Free online course ‘Learning for a Sustainable Future’

Free online course from Learning for Sustainability Scotland ‘Learning for a Sustainable Future’ starts 14th March.

This five-week course is designed for and open to anyone with an interest in, or remit for, sustainability. The course is supported by skilled facilitators and has an additional strand for those working in formal or informal education, who want to bring some of the activities and issues covered in the course into their own practice.

Full details & how to register here.

International Education Week and beyond …

International Education Week has become an annual celebration of all things related to international schools collaboration at the British Council.  This year the British Council will continue with the momentum and engagement in all things climate change related.

How schools can get involved and some highlights which may be of interest are listed below.

  • the British Council’s first schools podcast with TES, featuring Glasgow teacher Claire Mackay, and Director of LfSS Pete Higgins, exploring how teacher collaboration can boost climate education, and the importance of sharing practice on climate change teaching.



  • Climate resources for school teachers – resources and fun activities for use in the classroom or at home, including the Climate Change Challenge activity sheet.


  • And of course there is still opportunity for teachers to participate in the MOOCs run by University of Edinburgh on Learning for a Sustainable Future, and the Live at the COP.  Both offer a fantastic learning journey and bank of resources for people to reflect individually, and to inspire professional practise.



Volunteering at COP26 by Fiona Shaw (Development Officer, Improving Gender Balance and Equalities)

It was a dark, dreary lockdown day in January 2021 when I first saw the opportunity to be part of one of the most significant and exciting events the City of Glasgow has seen – COP 26 Climate Summit.

Ten months on and I have completed two of my volunteering shifts at COP26. After originally applying to be part of the Active Transport team I was disappointed to find out there wasn’t a place available. However all was not lost as, a few weeks after finding this out, I was invited to be part of the Media team….an ambiguous yet very intriguing position! Turns out it would involve hosting the conference’s Destination Media Hub in the centre of the city and meeting and greeting members of the press.

The Hub itself is a celebration of all the sustainable practice Glasgow has to offer in terms of culture, business and social initiatives. Dotted around the room were plenty of products and initiatives that celebrate Scottish innovation and its approach to a circular economy: Jaw Brew beers (who used old bakers rolls to make their pioneering beer: Hardtack and Roller), a plant pot company Potr who take fishing rope waste and turn it into self-watering plant pots, ACS clothing who are the largest clothing rental and renewal service provider in Europe and Kabloom who produce biodegradable ‘guerilla gardening grenades’ plus many more! All of this accompanied by the dulcet tones of Glasgow musicians playing in the background on the ‘Glasgow makes music’ playlist.


On my shifts so far I have welcomed members of the press, offered them a comfy seat, a place to take calls and a hot drink and escorted them to meet dignitaries from the conference. I have also met like-minded volunteers and we have worked together to highlight good news stories from across the city to be passed on to members of the press. I was really keen to celebrate the work of schools and communities in these stories so I made sure lots of these were sent their way!

Volunteering is always enjoyable and a lovely way to gain new skills and give back to the community, but volunteering at COP26 is certainly special, memorable, and I feel grateful to have been part of it.  But like many of us, I am hoping the world leaders do reach an historic agreement that actually tackles the climate emergency.

As a final thought, I wanted to share a link to a video from the LfS MOOC course that really struck a chord with me this week and really made me think: The High Price of Materialism



Join us for COPTV Extra

The Scottish Youth Film Foundation (SYFF) is taking 12 young people to the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Glasgow (COP 26) where they will report from one of the most important events ever to take place in Scotland.

Their aim is to link up young people in Scotland who care about the planet with other young people around the world with the same goals and ideas. The group, who have been recruited from all over Scotland, are creating COP TV, a daily online broadcast which from the 8th-12th November will air for an hour and let the world know what the young people of Scotland think about the climate crisis and the solutions being discussed at COP.

Programmes will feature live interviews, pre-recorded films and inserts produced daily to reflect the breadth of what’s happening.

Check out the COP TV Broadcasts via the following links:

Monday 08 Nov (Available to view) –

Tuesday 09 Nov (Available to view) –

Wednesday 10 Nov (Available to view) –

Thursday 11 Nov (Available to view) –

Friday 12 Nov (Tune in at 5pm to see the next broadcast stream LIVE – or use same link to watch later) –

AND Now, Education Scotland and SYFF are giving you a chance to engage with the team through COPTV EXTRA. The COPTV EXTRA sessions will run on MS Teams from 09:30 to 10:00 on 9th to 12th November.

The COPTV Extra sessions are aimed at upper primary and secondary pupils across Scotland and will give schools a chance to engage with the COPTV Team. Ask questions about the biggest event ever to land in Scotland! Shape the COPTV content for the day! And get a unique behind back-stage insight into putting COPTV together.

Register for COPTV EXTRA through this link:

Please note: if you plan to attend on more than one of the dates then you’ll need to register separately for each day.

Find out more about COPTV

COPTV will be broadcast on COPTV YouTube channel from 5-6pm from the 8th to 12th November.

New York Times COP26 Climate Hub – FREE tickets for Educators’ Day

Please note: In-person tickets for this event have now sold out due to very high demand. However, there are an unlimited number of tickets still available for those who want to attend virtually (live on the day) or to access the recordings following the Educators’ Day.

