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Too readily dismissed as ‘dirt’, and usually confined in a curricular context within the boundaries of science, soils offer unlimited possibilities for interdisciplinary learning across the Curriculum for Excellence, particularly within the key contexts of Learning for Sustainability and Health and Wellbeing.


Soil in the Scottish curriculum

The world beneath our feet - Connecting soils and curriculum was developed by the soil community in Scotland to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soils. It provides a series of soil-based activities designed to add value across the Curriculum for Excellence.

These activities have been grouped into three sections according to curricular level, namely:

  • Early and First Level activities
  • Second Level activities
  • Third and Fourth Level activities

A range of educational resources can be linked to directly from the document. You can find examples at:

Find out more from our citizen science page


Other educational resources

Peatland learning module

A peatland learning module has been designed to help explain what peatlands are, how they are managed, what impacts they can have on the wider environment and the benefits of peatland restoration. It was developed to support Scottish Natural Heritage's Peatland Action Programme.


Higher education

Soil science forms part of many undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the Scottish higher education sector. However, it is mostly taught as a module within a wider science topic such as environmental science, earth science, agriculture and geography.

There is also a vibrant soil research community in Scotland. There are soil scientists can in many of our universities (for example Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Stirling) as well as in a range of specialist research institutes (for example the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College).

This page was last updated on 04 Apr 2017

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