June update from the Learning for Sustainability Scotland Steering Group
Welcome to the June update from our Steering Group.
The white froth of cow parsley and hawthorn, and the long days of sunshine signal the promise of summer. The feeling of warmth on skin and the sounds of beasts on the wing make water more appealing. We can absorb the calm from a full moon reflecting onto still water, or feel the power and swing of the sea from a kayak. And we can recognize seasonal changes along river courses. There, mayflies rise and fall, swallows swoop and the glimpse of otter returned may reward early morning walks – in urban as well as rural areas. Paradoxically, and swiftly, we have shifted from deep snow and heavy flooding to the threat of drought and a lack of rain to nourish gardens, farms and wild places.
At LfS Scotland, it feels a little like a white water rafting session at present. The Leadership theme of The Embedding Sustainability in Vocational Courses event for Colleges and Universities jointly organised with EAUC Scotland will continue with our session with EAUC Scotland at the CDN College Expo18 on June 7th; you can book your place here. Working is partnership with SCEL at Education Scotland we have developed a new professional learning activity for teachers as part of the SCEL Framework for Educational Leadership. You can find it by registering here.
On 31st May at Dynamic Earth we were proud to celebrate with the first group of teachers that have achieved GTCS Professional Recognition in Learning for Sustainability through the British Council Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms programme. Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney spoke of the importance of equipping young people for life and work in our ever changing world. LfS Scotland is delighted to be involved again in judging the Learning for Sustainability category of the Scottish Education Awards. We are now close to the announcement of the winner from the three excellent finalists at the event in Glasgow in early June.
We have been involved in workshops to help Scottish Government align its new National Outcomes and indicators with the SDGs. There is a conference on the National Performance Framework on 11th June and we hope to learn more about the new outcomes there. The reports from the UK consultations on Young People and the SDGs at St George’s House, Windsor Castle, are now available: the first focusing on under 16 year olds and the second on Higher and Further Education. We’ll be continuing to promote understanding and implementation of the SDGs as well as reflecting critically on how we can best link local to global issues.
As we get closer to the longest day and the clear blue skies continue, waterways across Scotland continue to offer joy. Seascapes, with kittiwakes soaring aboves restless waves, puffins standing proud by burrows and islands suspended on hazy water. Burbling burns with the promise of rivers to join, and estuaries turbulent with tidal surges. Long sea lochs cutting faultlines across the country and small dark lochans nestled in glacial bowls high up the mountains. By the time the rain returns, we will appreciate it for keeping the water cycle turning; meanwhile be grateful for the water that flows so easily when you turn the tap.
Rehema White, Chair LfS Scotland Steering Group
Betsy King, Development Officer, LfS Scotland