Tag Archives: Sustainable Development

Remember, remember the 6th of November!! SEWeb Glow Meet

Scotland’s Environment – Glow Meet

11am – 12pm, Wednesday 6th November 2013

Calling all citizen scientists!!!

Trying to change, protect and improve your local environment for the better? Collecting information to contribute to our knowledge of the natural environment?  Ready to share your research, data and ideas with us?

Scotland’s environment is world-famous and draws tourists and visitors from across the globe. It needs to be protected but many of the challenges facing our environment are complex, and can only be solved in partnership; a partnership which involves children, young people and adults working together as citizen scientists.

This Glow meet will explain how you can get involved and to better understand, care for and improve Scotland’s environment. We want to hear about:

  • All the ways you have been collecting, measuring, observing and recording information about your local environment
  • Your views and ideas on what needs to change to improve our environment and what role you are playing making it happen.

You will be able to question and share you information and ideas with our panel of experts and the school which most impresses the judges will win a superb prize!

The session will be led by:

  • Debbie Bassett, Head of the Biodiversity Team in Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Martin Marsden, Head of Environmental Quality in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. 
  • Nick Wright, Scottish Wildife Trust

Visit http://bit.ly/SEWeb to register and join the Glow meet on the day.

Further links:

Scotland’s Environment website  http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/

Scottish environment youth discussion  http://bit.ly/19dnExK

Competition details :http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/get_involved/young_people/youth_discussion.aspx

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  www.forestry.gov.uk/scotlandsnationaltree

For further information click: www.forestry.gov.uk/yearofnaturalscotland   


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.

Resource Guide for the Sciences

Following on from the STEM programme of events at the Scottish Learning Festival Education Scotland has produced a resource guide for the sciences.

The guide provides links to useful websites, relevant documentation, on line resources and methods of communicating about the sciences.

For example:

access the updated 3-18 sciences impact report

visit STEM Central to explore a wide variety of activities and learning experiences

keep up to date with STEM news through our twitter feed

To access and download a copy of the science resource guide click  Education Scotland Sciences Resource Guide

Sciences 3-18 curriculum impact report 2013 update

This week Education Scotland published an update of the 3-18 Sciences Impact Report. The updated report evaluates current practice, supplements the good practice exemplars, reports on progress made regarding aspects of development in the 2012 report and highlights important areas for discussion and further development.

The evidence presented in this report tells us that children and young people are developing a range of knowledge, understanding and skills in the sciences and achievement is strong and improving.

The report is intended to continue to help practitioners reflect on how well they are developing these capacities, how much more needs to be done and act as a hub for ongoing professional dialogue and development.

There is a summary of the report written specifically for children and young people and, in response to practitioner feedback, there is now a separate document outlining the examples of good practice.

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views about the report and its findings. Visit the Talk with us blog http://bit.ly/GCHeZw   to share your thoughts on how best we can improve sciences education for all learners in Scotland. 

To download the report and associated documentation visit: The Sciences 3-18

Royal Horticultural Society – The Edible School Garden

Royal Horticultural Society

The Edible School Garden
Dumfries House, KA18 2NJ – Tuesday 19th November 2013, 10 am – 3 pm

Kilbarchan Primary School, PA10 2LA Thursday 28th November 2013, 10 am – 3 pm
To give teachers of all age groups the skills to confidently grow and manage a simple productive garden throughout the year. To ensure that produce is used in tasting, cooking and enterprise activities. Every school should be a food growing school.
At the end of this course you will:
a) Have the knowledge and skills to sow and grow the RHS top 14 fruits, vegetables and herbs for the school garden, to provide a range of fresh, healthy produce throughout the school year
b) Get hints and tips on tasting and cooking with the produce, outside in the garden and in the school canteen
c) Know how to add value to your produce through correct harvesting and storage, preserving and other simple enterprise ideas.
Experience: Suitable for beginners and those with some experience.
CPD Provider

Angela Smith

RHS Development Officer for Scotland

Outdoor Learning with the National Parks Inspiring Landscapes – Inspiring Learning

Senior Leaders Professional Learning Event – Dounans Centre, Aberfoyle: Friday 20th September 2013

A one day event for head teachers and deputy head teachers, focusing on whole school approaches, inspection and self-evaluation for school managers. Delegates will hear from senior managers, education officers and others with experience of outdoor learning in the context of school improvement.

Staff Professional Learning Weekend – Dounans Centre, Aberfoyle: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd September 2013

This opportunity is aimed at staff from all schools and settings within the partner authorities, and will provide inputs from project and centre staff, from the National Park ranger service, and from Education Scotland staff to support you in embedding Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning in your school or nursery. As well as a variety of ‘sharing good practice’ sessions run by teachers across all sectors.

The weekend will provide staff with practical tools, ideas and inspiration for developing progressive and frequent outdoor learning opportunities for pupils which will support and enrich all aspects of their learning.

Spaces are still available on these programmes for further information contact


Workshops Staff Professional Learning Weekend

Staff CLPL residential weekend 2013 – info for schools

Final Programme Staff PL Weekend

Final Programme School Leaders

Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award Challenge 2013

SCOTTISH ENGINEERING SPECIAL LEADERS AWARD CHALLENGE – “If you could be an engineer in Scotland – what would you do?”

 Scottish Engineering and the Leaders Award are challenging Primary and Secondary school pupils in Scotland to consider what they would do if they were an engineer.

The challenge addresses many of the Experiences and outcomes within Curriculum for Excellence and, at secondary level, the project will meet the requirements of level 4/5 National Qualification in Engineering Science. 

 To participate, research engineering in Scotland, download resources from www.leadersaward.com, talk to practicing engineers and complete an annotated illustration answer to the challenge question. Discover the numerous career paths an engineer can follow.

 Already there are over 60 primary and secondary schools registered to be a part of the challenge, many of which have already put in their requests for help from engineers. 

 Closing date for all entries is 20th November 2013, with the best entries going on display on 20th December 2013 in Glasgow City Councils Banqueting Hall.

 Register here.


Scotland’s Environment Web has a unique set of on-line guidance and digital tools to help people set up their own public environmental monitoring projects.

 Public monitoring or ‘citizen science’ can be described as “scientific activities in which non-professional scientists volunteer to participate in data collection, analysis and dissemination of a scientific project…”. It can be a great, fun way to gather information and get involved – scientists need your help!

