Welcome to the latest issue of LfS Scotland's monthly bulletin
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December 2021
Welcome to the Learning for Sustainability Scotland e-bulletin for December 2021.

As we reflect on an immensely busy November dominated by the COP26 in Glasgow, you may be asking "what now?". What can we do to encourage continued nature-connection activity in schools, colleges, universities, homes and in local communities. Read on to discover new events, resources and courses to maintain the conversation about climate change.

Best wishes,

Katie Grant
Bulletin Editor
Top picks: December

1. Learning for Sustainability Scotland warmly invites you to attend our AGM and Networking event, 12 January, 11:00

At the start of a new year, and of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022, this year’s annual gathering is a chance to reconnect with both people and planet through stories.
We’ll be celebrating our members' stories, and taking a look at our own, as well as exploring how to tell sustainability stories in new ways to inspire our audiences.

2. COP26... What Now? 8 December, 09:30

This interactive Sustainable Scotland Network event will enable members and stakeholders to: reflect on the outcomes of COP26; explore new Public Bodies Climate Change Guidance in more depth; and discuss some of the key priorities for accelerating public sector climate action, especially capacity building, skills and finance. 

3. RCEs Come Together to Focus on Strengthening Action on Global Crises through the 'Heart', 'Head' and 'Hands'

Resources from the 12th Global RCE Conference, held online from 16-18 November, hosted by RCE Scotland and the Global RCE Centre under the theme 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises'. Across three days, 351 attendees from across the network explored the sub-themes of 'Hearts' (What kind of world do we want? How do we engage hearts and minds?), 'Heads' (Visioning, thinking and reflecting: planning for action on Education for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals), and 'Hands' (Making it happen: taking action on Education for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals).

News from LfS Scotland
Update from the Learning for Sustainability Scotland Steering Group
December 2021
We could hardly stand against the wind as we fled home. It was not constant; it gusted and blustered around us as the branches on the birch tree whipped around and the last leaves whirled up and off into the dark night. We were grateful for the shelter of the powerless house. This was a fierce storm, hurling rain horizontal and scattering mud. It was an unusual north-easterly, and many trees, used to a different prevailing wind, were upended by its fury. A Scots pine cracked and split, falling across a road nearby. A 200-year-old oak in a friend’s garden succumbed, the ancient tap root snapped through. Larch trees skittled on old dune land. Whilst storm-made glades are part of nature cycles, this extreme event ended the life of many venerable old giants.
This felt like a real wind of change; a storm surge, manifesting COP26 predictions. We hope you all stayed safe. Here at Learning for Sustainability Scotland (LfS Scotland), we have been riding the wave of COP26-associated activities. Our successful UoE/LfSS/ British Council global Learning for a Sustainable Future and Learning for a Sustainable Future Live at COP26 MOOCs have now finished, but are still open for anyone to engage with by clicking on the hyperlinks.
We have been discussing with colleagues around the globe how to best develop policies and practices to facilitate learning for the future. A highlight for us was the 12th Global RCE Conference, Achieving the SDGs: Action through Learning in a time of Global Crises in November. Together with the Global RCE Service Centre, based at the United Nations University in Japan, we led an inspiring and informative event showcasing practices from around the world. Find out more and access the resources here. Our global partners said how much they appreciated the messages of warmth and welcome from our country and the beautiful ‘postcards’, videos and online ceilidh which enabled people overseas to feel connected to our lovely land, sea and sky.
As 2021 draws to a close, you can sign up to a major event in our annual calendar: the LfS Scotland annual gathering, which will take place online on 12th January 2022. This AGM and networking session will focus on Stories for Sustainability: transformational learning through the personal and political, as we begin Scotland’s Year of Stories, 2022. Reserve your place now here, and please let us know if you have a story to share.
The winds will blow again, and such storm events are predicted to be more likely to occur in future. We will need to be prepared to survive alone, to endure together and to work with our natural environment to support its resilience as it in turn nurtures us. This preparation will require us to learn to be in tune with nature, and to learn and pass on the skills, capacities and competencies to navigate an unpredictable world. As the days draw even shorter, we hope you all find shelter with family and friends in the holiday season and that you are able to replenish spirit, soul and stomach before the beginning of next year.
“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills” Chinese proverb
Rehema White, LfS Scotland Steering Group Chair and University of St Andrews
Betsy King, Development Manager, LfS Scotland (
Courses, Workshops & Webinars

Please check with relevant organisations for up to date info

Schools sector

1. Climate Ready Classrooms

This one-day accredited Carbon Literacy training course by Keep Scotland Beautiful for young people 14–17 years uses interactive activities and examples to start a conversation about climate change. Upon completing the course, pupils receive Carbon Literacy accreditation.

