Monthly Archive for February, 2016

Minister invites schools to share LfS story

Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, IMG_2574Science and Scotland’s Languages launched the #ThisIsLfS campaign this week, encouraging schools across Scotland to share their stories of what learning for sustainability means to them.

The announcement came as the Minster helped St. Aidan’s Primary School, Wishaw, unveil their sixth Eco Schools green flag. The learners displayed great confidence, knowledge and enthusiasm as they took Dr. Allan on a tour of their school building and grounds. They shared the many different ways they receive their entitlement to learning for sustainability.

IMG_2572P2/3 shared their learning on their whole class ‘Clyde in the Classroom’ topic, including an introduction to the “alevins” that had hatched in the special tank in the classroom. The children shared their knowledge of brown trout life cycles and displayed great care and attention in regulating the temperature and looking after the eggs. Dr. Allan commented on the potential of this project for furthering their knowledge of river ecology and care of the local environment.

In addition to the P2/3 class, Dr. Allan met IMG_2569representatives from a number of pupil groups including the Eco group, the Rights Respecting Schools group and the Fairtrade group. He was even treated to some home made carrot cake made from carrots recently harvested from the school’s raised beds. The children also spoke passionately about their links with Malawi and how much they had gained from their work in supporting and learning from their link school.

Dr. Allan said: “The Scottish Government supports every learner’s entitlement to learning for sustainability. We think it is a great way to learn and can help raise attainment and prepare young people for the world of work. For me, learning for sustainability is about learning for a better world. Education Scotland would like to hear what LfS means to you. You can share your pictures and stories and thoughts, using #ThisIsLfS. I look forward to seeing your responses. ”

 

Fairtrade snack attack is back

tuck shop

The Snack Attack Challenge is back for 2016!

Invent a Fairtrade snack, design the packaging and promotional campaign and win £100 of Traidcraft goodies for your school!

Traidcraft are looking to encourage the next generation of decision makers to be creative and pioneering in their approach to life and enterprise; to think about people as well as profit and the impact of the choices they make every day.

The deadline for competition entries will be 1st April 2016, which makes it a perfect activity for Fairtrade Fortnight (29th February – 13th March 2016).
To download an application pack, click here.

Hands up for LfS award nominations!

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Croftcroighn Primary School won the Learning for Sustainability (LfS) award at last year’s Scottish Education Awards. In this guest blog post, the Glasgow school share their story and encourage others to apply for this year’s award:

“We were delighted to win the Learning for Sustainability award at last year’s Scottish Education Awards.

We first decided to apply for the award to gain recognition for the excellent practice in Learning for Sustainability we feel we have established, not only in Croftcroighn School itself but across our wider campus and with various other partners.

We reflected upon Glasgow’s Growing Good Citizens diagram which provided us with a framework to work within and used the Reflection Tool: A whole school journey towards Learning for Sustainability to track and monitor our progress.

As a school we have undertaken a lot of work across many areas of Learning for Sustainability, this has included our extensive International Education programme We have gained our full International Schools Award from the British Council and received our plaque and flag. We have hosted many International visitors to the school from Namibia, Sweden, Dubai, Holland and Japan. We are currently involved in the Erasmus Plus project and have a social enterprise link with Malawi, working alongside a local secondary school.

We also have a thriving eco-committee in the school, which pupils, parents and the wider school croftcroighncommunity are involved in. We are currently working towards permanent green flag status.

Last session we were awarded a grant from Education Scotland which allowed us to undertake a whole school Food for Thought Project. This enabled us to raise awareness around the importance of healthy eating with both parents and pupils as well as developing a range of life skills. This has continued this session through the Love Food Hate Waste initiative we are involved in.

Another of our recent developments was to look at effectively taking our learning outdoors to develop pupil’s skills and understanding across the curriculum. This initiative was fully embraced by all staff and pupils and it now firmly embedded within the school and the wider campus as a whole. This included the development of a whole campus orchard.

It is important that our pupils learning takes place in a variety of contexts to make it meaningful for them and to develop their life skills, self-confidence and communication. On reflection many of the different initiatives we are involved in under Learning for Sustainability allows this to happen in a variety of ways and we were extremely proud to be shortlisted for the award. The judge’s visit was a very positive experience and they were keen to hear about all the work that was going on within the school.

A number of pupils represented the school at the award ceremony and celebration which was a wonderful experience for them and one which they thoroughly enjoyed. ”

SEA2016There is still time to nominate in the LfS category for this year’s Scottish Education Awards. Nominations must be submitted by 12pm on Monday 15th February.

Thank you to Clare Fitzpatrick and Margaret McFadden from Croftcroighn School for sharing their story.

#ReadyToVote – Scotland’s Schools Registration Event, March 2016

readytovoteThe Electoral Commission invites all schools to take part in: #ReadyToVote Scotland’s Schools Registration Event, March 2016.

It is easy for schools to take part. They just need to select a day during the month of March and encourage their students to go online and register to vote. The Electoral Commission is providing schools with a toolkit which will contain everything they need to deliver the event.

If you would like to take part and be sent a copy of the toolkit please email Jonathan Mitchell, at the Electoral Commission jmitchell@electoralcommission.org.uk supplying your schools’ name and contact details.

This initiative is being delivered in partnership with Education Scotland, SOLACE, ADES, SLS, ERO’s, SCIS, and Colleges Scotland.

 

LfS and the Shieling Project

Shileing 1

Before outdoor learning there was the shieling.  For hundreds of years, each summer young people all over Scotland would take the livestock up to hill or moorland pastures, camping there in small bothies, learning about the world beyond the village. The Shieling Project brings the shieling back to life for young people and teachers, through outdoor learning, resources and professional learning for teachers.

Sam Harrison, who runs the Shieling Project explains “Through this tradition we can look at so many subjects across the curriculum, and work skills from archaeology to forestry, as well as exploring global sustainability themes through hands on local learning experiences.”

The Shieling Project professional learning programme in learning for sustainability will run again from this May.  The year long course leads to professional recognition from the GTCS in Learning for Sustainability.

Based in Glen Strathfarrar, near Beauly, four weekend workshops, two days of outdoor learning with your class and an online forum provide an opportunity to build a critical, supportive and collaborative community.  The course costs £900.

For more information, including a video of the first cohort of teachers presenting their learning journeys, click here.

For a full list of courses that can lead to professional recognition, visit the GTCS website .




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