 Whether you are a teacher keen to get your students outdoors, a member of the public wanting to get more involved in your local environment, or an organisation wanting to set up a project, there is something in the Scotland’s Environment Web toolkit for you. The tools make it easier to start and run a project, using some of the new digital technology to help. 

 The site provides a Guide to Citizen Science and a Teacher’s Guide.

Click on the link to access Scotland’s Environment Website: http://bit.ly/18JGXwU

Free CPD with the Royal Horticultural Society

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening aims to encourage and support schools to develop and actively use a school garden. As part of the Campaign they provide teachers with resources through this website and an extensive programme of CPD days.  Fabulous edible garden and playground ideas, like the recycled pallet pictured here.

Why get involved?

Join the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and reap the benefits for your school:

  • Free start-up kit following registration on this website.
  • Rewards and certificates for your progress on the new benchmarking scheme.
  • Access to useful information and advice that will help you use your school’s garden to greater effect.
  • Regular news and items of interest sent to you by e-mail.
  • Access to a national programme of RHS CPD daysPlaces still available for June 6th!


Contact your Scottish Regional Advisor for course information.

Angela Smith

Development Officer for Scotland

Education, Funding and Communities



Mission:Explore celebrates John Muir with launch of a new ebook

A partnership between the John Muir Trust and Mission:Explore – a group of teachers, artists, activists and adventurers – has launched a free ebook to introduce the great explorer, naturalist, writer, mountaineer and conservationist to a new audience.

Supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, Mission:Explore – John Muir, features a range of activities that reflect the adventures and ethos of the Victorian Scot, whose 175th birthday will be celebrated this month in his adopted homeland the USA as well as in the land of his birth.

It encourages people of all ages – including groups and families – to follow in the footsteps of Muir by taking part in an imaginative set of ‘missions’, which involve looking, touching, walking, exploring, thinking, and even dancing in wild nature wherever they find it.

Suggested activities range from observing how frogs swim to getting windswept, creating a mini-National Park, and staring at the stars.

The book launch ties in perfectly with Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and its theme of celebrating John Muir. There is already interest across the UK and in America.

Your ebook is free to download from Mission:Explore and John Muir Award web pages, and can be used on smart phones, laptops and tablets, or printed off and read in the old-fashioned way.

Link to John Muir Award launch page – http://www.jmt.org/jmaward-mission-explore-john-muir.asp
Link to Mission:Explore launch page – http://www.missionexplore.net/shop

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Guerilla Geographer at Mission:Explore, said: “Mission:Explore and the John Muir Award have much in common. We’re both all about discovering, exploring, conserving and sharing, so making this book together made perfect sense.

“We had a great time making it and we’re sure that our readers will have an even better time doing each of the quirky adventures inside. Good luck!”

“These missions are great, you can really see the spark they’ve generated with teachers.” Carol Walker, South Lanarkshire Outdoor Learning Development Officer

Featuring 20 activities that reflect the adventures and ethos of the Victorian Scot, you can access the free Mission:Explore John Muir eBook or PDF in a number of ways:

• eBook – on-line with Graphicly http://graphicly.com/mission-explore/mission-explore-john-muir/john-muir
• eBook for iPhone or iPad – via ‘Mission Explore John Muir’ in iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/mission-explore-john-muir/id627660952?mt=11
• eBook from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=The%20Geography%20Collective&search-alias=books-uk&sort=relevancerank
• Printable PDF version (5.3MB) from http://www.jmt.org/jmaward-mission-explore-john-muir.asp

Find hundreds of other missions on the Mission:Explore website http://www.missionexplore.net

About Mission:Explore

• Mission:Explore is a collection of books created by the Geography Collective, a unique team of over 25 geographers, teachers, educators and artists who work together to help young people explore and see the world in new ways. It makes books full of illustrated challenges that aim to make children a little more confident, happy, empathetic and knowledgeable.They think that learning in the real world, in real places and about real issues are vital to any childhood.

• Mission:Explore has won awards including National Trust & Hay Festival Outdoor Book of the Year 2011, and a Pink Stinks approved stamp for being gender neutral.

About Year of Natural Scotland 2013

• The Year of Natural Scotland 2013 is the latest in a series of themed years for the Scottish Government. It aims to highlight Scotland’s stunning natural beauty and biodiversity, and promote opportunities for visitors and residents to enjoy our beautiful landscapes, wildlife and heritage responsibly. http://www.snh.gov.uk/enjoying-the-outdoors/year-of-natural-scotland-2013

About The John Muir Trust

The John Muir Trust is the leading wild land conservation charity in the United Kingdom, with a membership of around 10,000.

We seek to ensure that wild land is protected and enhanced, and that wild places are valued by and for everyone.

The Trust does this by:
• Owning and managing wild land for conservation
• Assisting others in wild land management
• Campaigning for the long-term legal protection of wild land
• Encouraging people to connect with and care for wild places through the John Muir Award and volunteer conservation programmes.

We take our name and inspiration from John Muir (1838-1914), the pioneering, influential Scots-born American conservationist who dedicated his life to protecting wild places and campaigned successfully for the establishment of National Parks to safeguard vast tracts of wild land, including Yosemite Valley in California.

Scotland declared a Fairtrade Nation

Scotland has become one of the world’s first Fair Trade Nations, International Development Minister Humza Yousaf announced this week.

The news comes on the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 and follows a nationwide campaign led by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum that has seen the people of Scotland rally behind Fair Trade principles.

The accolade means people, government, businesses, public bodies and community organisations across Scotland have come together to meet stringent criteria designed to promote Fair Trade.

Speaking ahead of a visit to the Urban Fox project in Glasgow, where he will launch an initiative to supply Fairtrade footballs to youth and sports groups in disadvantaged areas, Mr Yousaf said:

“People in every city and across all local authority areas share a vision of Scotland as a good global citizen, committed to playing its part in addressing poverty.

“That vision includes our commitment to Malawi, to take the lead in climate change, to promote clean drinking water and explains why we have doubled our International Development Fund to £9 million since 2007/08.

“I thank every person, business and organisation who has helped Scotland towards achieving Fair Trade Nation status. In particular I commend the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, who have been instrumental in driving forward our Fair Trade Nation agenda.

“We must now build on today’s achievement and continue to work hard to encourage even greater Scottish support for Fair Trade.