2. Free Nature Connection Programme for Schools

Wildfowl and Wetland Trust have recently launched their Generation Wild programme to connect children and their families with nature.

3. Eco Drama Out to Play course for Primary Teachers and Support for Learning Workers in Glasgow 

Ideal for those looking to make Outdoor Learning more creative, imaginative and fun, this 2 hour practical course explores the methodology of Eco Drama’s  Out to Play programme and provides tried and tested tips on how to make the most of school outdoor space. There are 4 dates to choose from in March 2022.

Tertiary sector

4. EAUC Scotland Winter Forum Meeting, 9 December, 10:00 

Join EAUC on Zoom for their Winter Forum Meeting to discuss key sustainability topics facing the Scottish further and higher education sector at the moment.

5. Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalisation Virtual Conference, 24 January

After the inaugural conference in 2021, with international education scholars, mobility professionals, policymakers, sustainability experts, representatives from international development and UN organisations, as well as industry participating, this event will engage new voices, partners and stakeholders in creative dialogue formats to further enrich the discussion on sustainable and inclusive internationalisation in higher education.

6. Education for Sustainable Development Topic Support Network, 20 January, 13:30

The next EAUC Scotland/ LfS Scotland ESD Topic Support Network meeting will explore how  to prepare the ground and getting started with Education for Sustainable Development in your University or College

Youth & Community sector

7. 'I am Greta' Film Screening, 9 December, 18:00

Greta Thunberg, 15, starts school striking for the climate. She skips school and sit outside the parliament to show the politicians that if they don't care about her future, why should she? A film about acting to stop climate change before it's too late. Come to watch and discuss the new "I am Greta" film at Augustine United Church (Edinburgh). Watch the trailer here.

8. After COP26, what next? Scotland's Climate Future, 7 December, 19:00

This event launches a new event series for Scotland's Climate Festival. Hear from a diverse panel of speakers on what COP26 means for Scotland's climate future.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
Taking forward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

1. UN General Assembly discusses UNESCO’s Report on Education for Sustainable Development

Representatives of member states and the UN system discussed ways towards the achievement of sustainable development, including the implementation of international commitments on climate change and agreements on financing for development, as well as efforts for advancing education for sustainable development worldwide.

2. FSC Millport & Cumbrae Primary – Outdoor Education & Learning for Sustainability

The programme, inspired by the SDGs, has seen the pupils leave their notebooks in the classroom and pull on their wellies. The activities have challenged the children to engage with nature in ways they might not have done before, in rain and shine. Many of the sessions have links to STEM, for example, identifying pond and rocky shore invertebrates, creating their own tree identification guides, weather recording, building water filters, making rafts, habitat creation and much more!

3. The Great Big Lesson for Climate and Nature

This lesson turns COP26 into a classroom for everyone – turning learning into action by equipping audiences not only with knowledge but the ability to communicate about and act upon the climate and nature crisis. It is the easiest and most inspiring way for school communities to understand and feel part of this crucial global gathering.

Schools sector

1. Generation Earthshot

Generation Earthshot hosted the biggest schools event at COP26 exploring how to generate ideas and take action to repair the planet. Download the free teacher toolkit and get involved here.

2. Biodiversity & Climate ChangeNew Education Case Studies Added

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has published three new education case studies to add to the already existing Biodiversity and Climate Change Education pack – the three new resources are focused on Trees and Woodlands, Water Bodies and the National Park’s Mission Zero journey to Net Zero.

3. Rebooting International Cooperation

This month’s Global Dimension class activity explores December's theme of International Cooperation. Learners explore the concept of the Tragedy of the Commons through a game where resources are replenished as they are used up. Participants have to find a way to cooperate so that the resources don't run out.

Tertiary sector

4. Energy and Water Management TSN Meeting - Resources and Recording

This meeting discussed new funding streams to support energy master planning and net-zero strategies.

