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Glasgow Clyde College is one of Scotland’s largest colleges, employing more than 1000 staff and with 17,000 enrolled students. The College has three campuses in Anniesland, Cardonald and Langside and also offers a range of community-based, adult learning courses in local venues, including community centres, schools and libraries across south and north-west Glasgow.


The Creative Recycling Award at SCQF level 3 with 4 credit points was developed to promote the idea to students of using trash instead of art materials to produce something creative. This creative piece could be produced by a group or individual. The unit was designed to be delivered to students working at SCQF level 3. At Glasgow Clyde College it is delivered within the Additional Support for Learning Department to young adults with learning support needs.


The unit consists of three outcomes, of which Outcomes 1 and 3 are linked. Outcome 1 involves the student researching the work of professional artists who produce artwork using recycled materials. The students then gather information on their selected artist and organise this information into a project or presentation, thus developing research and organisational skills. This activity often provides inspiration to the student for their own artwork, which is required for Outcome 3. Outcome 3 involves the students gathering recyclable resources with which they will produce their own piece of recycled artwork to be shared with others.

Outcome 2 looks at the effects of environmental change or damage within the past 60 years and requires the student to produce a graph to illustrate their findings. Previously, students have chosen to study subjects such as the number of solar panels installed in a specific area, worldwide tiger population, melting of the polar ice caps and deforestation.

By studying this unit students are encouraged to think about the rubbish they throw away, how they could be creative with this rubbish and what it means for the environment to reduce waste and save on resources.


“I enjoyed finding out about artists and what they have created using trash.”
Alex Oliphant (student from 20/21 session)

“I enjoyed being creative with the toilet rolls and kitchen rolls I collected to make my thistle.”
Matthew McKinnon (student from 20/21 session), talking about his sculpture of a thistle.


Both students produced an excellent graph using MS Word, illustrating the number of solar panels installed in the UK between 2003 and 2012, thus developing their ICT skills. They discovered that the number of panels rose remarkably in this short space of time.

Students are asked to demonstrate, and relate, simple knowledge and basic facts and ideas to complete pre-planned tasks within set timelines; working independently and with others, with some prompting from the lecturer.

The idea for the unit originated through the excellent artwork that was already being produced by students in the department during art and group-work classes. It made sense to formalise this, providing recognition for the learners and further promoting the idea that reusing trash can be fun; developing the creative mind, whilst thinking about the environment and contributing to its protection.

For more information on courses available at Glasgow Clyde College, visit the website.



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