To qualify for Fair Trade Nation status, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF) was required to demonstrate how Scotland had met a series of stringent criteria, including:

  • All seven Scottish cities and at least 55 per cent of local authority areas to have Fairtrade status.
  • All 32 local authorities areas and at least 55 per cent of towns with a population of 5,000 or more to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
  • At least 60 per cent of higher education institutions to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
  • Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to use, promote and make available Fair Trade products internally, and to actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year.
  • Fair Trade to be promoted in schools through the curriculum, procurement and other possible means.
  • Schools, Further Education Institutions, Faith Groups, Trade Unions, business networks, voluntary and youth organisations to pledge to use and promote Fair Trade.
  • 75 per cent of people to buy a Fair Trade product every year.
  • 40 per cent of people to regularly buy Fairtrade products.

Regional events – children’s rights, global citizenship and outdoor learning

Download flyer for regional events

Regional events – children’s rights, global citizenship and outdoor learning

Education Scotland is hosting a series of important regional events in March 2013 to enable schools to explore the implications of two major policy developments – the Children and Young People Bill  and the Learning for Sustainability report.

The Children and Young People Bill, which will be considered by the Scottish Parliament in 2013, sets out a range of proposals for children’s services and will seek to embed the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) across the public sector. This will support the Getting it Right for Every Child approach and also the exciting work taking place in Scottish schools to engage learners in rights-based education and pupil voice activities.

The Learning for Sustainability report, published in December 2012, sets out a strategic agenda for change for Scottish schools. The report recommends the adoption of a coherent whole school approach to ensure that sustainability, global citizenship and outdoor learning are experienced in a transformative way by every learner in every school across Scotland. The report also includes a number of recommendations relating to career-long professional learning, leadership development and the new GTC Scotland Professional Standards. The Scottish Government will respond to this report in March this year.

In addition, participants will also learn of the many exciting events taking place in 2013/14 to support these aspects of learning including:  the Year of Natural Scotland; Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; the Scottish independence referendum; Homecoming Year; Ryder Cup; David Livingstone’s bicentenary; John Muir’s centenary and the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Through a mixture of workshops, exhibitions and spotlight sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to gain practical ideas and insight from early years, ASN, primary and secondary schools with interesting practice to share. Key national organisations will also be on hand to offer support, resources and advice.

Target audience: The main target audience are school leaders, local authority staff and those with a whole school responsibility for global citizenship, sustainability, children’s rights and outdoor learning.

Sectors: Early years (including partnership providers), ASN, primary and secondary schools.


  • 9:30am – 3:30pm, Wed 13th March – Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
  • 9:30am – 3:30pm, Mon 18th March – Drumossie Hotel, Inverness
  • 9:30am – 3:30pm, Wed 20th March ­– Hampden Stadium, Glasgow.

How to book: Delegate places have been allocated to each local authority to ensure all school sectors and geographical areas are well represented. School or local authority staff should contact their local authority coordinator in the first instance to book.

General bookings will be available from 26th Feb onwards. Please email Willie Bhari: Willie.Bhari@educationscotland.gov.uk  or Tel: 0141 282 5208 to add your name to this waiting list. Cost of attending event: Free.

Learning for Sustainability – report published

Learning for Sustainability – the report of the One Planet Schools Working Group, was published 17 December 2012. 

The report includes strategic recommendations to support the development of coherent whole school approaches to ensure that learning for sustainability, global citizenship and outdoor learning are experienced in a transformative way by every learner in every school across Scotland. The report includes a number of recommendations relating to career-long professional learning and initial teacher education and advocates genuine partnerships with local communities and action to improve the sustainability of the school estate. A key ambition of the report is to provide an agenda for strategic change that will create an enabling framework, remove barriers, and build on existing excellent practice.

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages said:
“I welcome the publication of Learning for Sustainability and would like to thank the Working Group for their work and commitment to producing the report and recommendations. As we approach the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013, the report reminds us of the importance of learning which connects young people to local and global issues, an integral part of Curriculum for Excellence.

“A wide range of actions have been taken as part of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and we welcome steps to encourage and support schools in their approach to sustainability and global citizenship, including through outdoor learning.

“We will take time to consider the report, to engage with partners on its recommendations and respond in full in March 2013.”

The report can be downloaded from:


See the associated Engage in Education blog from Professor Pete Higgins, Chair of the One Planet Schools Working Group: http://engageforeducation.org/news/learning-for-sustainability/

Free CPD from Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Come along to these free CPD sessions by Colin Webster to learn more about the circular economy: a long-term, regenerative industrial system. The idea is taking off in boardrooms and in governments the world over. The only way to tackle the depletion of raw materials with their associated rise in prices and environmental after-effects, is to take a systems approach and design for disassembly.

Secondary school teachers of Design Technology, Business Management, the Sciences, Geography and other subjects will find the circular economy of great value to the curriculum. These interactive CPD sessions include a look at the free teaching and learning resources of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

 Find out more about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org.

In each case, teachers from the local authority should sign up for the CPD via the usual channels. Teachers from outwith the authority should contact colin@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org for more information.

Launch of The Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Impact Project report

Education Scotland today launches The Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Impact Project report. The sciences and social studies reports are the first two reports in a Curriculum Impact series designed to present a subject-by-subject picture of how children and young people are experiencing learning in different areas of the 3-18 curriculum across the country.

Providing subject-specific analysis and evaluation of current practice, based on a range of independent inspection activities, the report identifies emerging innovative and thought-provoking practice, while highlighting important areas for development. Published on the web, the report will be refreshed from time to time with links to newly-identified, practice and evidence, a dynamic approach that will keep the reviews contemporary on an on-going basis, and relevant to developing needs.

A summary for children and young people has also been published, along with a summary of key strengths and aspects for development.

The publication is intended to provide a focus engagement by children and young people, parents, practitioners and the wider sciences community in Scotland.

Through our Sciences 3-18 Impact Project blog, we want to engage all those involved in the sciences 3-18 to talk together  about how we can work together to take forward the key messages of the report.

This outward facing, public blog is a mechanism to allow engagement by all.





Talk with us on bit.ly/sciences3-18.

The STEM Professional Learning Community will also act as a focus for professional dialogue and learning around the Sciences 3-18 Impact Project. Join us, using your Glow login in, on bit.ly/stemhome.

