Debates and Discussion

Use our curriculum-linked resources to run a debate or discussion in your own classroom.

2013: The Mystery of Movement

The last discussion forum event entitled “The Mystery of Movement” ‎kindly supported by the Darwin Trust for Edinburgh was held at St Matthews Academy on Friday 21 February. This event ‎used parkour and dance to illustrate aspects of human movement from the use of the sensory system and proprioception to the execution and computer-based analysis of the biomechanics of various movements, such as balance, jumping, and spinning. This resource pack is there to help teachers recreate some of the discussions which took place during this event. This pack supports CfE level four outcomes related to expressive art, health and wellbeing, science, literacy, numeracy and technology.

2012: Enhancements in Disability Sport

The 2012 RSE Discussion Forum took place in June 2012 at Arbroath Academy, and focused on the topical theme of Enhancements in Disability Sport, looking at issues such as medicine, equipment, coaching and money, as well as debates around classification within the sports. The resource pack developed from the event allows teachers to recreate the debates and related activities in their own classroom, and is suitable for S4 to S6 students.

2010: The Avatar Debate

Due to take place in December 2010, the bad weather forced the discussion forum to be postponed until March 2011. The event was focused around James Cameron’s epic film ‘Avatar’. Exploring the world of Pandora in this film has brought the issues facing our world sharply into focus. S5 and S6 pupils took part in a day of discussion and debate, bringing together experts from the field of conservation, biodiversity and digital film making.

Darwin: The Great Debate

Two centuries after the birth of Charles Darwin, and 150 years after the publication of his book On the Origin of Species, there is still debate about his theory of evolution.  More on the Darwin Debate >>>

Debating Scotland's Energy Choices

Energy is vital to our national well-being. The concerns surrounding energy production, energy transfer and its efficient use affects all of us and the RSE is sought to engage young people, as well as the general public through out Scotland, to debate these issues in order to better inform key decision makers. More on the Energy Choices Debate >>>>

Stem Cell Research

Stem cells have the potential to help us treat many serious diseases, but their use raises many contentious issues. More on the Stem Cell Debate>>>


Our annual Christmas lectures are excellent supplementary resources with which to engage students, and the 2010 and 2011 lectures are available to view online


Tall Tales about Mind and Brain

The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Conference Tall Tales about Mind and Brain aimed to unravel psychology and neuroscience topics that are seen in the popular press but are often misinterpreted; the so-called Tall Tales. The programme was designed to complement the Higher Human Biology and Psychology curricula and the themes include:

  • Memory and Learning, including Intelligence
  • Language and Communication
  • Brain and Behaviour

A supporting Resource Pack for Teachers has been created to be used in conjunction with and/ or independently of, the conference. It provides background information and relevant websites as well as student evaluation sheets and links to the Higher Psychology and Human Biology curricula.

Thomas Telford. 250th Anniversary

These Thomas Telford Teaching Resource Materials were produced as part of the RSE's programme of events for young people and the wider public from across Scotland. The materials have been created for P6 and P7, S1 and S2 pupils. However, some teachers might want to use an activity outwith this age range for example with S3 and S4 technology students.

Students' Notes

Teachers' Notes



Curriculm for Excellence

The Committee has been active in responding to developments around Curriculum for Excellence and the reform of National Qualifications in Scotland. This includes preparing Parliamentary briefing papers and advising on the need for a comprehensive strategy for the evaluation of the impacts of these educational reforms on the long term development of Scotland’s learners.

The RSE has exemplified a subset of the learning outcomes and experiences of the Curriculum for Excellence as they relate to chemistry and computing and developed a series of learning resources for schools which are available to download


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