Welcome to the March Bulletin for the Learning for Sustainability Scotland network. Despite the continuous gales and floods, Spring is finally making itself felt with bursts of sunshine and flower shoots appearing. This Bulletin is bursting to the seams with events, courses and news! Amongst many other events, March is the month for International Women's Day, 11th March, and the Earth Hour Campaign on 28th March.
Time to get out of hibernation and burst into Spring activity!
1. WWF Earth Hour 2020, 28th March WWF's annual global event, Earth Hour, will this year take place on the 28th of March; people across the world get involved, switching off the lights for one hour at 8pm.Earth Hour aims to spark global conversations on protecting nature not only to combat the climate crisis, but to ensure our own health, happiness, prosperity and even survival.
2. Connecting Classrooms Funding and Support Want to build virtual or visit-based partnerships with other schools locally and globally and collaborate on the big issues that shape our world? Check out the support, funding and free CPD on offer from Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning. It supports teachers and pupils to develop the confidence, skills, knowledge, values and attitudes they need to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.
The Scottish Government released an overview of the new environment strategy, setting out a vision for Scotland's environment and the role Scotland must play in tackling the climate and nature emergency. The strategy focuses on ensuring Scotland's environment will be protected and restored.
News from LfS Scotland
Update from the Learning for Sustainability Scotland Steering Group
We have just had snow and new stories played out across the fresh white blanket. Two deer tracks, walking up the hill into the woods, one much smaller than the other. Here a fox trail, padding along, then evidence of a pounce and scuffle – perhaps a vole caught? On another night, we followed badger spoor in the mud; torches picked out well used paths through the fence, hairs on the barbed wire, a clear print and a latrine marking territory. Two of the scouts with us were particularly fascinated, trying to enter the minds of these non human beings and realising that the world could be experienced in very different ways. Tracking helps us understand the practices of others and in so doing to question our own.
Others will be joining us from different parts of our world later this year. We are delighted that our proposal to host the 2020 12th Global Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) network conference was successful. The event wil take place in Edinburgh on 21-22 November with excursions on 23 November, immediately after COP26. We are anticipating approximately 150 international delegates but will also have the opportunity for local delegates to attend. More information and a call for different forms of participation will follow shortly.
There are already many exciting opportunities ahead this year for Learning for Sustainability. Through the Connecting Classrooms British Council/DfID programme we continue to offer fully funded professional learning and support for 3-18 years settings to build and sustain international partnerships. We will be supporting the Scottish Learning Festival for educational practitioners 23-24 September where one of the key themes will be high quality approaches to learning for sustainability. Our first Further and Higher Education Task Group/EAUC ESD Topic Support Network meeting is scheduled for 4th May at University of Strathclyde.
Our new Steering Group meets for the first time this month to develop a new LfS Scotland Strategy for the next 5 years.
We will be keeping our eyes open for the paths that human and non human beings make in the world, and considering new routes. And as Jon Young says, “tracking makes one a master of the art of questioning” and we know that questioning is one of the fundamentals of learning.
Rehema White, LfS Scotland Steering Group and University of St Andrews Betsy King, Development Manager, LfS Scotland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Events & dates for your diary
1. Pass It On Week, 7th - 15th March Get involved in Zero Waste Scotland's annual week celebrating all things 're-use': swapping, borrowing, renting, donating and repairing. This year’s theme will be “The Great Toy Rescue.”
3. Lets Talk Climate Action, Edinburgh, 15th March Historic Environment Scotland are hosting an event on climate action at Edinburgh Castle. Exploring how we can inspire and engage people to take climate action, attendees will hear from an exciting panel of experts who will share their experiences.
5. Climate Week North East, Aberdeen & Shire, 20 - 29 March A week-long programme of inspiring events to explore what we can all do to respond to the climate emergency and fight for climate justice - Family Fun Days, guided walks and bike rides, upcycling events, workshops and films, conferences, litter picks, crafts and more.
6. Earth Day, 22nd April 2020 - 50th Anniversary The enormous challenges - and opportunities- of acting on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. The time is now for citizens to call for greater global ambition to tackle our climate crisis.
