Moray House School of Education

Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms Course

The Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms course ran between October 2015 and June 2018 and has now come to a close. Training is no longer provided.  A new programme is in discussion, details of which will be formally announced in the 2018/2019 term.  If you require further information, please contact Abi Cornwall (abicornwall@lfsscotland.org). For full information on the LfS: Connecting Classrooms course and what it involved, read on.

British council: connecting classrooms large image

The Context

Scotland is unique internationally in having a requirement for all teachers and education professionals to address Learning for Sustainability (LfS) in their practice to conform to the GTCS Professional Standards.

General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) Professional Standards

In addition, the Scottish Government signaled its intent to take a ‘whole school approach’ to LfS by accepting all 31 recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory’s Group ‘Learning for Sustainability Report’. It also features as a priority in Education Scotland 'How Good is Our School?' (2015, HGIOS 4), being the only subject area mentioned in the list of priorities. The Vision 2030+ Report concludes that LfS contributes to raising attainment and achievement. LfS development in Scotland is one of the highest priorities in Scottish Education.

What is Learning for Sustainability and ‘Connecting Classrooms’?

This professional learning initiative by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the British Council, was an opportunity for teachers to grapple with what LfS means, what existing and new skills and knowledge are required, and how this might have looked in the your school context. Connecting directly with Curriculum for Excellence, involvement will enable you to effectively plan for and implement Learning for Sustainability approaches in your school in ways that will significantly enhance the educational experience of learners. Engagement with this course informed a teacher’s Professional Review and Development (PRD) and Professional Update (PU) for GTCS registration. It was a GTCS accredited programme. 

Participants had to chance to:

  • critically consider the nature of teaching and learning within the context of Learning for Sustainability which includes Sustainable Development Education, Outdoor Learning and Global Learning.
  • in the context of the British Council’s Core Skills, reflect critically on developing the skills and dispositions required of teachers and learners related to Learning for Sustainability.
  • apply in practice, and reflect upon the impact of, principles and practices of and approaches to Learning for Sustainability.
  • work together towards the development of a Learning for Sustainability professional network for practitioners to support teacher learning and practice in Learning for Sustainability.

What was offered?

The blended learning course (face to face sessions and online inputs) offered teachers the opportunity to engage and collaborate over an eight week period which included a day-long participative face to face session at the beginning and at the end of the period, supported by fortnightly inputs from online materials.

The online course offered the same opportunity for engagement and collaboration in an online setting – completing the online inputs at a time and location convenient to participants.

Teachers who successfully completed the course were eligible to apply for British Council Professional partnerships grants of £3000 towards overseas study visits to partner schools in other countries. 

Visits to partner schools

The professional learning was fully funded for all local authority teachers.

Where and when?

The courses are now closed and no further training is being offered. 

To be kept up to date with future courses, locations & news please write to Abi Cornwall, Development Officer, LfS Scotland, Charteris Land, Moray House School of Education, EH8 8AQ or emailing Abi through the following link.

Email Abi Cornwall

After the course

Once participants completed the professional learning, there was an opportunity to move on to develop an international professional partnership with an overseas school. The professional partnerships allowed participants to seek advice and support on embedding the core skills into curriculum and classroom. Benefits of the partnership included:

  • an international element to your CV and teaching credentials
  • broadened horizons by sharing experience with a school from a different culture
  • learning more about education in a different context to reapply this at home
  • opportunities to become a member of international network of learners
  • materials developed by educational experts to help collaboration

View the journey our participants go on during their Connecting Classrooms experience.

View of the journey

A unique part of the Connecting Classroom's offer was that The British Council provided funding for international partners to work together face-to-face on embedding the core skills from policy level to the classroom. After completing mandatory training and established a partnership it was possible to apply for the visit grant.

Find out more

Connecting Classrooms videos

The British Council created videos to demonstrate the positive impact the Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms course has on teachers and educators in Scotland. 

Connecting Classrooms videos

Learning for Sustainability SCOTLAND / Ag lonnsachadh airson Seasmhachd ALBA: Connecting Classrooms Course, The University of Edinburgh