When Learning and Teaching Scotland decided to send Al Gore's DVD "An Incovenient Truth" into all secondary schools, the Scottish Executive of the time made it responsible for providing the necessary background and content on climate change.
"We felt that such a DVD could not go into schools blind," says Bill Lynch, the LTS development officer for the Sustainable Development Education pilot. "Teachers would need some background and resource materials to help them make sense of what is a complex issue."
What they have provided is a "fairly comprehensive" website which was quality-assured by a number of Scottish scientific bodies and climate-change scientists in Scotland.
LTS has engaged with a number of schools which have piloted use of the website, including Queensferry Community High. The International Team at LTS (which incorporates Sustainable Development) is keen to promote work by schools throughout Scotland on climate change during the next academic session. They would particularly like to help cement global links with partner schools abroad, says Mr Lynch.
Pitlochry High has been a pilot school which has seen staff and pupils engaging with Aromas High School in California - again at a cross-curricular level involving science, geography and Spanish departments.
"The issues surrounding climate change extend way beyond the concerns of science, as Queensferry has ably demonstrated," says Mr Lynch. "The topic is such a useful vehicle for schools to demonstrate experiential learning linked to the spirit of A Curriculum for Excellence: engagement in cross- curricular, whole-school issues and perhaps also action research by staff."
The work of the pilot schools provides others with examples of what has and has not been achieved using the available materials.
LTS's International Team is keen to organise a national conference of schools which engage in such a climate change exercise in the forthcoming academic year to provide the Scottish Government with a voice from Scottish pupils on climate change.
"The conference is proposed for summer term 2009," says Mr Lynch, "and the sustainable development education liaison group, which supplies advice on integration into the curriculum, will advise on the details and promotion of the exercise."