National Tree for Scotland

Scotland boasts truly wonderful trees, woods and forests.

Some trees are native to Scotland, while others have found a home here after being introduced for the purposes of tourism, recreation or the timber industry. These trees fulfil vital roles in our environment – all whilst locking away millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

It has been suggested that Scotland should have a national tree to symbolise the importance of our forests and woodlands.

Forestry Commission Scotland is running a National Consultation for a National Tree for Scotland on behalf of Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

The consultation aims to find out the public’s opinions via two questions;

  • Should there be a national tree for Scotland? And why?
  • If you would like a national tree for Scotland, what species would you like and why?

The consultation runs until 3rd December and the Minister would like to engage with as many schools and education establishments as possible.

There are two main ways for schools to get involved:

There are a range of connections to the curriculum that could be made depending on what angle teachers wish to make: political literacy, studying Scotland, learning for sustainability for example.

All details, including interesting facts can be found at

For further information click:   


Sciences Conversation Day 2

Delegates attending our second conversation day at Bishopbriggs Academy identified four priority themes for the sciences:

  1. Equity in education – science for all
  2. The importance of planning across school clusters
  3. Career long professional learning and support for practitioners
  4. Partnerships

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views regarding the second priority which addressed the importance of planning across school clusters.

Delegates saw cluster working as being important for a number of reasons:

  • It is a key way of ensuring primary and secondary colleagues can learn from each other, and also build an understanding of learning and expectations for learners in each sector
  • It provides opportunities to support the professional development of practitioners
  • Issue of priorities – will clusters have science on their list of subjects to cover?
  • Pressures of resource and time to establish and continue effective clusters.  Teacher cover can be an issue, despite local authorities provide funds to pay
  • Need to give teachers adequate time for professional learning. Could an allocation be offered for a ‘block’ of cover for science?
  • Stronger cluster work could help address lack of consistency in primary experiences across a local authority – benefits for secondary in terms of ensuring good pupil progression.

 Primary and primary/secondary transition should be seen as a priority for cluster working:

  • STEM needs to be on school improvement plans
  • Will see benefits for learners once they reach secondary school in terms of seamless transition/progression
  • We need to avoid the fresh start approach in secondary schools – a greater focus on transition and progression is required
  • More time is required for secondary teachers teaching S1 secondary classes to work with primary counterparts
  • How can we encourage schools to use exemplification, and build on what is already being done?
  • Pressures of asking primary schools to take on development of all subjects
  • Signposting of support needed – what’s the best use of school funds and time?
  • Important to ensure smooth transitions, not just from primary to secondary, but also beyond school education into HE/FE or work.

 Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment.