Tag Archives: Global Citizenship

10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

hurricane katrina3This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

It also marks the week that New Orleans launch their resilience road map which they hope will help them tackle climate and social challenges, like poverty, racial inequality and crime.  They are keen for the public’s awareness of environmental issues to be improved so their road map stresses the importance of implementing projects that will help urban areas live with stormwater – not keep it out.

This project is a joint effort between the city and Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative.

As a practitioner you could use this information to compare and contrast New Orleans with Glasgow which is also part of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative.  Both cities have suffered from flooding, what are the similarities and differences?

This could also be used as a context for looking more closely at the climate change issue.

Education Scotland’s Ready for Emergencies and Weather and Climate Change websites could help with this further through their teaching and learning resources.

#TellTheUN your experiences of life in Scotland

UN_5Organised in conjunction with SCCYP (Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People), The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is sending a representative to Scotland to find out about young people’s lives in our country― and they’d like to hear your views.

If you’re under 18, you can use the hashtag #TellTheUN on Twitter to highlight your experiences – good or bad – of life in Scotland. You could also include what you think needs to happen to improve access to your rights. We’ll then send them to UN representative Amal Aldoseri ahead of her visit to Scotland on Thursday 3 September.

Topics which you might want to think about could include:

  • your school
  • your community
  • your experiences of health services
  • your family
  • your work.

thumbnail2If you don’t use Twitter you can forward questions to Amal by posting replies on the following Glow blog. Teachers and pupils will require a Glow login to do so.


1415208720655Amal will talk to children in a special Glow TV event from 9:30am to 10am on Thursday 3 September about the views and opinions she recieves. While she’ll be able to take some comments directly, it’s best that children’s views are submitted to us by Tuesday 1 September, so we can forward them to Amal in advance.

Email SCCYP the views of children you teach.

Sign your class up to see Amal on Glow.

Community resilience mini conference report


To find out what was discussed at the very successful networking event held by Education Scotland on 5th June at the Menzies Hotel in Glasgow download the mini conference report.

The focus was on making links between community resilience and Curriculum for Excellence with a focus on science, health and wellbeing and social studies.  Educators and community resilience professionals came together to raise awareness of the opportunities for community resilience within Curriculum for Excellence that would enable a partnership approach to promoting community resilience in schools.

£100 million waste water tunnel

shieldhall tunnelGlasgow’s sewers have not been updated since Victorian times so they are prone to flooding. Scottish Water have invested £100 million into the Shieldhall Tunnel in the south of Glasgow to combat this.

If you are a community resilience professional, this is an opportunity to engage with schools. It can be linked to work on weather, flooding and climate change.

How?  You could meet with the  Eco-Committee of  schools in the surrounding area (it will run between Queen’s Park and Craigton Industrial Estate via Pollok Park and Bellahouston Park), tell them about the work being done and encourage them to share this with their own class. Offer to give a tour of the scheme.

If you don’t live in this area then contact your local school about the flood protection scheme near them.  Help them find out more about it.

Contact Eilidh.Soussi@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk for further support with this.


Community resilience networking event Dec 4th 2015

Target audience: community resilience officers keen to engage with schools, teachers, QIO’s, middle and senior managers.

Ferguslie Park FloodingScotland’s climate is changing and communities across Scotland are becoming increasingly affected by flooding and extreme weather events.  We want our young people to be prepared!  If you would like to find out how to engage young people with this issue through science, health and wellbeing and social studies then come along to the next community resilience networking event. It is a free event and will take place on 4th December 2015 at Atlantic Quay, Glasgow.

This event follows on from a very successful networking day held by Education Scotland in June. The focus was on making links between community resilience and Curriculum for Excellence. Educators and community resilience professionals came together to raise awareness of the opportunities for community resilience within Curriculum for Excellence that would enable a partnership approach to promoting community resilience in schools.

To find out what was discussed and to give you a flavour of the next event, download the mini conference report.

