Get Ready for Rio+20 – UN Conference on Sustainability

WATCH again: See our Glow meet live from Rio+20 where young people from across Scotland put questions to Stewart Stevenson MSP, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change.

What are your green dreams for the future? 

Between 20-22 June 2012 world leaders will gather in the Brazilian city of Rio for crucial talks at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The conference, referred to as Rio+20, will mark 20 years since the historic Earth Summit in the same city in 1992 which put issues such as climate change and the protection of biodiversity on the map and gave birth to Agenda 21 – an action plan for a sustainable future which was adopted by national governments, cities and local authorities across the world. The establishment of the international Eco-Schools movement was another practical outcome of this process.

The 1992 Earth Summit achieved much but clearly there are still many challenges to be addressed if we are to build a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

The hopes and expectations for Rio+20 are high and the preparations have highlighted seven priority areas including: decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness. Rio+20 is a chance to move away from business-as-usual and to take bold steps to end poverty and address environmental destruction.

Sustainability in Scotland

The document, A Flourishing Scotland, produced for Rio+20 outlines the many achievements we should celebrate with regards to Scotland’s success in promoting sustainable development education. IN the context of the Rio Summit it may be of interest to note that Chapter 36 of the Agenda 21 document, which focussed on education, was written by a Scot – Professor John Smyth.

However, other key achievements nationally include: the embedding of sustainable development education, global citizenship and outdoor learning within Curriculum for Excellence; we also have one of the most successful Eco-Schools programme in the world with over 98% of local authority school registered; and Scotland has shown leadership on a world stage by introducing ambitious targets on climate change and in planning for our transition to a low-carbon economy. By 2020 it is estimated that 130,000 people will be employed in low carbon and green industries in Scotland and that renewable energy will provide 100% of our energy needs. Scotland is also the only county in the world to have debated the issue of climate justice in its parliament.

Whilst much has been achieved, there is still work to be done. Nevertheless, there is a real opportunity for Scotland to show leadership on a world stage with regards to its commitment to sustainable development and to set an example for other nations to follow.

What you can do

Our ambition is that every learner in Scotland recognises themselves as a global citizen; has a strong commitment to living sustainably and has an enthusiasm for the outdoors and nature.

You can help by ensuring that global citizenship, sustainable development education and outdoor learning are on your school improvement plan and embedded in your curriculum. Make these areas the responsibility of everyone in your school, not just the eco-warrior or group, so your school can adopt a successful whole school approach and make an impact on every learner.

Professional learning – read Learning for Change: Scotland’s Action Plan for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and make use of our resources on sustainable development education, global citizenship and outdoor learning.

Join our online community to share practice and ideas with other practitioners around Scotland and engage in professional dialogue.

Activity ideas

Raise the profile of the conference in your own school or community – organise your own version of the Rio+20 conference.

Invite learners to develop their green dreams – what is their vision of a more sustainable future? What would they like to see happen in the next 20 years? What would their message to world leaders be?

 Web links

Official website of the Rio+20 Summit

Twitter – follow the conversation at #Rioplus20

My green dream – add your voice and dream to thousands of others

Education Scotland Online

Sustainable development education pages and videos

Global citizenship resources

Outdoor learning resources

Weather and Climate Change

Exploring Climate Change

Schools Global Footprint


Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum have created a Rio+20 resource pack for schools and youth groups. This resource pack can be downloaded from the Eco-Schools Scotland website. Hard copies, plus the accompanying DVD, can be ordered via email:

WWF has produced a free Rio+20  teaching resource and associated competition for young people aged 11-14 years. Download for free at:

Download the special edition Living Planet Report – On the Road to Rio produced by WWF.

Stop Climate Chaos has produced Rio+20 resources for students and teachers. Download from:

Going bananas about Algebra!

Join us in Glow TV on Thursday 31st May at 2pm for this very different ways of learning about algebra.

