Tag Archives: History

VE Day anniversary

ve day

Today, May 8th, is the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day 1945. Seventy years ago this day marked the official end of World War Two in Europe, and people in all the nations involved marked the news in different ways: for some it was a victory, for others a defeat, for all a time to remember the dead, wounded, lost and missing. The war against Japanese forces in the Far East continued for another three months.

On this anniversary in 2015 there are public events taking place all over Europe to commemorate the finish of the war in Europe. A BBC story covers these events around the world, in countries such as France, Poland, Russia and Germany. In the UK a weekend of commemoration will include a 2 minute silence to show respect for the dead, and a chain of fire beacons will be lit, with Midlothian being one of the Scottish sites. Many community events will take place, with armed services veterans involved. Education Scotland’s website identifies some resources which schools might use to take part in some way or to learn more.

The BBC iWonder resource “VE Day: How did the British plan to celebrate” provides background history.


Loch Lomond: Social Studies Skills Day


Registration is now live for a place on the Social Studies skills day on Inchcailloch Island.

To register, please sign up here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/99VJQGQ

Education Scotland has teamed up with Loch Lomond National Park to offer two days for Primary practitioners, to help improve confidence using Social Studies Skills in the outdoors.

The first of these days will take place on the 16th of May. The day will start with a visit to the LLNO centre at Balmaha, then a trip to the island of Inchcailloch. On the island there will be opportunity to take two walks with the Park rangers to find out about what the park can offer for learners but also to improve skills for working with learners in the outdoors.    

The day is for primary teachers only and there are 14 free places. A packed lunch will also be provided free of charge, but participants will need to make their own travel arrangements to and from Loch Lomond National Park.

The second day on the 20th of June will be booked separately and will involve visits to ‎Luss and Lomond Shores to look at some History and Geography in the area.

Social_studiesTo find out about more upcoming Social Studies skills weekends look here: http://bit.ly/1Eybdin

Sign up for the Social Studies e-bulletin: http://bit.ly/e-Bulletin

Join the Social Studies Network on Glow: http://bit.ly/socialstudiesnetwork


Loch Lomond National Park: http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/


SAVE THE DATE – Social Studies Weekends

Mountainkids540_tcm4-615496The Social Studies team at Education Scotland have organised a series of FREE CLPL weekends and Saturdays to help develop fieldwork and outdoor learning skills in Social Studies.

This follows two very successful Social Studies skills weekends at the Field Studies Council in 2014. You can read more about the primary weekend here: http://bit.ly/PrimaryMillport2014

Please save the following dates to your diary if you are interested in attending.

Information about registration will follow separately for each event.


For up-to-date information sign up to the Social Studies e-bulletin: http://bit.ly/e-Bulletin

And join the Social Studies Network on Glow: http://bit.ly/socialstudiesnetwork

(click on the Community Members box and add yourself to the community)


addtocalendarSaturday 16th May: 09:30 – 15:30

Loch Lomond National Park (Inchcailloch Island)


Social Studies skills

*Primary teachers only*


addtocalendarFriday 29th May – Sunday 31st May

Field Studies Council, Millport


Fieldwork skills for primary teachers

*residential course – accomodation and food provided for free – attendees must make their own travel arrangements*


addtocalendarSaturday 20th June: 09:30 – 15:30

Loch Lomond National Park


Social Studies skills

*Primary teachers only*


addtocalendarFriday 4th September – Sunday 6th September

Field Studies Council, Millport


Fieldwork skills for secondary geography teachers

*residential course – accomodation and food provided for free – attendees must make their own travel arrangements*


addtocalendarFriday 6th November – Sunday 8th November

Field Studies Council, Kindrogan


Fieldwork skills for secondary geography teachers

*residential course – accomodation and food provided for free – attendees must make their own travel arrangements*


addtocalendarFriday 13th November – Sunday 22nd November

Field Studies Council, Kindrogan


Fieldwork skills for primary teachers

*residential course – accomodation and food provided for free – attendees must make their own travel arrangements*

Victory in Europe Day

Friday 8th May 2015 will be the 70th anniversary of ‘Victory in Europe Day’ 1945, the day during World War Two on which German forces surrendered and fighting in Europe came to an end.

Plans to commemorate the end of the war in Europe are now at an advanced stage, with local communities encouraged to mark the event and remember the sacrifices made during the conflict. Religious services, parades, street parties and a national network of fire-lit beacons will be parts of the events across the country.

Teachers who wish to undertake some special activity in school for the 8th May can make use of ideas and resources published online by a number of organisations; for example, the Memories tasks suggested by Imperial War Museum, which support the gathering of testimony and stories about wartime.

The BBC History website is a good starting point for any teacher wanting historical background to the event.

Food and rationing during wartime are themes which may have a wide appeal to schools. The Ration Book Challenge is one approach, and helped to raise funds for armed services veterans organisation the British Legion.

Legion Scotland will host a commemorative event in Forfar on Saturday 9th May for veterans, families and community members.

We will publish more examples in the lead-up to the anniversary.



Ask Scotland: exciting new search engine!

logoHeaderAsk Scotland is an online information service provided by Scotland’s libraries that lets you get real answers from real people, without leaving your computer. Have a go yourself here: http://askscotland.org.uk

Your question will be sent to a librarian who will use their rich library collections to research your query and send back a personal response. We aim to provide you with reliable information that you can trust, whether for study, research or just plain curiosity.