Science on the Menu

Do you have an appetite to run a Science Club?  Hungry for new ideas?  Then our mouth-watering menu of food and drink investigations is for you!  Science on the Menu not only dishes up a tasty feast of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) experiments for upper primary, but also a goody box stuffed with science equipment and teachers’ notes.  S1/S2 can also get a slice of the action by requesting a DVD with a full menu of experiments and teachers’ notes (resource kits are limited to primaries only).  

Pick ‘n’ mix from our range of Light Bites experiments or get your teeth into our four multi-week “mains” projects.

Light Bites:

Tongue Twisters – tasting with your nose

Our Daily Bread – “Rise to the Challenge” by investigating yeast

Tootie Frootie – fruit experiments

ThirstQuenchers – purifying water – “The Deserted Island Challenge”

Takeaway – experiments to do at home



A Lot on Your Plate – investigating starch, sugar, protein etc

Sow ‘n’ Grow – looking at properties of soil

The Chocolate Box – investigating issues at a struggling chocolate factory

The Great Scottish Dessert Challenge – an enterprising project to invent a new frozen dessert – thanks to the wonders of science, no freezer is required!

What’s in the kit?


Test tubes and tongs, pipettes, gloves, pH indicator strips, aprons, gloves, beakers, neodymium magnets, funnels, eyeshields, mortar and pestles, scales, digital thermometer, blotting paper, filter papers, chemicals with safety notes, food colouring, bimetallic strips, batteries and battery holders, marbles, croc clip leads, motors, pulleys, buzzers, switches, Teachers’ Notes and pupil report sheets.


Whetted your appetite?  Then apply for a free kit by 30 September.  A limited number of free investigation kits (valued at £200 per kit) are available for registered primary Young Engineers and Science Clubs – you can register online at www.yecscotland.co.uk   You will be notified by mid October if your application has been successful.  Secondaries are welcome to apply for the DVD.

Dennis the Menace becomes a global citizen

Who’d have thought it? Dennis the Menace becoming a global citizen and the Bash Street Kids growing their own vegetables and getting their 5-a-day!

In the forthcoming special edition of the Beano, primary school pupils will get to see a very different side of their favourite characters. Scottish Business in the Community, a charity that actively encourages businesses from all sectors to improve their impacts on the economy, environment and society, has teamed up with one of its members, DC Thomson, to support the creation of a special edition Beano designed to engage young people in environmental and societal issues in a positive and fun way.

Sent to every primary school pupil in Scotland, the free special edition Beano will incorporate the key themes core to SBC and central to creating a sustainable future for Scotland including: 

  • Environment / visioning the future
  • Health & wellbeing / growing your own veg
  • Employability and soft skills
  • Responsible citizenship and community

 This special edition Beano is supported by a teachers information pack linking to Curriculum for Excellence.

 Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Leaning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, is very supportive of the initiative saying, ‘I welcome the opportunity afforded to schools to use resources such as this to engage the children in positive and more importantly, fun learning experiences.’

 Comics will start arriving in schools towards the end of August.

STEM Central: supporting you to enhance learning and teaching

Our STEM Central Electric Transport context is currently aimed at third and fourth level. In the next school year, we will be publishing an extension to the context for second level. Offering opportunities to embed sustainable development and give insight into STEM in everyday life, the second level extension will highlight green buses on Scottish roads. Last year 15 buses engineered at Alexander Dennis Ltd in Falkirk took to the streets of Edinburgh, with partial funding from the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund.

The video Electric Vocabulary from TEDEd’s YouTube channel tells the story of how “charge” and “battery” became part of our everyday language of “electricity”. Useful for your own background and understanding, or for learners at second level.

STEM Central and Ready for Emergencies?

The Ready for Emergencies? Glow meet on Friday 15th June featuring Stewart Borthwick (Strathclyde Emergency Coordination Group), Sally Dempsey (Red Cross) and Paul Hendy (Director of the Scottish Flood Forum) was interesting and thought provoking. It provides an ideal starter for looking ahead to our forthcoming STEM Central context on Rescue Vehicles.

How do we rescue people in the event of major emergencies such as floods? This time last week up to 150 people were rescued from flooding in Wales, some of them by RNLI lifeboats and by rescue helicopter. In ourSTEM Central Rescue Vehicles context, aimed at second level, we will explore the science of lifeboats and rescue vehicles. The full Ready for Emergencies? resource is available on the Education Scotland website.

Exercise 'Flipper', Carbisdale Castle, Sutherland, Scotland. British Red Cross Emergency Response Training Exercise. Credit Derek Gordon, British Red Cross

One school’s path to sustainability

Lawthorn Primary has applied for its fifth green flag from Eco-Schools Scotland and has also received a gold award from the Woodland Trust, the United Kingdom’s leading woodland conservation charity. Over the last ten years, Lawthorn School has worked hard to earn these accolades, with support from UNESCO, WWF Scotland and other organisations such as Education Scotland and the Carbon Trust. Now the school’s success is being featured on UNESCO’s website ahead of the United Nations canference on Sustainable Devcelopment being held in Rio de Janeiro,  20-22 June 2012.

A major part of the school’s work has been to reduce its global footprint. Schools across Scotland now have access to the School’s Global Footprint resource – a handbook for teachers – and an interactive footprint calculator, which, through a series of questions relating to buildings, energy, food, transport, water and waste, gives an indication of carbon footprint and ecological footprint.

Action has come in many forms but most importantly the children are enthusiastic and passionate, with principal teacher Amanda Milne talking of having to rein the children in. “They wanted to ban all cars from coming into the playground” she says. “And they were convinced we weren’t planting enough trees.”

Visit the UNESCO site to read more, see the video and get the full case study>>

Join our Glow meet from Rio

11am – 12pm Tuesday 19th June 2012

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?

What message will you send to world leaders?

How can Scotland become more sustainable?

What can we expect from this globally important event?

Over 150 heads of state and world leaders will gather in Rio de Janeiro from 20-22nd June 2012 for crucial talks at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Stewart Stevenson MSP, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, will be one of those travelling to Rio as part of the official UK delegation.

Education Scotland, through Glow, is giving you the chance to link with the Minister live from Rio to learn more about the event and the hopes and expectations of the UK delegation.

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. Rio+20 will focus on seven priority areas including: decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.

Rio+20 provides an opportunity to move away from business-as-usual and to take bold steps to end poverty and address environmental destruction.