Youth & Community sector

5. Young Placechangers 

Young Placechangers has used a co-production approach to develop and pilot a training and support programme,  enabling young people to transform both the place they live, their relationship to it and the wider community. The Young Placechangers Toolkit has been put together to help young people get involved in place discussions and decisions.

6. #MakeTimeTo

#MakeTimeTo is all about supporting young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing – and is part of the #AyeFeel project. This campaign toolkit has information about #MakeTimeTo, social media posts and activities that you can run with young people. These include a quiz, a diary, and discussion questions.  

7. Science & Films: The New Inspiration Couple?

A side event, 'Science & Films: The New Inspiration Couple?' was held at COP26, which explored how film, arts and creative communication can help tell the climate emergency story and inspire hope and action. Speakers discussed new ways of communicating climate science and policy to reach more people.

Funding & News

Schools sector

1. Reimagining our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education

This report by the International Commission on the Futures of Education acknowledges the power of education to bring about profound change.

2. John Muir Award and a Pandemic Recovery

John Muir Trust annual schools John Muir Award report highlights nearly 40% increase in Award activity in schools compared to last academic year. 

Tertiary sector

3. DECODE Council for Sustainable Development

The DECODE Council aims to support a community of European deans and other heads of academic units (departments, faculties, schools) in their efforts to embed sustainable development at their institutions. The Council will bring together more than 150 colleagues to exchange views, share good practices and initiatives, and learn from each other in a “from deans to deans” philosophy. 

4. College Energy Efficiency Grants

The Central Government Energy Efficiency Grant Fund has opened their call for applications for capital projects, including multi-year projects that can complete installation between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2027.

5. Announcing the Green Gown Award Winners and Highly Commended Entries

The Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland’s virtual Awards Ceremony celebrated the inspirational work and projects of 90 Finalists in 14 different categories.

6. Teach the Future's COP26 Educators' Commitment to Climate Action

Teach the Future's COP26 Educators' Commitment to Climate Action aims to empower students and pupils to make sustainable decisions, to advocate for systemic change and to inspire others to do the same in their educational institutions.

7. Climate Action for University Chairs Guide

Following on from the Guide for Members of Governing Bodies (2018) and the Climate Action Toolkit for the Higher Education Sector (2020), that identified Higher Education specific critical elements that Vice-Chancellors and Governors should consider to advance sustainability and respond to the climate crisis, EAUC are pleased to present the Climate Action for University Chairs Guide – a joint work of the Climate Commission for Higher and Further Education

8. Building a Planet at Peace with Nature: UNESCO joins Minecraft’s Latest Challenge

UNESCO is joining Minecraft on the ‘Global Build Challenge 2021: Making Peace with Nature’, as part of its programme to engage students worldwide to address the urgent environmental crisis through education for sustainable development.

9. Post COP26 - EAUC's Reflections

What have we learnt from two weeks of leaders’ statements, massive protests and side deals on coal, stopping fossil fuel finance and deforestation, plus the final signed Glasgow Climate Pact and what does this mean for the further and higher education sector, and implicitly, the EAUC?

Youth & Community sector

10. COP26 Blogs

Throughout the two weeks of COP26, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland published guest blogs on the importance of centring nature in the climate discussionthe vital significance of loss and damage funding, and the radical change that is needed for transport as we confront the climate crisis, amongst many more topics. Browse and read all the blogs on the news section of the SCCS website.
RCE Global Network news

1. Call for Teacher InSights

Transforming how our next generation thinks and acts about the environment and the world requires profound changes in teaching and learning. The OECD, UNESCO and Education International are inviting teachers to share initiatives and projects on student empowerment around climate action. Share your insights and take part in developing an action plan to implement the leading insights in classrooms, education systems and policies! 

2. 2021 RCE Awards for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

RCE Scotland was delighted to be among the award winners of the 2021 RCE Awards, presented at the 12th Global RCE Conference!  Projects across the SDGs and themes including Climate Action, Curriculum Development, Waste, Agriculture, Responsible Consumption & Production, Traditional Knowledge, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Quality Education are included. Take a look at a video  or see the full list here.

3. RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge Awardees Announced

For this challenge, participants created works of art focusing on SDG 13 (Climate Action) to engage with 'hearts, hands, or heads', the sub-themes for this year's 12th Global RCE Conference.