There will be marketplace opportunities to promote your organisation or community resilience activities taking place in your school. Email joanne.walker@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk if you are interested in having a stall.

Book your place here.







Global interest in climate change

Climate change is an important global issue.  Barak Obama has recently spoken out about it and even One Direction have joined the discussion.  Now religious leaders have been adding their support…


Engage students with comments from the Pope and Islamic leaders on climate change.

Climate change was given worldwide attention through an encyclical from the Pope on 18th June, explaining his latest teaching. He states that human activity in developed industrialised countries is doing the most damage to the climate; http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?_r=0



1.6 billion Muslims have been called on to play an active role in tackling climate change by Islamic leaders.  Furthermore they want all nations and their leaders to commit to a zero emissions strategy ASAP;


This is an excellent opportunity to get a discussion going in your classroom on a very topical issue.



Can nuclear power solve the energy gap?

future learn



Sam Smidt is one of the lead educators on The Open University’s free online course, The Science of Nuclear Energy. In this post, she discusses whether nuclear power can – or should – have a role in our future.

nuclaera power

Decommissioning old coal, gas and nuclear power stations in the 2020s will result in a shortfall of energy in the UK – an “energy gap.” The debate about how best to make up that shortfall really polarises public opinion. Should we invest in nuclear energy? Will renewable energy provide enough to fill the gap?

Many people believe we should commit to renewable energy sources, such as wind, wave and solar energy, which are carbon free and don’t carry any of the risks and concerns about nuclear energy.

But renewables carry their own problems – the supply of energy is intermittent, they are still relatively expensive, and there are lots of issues about where to site wind or solar farms.

So, why are there concerns about nuclear power and are they founded? What are the pros and cons of nuclear power?

The pros and cons of nuclear power

On the plus side, it’s the most straightforward way of reducing the UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. It would offer energy security, meaning we would be less dependent on imported power and we can assure the fuel needed for the full lifetime of a new reactor.

But on the minus side, it’s expensive to build new reactors and investors won’t get a return on their investment for many years and therefore want guarantees about the return they will get.

There are environmental risks which were highlighted recently by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011. This led Germany to cancel its entire nuclear programme.

Then there are the issues around nuclear waste – while new reactors must have plans for dealing with the waste designed in from the outset, there is still lots of uncertainty about how to deal with the long-term storage of nuclear waste from the last half century.

Should nuclear power solve the energy gap?

So, can nuclear power solve the energy gap? The answer to this is a fairly certain yes, so perhaps a better question is “Should nuclear power solve the energy gap?” The answer to that is much harder to give.

What is clear is that the energy gap should be addressed in more than one way. While nuclear power may be one facet of our future energy portfolio, green, renewable energy sources must continue to be developed and should form an increasing part of our energy portfolio.

The potential for smart meters and increased energy efficiency measures must be exploited faster to change the way we consume electricity. By being smarter in the ways in which we consume energy and diversifying the ways in which we generate energy, we might be able to minimise our dependence on energy sources that we are not comfortable with.

What do you think? Should nuclear power solve the energy gap? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below or using #FLnuclear15. Or to find out more about the intricacies of this debate, join the free online course, The Science of Nuclear Energy.

Solar Roadways


NLSC logo engage





A crowd funding web site recently raised more than two million US dollars to fund solar roadways. These roads, claim the developers, will remain snow-free, and, at the click of a switch, can be transformed into car parks or even sports pitches. In this activity students consider whether solar roadways are worth funding. They critique claims using reasoning and evidence, and apply what they know about generating electricity in solar cells, to make a decision.

Curriculum links include energy transfers, renewable energy sources, wave motion: waves transferring energy

Community resilience activities around Scotland

Community resilience activities around Scotland:

Please see below for the latest information on what’s happening in education and resilience:

Glow meet Watch Again

An enthusiastic and inspiring nineteen year old organised a trip to Greenland with three friends last summer to record the impact of climate change on the landscape and on the people. He will be discussing the footage he took and the soundtrack he recorded.  This can all be found on Education Scotland’s Weather and Climate Change page.

