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20 Jun 2019

Trust supports Scottish 'Learning for Sustainability' entitlement

Government action plan launched to encourage Scotland’s educators and learners to embed sustainability through outdoor learning approaches

Hyndland Secondary SchoolA new Learning for Sustainability Action Plan was launched by Deputy First Minister John Swinney on 19 June – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – and Hyndland Secondary School helped with the launch by showcasing their John Muir Award activity.

The Action Plan shows how Scottish Government and a wide range of practitioners and partners, including the John Muir Trust, will deliver recommendations set out in its Vision 2030+ report.

Learning for Sustainability offers a framework for schools helping embed global citizenship, children’s rights, sustainable development education and outdoor learning approaches. It encourages teachers and educators from a wide range of backgrounds to explore local and global issues, and effectively respond to the growing interests, passions and concerns articulated by young people about their place in society and on the planet.

Delivered through interdisciplinary studies and outdoor learning in nature, Learning for Sustainability is an entitlement for all learners and supports more opportunities for transformative learning experiences that are relevant and current for today and tomorrow.

The Action Plan confirms Scottish Government commitment to Learning for Sustainability as a key policy for delivering Curriculum for Excellence. It also contributes to national strategies such as: engaging with UN Sustainable Development Goals, the National Performance Framework, Scottish Attainment Challenge, Developing the Young Workforce, STEM Education Strategy, and Getting it Right for Every Child.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “This Action Plan places Learning for Sustainability at the heart of Curriculum for Excellence and empowers teachers and schools to drive sustainable goals. By striving for all our learners to receive such learning experiences as part of the curriculum, Scotland is leading the way towards a better world for all.”

Kate Samuel, Teacher of Biology and Science at Hyndland Secondary School, said: “Learning for Sustainability provides the tools to help us choose positive pathways in securing our future and the future of generations to come.”

Toby Clark, the John Muir Trust’s Scotland John Muir Award Manager said: “Teaching staff tell us young people respond really well to environmental issues – especially when this involves hands-on experiences in wild places. Whether it’s palm oil, plastics, or the planet’s climate, it is young people who are often leading learning and deciding social action.

“Last year 17,500 John Muir Awards were achieved across 500 schools in Scotland, and we are excited by this Learning for Sustainability Action Plan helping increase the prominence and benefits of direct contact with wild nature for everyone through curriculum learning.”

Research shows that increasing nature connectedness impacts positively on people’s pro-environmental behaviour – it’s an important psychological construct for a sustainable future and better for the health of people, place and planet.

Image: Community visits, campaigning and creativity - Hyndland Secondary School showcasing S1 Interdisciplinary partnership learning around sustainability, citizenship and biodiversity.

Find out how the (John Muir Award can support Learning for Sustainability and Outdoor Learning) in the new Scottish schools self- evaluation and improvement framework - How Good Is our School?