This lesson will show basic uses of algebra using bananas as an everyday context, and be mainly suitable for P4 pupils.

During the live transmission Tom Renwick from Maths on Track will be seen working with a P4 class, initially measuring the weights of three bananas labelled a, b and c and then going on to evaluate simple expressions such as a+b and a-b etc.

Towards the end of the event you will have the weights of three bananas measured in your own classroom and your pupils will be invited to evaluate simple expressions based on their own data.

As in most areas of maths lack of associated numeracy numeracy skills can hamper understanding, so Tom has prepared graded practice sheets (three pdf’s provided in Supporting Materials and suitable for smart board use) showing the numeracy skills which will be associated with the algebra the lesson, given that bananas usually weigh between 100g and 200g.

It would be beneficial if pupils watching the live transmission were reasonably competent with these numeracy skills beforehand since it’s Tom’s intention to have as many P4 pupils as possible ‘going bananas about algebra’!

Sign up and join us in Glow TV!

Understanding Social Enterprise Programme (Perth)

The CLD Standards Council, in partnership with the Scottish Social Enterprise Academy, is offering a free two day Understanding Social Enterprise programme to CLD practitioners who work directly with young people in Scotland. The event will take place in Perth on 20th and 21st June 2012. The programme will introduce the concept of social enterprise, the challenges faced by enterprises and assess the future for this dynamic and emerging business model.This learning programme also offers an opportunity for participants to gain an Institute of Leadership and Management Award in Understanding Social Enterprise qualification (6 credits at SCQF level 8). Participants who wish to opt in for the qualification will be required to complete an assessed written report and to meet an ILM Registration and Qualification Fee of £82.00.

The booking form and programme can be downloaded here

Curriculum for Excellence: Have you made the link?

Glasgow, 27-Jun-2012

The reach of Curriculum for Excellence aims to be wider than schools. There is increasing emphasis on it being a lifelong learning curriculum, requiring us to evidence how we can play our part in its implementation.

Learning Link Scotland is working in partnership with Education Scotland Communities Team to run a new one day workshop to help you make links between your work in adult learning/CLD and Curriculum for Excellence. The Workshop will explore:

  • Key features of Curriculum for Excellence
  • What links CfE to your practice in adult learning/CLD
  • Why do you need to engage with CfE?
  • Linking CfE to How Good is Our CLD?

The event is open to voluntary organisations and local authorities. There will only be 20 places available at this event. It costs £20 for members of Learning Link Scotland and £25 for non-members.

Sign up now

Contact: Learning Link Scotland, [ e-mail | website ]

LEAP Online

SCDC is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new software package to support participatory, outcome focused planning and evaluation.

LEAP – Learning Evaluation and Planning is a values based approach to planning and evaluating work with communities and is now available as an online software application. The user friendly online version encourages users to ask critical questions about their project or programme, and it is designed to support joint working by allowing access to shared project aims and reports among various partners and stakeholders.

Download the LEAP online flyer for more information.

Contact: SCDC, phone: 0141 248 1924 [ e-mail | website ]

Credit Ratings of Programmes Within the Community Learning and Development Sector

Invitation to Submit Proposals

Over the last two years The SCQFP made funding available to a range of organisations that supported the wider achievement of young people. This resulted in seven programmes being credit rated onto the Framework. Now that these have been allocated an SCQF level and credit points it allows them to be compared with other Scottish qualifications.

This year the SCQFP, with funding from the Scottish Government, would like to start a project to run over three years to enable a number of CLD learning programmes to be credit rated onto the Framework. SCQFP is looking for organisations to submit bids to have their learning programmes credit rated, during this financial year.

In addition, a number of other CLD organisations could be supported to develop their learning programmes into the structure required for credit rating with a view to submitting them in the next stage of this project if funding is continued from Scottish Government during 2013-14.

The Closing date for receipt of submissions is Thursday 21 June 2012.

More information is available here.

Download the CLD Credit Rating Project application form here.