7. John Muir Day Celebrations 18 - 26 April 2020 The John Muir Day Celebrations offer an annual opportunity to mark John Muir’s birthday, 21st April 1838. Ideas for running activities, with updated branding can be found on the website.
10. Scotland and Malawi Schools Partnership, Inverness, 27 May This event is co-hosted by the Scotland Malawi Partnership and Highland One World, celebrating and sharing experiences of partnerships working between schools in Scotland and Malawi. The event will include practical activities looking at how to develop your partnership.
12.International School Grounds Alliance Conference. Stirling, 24 - 26th Sept This international event will draw over 200 people to Scotland to share the best in outdoor learning and play, focused on school or nursery grounds and local greenspaces. You will be equipped with new ideas and a new network of colleagues to support outdoor learning and play in your setting.
1. Wild about Women’s Wellbeing, Galashiels, Borders, ongoing Join us for a weekly group in the woods. Chat, whittle, cook on the campfire, learn new skills, chill out and feel better. For anyone who would benefit from being supported by a group of like minded women to deal with the pressures of life.
2. John Muir Leader Award Training Dates Leader Training courses give a thorough introduction to the John Muir Award, by helping leaders to find out more about the ethos of the John Muir Award and practicalities of delivering it. Upcoming dates are:
- Thurs 9 - Fri 10 April, Glenmore Lodge, Caingorms (Residential)
- Sat 25 - Sun 26 April, Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire (Residential)
3. Gardening Basics for Schools, Coatbridge, 17th March If you’re new to gardening and are feeling a little overwhelmed, this is the course for you. It will help you to share ideas with others and get inspired to plan your own school or community growing space, and improve your own horticultural understanding with a view to sharing growing knowledge with others
5.Out to Play 5-week school residencies 2020 Eco Drama are currently looking for partner primary schools across Greater Glasgow to participate in 5 week Out to Play residencies during May-June, September-October, and October-November 2020. Sessions are tailored to the unique surroundings of each school, and through imaginative play and adventurous learning. Watch the Out to Play short documentary which includes first hand testimonials from teachers. For more information contact email@example.com
6. RSPB’s Schools on Reserves: Engaging curriculum based outdoor learning Outdoor learning is proven to improve attainment, so why not visit RSPB Loch Leven or RSPB Lochwinnoch for an unforgettable hands-on learning experience that is tailored to the Curriculum for Excellence. A variety of programmes are available that cover a wide range of topics and learning abilities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Loch Leven) or email@example.com (Lochwinnoch).
9. Scotdec Training Courses, various - What does gender balance look like in a school?, Edinburgh, 12 March This professional learning experience is designed for classroom teachers who want to connect with research and evidence surrounding gender balance and stereotyping and how these can have an impact on our young people.
- Your secondary subject through a global lens, 12 hour min. online learning course Introduce Global Citizenship and Learning for Sustainability themes like climate change, migration and gender equality through Issue to action: teaching toolkit for a fairer world - a fully-funded, subject-specific professional learning journey for Scottish Secondary teachers.
11. EAUC Sharing Series, February - June This is an informal series where people working within further and higher education are invited to meet through a virtual meeting platform (Zoom) to share their experiences, debate and ask questions connected to sustainability in an institution. 1st April - How to engage resistant stakeholders -Book your place 6th May - Sustainable food policy and growing - Book your place 3rd June - Toxic free cleaning and herbicides -Book your place
12. EAUC-Scotland Spring Forum & AGM, 12 March, Edinburgh The Forum and AGM will take place at University of Edinburgh and will discuss all things sustainability in the further and higher education community in Scotland. You can attend virtually, if that helps.
Community Sector 14. Youth Leader Climate Change Project This exciting new project will equip Scotland’s youth work leaders with a working understanding of the climate emergency and give them skills and tools to nurture and direct young people’s concern into positive practical action.
Courses Outside Scotland
15. Woodcraft Folk Training Woodcraft Folk have recently received funding from the National Association for Environmental Education to host training events for youth workers and teachers.
- Climate Science Fun - Manchester, 12th March, for anyone interested in supporting young people to develop their climate science knowledge.
- Peer education training - Whitchurch, 6th-9th April, peer training event looking at public engagement, climate science and designing interative sessions to support children and young people to learn about climate change and take action.