This will be an interactive Glow meet so get your questions, messages, ideas and green dreams ready for Rio! 

  • What is Scotland doing to protect the environment and promote sustainable development? What more could we be doing?
  • What are your green dreams and ideas for the future? What should we have achieved by the time Rio+40 comes around?
  • What messages would you like the Minister to pass onto other government officials and world leaders when he meets them for discussions?

 This Glow meet will be suitable for learners in primary and secondary schools.  

Free Rio+20 resources are available at: http://bit.ly/JxZr5G

Sharing learning and teaching ideas for early to second level

Participating in in-service today provided an opportunity to talk with practitioners around learning and teaching in science and share some of the ways in which Education  Scotland can provide support. Issues explored included assessment and moderation, a shared understanding of standards, progression, meeting the needs of learners, transitions, using effective partnerships and keeping the curriculum alive and relevant to inspire young learners.

The following were used to exemplify support for practitioners:

STEM Central

Weather and Climate Change

Exploring Climate Change

Marks on the Landscape

Glow TV

Education Scotland Learning blog – sharing by the Development Officers in Education Scotland

STEM Central in Motion blog – sharing by practitioners and partners

Food for Thought leaflet and poster – we will shortly be developing the new Food Security context for STEM Central

STEM Central Learning Journeys from the Sound context, early years and first level due for publication later this month, and the draft second level journeys due for publication within the next few months

Journey to Excellence

NAR (National Assessment Resource)


Glow Science

Practitioners shared resources they also find useful such as Planet Science , I’m a Scientist, get me out of here and I’m an Engineer, get me out of here.

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: kelly.johnstone@ksbscotland.org.uk

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

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: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/rc-youth

STEM Central Electric Transport and a context for learning for the new NQs

Many thanks to our Engineering the Future colleagues for highlighting this link which could be used to enrich learning around the STEM Central electric transport context. In Meet the Inventor of the World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle Michael Czysz talks about making his dream a reality, and what it feels like to travel at 200 mph on a motorbike hearing only the sound of the air.

Thinking about sustainable transport as a context for learning for the new NQs? Along with the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, what about freight ships towed by massive kites to reduce fuel demand? Scope for creative design and practical investigative work with learners in sciences and technologies?

For more on electric transport see  our 13th May blog post STEM Central Electric Transport, the smater Smart car and a context for learning for the new NQs.

Learning for the new NQs: Will Bioenergy play a part in our secure energy future?

Exploring Bioenergy could feature within your plans for learning and teaching for the new NQs in Environmental Science, Physics or Science. What is it? Could it form part of our strategy for energy security in Scotland and the UK?

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published the UK Bioenergy Strategy with  handy “key facts” on the front page. In addition the Frequently Asked Questions highlights issues such as ‘Shouldn’t land used for food production rather than energy crops?’ which could form the basis of debate and investigative work with learners.

This DECC website has, under the “Meeting Energy Demand” tab, information on everything from hydrogen fuel cells to nuclear power, along with easily accessible useful links to relevant websites. This could provide a rich source of background material for your planning associated with our recently published advice and guidance on energy security.

Learning for the new NQs in Environmental Science, Physics or Science: Energy Security and Sustainable Living

If you are planning learning and teaching for the new NQs around themes of energy security and sustainability, the Institute for Public Policy and Research website might be a good port of call. Bringing together articles, publications, reports and rich data this site provides a wealth of information which could be used in your planning, or for learners incorporating numeracy and literacy into learning.

For example, will our household energy bills be increased by use of renewables? What are the options given our increasing energy demands? Is media reporting of renewables fair and balanced? Articles such as Telegraph distorts the truth on energy bills , ITV must show BBC the way on accurate green reporting  and Three ways we can face up to ‘green energy’ backlash make for interesting reading.

Learning for the new NQs: Carbon Capture and Storage

If you are planning for learning and teaching associated with the new National Qualifications in Environmental Science, Physics or Science, the BBC’s short video “Norway tests carbon capture and storage” may be of interest. What is the science behind carbon capture? What are the risks associated with use of this technology? Do we need it?  NASA scientist Dr James Hansen discussed the future of coal-fired power stations with carbon capture technologies in a Scottish and UK context at the recent Edinburgh International Science Festival, ahead of his award of the prestigious Edinburgh Medal. As experimental capture gets underway in Scotland, the Zero Emissions Platform website provides a wealth of information.

Learning for the new NQs: Research tie in with Food Security

At the beginning of May, The James Hutton Institute announced the award of £1.25 million to work towards more sustainble, disease resistance crops to enhance our future food security.

This ties in with Education Scotland’s recently published work on Food Security for National 4 Science and National 5 Biology, along with work associated with Inheritance for National 5 Biology.  Published advice and guidance is intended for use by practitioners in creative and innovative ways, to plan approaches to meet the needs of learners. Flexibility within the new National Qualifications offers the ideal opportunity to plan for learning and teaching which incorporates cutting edge Scottish and global research, and builds in meaningful partnerships from the rich STEM landscape in Scotland.

Looking ahead to the forthcoming school year, we are developing the theme of Food Security for first through to fourth level as a context in STEM Central, providing scope for working within clusters to build a continuous learning journey. More news will be published on the ES Learning Blog later this year.

Learning for the new NQs in Sciences

Have you had an opportunity to explore the advice and guidance published to support practitioners in planning for learning and teaching for the new National Qualifications? Education Scotland has published a suite of advice and guidance exemplifying skills, teaching approaches, challenge, the use of context and incorporation of literacy, numeracy and ICT in learning and teaching in sciences.

The published advice and guidance is intended for use by practitioners and is non-mandatory. It is intended that practitioners will use it in a reflective and selective manner.

Throughout, reflective questions for learners are provided to aid practitioners in planning learning and teaching to meet the needs of learners. In many cases, investigative work and inquiry-based practical learning will supplement the learning and teaching described.

STEM Central Renewables and Learning for the new NQs: A Bright Solar Future?

Are you working with learners using the STEM Central Renewables context? Or planning for learning and teaching in the context of Energy Security associated with Physics or with Environmental Science?

The Guardian’s Newton Channel includes an 11 minute video about the world’s first commercial solar power plant, in Spain. Could this technology be used more widely to help the world build a sustainable, low carbon future? What are the limitations of this technology? What are the limitations of our ability to harness the sun’s energy? How much energy are we talking about? Learners in sunny places could try to recreate Sir John Herschel’s 1838 experiment or watch Brian Cox Measuring a Sunbeam.

