Learning for a Sustainable Future – free massive online open course (MOOC)

We are delighted to share with you news of a free online course available in autumn 2021. A trailer for this free course was released last night so is very much hot off the press and it will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect.

Interested in #sustainability? Start your journey towards a sustainable future with these NEW #free #online courses from @edinburghuni @BCScotland @LfSScotland @EducationScot. Starts Autumn 2021. #Learningforasustainablefuture#ThisisLfS@COP26

Over five weeks participants will work together to learn more about current global issues and consider how we can all take action, personally or locally. The course can be done at a time and place of your choosing and will include a mixture of videos, articles and discussions. The course will help you to consider your response to major issues and challenges that face our world and support you to take positive actions towards a sustainable future.

The course has an additional strand for anyone working in education and you may want to include the issues and activities explored into your work with learners.  This will tie in perfectly with the #CountdowntoCOP work planned for September.

To keep in touch with developments please join the mailing list for this course.

Get involved with Countdown to COP

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November.  This conference seeks to unite the world to tackle climate change.  John Kerry US climate envoy describes it Glasgow is “the last best chance” the world has to come together and avoid the worst environmental consequences for the world.

With this in mind Education Scotland and partners are delighted to work together to help practitioners and learners engage with COP26 through a flexible offer called Countdown to COP.

Here are a few key points to help you get ready to engage with Countdown to COP and how you can become involved:

  • Countdown to COP will take place 13 September – 1 November.
  • The 5 themes of Countdown to COP are the same themes the world leaders will discuss when they come together at COP 26 in November. These are nature, energy, clean transport, finance and energy and resilience.
  • Anyone can become involved with Countdown to COP. The offer is open to learners, practitioners, families and communities and you can engage with it according to needs, interests and time available.
  • Countdown to COP will include live and pre-recorded material and will feature practice from settings, schools and partners from around Scotland.

For more information, please see the Countdown to Cop poster

If you are a GLOW user, please join the LfS Team in order to keep up to date with information.  We would love to hear from you if you have practice you would like to share. Please get in touch with Mairi.Thomson@educationscotland.gov.scot or Mark.Irwin@educationscotland.gov.scot

Learning for Sustainability Awards 2021










In November 2021, the United Nations COP26 Climate Summit will be arriving in Scotland. This will be one of the biggest events of its kind ever to be hosted in our country with 200 world leaders in attendance. There is hope that the event will result in a truly historic agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate emergency.

The COP26 Summit provides us with a unique opportunity to recognise and celebrate innovation in the Scottish education system and our commitment to Learning for Sustainability (LfS). Within Scotland’s curriculum, LfS is recognised as an entitlement for all learners and a recent international PISA study showed that our learners are world-leading global citizens.

In partnership with the Daily Record, Education Scotland is delighted to launch the Learning for Sustainability Awards. The Scottish Government has identified People as a key theme for the COP26 Summit and has declared that it wants it to be the most inclusive COP summit ever to be held. This includes a strong focus on young people and on engaging disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.

The Learning for Sustainability Awards support these ambitions and will help to recognise the amazing achievements of Scotland’s people and the settings, schools and communities that have demonstrated passion and commitment to building a socially-just, equitable and sustainable world.

To find out more about the award categories and how to nominate, visit the LfS award website: http://www.learningforsustainabilityawards.co.uk/

Learning for Sustainability Conference – launched 4 June


Dumfries & Galloway’s first annual Learning for Sustainability Conference focussing on all aspects of LfS launched on Friday 4 June.

Due to ongoing COVID restrictions this year’s event is an online conference. It is hoped that the keynote addresses, workshops & marketplace will provide practitioners with insight and continued learning in all aspects of Learning for Sustainability.

All conference materials are available from Friday 4 June within Glow. These materials will be available throughout Term 4 and into next session to support all practitioners.