1. Dundee and Angus College Sustainability Project D&A College, Supported Education lecturer, Steve Haden, was a recent participant in the College Learning for Sustainability Champions Programme. He has developed a ‘Business and Sustainability’ SQA unit with his students which has been a great success. They were motivated to set up a zero waste, environmentally friendly stall every week at the college, and are now inspired to learn more about global issues and are currently studying the ‘Great Ocean Clean Up’ project.
3. Education Progress SDG4 Online Tool Education Progress brings together administrative data, household surveys, learning assessments and education finance from various data producers, notably the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, to explore the progress made towards SDG 4, the global education goal. It complements the printed edition of the Global Education Monitoring Report, enabling users to interact with the data to understand the achievements and challenges of countries and regions as they aim to reach the targets.
4. SDG Network Scotland review of Vision and Mission The SDG Network is steadily growing and the forum now has nearly reached 500 members. Recently the network developed their vision, mission and behaviours that they aspire to. These can evolve and develop, as will the network, but they provide a reasonable basis for moving forward.
Every month, Education Scotland produce a bulletin for learning for sustainability in schools across Scotland. You can subscribe - for free - to receive it by clicking on this link.
1. 'Our Throwaway Society - raising children to consume wisely' This is a new ebook, written by LfS member Anya Hart Dyke. It is for parents of children aged 2+ exploring how to set ‘planetary’ boundaries for our children and challenge the endemic consumerism and ‘culture of convenience’ that is threatening our world. Full of fun activities, practical tips and stories of children who are changing the world, this will transform your family's life.
Schools sector 2. The Big Spin Business Challenge This is a free 12 week health and wellbeing resource, aimed at S3 pupils, to develop their skills for life, learning and work. Their task: to run businesses which encourage health and physical activity within their school. The course guides pupils from the business design phase, through to executing their business ideas, in a practical and motiving way.
3. Into the Wildwoods: explore the Mesolithic in Scotland’s native woodlands Into the Wildwoods explores the idea of deep time within our native woodlands, and blends an archaeological and ecological ethos with collaborative classroom and outdoor learning.
4.The WOSDEC Podcast(W Scotland Development Education Centre) The WODEC Podcast returns for a second series in March, and the first episode looks at their new Nelson Mandela resource, available for FREE from the WOSDEC website. The resource explores the anti-apartheid movement, via colonialism, Civil Rights and links to today's campaigns and campaigners.
You can also catch-up with the bonus COP26 episode that features speakers at the LfS Scotland AGM back in January, as organisations and individuals look ahead to the UN's Climate Summit in Glasgow in November.
5. New Fair-trade Film, Guardians of the Rainforest Celebrate the second week of Fairtrade Fortnight with a new Fairtrade Schools and Trading Visions film! 'Guardians of the Rainforest' is about the people of the great Gola Rainforest in Sierra Leone, West Africa. 14-year-old Beshey shares the story of his family, explaining how a group of cocoa farmers have come together to protect the forest, and develop their communities through Fairtrade.
1. New Grants for Nature Projects from Grow Wild Grow Wild are looking for creative people aged 14-25 who are buzzing with project ideas to help the environment. Is this you? Do you know someone? They have £500 grants and support for creative projects anywhere in the UK where people study, work and relax. Application deadline is 30th March
2. Local Schools Nature Grants These grants for schools in the UK are to continue through 2020. As well as receiving up to £500 worth of outdoor resources of their choosing, school staff will also receive a two-hour training session on outdoor learning and play. Applications open from Wednesday 25th March 2020.
3. Young Reporters Scotland Competition Keep Scotland Beautiful are inviting pupils to create a written piece, take a photograph, or produce a film to inform and inspire others. The YRS is perfect opportunity for them to investigate an environmental or sustainability issue which matters to them. Deadline - 27th March.
4. The Big Pedal Campaign by Sustrans Sustrans Big Pedal is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting challenge that inspires pupils, staff and parents to choose ‘human power’ for their journey to school. Cycle, walk and scoot to school - learn, explore and get active for Sustrans Big Pedal. This year it will run from 22 April - 5 May.
