Education Scotland has published the second paper in its Opening Up Great Learning series. This paper examines what great learning for sustainability (LfS) looks like. It demonstrates how meeting national LfS recommendations can enable schools, early learning and childcare settings to achieve great outcomes.
The paper also provides a range of Career-long Professional Learning activities to support whole school dialogue and strategic development of LfS.
Click here for further information and support on learning for sustainability.
It can be challenging to find fresh and interesting approaches to learning when consumed by the daily business of education. Even when there is time to find alternative approaches, having the support and space to implement it thoughtfully in your context can also be tricky.
The national recommendations on learning for sustainability (LfS) and the GTCS professional standards set out clear expectations of practitioners demonstrating LfS in their practice. The recommendations also make clear that learners should have an opportunity for contact with nature in their grounds on a daily basis and throughout the seasons through provision of green space for outdoor learning and play (Recommendation 4.1).
A new case study from the Children and Families team at Education Scotland offers an inspiring insight into how one early years establishment has developed a high-quality outdoor learning environment. The video and reflective questions that accompany it provide an excellent stiumulus for professional dialogue. This dialogue and the activites and action points that stem from it are exactly the kind of meaningful examples of CLPL referred to in the LfS report. Through engaging in a thougtful, reflective and focussed professional discussion of exisiting innovative practice, we can move another step closer to ensuring that learning for sustainability is “experienced in a transformative way by every learner in Scotland”.
Earth Hour 2015 takes place this Saturday (March 28) when people around the world are encouraged to switch off their lights for one hour from 20:30 to 21:30 as a symbolic gesture of support for global action on climate change.
Organised by WWF, Earth Hour is an annual international event involving hundreds of millions of people who care about our planet.
In 2014, Earth Hour in Scotland included landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the Forth Rail Bridge, the Falkirk Wheel, Stirling Castle, Scottish Parliament and the Glasgow Emirates. Internationally 162 countries took part and included iconic buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building.
All local authority areas in Scotland took part, as did 21 other public bodies and national organisations. Many of these agencies, including the Scottish Government, have signed up to show their support again this year.
Earth Hour presents an excellent opportunity to connect the curriculum to events going on beyond the classroom. It provides a reminder of how concerted local action can have far reaching global consequences. Learners may be aware of stories in the national media about the environmental impact of climate change and the measures society puts in place to try and address it. These issues lend themselves to exploration through many curricular areas. They provide rich, real world contexts that allow learners to make meaningful connections between their everyday choices and the long term sustainability of our world. These types of learning experiences are at the very heart of great learning for sustainability.
Click here for further support and resources linked to Earth Hour and the wider subject of sustainability.
Pupils from Kinnaird Primary School, Larbert, are sharing their learning for sustainability work with the wider world. Gemma Douglas, principal teacher, and Brenda Bennie, class teacher, have been using WOSDEC global storyline resource, Our Crop, Our Land with their Primary 5 and 6 classes to explore the issues of food security and land grabbing. Their animation on the use and production of Palm Oil explores the far reaching consequences of our everyday choices. It has already had hundreds of hits on YouTube much to the excitement of the illustrators, animators and voiceover artists from Kinnaird. Great work team!
For more on this story and a chance to see the children’s animation, click here.
Teachers who bring their pupils into the outdoors find it makes their learning more enjoyable, challenging, active and collaborative according to a report published this week by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
The study shows that outdoor learning in school and pre-schools has increased since Curriculum for Excellence was introduced but that further increases could be made. The survey of nursery, primary and secondary schools looked at over 1000 outdoor lessons and compared results from surveys in 2006 and 2014.
Learning in green areas like parks, gardens, wildlife areas and woodland, as well as on residential outdoor trips, particularly increased children’s engagement and enriched the learning experience in many ways. Overall, the study found that there was an opportunity to make more use of local green places to give children time outdoors at little or no cost.
The report, written by the University of Stirling, was commissioned by partners Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Education Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority and Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Visit Education Scotland’s Outdoor Learning site for further support in taking learning outdoors.
WOSDEC and the Global Learning Programme Scotland have organised a free professional learning event for primary teachers entitled Global Citizenship Matters: Rights, Global Citizenship and Learning for Sustainability.
Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, and Ellen Doherty, General Teaching Council Scotland, will deliver keynote speeches.
When: 15 May 2015
Where: TouchBase, Sense Scotland, 43 Middlesex Street, Glasgow G41 1EE
The conference aims to support teachers in making the links between rights, global citizenship and learning for sustainability by providing:
- an opportunity to develop professional understanding of and confidence around learning for sustainability
- practical classroom tools to enhance learning & teaching for global citizenship
- space to share and reflect with colleagues
Practical workshops will cover:
- Children’s rights and participation
- Assessing global citizenship
- Planning for learning for sustainability (LfS)
To reserve a place contact: email@example.com
Developing a whole school approach to learning for sustainability requires teachers to practise what they teach. A shared culture and values-based approach can enable practitioners and children to work together meaningfully. Pupils learn much from how these values are modelled and implemented by their teachers. However, supporting the development of character and values is a responsibility shared by all: parents, young people, teachers, youth workers, employers and communities. On 15th & 16th June, a dedicated conference on character, culture and values will bring a diverse group of people together to learn from each other, connect on these issues and be inspired to take action.
For further information or to register please visit www.character.scot/conference. Registration is available until 22nd May 2015.
This week is dedicated to highlighting the Legacy of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games.
Legacy Week (9th-15th March 2015) throws a spotlight on the impact, opportunities and benefits of legacy activity across Scotland. With over 60% of the Commonwealth population under the age of 30, the theme for 2015 is “A Young Commonwealth”.
Legacy week begins today with Commonwealth Day.
Visit the Game On blog for further information.
Overheard conversation between two young learners in a Scottish primary school this week – Learner 1: “I want to go to the rainforest and tell them to stop cutting it down.” Learner 2: “Don’t go yet. You’re too wee. Wait till we’re bigger and we’ll both go.” The potential of where this conversation and these aspirations will lead to is intriguing. Many learners are making connections between rich curricular contexts for learning and their own capacity to engage with the ever changing world around them.
To engage our learners in learning for sustainability requires teachers who can confidently weave a number of aspects, including global citizenship, sustainable development education, outdoor learning and children’s rights into their practice.
Global Learning Programme Scotland (GLP-S) supports the development of global citizenship through the curriculum and offers free professional learning for teachers. Click here to find out about the range of CLPL on offer from the six Scottish regional Development Education Centres.
You can also sign up for their online global citizenship magazine Stride at www.stridemagazine.org.uk
For more information contact Rachel Hamada at firstname.lastname@example.org
Young people from across Scotland are invited to have their say on the big education issues that affect them.
The Children and Young People’s Summit will take place from 11am–2pm on Monday 23 March 2015 at the Ironworks, Inverness. This summit is part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to ensure that children and young people are at the heart of decisions which affect them and their education. This event forms part of the official Scottish Cabinet visit to Inverness. Those attending will have the opportunity to feedback their thoughts and experiences directly to Senior Ministers including the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance.
Schools and organisations are invited to bring up to five young people, from year groups P7 to S6 alongside a supporting adult. Spaces are limited and you are invited to register your interest by Wednesday 11 March, 2015 at http://bit.ly/1zIEjCR