Policy & Research 

1. New Guidance on Carbon Targets and Reporting for Public Bodies from ScotGov

The Scottish Government has published guidance on public sector leadership for tackling the climate emergency, to accompany the changes to Public Bodies Climate Change Duties (PBCCD) reporting that come in from 2022. EAUC-S were represented on the working group that developed the guidance, to ensure relevance for the further and higher education sector. SSN will be looking at the guidance in depth during its conference on 8 December.

2. Only Half of the National Curricula in the World have a Reference to Climate Change, UNESCO Warns

New UNESCO data from 100 countries shows that only half the education sector plans or national curriculum documents make any reference to climate change. When climate change was mentioned, the focus on it was almost always very low. Furthermore, fewer than 40 per cent of teachers surveyed by UNESCO and Education International were confident in teaching about the severity of climate change and only about one-third felt able to explain well the effects of climate change on their region or locality. Join UNESCO in calling for education to change so we can learn for our planet by sharing this data on social media

3. Getting Every School Climate-Ready

This document summarises the findings of selected studies by UNESCO and its partners on how climate change issues are integrated in education. These findings shed light on four key questions: where do we stand on climate change education; what do teachers say; what are the examples of country good practices on climate change education; and what does inter-ministerial collaboration on education for sustainable development look like?

4. Manifesto for Education for Environmental Sustainability (EfES) published by BERA Research Commission

The final manifesto from the BERA-funded research commission on environmental sustainability calls for sustainability to become a key feature of the curriculum, inspections and other accountability systems in order to enable schools to make environmentally friendly choices.

5. Call for Views: Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill - Scottish Parliament - Citizen Space

The Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment (RAINE) Committee is scrutinising the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill and is seeking your views. The Committee wants to know what you think about the Bill and its impact on public bodies across Scotland. It also wants your views more widely about what might be contained within these plans, how the plans should be scrutinised and how they could link to other food policy initiatives.


1. Visitor Experience Officer, RSPB, Abernethy. Closing Date: 15 December

The RSPB are looking for 3 Visitor Experience Officers to work at the Nature Centre, who will help ensure all visitors have a great experience and engender respect for the reserve and the natural world.

2. Programme Manager, Regional Community Climate Action Networks, WfH. Closing Date: 10 December

Scottish Government is supporting SCCAN to invest in ten regional community climate action networks across Scotland. This is to enable consolidation and expansion of the work of existing community climate action networks and to nurture the creation of new regional networks that can support the emerging regional community climate action hubs. The Programme Manager will oversee and support local Network Coordinators who will be recruited initially for up to ten regions across Scotland.

3. Climate for Change (C4C) Coordinator, WfH. Closing Date: 10 December

The Climate for Change (C4C) Coordinator will be responsible for the detailed design, development and roll out of a Climate for Change programme in Scotland.

This month's Spotlight features...

‘Natural Connections’ Workshops: Bowmont Forest, Wild Woodlanders Christmas Special, 3 December, 14:00

Part of a series of workshops supporting nature and human connection, 'Wild Woodlanders' outdoor play session for children between 7 and 12 years old. These wild play sessions are taking place in Bowmont Forest. Make new friends, have fun in the woods, enjoy free-play, build dens, learn about your local wild area and much, much more. Come and enjoy their Christmas special, bring a santa hat. 

This month's picture comes to you from...

St Andrews students send messages of hope for COP26

In late October, the University of St Andrews worked with the charity Liter of Light (a former winner of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment) to create messages to send to COP26 using their solar lights. The University requested messages from students in advance of the arrival of Liter of Light and chose to create the messages ‘action not words’, ‘save the planet’ and ‘net zero 2035’.
Would you like to see your photo here? Every month we feature a photo of the month from one of our members and next month - it could be you! With over 1200 people reading our monthly bulletin it is a wonderful place to let the Learning for Sustainability (LfS) community see all your hard work. If you have a photo you'd like to feature in 'Photo of the Month' then please email our bulletin editor Katie or check our website for details.
Learning for Sustainability Scotland (LfS Scotland) is Scotland’s UN Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development; headquartered within the University of Edinburgh. The centre is an open network where members and partners come together to undertake collaborative projects, research and advocacy that push forward Learning for Sustainability practice and policy in Scotland. LfS Scotland’s purpose is to harness the full potential of learning to create a flourishing, sustainable world.
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