Learning for Sustainability – Call to Action spotlight

Learning for Sustainability

Etive House, St Modan’s High School

Our learners are responding to the Call to Action by connecting, acting and sharing Target2030 through our creative curriculum.  Learning for Sustainability is the golden thread linking our curriculum, and by working in partnership with organisations such as Artlink Central, Avon Outdoors, Princes’ Trust and RHET, our learners have been supported to use their knowledge of reusing everyday items in a creative way.

The school wide Christmas door competition has enabled Etive House learners to continue their Learning for Sustainability journey from the design stage to realisation.  Having watched the John Lewis Christmas advert, it sparked discussion, which concluded in a visit to a local garden centre to look for a Venus Flytrap.  Within this project it is visible to see commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 12; Responsible Consumption and Production, using unwanted clothes, cushions and necklaces to make our ‘Snapper’ grow.

Our learners are now redesigning the door, applying principles of the circular economy to reuse the different parts of door project in the creation of a standalone Snapper, which will continue to inspire learners about nature, biodiversity, and responsible consumption.  Etive House learners are demonstrating their commitment to Target20230 by sharing their door design within the school community, and local authority.

Alison Poole

Integrated Support Worker


LfS Peer Mentor Roles Available – Apply Now!

Are you passionate about Learning for Sustainability? Would you like to work with other practitioners to share practice, ideas and help build an exciting movement for change?

If so, then Education Scotland would like to invite you to apply to become one of our new Learning for Sustainability Peer Mentors.

Learning for Sustainability Action Plan

In June 2023, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills launched Target 2030: A Movement for People, Planet and Prosperity. This refreshed Learning for Sustainability action plan aims to ensure that:

  • All learners receive their Learning for Sustainability entitlement
  • All 3-18 learning settings and schools become sustainable by 2030.

The Learning for Sustainability action plan includes a focus on climate change education, outdoor learning, global citizenship, children’s rights, social justice, and equalities.

A national Call to Action was launched on 06 December to encourage people across Scotland to work together to achieve Target 2030.

What will the peer mentors do?

Education Scotland has been tasked with establishing a Learning for Sustainability (LfS) Peer Mentor Network to deliver on the ambitions of the Learning for Sustainability Action Plan. We are looking for peer mentors to work with early learning and childcare, primary, ASN, secondary and community learning and development settings to help them develop their practice and to support their journeys towards effective whole setting approaches to Learning for Sustainability. The period from 01 February to the 31 March 2024 is the pilot phase of the programme and the LfS Peer Mentors involved will play an exciting role in establishing the new national network.

Activities may include aspects of the following:

  • Working with a small number of settings and schools locally to offer support and advice
  • Providing advice and support virtually via email, online networks, online calls etc
  • Supporting local and national LfS networks
  • Facilitating the sharing of ideas, approaches and resources and supporting collaboration
  • Leading open days and events.

Who should apply?

To apply to be an LfS Peer Mentor you should:

  • Be passionate about Learning for Sustainability
  • Have at least two years’ experience of leading LfS within an ELC, primary, secondary, ASN or CLD context
  • Be available to undertake at least 4 days (or a total of 28 hours) of activity between 01 February and 31 March 2024. This could be made up of full days, half days, or cumulative hours of support.

Education Scotland will provide cover costs to settings to allow LfS Peer Mentors to be released. Alternatively, mentors may be commissioned to undertake work in their own time. Where relevant, please consult your headteacher, head of centre, line manager before applying to confirm that they are able to release you to undertake activities. FREE bespoke professional learning for mentors will be provided at training days on 06 and 07 February 2024.

Following the pilot phase, a short evaluation of success of the network will be conducted to inform decisions regarding next steps. Anyone involved as a mentor in the pilot phase will be contacted in due course to let them know whether a further opportunity to be involved beyond 31 March will be made available.

How to apply

To apply, please complete this short online form no later than 5pm on Friday 12 January 2024: https://forms.office.com/e/BEj2x97Gy6.

We will contact you early in the New Year regarding your application.

Get involved in COP28

COP 28 the United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Dubai, United Emirates from 30 November until 12 December 2023

UN Climate Change conferences (or COPs) take place every year and are the world’s only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change with almost complete membership of every country in the world.

The COP is where the world comes together to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, helping vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

More than 70,000 delegates are expected to attend COP28, including the member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Business leaders, young people, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists, and various other experts and stakeholders are also among the participants.

Officially, COP 28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC.

With the most important details of the Paris Climate Change Agreement negotiated and agreed over the last few years, COP 28 is all about implementing the Agreement and ramping up ambition and action.

This is a decisive decade for climate action.

The latest science from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. This is critical to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.

COP 28 is an opportunity to identify global solutions for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, develop countries’ preparations for revised and more ambitious national climate plans due by 2025, accelerate the green transition that is already happening and ultimately achieve the delivery of the Paris Agreement goals.