5. CDN Awards 2020 Now Open for Entries
The awards recognise the talent, skills and achievements of colleges, their staff and learners. The new Climate Emergency Action category provides a valuable opportunity to celebrate practice in colleges across the country. Deadline for entries is Friday 19 June 2020. Shortlist will be announced on Monday 7 September 2020.
6. Great British Spring Clean, April and May And, this year the Keep Scotland Beautiful Spring Clean is part of the UK-wide Great British Spring Clean, so you will be part of a pack of thousands of other people and communities , the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, working to make our environment a cleaner and greener place to be.
2. Launch of Youth SDG Challenge 2020 The RCE Youth SDG Challenge ' launched this month, with 19 youth-led sustainability projects focusing on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, and SDG 15: Life on Land. Projects for this year's challenge include poster and design competitions, tree planting, justice forums, waste management solutions and more, all targeting youth at the grassroots level.
4. Call for Contributions: Higher Education Summit 2020, Switzerland, 31 Aug - 2 Sept
Co-organised by the COPERNICUS Alliance, saguf, td-net, the University of Bern, and the University of Lausanne, the three-day summit will address the question, "How can we assure quality and transformative learning for sustainable development?". Contributions are now being accepted, with a deadline of 16 March, 2020. Details can be found here.
1. COP26 Venues and Events Coordinator, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, Glasgow Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is seeking a Venues and Events Coordinator to coordinate the main hub for civil society in Glasgow during COP26. You will create inspiring and functional spaces, bringing together global civil society groups coming to COP and providing what they need to be effective in their work.
They are seeking someone with experience of creating and delivering successful events with really excellent communication and organisational skills. You’ll be great at building effective relationships with people at all levels, both within our member organisations, and with external stakeholders.
The UK COP26 Coalition is a broad UK-wide coalition through which civil society will plan together, share resources and learning, and organise a mass mobilisation and Peoples' counter-summit during the talks. FOE are recruiting two Co-ordinators, one based in Glasgow, one based in London to coordinate a broad, diverse and inclusive coalition of civil society groups, working in a flexible and open way that allows for different levels of access and involvement.
The successful applicants will need to be excellent networkers, highly organised, skilled in facilitation and communication with a wide range of audiences, have a strong track record of working with marginalised groups and an understanding of the wider political context around the climate summit. Closing date: 12 noon Monday 16 March
The Swapshop Coordinator (part-time) is responsible for the day to day retail management and development of the Swapshop in our vibrant Zero Waste Hub from Friday to Sunday. The role oversees the running of the shop and supports the Swapshop volunteers to ensure the Swapshop is a thriving enterprise working towards SHRUB’s zero waste ethos and charitable objectives.
1. Newlands Primary School's Learning for Sustainability Journey
Newlands Primary pupils experience outdoor learning a couple of times a week, with the aim to make it part of the daily routine. Teachers are delivering many different parts of the curriculum in the outdoors, including literacy, numeracy, maths, health and well being.
The school has used some of its PEF funding to support the staff in developing their skills to deliver their teaching in the outdoors. Together we have developed two poly tunnels and raised beds in the school grounds, a woodland area, a river walk and are in the process of discovering a hill walk area.
The impact on the children is significant as they become more confident in taking calculated risk, taking on responsibilities, improving their communication skills and becoming more resilient. All senior pupils are taking part in John Muir awards and the junior pupils are working towards Wild Challenge silver and gold awards .
Newlands School is supported by an active parent community who come out with the classes. They help to achieve the adult child ration when leaving the school grounds, are excellent role models and have many skills to share. The younger pupils have been provided with water proof all in one suits and the school has a range of spare wellies, thanks to donations from parents.
Newlands has the ambition to continue to develop outdoor learning spaces, recognise pupils' achievements through participating in award schemes and offering rich learning experiences in class and in the outdoors. The school feels confident it can work towards these goals with the support of the parents and staff.
Well Done Newlands! - and thanks to Marcel Kaljee, Principal Teacher for sending in their story and photo.
This month's photo comes to you from...
Thanks to Alex Paterson, Education Communications Volunteer, RSPB for sending in this photo of a group of teenage girls enjoying birdwatching!
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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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