STEM Central Electric Transport, the smarter Smart car and a context for learning for the new NQs

Electric cars – are they a viable option as we seek a low carbon future? What are the limitations of the technologies currently available? If you are working with learners using the STEM Central Electric Transport context The Guardian’s Newton Channel includes a 6 minute video “Making Smart cars smarter” may be of interest. Scientists at the University of Newcastle are working to enhance Smart cars to allow them to travel longer distances without recharging.  

If your learners are interested in technologies associated with driving and transport, research from Newcastle University using an adapted electric car may also be of interest.

Or perhaps you are exploring Energy Security in the context of the new National Qualifications for Environmental Science, Physics or Science? In future, will we be plugging our electric cars into the Smart Grid to sell our excess  energy to others at times of peak demand? The University of Strathclyde is working in conjunction with leading energy companies to kick start Smart Grid development here in Scotland, with world class facilities under development in Cumbernauld.

Energy, energy security and our sustainable future, whether exploring the future of transport or the National Grid, offers an exciting and engaging context for planning learning and teaching to meet the needs of a range of learners, working within a range of levels.

STEM Central and The James Hutton Institute Water Works

An update on The James Hutton Institute’s Water Works competition with the announcement of the April winner.

The April winner is Aimee Holton, aged 16, from Banchory Academy with her picture “Droplets”. Aimee says “You don’t realise how precious water is until you see things like the hosepipe ban in England. It makes us appreciate every last droplet even more”.

This exciting competition could be used in many contexts, including  to enrich the STEM Central water context. Details of the competition can be found on this blog, or in the competition details. Closing date is the 22nd of each month.

Learning for the new NQs :Nuclear Power and Energy Security:

This week sees the shutdown of Japan’s last working nuclear reactor, in a country previously dependent on nuclear power for 30% of its energy needs.

Tomari shutdown leaves Japan without nuclear power

Energy Security is a rich context for learning which could meet the needs of learners for National 3, National 4, National 5 or Higher, in Environmental Science, Physics or Science. Advice and guidance aimed associated with Energy Security for National 4 Physics can be found on the Education Scotland website.

Advice and guidance associated with Nuclear Chemistry for National 5 has also been published. This has been written to intertwine the work of Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, exploring the issues associated with harnessing the power of the atom over the last 100 years and equally addressing the learning associated with National 5 Physics.

Throughout the advice and guidance, reflective questions are included to help you plan for learning and teaching to engage and challenge your learners. Does nuclear power play a role in our future? What about harnessing the atom’s power for other uses such as medical applications?

Learning for the new NQs: Food Security

Recent headlines on GM food from the BBC tie in with the Food Security published advice and guidance for National 4 Science and National 5 Biology. Food Security and sustainability as contexts also lend themselves to planning for learning and teaching associated with Environmental Science.

The advice and guidance includes reflective questions to aid you in planning for topical, relevant and challenging learning appropriate for your learners. What is GM? Will it play a role in feeding the world’s population of 7 billion and rising?

Food Revolution Day! Saturday 19th May


Together we can change the way people eat by educating every child about food, giving families the skills and knowledge to cook again, and motivating people to stand up for their rights to better food. Add your voice to the conversation with your best cooking and food education tip, favorite ingredient, or tell us why you support the Food Revolution and what actions you are taking.


Click here to access a helpful PDF on 30 ideas to start a Food Revolution.

STEM Central and The James Hutton Institute’s Water Works

Earlier this year, we blogged about this exciting opportunity which can be used in many contexts, including to enrich the STEM Central water context.

A trickling burn, a flooded street, a horse’s trough or a grand Scottish loch – no matter what comes to mind when you think of water the Water Works competition wants your photographs. The James Hutton Institute has now announced the March winner of the competition,  John Smith, Age 8, from Orkney. His picture, shown above, is called “The Flood at the Pumping Station” and shows his local pumping station at North Stronsay, flooded due to the nearby loch overflowing.

The James Hutton Institute’s Facebook page has more information on the March entries and how you can take part in May’s competition.

Need some more inspiration on water? 

Whether you are working with the STEM Central Flood Management learning journeys in the context of social sciences, technologies or maths, or planning learning and teaching around themes of sustainability for new National Qualifications, this article published in The Telegraph, by James Dyson “Engineering can save us from drought” might provide information or inspiration. Perhaps you could use this year’s Dyson Challenge as a basis for learning, maybe your learners hold the key to saving water for a more sustainable future?

If your learners are considering the current drought and flood situation in large parts of England, why not use it as an opportunity to explore the role of engineers in sustainability? We would love to hear your ideas on our STEM Central in Motion blog.

Or try using the mindmap tool in Glow Science to kickstart thinking for you or your learners.

The James Hutton Institute via the Centre of Expertise for Waters  are running a year long competition aimed at raising awareness of water and water-related issues across both primary and secondary ages. The competition, with monthly prizes, aims to encourage learners to think about the natural environment and make the link between CfE curriculum areas Sciences, Technologies and Expressive Arts. The competition page gives background on the competition and entry instructions.

Marine Science Glow meet – answers now available

Thank you once again to the 58 schools and 1700 pupils who took part in our Marine Science Glow meet on 23 Feb 2012 which was organised in partnership with Marine Scotland.

Congratulations too to Abbi from St Mary’s Primary School in Bannockburn who won her school a visit by the Edinburgh Science Festival Marine Detectives Workshop. Abbi’s question was chosen by the judges as the winning question on the day from the hundreds that were received.  She asked, ‘Do whales have bellybuttons?’

If you want to find out the answer to this question and the many other questions asked by pupils on the day then visit: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/marine/education/faq/creatures

The answers to the questions put directly to the presenters on the day are also available and can be downloaded from the link below.

Download presenters answers to Glow questions >>

Special thanks to Marine Scotland all all their staff who have gone to great lengths to provide answers!

Circular economy event – resources now on Glow

Cross post from Global Citizenship Blog.

Education Scotland hosted an event in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the University of Edinburgh on 30th March 2012 at the Menzies Hotel in Glasgow to explore how the concept of a circular economy can be used as a focus for sustainable development education and interdisciplinary learning.

The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy that is, by design or intention, restorative and in which materials flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to re-enter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere. The circular economy proposes a coherent framework for re-thinking and re-building a positive vision of the future.

