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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:

Summary of CLD Covid Resources now on National Improvement Hub

Education Scotland have developed a Summary of Community Learning and Development (CLD) Covid Recovery Resources page on the National Improvement Hub. This new landing page will collate and highlight Covid-19 guidance, practitioner resources, research and case studies relevant to the CLD sector.

Please get in touch with if there is any information you would like to add to this page.

Family Learning during Adult Learners Week 2020

by Susan Doherty

A brief history of Family Learning and how it links to Adult Learning in Scotland…

Family Learning encourages family members to learn together as and within a family, with a focus on intergenerational learning. Family learning activities can also be specifically designed to enable parents to learn how to support their children’s learning.

‘Family learning is a powerful method of engagement and learning which can foster positive attitudes towards life-long learning, promote socio-economic resilience and challenge educational disadvantage’ (Family Learning Network, 2016).

To highlight the amazing work in family learning during Adult Learning Week I thought it would be good to reflect on where we have come from and all of the hard work that practitioners have done to get us to where we are today…

In 2016 we worked with practitioners, researchers, policy colleagues and stakeholder/partner agencies to write the Review of Family learning in Scotland. This document set out to capture what practice, research, policy and strategy looked like at that time and set out some key recommendations to take forward. These recommendations formed the building blocks of what family learning looks like in Scotland today.

At its core family learning is an approach to engaging families in learning outcomes that have an impact on the whole family. It can support improved attainment, attitudes towards lifelong learning, health and wellbeing, confidence etc. which leads to positive outcomes for both adults and children. Family learning is a negotiated process born out of the needs of families and the individuals within them. It builds the capacity from where people are and celebrates in their successes. Although universal, family learning can be used as an early intervention and prevention approach which reaches the most disadvantaged communities and can help close the attainment gap through breaking the inter-generational cycles of deprivation and low attainment. For adults this can be the first step to re-engage with their own learning and help them to support their child’s.

Since 2016 we have developed the Family Learning Framework  and informed the Engaging parents and families – A toolkit for practitioners. Family learning is also present in the ELC Realising the Ambition, CLD Adult Learning Statement of Ambition, and HIGIOS 4 and HGIOELC documents. This highlights the breadth of where family learning can and does have an impact – from early learning to adult learning. Practitioners have shaped all of these documents and their voices can be heard throughout.

Engaging families in a family learning programme can have an impact on their immediate identified need however through research we also know it can extend beyond the duration of the intervention and provide lasting impacts and improved outcomes.​

In practice family learning can take many forms which is driven by the needs of the families. Family learning practitioners are creative, nurturing and responsive to the needs of their families and understand their communities and the challenges that they face. They almost always work in partnership which supports robust services that have strong referral pathways for further learning as appropriate. Practice has shown us that practitioners value the time families spend together over a coffee to chat and build relationships and fun is the magic ingredient that keeps them coming back.

We have many wonderful case studies that we can share with you from across Scotland and we would encourage you to look for more on the National Improvement Hub. Here are just some that you may find interesting:

For more information on Family Learning, Parental Involvement/Engagement and Learning at Home, or to share your practice, please contact: and/or