I would be grateful if you could pass this information  on to any of your local schools who might be interested in this.

This summer he is planning a trip to the Himalayas where again he will be recording his findings and sharing with Education Scotland.  He is a very engaging and enthusiastic presenter and this will hopefully encourage discussion in classrooms about the effects of a changing climate.

Community Resilience Networking Event 5th June 2015 in the Menzies Hotel, Glasgow

Target audience: teachers, school managers, local authority education officers, community resilience officers, flood planners, emergency planning officers and civil contingency officers.

This event is free.  To book a place at this event please click on this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C66DZ8N It is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment. For any questions about the event please contact: Joanne.Walker@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk


Ready for Emergencies website update

This is a resource aimed at teachers to help them deliver community resilience themed lessons in the classroom.  What could you add?

We need photos, case studies and footage to really help bring the learning to life.  We’d be really grateful if you were able to add anything to the website, please let me know if you do. Many thanks for your help with this.

Local Authorities

Scottish Borders Council

Education Scotland visited Earlston High School at the start of May to observe a resilience themed day organised by S3 pupils, Principal Teacher of Guidance Scott Watson and Kevin Sewell Assistant Emergency Planning Officer– Photos taken by the press team  The Pupils from Earlston High School took part in a number of exercises to give them an insight into dealing with emergency situations.  The exercises were run by a number of outside agencies including Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Borders Search and Rescue Unit, Salvation Army, Scottish Borders Council, British Red Cross and Police Scotland.

Highland Council

Education Scotland visited Safe Highlanders earlier this month.  It is an annual event that promotes community safety, health and crime prevention to pupils. Primary 7 pupils get their chance to experience a number of potentially hazardous situations and participate in a range of simulated practical exercises. It is organised by The Highland Council, High Life Highland, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish and Southern Energy, Scorrish Environment Protection Agency, British Red Cross, Institute of Safety and Health, and Fujitsu.

Perth and Kinross, Angus and Dundee Councils

There’s a similar event to Highland Council’s, called Safe Taysiders. It takes place over two weeks in May and is for P7 pupils in the Perth and Kinross, Angus and Dundee council areas. It involves a range of partners delivering hazard and safety advice.

Glasgow City Council

This is another website that has information on different cities and how they are resilient. Glasgow has recently become a part of this.

On this website you can search for other cities that have similar or different issues to Glasgow.

Essex Council

This council has a Developing Community Resilience Through Schools project.  This project aims to increase the resilience of schools to emergencies by providing national resources for schools to use: ‘What if? Molly and Ben go to the beach’ ‘What if? Molly and Ben are flooded…’ ‘What if? Molly and Ben have a power cut!’ ‘What if? The weather is bad…’
Please do get in touch!














Primary school Euroquiz 2015 – winners


Yesterday a team of four P6 pupils from Carmondean primary school, Livingston, West Lothian, emerged as the winners of the 2015 Euroquiz organised by the Scottish European Educational Trust. Pupils from more than 400 primary schools in 30 local authorities took part in this year’s competition, with the national finals held in the Scottish Parliament chamber on Monday 11th May. The young people involved displayed a range of learning and skills, dazzling the audience of teachers and parents with their knowledge about Europe and the European Union and their skills in the languages round. Experiences such as this contribute to the development of young global citizens.

St.Mary’s primary school, Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire was the runner up, and Alloway primary school, South Ayrshire took third place.

The Scottish Parliament TV service broadcast the finals event live, and many schools watched remotely to see how their teams performed and attempt to answer the questions themselves. Video of the event can be watched on the Parliament TV website.

The competition was sponsored by the European Parliament. The quiz finals were chaired by Scottish Parliament’s Deputy Presiding Officer, Elaine Smith MSP, with answers identified by Per Johansson, Head of Office for the European Parliament in Edinburgh.

Congratulations to all the pupils and teachers who participated, and thanks to all the organisations which assisted in the running of the local heats and national finals.