COP 28 Education Day

As part of the conference 8th December is dedicated to Youth, Children, Education and Skills. This Education day will seek to empower young people to shape the outcomes of COP28 and beyond, considering the impacts of climate change for young people. Focuses will include investment in youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship, inclusion in policy-making processes capacity–building, and transforming education to close the skills gap for green jobs aligned with climate action – Youth Children Skills – COP28 UAE.

UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) – Teaching Resources
COP28, the key questions and what it means for Scotland
First Minister and global leaders at COP28
Yousaf warns ‘planet at tipping point’ as he attends COP28 in UAE
Climate change education at COP28
Scottish students debate on climate crisis at COP28 mock event
Education Scotland’s COP26 legacy materials – recycling, reusing, repurpose materials from COP 26 in Glasgow…because they were so popular and it’s good for the planet to use again!
COP28 2023 Event Information and Teaching Resources (twinkl.co.uk)
Ways To Use COP28 In The Classroom – Teaching Ideas
ECO2 COP28 Resources (Ages 9 – 11)
Climate Ambassadors

STEM Learning has created a new subset of STEM Ambassadors called Climate Ambassadors. Employers and organisations can choose to be connected to Climate Ambassadors and filter requests of this type.


Join Free Online Course ‘Live at COP28’

How should we take positive action towards a sustainable future? The University of Edinburgh, Learning for Sustainability Scotland, and the British Council, have created a free, short, facilitated online course ideal for anyone interested in sustainability and of particular interest to educators.

  • Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP28 (starting 30 November)
    Explore global issues during COP28 and be part of the call for collective action. Find out more about the key international frameworks that support action on climate change, and explore national and international responses to the conference themes from children and young people, community groups, and ministerial bodies. Engage in community discussion and share your perspectives and ideas for the future. Sign up here.

Scotland’s Climate Week 25 September – 1 October 2023

Scotland’s Climate Week 

Scotland’s Climate Week, an annual event that encourages individuals and communities to come together to show support for tackling the climate emergency, begins on 25 September and ends on 1 October.

This year is about taking action in the areas that have the most impact.

For example, emissions from car use and home heating are the biggest contributors to climate change in Scotland from individuals. By choosing more climate-friendly ways to travel and by improving our home heating, we can do good for the planet and it feels good for us too.


The climate crisis is already significantly impacting countries around the world, including Scotland. Together we can work to reduce our emissions to net zero and limit any further damage. By starting just one conversation with your students or colleagues you can create a ripple effect of positive actions that could help make the change needed to reach net zero and save the planet.

Climate change can be a hard thing to talk about, so the Climate Conversation pack outlines the important information you need to get started. It provides the opportunity to get to grips with all things climate change and identify topics and conversation starters to weave into your daily conversations, whether that’s on social media, at work, school or with friends.

Starting these conversations can help empower others and provide a sense of unity and community, but remember, it can be a challenging and emotional subject to bring up. No one should feel blamed, attacked, criticised or judged when talking about climate change. Always be mindful of where people are coming from – economically, societally, and emotionally.

For more details and information on how to take part in Scotland’s Climate Week click here.

Keep Scotland Beautiful Climate Action Week

26 September – 2 October

Timed with the Scottish Government’s Climate Week, Keep Scotland Beautiful Climate Action Week is a series of interactive lessons, inspiring stories and activities about climate change and what we can do about it. Click here to find out more.

There is an all ages assembly plan, secondary resources and interactive lessons aimed at helping upper primary learners understand what climate change is, its impacts, how we are contributing to this situation and how we can contribute to its solution. These lessons are supported with resources and activities that classes can carry out after each lesson.

Creative Collaborations for Sustainability conference 20 & 22 June

We are delighted to bring you the news of a forthcoming event run by Creative Scotland and Education Scotland. The Creative Collaborations for Sustainability conference aims to explore the opportunities for developing Learning for Sustainability in, about and through the arts, investigating through a variety of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary workshops how people and communities value and engage with the natural environment. Creative Collaborations for Sustainability seeks to support teachers in developing confidence to use arts approaches in their practice around Learning for Sustainability.

  • Tuesday 20th June will be for secondary practitioners
  • Wednesday 21st June will be for primary practitioners

See the dedicated website for more details: Creative Collaborations for Sustainability – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (rcs.ac.uk)

Sign up through the Eventbrite page: Creative Collaborations for Sustainability Tickets

Get set for COP27 – get involved

COP27 DYW Live Programme

Get set for COP27 – learn about climate change and help develop skills in Scotland’s future workforce.  Learning about climate change and sustainability is a pathway to the future; relevant for all future jobs. As part of COP27 Week 2022 DYW Live, Education Scotland and e-Sgoil are excited to offer a range of activities around climate change and its impact on future jobs and future skills.