Guidance information on how to access and navigate the conference OneNote:

Learning for Sustainability Conference 2021 Access Guide

Learning for Sustainability Conference 2021 List of Participants




Young Citizens – Resources to support a mock G7 Summit

The 47th G7 summit is scheduled for 11–13 June 2021 in the United Kingdom while it holds the presidency of the G7. The attendees will include the leaders of the seven G7 member states as well as representatives of the European Union.  

What is the Mock G7 Programme?

Aimed at students aged 14-18 years this resource will provide teachers with the tools they need to run an immersive, active learning programme in the classroom around the G7 2021.  Over three lessons students will explore what the G7 is before being challenged to take part in a mock G7 Summit.

  • Part 1 – What is the G7/Y7? A lesson plan to introduce the concept of the G7 and Y7 to the students
  • Part 2 – Research – students are split into 7 different groups (each group representing a different country) and then are allocated a role (world leader, Sherpa, Finance Minister and Youth Minister). They research their country’s position on ‘ocean action’, using ‘country packs’ and videos from real-world diplomats
  • Part 3 – Negotiation exercise – the students take part in a simulated negotiation exercise to mirror the G7 Ministerial/Leader level dialogues. At the end of this, they produce a ‘communique’ of their top three recommendations on ‘ocean action’.


The Future Leaders Network and Young Citizens piloted the pack in 5 schools across the country in April, and the feedback was hugely positive:

  • 100% of the teachers stated that they would recommend this resource to a colleague.
  • 100% of the teachers either ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement ‘the learning objectives from the lesson were met by the majority of students’.
  • 100% of the teachers reported that through participating in the programme students gained the following skills and benefits: communication, presenting, listening, debating, team working and critical thinking skills.

How to get involved

If you’d like to host a Mock G7 between 7 – 25 June (or even better, alongside the G7 itself, from 11 – 13 June), all you need to do is register your interest here: Mock G7 Pack | Young Citizens. The pack is provided to them absolutely free of charge, as the development of the materials was funded by the G7 Outreach Programme Budget.

Outdoor Classroom Day- 20 May


Outdoor Classroom Day- 20 May


Being outdoors and active is a vital part of growing up and living a healthy and fulfilled life, and learning outdoors has benefits for children, young people and adults alike. We would love to see some of the exciting learning taking place in your setting on Outdoor Classroom Day. Share them with @STEMedscot with the hashtag #Learnoutdoors #Outdoorclassroomday


For support on outdoor learning:

  • We have four outdoor learning webinars planned for Term 4 and you can find sign up details of these via Education Scotland Events. Check out the recordings from our Outdoor Learning webinar programme. We have been delighted to deliver these with partners such as local authorities, government departments and organisations such as Learning through Landscapes and Nature Scot.
  • Updated guidance on school visits and trips is available on the Scottish Government website
  • Our Outdoor Learning Wakelet has a great collection of resources – allowing an easy, one stop shop access to resources and support.
  • If you haven’t seen it there is a professional learning activity on supporting outdoor learning developed with SAPOE and supported by the Scottish Government. Log into our online portal to find out more.
  • A course on outdoor learning for support staff and partners is also available on the SAPOE website.
  • You can also find your local greenspace using the Outdoor Learning map developed by ENFOR (environment and forestry) staff in the Scottish Government. You can put in your establishment’s postcode and then find local greenspace, with the “5 minute walk” filter a great addition. You can also use this to discover greenspaces near your home- so please share with parents and carers.

Earth Day 2021


22 April has been designated by the United Nations as International Mother Earth Day. This is a global day of action on climate change and biodiversity. Education Scotland is committing to doing even more to embed Learning for Sustainability into its plans and we’re inviting education settings across Scotland to do the same. This will help us prepare and make the most of the UN COP26 Summit which is being held in Scotland in November this year.

Check out the Earth Day video message from Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive of Education Scotland and Chief Inspector of Education: https://youtu.be/TS0IGUhC6SY 

Share your Earth Day plans with @EdScotLfS using the hashtag #EarthDay2021 #ThisisLfS

Further support, resources and ideas:

Happy Earth Day!

