland CLD and Glasgow Science Centre are working in partnership to develop and publicise a wide range of free online resources that can be accessed by community groups and families at any time.

There are a wide range of science topics covered, suitable for different levels, including:

  • GSCAtHome videos span a broad range of science topics and levels, from activities that can be tried at home (for example, make your own water wheel) to understanding energy;
  • The Spark is a family learning science magazine with activities, experiments and quizzes that can be printed for those with limited access to online technology;
  • A Spark of Science audio series are short science sound bites to spark imagination and curiosity;
  • In the run up to COP26, the Our World, Our Impact programme includes a series of interactive online events, discussions, videos, challenges, etc. about climate change;
  • Our World Our Impact Hub is the corresponding one stop shop with resources for beginners right through to advanced lectures, live events, activities and workshops, Q&A sessions, etc.

Curious About: Our Planet Science festival – 18th to 20th February 2021

This online science festival and digital exhibition experience, which is part of the Our World, Our Impact programme, focuses on climate change. The festival will include exciting live sessions such as behind the scenes broadcasts from The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, and live talks with climate scientists and wildlife conservationists, resources and videos, curated content from our partners, a family quiz, sustainable cocktail making, music and more.

Still to come…

Glasgow Science Centre are working on developing two bespoke learning packs for community groups. These will be available on the Our World Our Impact Hub from 1st April 2021:

  • Folklore for Future Learning Pack (Ages 3-10) – Explore the wonders of our planet through the art of storytelling and imagine a greener, healthier future through this easy to use learning pack. Listen along with some of Scotland’s leading storytellers and try out some activities at home – why not have a go at your very own story!
  • Preparing for a ‘Just Transition’ (Ages 13+) – Discover the opportunities and challenges Scotland faces in reducing our environmental impact. This learning pack explores the perspectives of people of all ages and backgrounds through group discussions, activities, and engaging resources.

CLD at GSC – Get in touch

GSC has a dedicated Community Learning and Development (CLD) team which works in partnership with community organisations to help communities build their confidence in STEM. An understanding of how STEM relates to their everyday lives can break down barriers, promote change and empower. The CLD team brings science learning to communities through a unique blended programme of outreach, online digital workshops, group work, capacity building and professional development and they are always looking to develop opportunities for community partnerships.

GSC online digital community workshops, called ‘Let’s Talk About…’ are a range of discussion-based everyday science and environmental workshops, designed to relate science to individuals’ everyday lives and build confidence. Topics include Science, Astronomy, Energy, Weather and Climate, plus more to come. If you are interested in finding out more about the online workshops, please contact the CLD team at GSC directly via email:

You can also find out more about the CLD team at GSC here:

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