Collaborating with six industry partners sharing what they are doing to prevent climate change, join us for an industry-led inspiration talk followed by a climate lesson on Teams which can be used to enhance learning from the webinar or as a standalone activity.

14 November

  • AM – Construction – hear from Built Environment, Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) as they seek to accelerate the built environment’s transition to zero carbon emissions.
  • PM – Ethical Finance – Shared Interest is an ethical investment organisation which aims to alleviate poverty by helping people in remote and disadvantaged communities, to trade and earn a living.

15 November

  • AM – Energy transition – Hear from Catapult Offshore Renewable Energy and their plans to harness nature’s energy in sustainable ways.
  • PM – Sustainable fashion – ACS’ mission is to be the leading enabler of the fashion industry’s circular economy in the UK and Europe.

17 November 

  • AM – Agriculture and ForestryLANTRA will explain how working the fields, forests and hills can mitigate against climate change.
  • PM – TransportHear how FirstBus is reducing the impact of travel on the planet and creating green jobs in the process.

To find out more and register visit the DYW LIVE COP27 page

The webinars will be recorded and made available afterwards on the e-sgoil webpage.


Live at COP27 Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

2-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

Starts 7 November

This online course, run by Learning for Sustainability Scotland, will explore global issues during COP27. Be part of the call for collective action.

Find out more and sign up here. Why not engage with our legacy resource – ‘Live at COP26’ – too?


Climate Ambassadors

STEM Learning has created a new subset of STEM Ambassadors called Climate Ambassadors. Employers and organisations can choose to be connected to Climate Ambassadors and filter requests of this type.


Royal Society of Chemistry Take Charge Battery Experiment

To tackle the growing climate crisis, we need to move away from fossil fuels and embrace electrification. A crucial part of this journey is bigger and better batteries; we need them to be a sustainable storage solution to ease our energy transition.

Taking part in the global battery experiment will give you the opportunity to explore the science behind batteries – and why they are such an important part of our bright energy future.

Countdown to COP

Education Scotland’s COP26 legacy materials – recycling, reusing, repurpose materials from last year…because they were so popular and it’s good for the planet to use again!


Scottish Learning Festival – LfS Pathway

The Scottish Learning Festival is free to attend and everyone with an interest in education is welcome to register.  This year the programme has around 65 seminars including spotlight sessions offering a fantastic line up of speakers, debates and opportunities for professional learning and networking.

Our programme will once again be held in an amazing 3D virtual venue and you will be able to view the sessions anywhere from any device that has internet access.
You will need to register to access the virtual venue, but you don’t need to pre-register for sessions, all you need to do is explore the programme, decide what you’d like to attend and just join any session of your choice on the day.

Below is a Learning for Sustainability pathway curated for you over the two days of SLF 2022:

Wednesday 21 September 12:30 – 13:15

Learning for Sustainability (LfS), the Professional Standards and you: supporting the learner entitlement to LfS

Explore the new GTC Scotland Learning for Sustainability Hub, and hear from practitioners about how to realise this most vital of themes in your practice and the wider life of your setting. Betsy King

Wednesday 21 September 14:00 – 14:45

Designing Our Outdoor World

Join Nils Aksnes and Keira Anderson (Make + Do Design Studio) and Madeleine Conn (Cultural Coordinator, Argyll and Bute Council) to explore how creative approaches to outdoor spaces impacted on learners’ mental health and wellbeing in the Designing Our Outdoor World primary project.

Taking the climate and biodiversity crises seriously: learners and practitioners taking action and making a difference

Hear directly from Allan’s Nursery, Dunblane Primary and St Modan’s Secondary Additional Support Needs provision on how they are working together to realise learners’ entitlement for Learning for Sustainability and help combat climate change.
Participants will be inspired and encouraged to take action in their setting.
Danny Smith, Jennifer Hutton, Iona McCroary &  Vicky Cunningham plus learners and climate ambassadors

Wednesday 21 September 15:45 – 16:30

Outdoor Education, Equity, Evaluation & Impact for Learners – providing an outdoor experience that is available to all Scottish Young People
Explore a definition of wellbeing through Outdoor Education, around feeling good and functioning well and helping young people to flourish. With discussion of research and impact on learners. Martin Davidson

Thursday 22 September 10:00 – 10:45

Developing Successful Approaches to Outdoor Learning

This session will hear from two groups of settings and the collaboration that took place on their journey to develop outdoor learning. Settings have developed outdoor learning champions and shared their process of change including skills audits, confidence and spaces and practice leading to action plans, reflection and impact.
Rowena Nursery, Glasgow City Council and Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre, Craighead Country Nursery, East Ayrshire



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 https://youtu.be/oGab38pKscw.



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