Image by David Mark from Pixabay 

Learning for Sustainability Update

Latest news round-up

AimHi virtual sessionsclimate change and the biology curriculum

Education Scotland is partnering with AimHi to deliver three inspiring virtual sessions on LfS/Biology themes for learners and their families. The AimHi Team have delivered sessions to many thousands of viewers in over 100 countries and we’re delighted to be working with them to develop exclusive sessions specifically for the Scottish Curriculum. These are not to be missed! The first session will be this week, 7pm Wed 20 Jan, on will help viewers understand the climate crisis in 45 mins! The following sessions will look at the future of food and farms and re-wilding in Scotland. There are excellent guests involved also and the content is closely aligned to the Scottish curriculum. The latter two sessions are ideal for those with an interest in, or studying, biology. We’ve targeted these sessions at learners and their families to help build all-important STEM capital across Scotland. I’d be grateful if you could share details with your networks. The second and third sessions will run at 7:00pm on the 27 January and 3 February 2021. Join the live stream here:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/aimhis-january-lessons-tickets-133146048415

New LfS Guide – GTCS has launched a new Learning for Sustainability guide for teachers in partnership with Learning for Sustainability Scotland. The guide aims to help teachers understand their responsibility to embed Learning for Sustainability in their practice, inspiring and motivating learners to address the challenges of learning to live within the environmental limits of our planet and to build a just, equitable and peaceful society. A professional learning module is to follow. The guide is available from here: http://www.gtcs.org.uk/web/FILES/professional-guides/professional-guide-Learning-for-Sustainabilty.pdf

Food, STEM & Sustainability Online Teacher Training  The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), The Rowett Institute, Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) are offering teachers and educators online training opportunities highlighting the importance of food. The online training (endorsed by Education Scotland) covers four main subject areas – Technology & Engineering, Health & Wellbeing, Math, Big Data and food and Food & Climate. Webinars for each subject area will start with Technology & Engineering webinar focusing on the production of haggis, neeps and tatties on 20th January at 3.30pm. The online training site will go live in February with webinars running in January, February and March. Register for online sessions and webinars: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScmSeToBauMIjU_R1KWPgXT8zuRhtrDn3YppKh8UuORXqdQSA/viewform

WOSDEC Professional Learning Programme – These fully funded professional learning sessions are available to teachers across 13 local authorities. The programme includes a focus on rights, Fair Trade, SDGs, political literacy and much more: https://wosdec.org.uk/what-we-do/professional-learning-twilights/

Creative Thinking Qualification Pilot Programme  Working alongside Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College, Daydream Believers has created a SCQF level 5 and level 6 award in Creative Thinking. The award provides a valuable framework for a wide variety of themes including STEM and Learning for Sustainability. The workshop on 29 January is open to anyone interested in piloting the award in the 2020/2021 academic session. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creative-thinking-level-5-and-6-the-pilot-programme-tickets-132959542571

Carbon calculators and resources – Teachers may be interested in two online tools to support learning about sustainability and how the UK can progress towards its net zero ambitions. These include:

Climate grants – grants totalling £3.26m have now been  awarded to 280 community based organisations through the Community Climate Asset Fund (CCAF) that was launched in October as part of the wider Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).  At least one project has been funded in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. A total of 112 schools have accessed funding to support food growing. A full list of projects receiving funding is available here: https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/climate-change/community-climate-asset-fund/organisations-awarded-ccaf-grants/.

Speak up for nature, have your voice heard on a global stage, and win up to £500! Participants of all ages are invited to send a short 1-minute video message to world leaders and governments before the upcoming UN COP 15 meeting on biological diversity. Entry submissions are welcome until 28 Feb. Learn more at https://trustforsustainableliving.org/take-part/schools-sustainability-challenge

Dates for your diary