Between the 3rd and 11th November the New York Times is taking over the SWG3 building on the Clydeside – right next to the official COP26 Green and Blue Zones at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow. Their Climate Hub experience will be the biggest fringe event outside official UN COP26 negotiations. It will bring together citizens, scientists, inventors, academics, delegates and journalists from around the world to answer the most urgent question of our time: How do we adapt and thrive on a changing planet?

Educators are being invited to register for the New York Times Educate on Climate day on Friday 5th November, for free! This one-day event has been designed by educators for educators and will seek to tackle some of the biggest challenges in education. What world will our learners inherit, and how can we prepare them to thrive in it? How should we nurture the next generation of climate leaders? How do we empower students to think critically about the challenges facing our planet, and how can we work hand in hand with young people to help shape climate solutions?

There are a number of ways that educators can participate. In-person tickets sold out extremely quickly due to the high demand but educators can still register to join the sessions online. Don’t worry if you can’t join live on the day – catch up recordings will be available so you can watch the sessions at a time that suits you. However, you will need to register to access these. Multiple registrations from each establishment are welcome.

Those fortunate enough to be attending in person will enjoy the sessions in the unique ‘Conference of tress’ setting created by an award-winning artist. This will involve an experiential exhibition of living, breathing trees. This promises to be a professional learning experience like no other – a 5th November to remember!

See the attached programme here: NYT Educate on Climate Programme

To register for FREE for the NYT Educate on Climate Day (5th Nov), visit:

Click on the Ticket tab and then choose how to attend. Then enter the following code in the Discount box: EDUCATE-VIP

Find out more about the New York Times Climate Hub:

Visit Education Scotland’s Countdown to COP page to find out about all the COP26 Resources and support available:

Also, coming soon – COPTV!

The Scottish Youth Film Foundation has recruited 12 young journalists to create and host a daily broadcast for learners from COP26 from the 8th to the 12th November. The programme will be broadcast via YouTube from 5pm-6pm each evening.

Change Film Competition – Enter by 30th Sept 2021

Submit your video before 30th September

To mark COP26 coming to Glasgow, The Scottish Youth Film Foundation is looking for your films on the subject of Change.

The closing date is 30th September but there’s ample time to make and upload a film about climate change. It has to be five mins or under and made by young people aged 19 or younger.

Shortlisted films will be screened at a Gala Event taking place at COP26 itself. All filmmakers will be invited along on the night when the winners will be revealed.

Full details can be found here –

Check out this video to find out more about the competition: Change – Film Competition – YouTube

Scottish Learning Festival – Suggested LfS Pathway

As SLF 2021 fast approaches, please find below one suggested LfS Pathway through the SLF programme this year.

Tuesday 21 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 1 10:00 – 10:45

Learning for sustainability

Using the local environment and outdoor learning effectively to develop and promote learning for sustainability in the primary school.

Primary practitioners

SESSION 2 12:30 – 13:15

Approaching COP 26: Learning for Sustainability through Social Studies and RME.

Join us to consider opportunities for exploring Learning for Sustainability (LfS) in the context of Social Studies and RME. Link LfS, Social Studies, RME and the wider curriculum to get your learners ready for COP 26.

Local authority and Education Scotland staff


Wednesday 22 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 4 14:00 – 14:45

Yearning for outdoor learning – building back better post-lockdown

A selection of practice from across Scotland demonstrating outdoor learning approaches developed through lockdown. How do we build on these opportunities and take outdoor learning to new heights? Gwyneth Quinn, East Ayrshire; Natalie White, Bualnaluib and Poolewe Cluster, Highland Council, Kate Samuel, Hyndland Secondary School

SESSION 5 15:45 – 16:30


A session exploring key resources, activities and ideas to engage learners in climate education and Learning for Sustainability as Scotland prepares to host the UN COP26 Climate Summit in November. Debbie Matthewson, Stow Primary, Scottish Borders with Education Scotland staff


Thursday 23 September  SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 1 08:00 – 08:45

Scottish Virtual Nature School

Led by Dr Clare Warden, this Scottish Government funded support for outdoor learning benefits children and families across Scotland. Hear about the wide ranging impact from ELC practitioners who have participated.

Dr Clare Warden and practitioners

Learning for Sustainability Awards – Nominations open until 12th September

The United Nations COP26 Climate Summit is being hosted in Glasgow from 01-12 November with around 200 world leaders expected to attend. There is hope that the event will result in a truly historic agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the climate emergency.

In the run up to COP26, Education Scotland and the Daily Record are encouraging nominations for the Learning for Sustainability Awards. Learning for Sustainability is recognised as an entitlement for all learners in Scotland’s curriculum and a recent PISA study showed that our learners are world-leading global citizens. We want to shout about this and celebrate the commitment and passion of Scotland’s young people, practitioners and communities to building a socially-just, sustainable and equitable world. We are particularly keen to encourage nominations from disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities to help make this the most inclusive COP event ever.

There will be five winners in each of the six award categories: youth, practitioner, leadership, learning community, educational supporter and community learning and development awards. Visit the Learning for Sustainability Awards website to find out more or to apply:

Those submitting early nominations may also be featured in the Daily Record’s national media outlets and shared with its readers around the world:

For more support preparing for COP26:

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 or

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