Find out more about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the circular economy by watching this short video.

The presentations and resources from the event are now available on Glow (Glow log in required).

Live UnLtd – Summer of Social Action Campaign

Live UnLtd support young people to run inter-generational projects, start sports, arts, environmental and community projects; projects to address bullying, isolation and much more. Some of their award winners start their own sustainable social enterprises. All projects and enterprises are run by young people themselves (those under 18 need an adviser who can be a teacher, youth worker, parent or similar). For examples of projects please see here.

Individuals or small informal groups leading their own idea can apply. Applicants must be aged 11-21 and live in the UK. Applications cannot be made on behalf of organisations such as youth clubs or schools.

Applications must:

  • Show how the project will have a positive social impact on the applicant’s community;
  • Have identified a problem and show ho the project will tackle the problem;
  • Tell Live UnLtd what specific activities the project/enterprise includes and what it hopes to achieve;
  • Show how the project provides a learning experience for the applicant.

Receiving an award allows individuals to use their creativity and learning a hands-on way which may enhance their CVs. They can also help erase the negative stereotypes associated with ‘youth culture’ in the media today while making their world a better place.

What can they apply for? The costs of running projects. For example: venue hire, equipment costs, marketing materials, travel and volunteering expenses.

Eleven to 15 year olds can apply for up to £500 and 16-21 year olds can apply for up to £5,000. Award winners also receive the support of a Development Manager.

The deadline for applications is 31 May 2012.

Contact: Gina Headden at Live UnLtd in Scotland, Tel: 0131 220 0511 [ e-mail | website ]

Advice and Guidance for new National Qualifications: the nature of risk

A theme which comes through in a number of the new National Qualifications for sciences is that of risk, risks and benefits, and risk management. What does this look like for the learner? Is it a list of pros and cons or something more sophisticated?

In a BBC article from the Go Figure series, the question is posed “How risky is it if you don’t know the risks?” which explores this in the context of understanding the ‘risk’ of mobile phone use.  The article was published in June 2011 but of course the issue of mobile phone ‘risk’ was raised again in the media very recently. This could also be the basis for discussion around risks associated with

radioactivity, in the context of the Advice and Guidance for Nuclear Chemistry, or Nuclear Physics

different energy sources and energy security within Physics or Environmental Science

developments in DNA science in our Health and Disease, or Inheritance Advice and Guidance.

STEM Central Water water everywhere…engineering solutions needed!

Whether you are working with the STEM Central Flood Management learning journeys in the context of social sciences, technologies or maths, or planning learning and teaching around themes of sustainability for new National Qualifications, this article published in The Telegraph, by James Dyson “Engineering can save us from drought” might provide information or inspiration. Perhaps you could use this year’s Dyson Challenge as a basis for learning, maybe your learners hold the key to saving water for a more sustainable future?

If your learners are considering the current drought and flood situation in large parts of England, why not use it as an opportunity to explore the role of engineers in sustainability? We would love to hear your ideas on our STEM Central in Motion blog.

We are Giant Panda Scientists

Robert Wiseman Dairies is supporting the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland in promoting education about Scotland’s famous visitors, the giant pandas Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine).  Robert Wiseman Dairies is featuring the pandas on school milk cartons together with lots of “panda facts”.  This Black and White partnership has been created for children to discover both the benefits of drinking milk and the importance of the giant panda.  Teachers can download a free teachers’ lesson plan worksheet linked to CfE.                                                                                                             

Click here to download a PDF leaflet about the pandas. wisemandairies.co.uk/panda

Take One Action Film Festival

Are you aged between 15 and 21 years? Interested in great films that make a difference in the world? Would you like to organise inspiring film screening events in your local community? If so, here is your chance to take action!

Take One Action – Scotland’s global action cinema project – is organising it’s second Young Action Heroes Project for young people and their educators/youth workers at the Macrobert Centre in Stirling in late August 2012. We are keen to hear from schools and youth groups who want to take part in the residential and then screen a film to inspire action in others!

Application information is available to download from www.takeoneaction.org.uk/youth 

THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS FRIDAY 25TH MAY, but if you have questions before then email youth@takeoneaction.org.uk or phone Andy at 0131 5536335.

Food for Thought? Food Security in the new National Qualifications

One of the contexts for learning and teaching within the advice and guidance for the new National Qualifications is Food Security. This could provide a context for learning relevant within Biology, Environmental Science, or Science, and with approriate differentiation to meet the needs of learners, as a context for learning at National 3, National 4, National 5 and Higher.

How about using this image , published in The Independent newspaper on 17th April, to prompt discussion? Could a cupcake made of insects be part of our future to enable us to feed the world’s rising population? Researchers at the University of Wageningen in the The Netherlands believe so. More information can be found in the International Business Times article “Cupcakes made from Insects: Food for Thought?”

School open day progamme – global citizenship

New global citizenship school open day programme

Education Scotland’s Developing Global Citizenship Team is pleased to announce an exciting new school open day programme. These inspiring, popular and practical CPD events give school leaders and practitioners a chance to learn from the experiences of schools which have achieved success in developing whole school approaches to global citizenship. Forthcoming events include:

St Paul’s High School, Glasgow (10th May 2012)

Theme: Pupil voice, citizenship, community partnerships and sustainable development education

More info at http://bit.ly/GIxU3I

Stockbridge Primary School, City of Edinburgh Council (17th May 2012)

Theme: Pupil voice and partnership working with the local and international community

More info at: http://bit.ly/HSpzfM

Bo’ness Academy, Falkirk Council (17th May 2012)

Theme: Global citizenship and international education within Curriculum for Excellence
More info at http://bit.ly/GMS49W

Kinnaird Primary School, Falkirk Council (23rd May 2012)

Theme: Global citizenship, international education, Eco-Schools and Fairtrade

More info at http://bit.ly/I55SQB

To book, please email: globalcitizens@educationscotland.gov.uk or phone 0141 282 5172. Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. These are free events!

Energy Security: Interconnectedness

Are you working with STEM Central to explore the role of STEM subjects in sustainability. Or looking ahead to the implementation of Senior Phase, and planning for learning and teaching around Energy Security for learners working towards new national qualifications in Environmental Science, Science or Physics.  

Is the future interconectedness?

