Celebrating 25 years of Eco-Schools in Scotland
A blog post by Bruce Robertson
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
- Unmasking a looming litter emergency
- Getting to know... Brian Rae
- A Canal College® journey
- Getting to know.......Lisa Snedden
- Now is the time to change
- Could the Global Goals provide a framework for the green recovery?
- Our incredible Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood community
- Lockdown litter - a community view
- Looking after beaches
- Time for a more sustainable future, a greener and fairer one for all
- The Origins of George Wyllie's 'Original Earth Guarantee'
- National disgrace of lockdown litter
- The healing power of local places
- Tackling Covid-19 and climate change at a community level
- Amid the Coronavirus crisis the climate emergency has not gone away
- Bringing environmental education home
- #TurdTag – getting creative to tackle dog poo
- Preparing young people to take action on climate change
- Running on community power
- Reconnecting with nature
- Coronavirus isn't an excuse - flytipping is still a crime
- Sowing seeds of hope in our community
- Hope for the environment post-Coronavirus?
- From Eco-School Committee to environmental charity
- You can’t tackle the climate crisis unless you are climate ready
- Why everyone wins when you take part in Beautiful Scotland
- Entering our third decade with a splash
- Is 2020 the year for a circular economy in Scotland?
- A year in the life of: the campaigns and innovation team
- Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime
- Setting sail: all aboard the partnership
- Free wheeling
- Scotland is thirsty for change
- This #ScotClimateWeek, are you ready to pledge?
- Upstream Battle at Whinhill Primary School
- Elaine Hopley on our Upstream Battle week of action
- 20 September climate strikes: what took place and what happens now?
- Playing our part to reduce cup waste
- The funeral of a glacier: time to pull the emergency brake
- Get your Paws on Plastic
- It’s time to take action to reverse climate change
- Tackling Our Unsustainable Cup Consumption
- Cups hitting the ground: what we learned at TRNSMT Festival
- We All Have To Fight The UpStream Battle
- It's rubbish that people have to clean up after litter bugs
- The power of pocket gardens
- Registering your clean up makes a difference
- Tackling climate change starts at home
- Speaking the language of Carbon Literacy
- Wheatley Group: two years on and still going strong
- Roadside Litter: Think twice before you chuck
- Our citizen scientists are ready to make waves for Upstream Battle
- Taking a stand on climate change – what actions will you take?
- The Cup Movement will tackle our litter culture head on
- Working across borders to tackle climate change
- Climate change – it’s personal
- Putting young people first for our environment at Keep Scotland Beautiful
- Treading lightly – steps to lower our carbon footprint
- Aunty Babs washes her spoon and so should you
- Climate change: we can all do our bit
- Have yourself a green Christmas
- Shifting up a gear on Scotland’s roadside litter problem
- It’s time to consign our litter problem to the dustbin of history
- We can save our seas by starting at home
Have you ever wondered why there is a Green Flag flying outside your local school? At a time when we seem to be hearing constant criticism of Scottish education, did you know that there is in an international programme where Scotland leads the world and has many nations looking to us for advice?
That programme – Eco-Schools Scotland – is run by Keep Scotland Beautiful, and 2019 marks an exciting year: its 25th anniversary. It provides all Scottish pupils with the skills, knowledge and confidence to help young people, their schools, and their communities to improve their local environment as well as act on the greatest challenge the world faces – climate change.
Eco-Schools Scotland was also the first in the world to fully integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals into its programme, introducing the idea to pupils from a young age that they are have global responsibility for the environment.
Since 2013, all Scottish pupils have had an entitlement to Learning for Sustainability, and Eco-Schools Scotland provides an ideal lens through which teachers can bring this into focus. It also supports Curriculum for Excellence and encourages a pupil-led approach which develops teachers’ confidence to explore environmental issues from a different angle. And the beauty of the programme’s adaptable framework is that it can be used in any school – nursery, primary, secondary, or additional support needs.
Every year we have pupils lining up to take part in the initiatives linked to the programme - from reporting on an environmental issue through Young Reporters Scotland, to exploring and enjoying sustainable food by hosting a One Planet Picnic.
In fact, Eco-Schools Scotland has never been more important – for Scotland and indeed the world. Just take a look at the impact of Blue Planet II. Public interest in environmental issues and a green economy is at record high levels and it’s our young people who are the real agents of change working for their future, their environment and their world.
Twenty-five years later, the first children reached by Eco-Schools Scotland are now today’s consumers. They are today’s teachers, today’s parents, today’s politicians. They will now be leading lives that are full of decisions – from the mundane to the life-changing. They could easily be leading the sustainability agenda in the boardroom, as well as in their everyday lives.
As a Charity Trustee at Keep Scotland Beautiful, I am proud to be part of a charity that has provided an education programme that has built the capacity for these pupils to make informed and intelligent decisions to protect our environment. Whether it’s by switching to a reusable coffee cup, taking fewer trips by car, or planting wildlife-friendly plants in the garden – all of these small steps are a pivotal part of the step change we need.
We are now looking forward to the next 25 years of Eco-Schools Scotland. The theory is simple. After another 25 years of Eco-Schools in Scotland, we hope that every member of Scotland’s population will have been empowered to take action to protect our planet based on the environmental values that have been nurtured in them as young people.
We need to build a population of responsible consumers who would never throw litter onto the street, hillside or roadside, and to whom it is second nature to consider the impacts of the products they buy.
We all have a responsibility to take steps to tackle climate change. And with limited time left to address the issue, Eco-Schools Scotland is playing a vital part. By aligning the environment and education, we can help to ensure that instead of changing behaviours of generations to come we will, in time, be following their example.
To learn more about Eco-Schools Scotland visit www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/ecoschools
Bruce Robertson, OBE, is a Charity Trustee of Keep Scotland Beautiful and Former Director of Education
First published in The Scotsman, 30 January 2019