Food Security: 6th World Fisheries Congress

Perhaps you are working with learners exploring food security as a context for learning? The 6th World Fisheries Congress is opening its doors to the fisheries scientists of the future. With the world population increasing to 9 billion within our lifetime and a rapidly changing global climate, the science needed to deliver sustainable foo from our seas, rivers and lakes is becoming increasingly important.

From 8-11th May 2012 Edinburgh will host the 6th World Fisheries Congress that with address “Sustainable fisheries in a changing world”. The Congress, the first ever in the UK, convenes only once every four years, and gathers the world’s most eminent experts on all issues that relate to wild capture and aquaculture in freshwater and marine ecosystems.

The Congress will open its door to the scientists of tomorrow to provide an insight into the exciting and rewarding challenge of ensuring sustainable world food supply.

The Congress is inviting applications from secondary schools in Scotland to send up to five Higher level learners plus on teacher to the event with free registration for the learners and the teaching.

The detailed programme can be found at www.6thwfc2012.com. Applications should be submitted no later than 19th April 2012 to info@6thwfc2012.com with the e-mail subject Secondary Schools WFC and should include the following information:

Name of the school

Location of the school (e.g. town and local authority)

Name of teacher accompanying learners

Names of learners






Please indicate which days you would like to attend (delete as appropriate those not attending)

Tues Wed Thur Friday or all days

Compete the following sentence using no more than 20 words:

“We want to attend the 6th WFC because…”

Learning and Teaching Energy Security

Are you working with the STEM Central to explore the role of STEM subjects in sustainability? Are you looking ahead to the implementation of Senior Phase, and planning for learning and teaching around Energy Security for learners working towards new national qualifications in Physics?  Recent news articles provide a way of keeping the learning and teaching topical and relevant, providing inspiration for exploration through open ended investigative practical or research work e.g.

Survey Finds Scottish Home Running Costs at 10 year high

Fife Energy Park to host new offshore turbine concept

New UK attempt to capture carbon

Coal fuelled power station plans for Grangemouth

Samsung wind turbine project to create 500 jobs in Fife

Scotland’s nuclear stations could stay open

Salmond Hails Hydrogen Energy Facility in Fife

The BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory episodes The Human Power Station and Exploring the Science of Fuel may also provide useful enrichment for learning and teaching.

National challenge: Design a billboard for Scotland

Education Scotland has launched a national challenge for learners to design a double-sided billboard to be seen by people entering and leaving Scotland.

The challenge is aimed at those working within second, third and fourth curriculum levels.

The challenge can be incorporated into planning for a number of curriculum areas including art and design, social studies, religious and moral education, technologies and sciences, and the themes of sustainability and global citizenship.

To find out more about the challenge click here.

Wise up Wednesday – new online resource

Studying Scotland is a resource that will help build confidence in the learning and teaching of Scotland within the curriculum, making it a rewarding and valuable experience for both learner and practitioner.

The resource includes new and exciting learning and teaching ideas as well as resources for learning. There are ideas on how to teach about Scotland within the Early Level.

There is also a Glow page on the Early Years National site which has gathered together all early years relevant resources on this subject.

Visit today and be inspired!

Marks on the Landscape – new design challenge

Education Scotland is today launching an exciting new design challenge. Aimed at 2nd to 4th curriculum levels, the challenge can be incorporated into planning for a number of curriculum areas including art and design, social studies, religious and moral education, technologies and sciences, and the themes of sustainability and global citizenship.

Learners are invited to create a design for a 2-sided billboard to signal the entrance and exit to Scotland. The work should offer different perspectives for people who are arriving and people who are leaving. Themes might reflect why people need to leave their native countries or why they would want to come and live in Scotland today.

Support materials and further instructions for this challenge can be found on the Marks on the Landscape website. Entries should be submitted by 21 June 2012.
A number of the learners’ designs will be displayed on the Education Scotland website.

For further details please contact:
Pat Campbell Pat.Campbell@educationscotland.gov.uk

Feeding the 7 billion

An expert panel discusses the main issues around food security and how science might help fill your plate in future. Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Food shortages, price rises, civil unrest and riots are all real threats as demand for food rises and the amount of land suitable for food production decreases. Journalist and broadcaster Viv Parry will lead our panel – Professor Julie Fitzpatrick (Moredun Research Institute), Professor Peter Morgan (Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health) and Professor David Hopkins (Head of Life Sciences, Heriot Watt University) – in an accessible and interactive exploration of the main issues around food security and how science might help secure the future of our food. Presented by Moredun Research Institute and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

This event is also being run in Aberdeen as part of the British Science Festival on Saturday 8th September.  The panel will be the same with the addition of Dr. Cesar Revoredo-Giha from SAC. 

 Phone: 0844 557 2686

Website: www.sciencefestival.co.uk

School Open Day – St Paul’s High School, Glasgow

9:30am – 3.00pm, Thurs 10th May 2012

Theme:  Sustainable Development Education and Education for Citizenship 

St Paul’s High School is an inspiring example of a school that has adopted a whole school approach to global citizenship. The school’s achievements in this regard have earned it national recognition as a finalist in the 2011 Scottish Education Awards (Sustainable School Category) and as a winner of the 2009 Scottish Education Awards (Active Citizenship Category).

The school’s approach and vision for global citizenship has made an identifiable impact on learners, helping them grow in confidence and providing them with real-life opportunities to develop their skills and transform their local community. The school has supported a wide range of activities to achieve this, most notably:

  • Dedicated time within the social studies curriculum for learners to choose and engage with local community projects and tackle anti-social behaviour in the wider community
  • A strong school ethos which puts respect for others and service to others at the heart of school life and the curriculum
  • A sustained commitment to learner voice and a well-established school parliament that provides learners with decision-making powers and a budget to make things happen
  • A diverse range of activities and initiatives which support a whole school approach including a Fairtrade group, Eco-Schools group and pupil campaign group
  • Planned opportunities for personal achievement through S1 electives, S2 citizenship and S3 skills academy.

This CPD event offers practitioners and school leaders from across Scotland the chance to visit St Paul’s High School to meet with the Head Teacher, staff and learners and also tour the classrooms, buildings and grounds.

Those participating in the open day will also have time to reflect and share their own experiences.

Download Programme for St Paul’s Open Day >>

How to book

To book, please email: globalcitizens@educationscotland.gov.uk or Tel. 0141 282 5172.

Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. This is a free event!