Ask Scotland is coordinated by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), the advisory body to the Scottish Government on libraries, and is staffed by librarians and library assistants in Scotland’s libraries. It is a non-profit service, jointly funded by the Scottish Government through the Public Library Quality Improvement Matrix and the participating libraries.

Also, a wee reminder of Education Scotland’s excellent Studying Scotland site full of resources to support deep and rich learning about Scotland’s history, culture and landscape.

And if it is Scottish History you are interested in then delve in to the past through Education Scotland’s Scotland’s History website.

Scottish Learning Festival 2015 – Social Studies

SLF_2015logoThe Scottish Learning Festival is Scotland’s largest annual professional learning event, offering education practitioners a great opportunity to increase their knowledge, discover new work, and improve their practice. Delegates can take part in a range of Conference sessions (Keynotes, seminars, discussions and more) and meet Exhibitors from organisations with products and services which benefit learners.

Scottish Learning Festival 2015 will take place at the SECC in Glasgow on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th September 2015.

The theme of this year’s event is “Raising attainment and achievement for all”, with a focus on maximising educational outcomes through local partnerships and collaboration; self-evaluation; and work-related learning.

Education Scotland is inviting organisations to submit proposals for seminars that will become part of this year’s programme. Full details of the themes and the online submission form are available on the SLF website. The closing date for submitting proposals is Friday 27th February 2015.

In the Social Studies team we are keen that the final programme includes great examples of effective and stimulating practice from schools, including creative projects and fresh approaches to learning. We are interested in all the subject areas within Social Studies, and in any sector. If you would like to showcase some of the work that your school or class is undertaking, or an activity that supports the professional development of teachers, please do consider submitting a seminar proposal.

BBC Learning Survey and Social Studies Resources

A wee reminder about all the fabulous learning resources to support Curriculum for Excellence on the BBC.
BBC Scotland Learning are currently developing new CfE materials but are also looking at how they improve communicating with teachers about these resources. the BBC have put together a very short, multiple-choice survey that attempts to find out how they could be better at keeping teachers informed.
Please share with your friends, neighbours and colleagues who teach. There’s also a box for further comments where any thoughts, gripes, requests or ideas are welcomed.

When you have completed the survey check out the revamped Bitesize site that has resources to support National 4, National 5 and Highers. BBC Bitesize

The fabulous new iWonder site, designed to ‘feed your curiosity’ has some brilliant thought provoking materials. Have a look at the various resources supporting History and the BBC’s Democracy Day.

The home of BBC Learning Scotland is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/learning/

Save The Date: Social Studies and Digital Technologies Day

Social Studies and Digital Technologies Day
organised by Education Scotland

Date: 21st March 2015

Time: 9:30 – 3:00

Venue: Stirling Management Centre, Stirling

Places: 40 – open to all primary and secondary practitioners

This is an excellent CLPL opportunity to refresh and learn new approaches to integrating ICT and Technologies through Social Studies.
There will be three exciting keynote speakers in the morning, followed by an afternoon session with a choice of three interactive workshops.
A complete programme for the day and the opportunity to book a place will be published in early February.

New WW1 Gallipoli Resources on Glow

25th April 2015 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli. Education Scotland have created new resources to support secondary teachers with this topic. The resources approach the topic from the specific Scottish context and the involvement of Scottish regiments.

The resources can be found here on Glow: http://bit.ly/WW1Gallipoli

52nd Division
Scotland’s impact on Gallipoli was enormous and in fact, Gallipoli’s impact on Scotland was even greater. A whole Scottish division, bar two battalions, served at Gallipoli. The losses of the 52nd Division were so enormous that for the Scottish Lowlands it has been dubbed a ‘second Flodden.’ On 3rd July 1915 the division numbered 10,900 men of all ranks; by the 13th it had lost over 4,800 men. The impact on Scottish towns, villages and families in the Borders was so immense that scarcely a household between the Tweed and Forth did not mourn a loss. Hawick hosts its own Gallipoli Commemoration Event every year on the 12th of July to honour and remember all of the soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli whilst serving with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

Quintinshill Train Crash
Poignantly, 210 52nd Lowlanders lost their lives before they had even left the country. Tragedy struck on 22 May 1915 when a train carrying the battalion HQ and two Companies of the 1/7th Royal Scots crashed in an accident at Quintinshill near Gretna while on route to Liverpool to meet the troop boat. 3 officers and 207 men died while 5 officers and 219 troops were injured. This is thought to be the worst rail crash ever to have occurred in Britain. Not only did the death toll reach 227 after two collisions but a secondary fire left very little behind.

Ponte City: new exhibition and private teacher viewing at Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Teachers Private View
Thursday 15th January 5.15pm – 7pm
Enjoy a guided tour of the Ponte City exhibition with the curator and find out more about the schools programme.
Exhibition runs 6th Dec 2014 – 26th April 2015
at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen St Edinburgh EH2 1JD


Please book by contacting lconacher@nationalgalleries.org

This photographic exhibition documents the Ponte City tower block building in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2007 to 2012.

Potential curriculum links: (especially suitable for secondary school pupils)
• People, place and environment
• Social issues – apartheid / equality and diversity / poverty
• Comparison with Scottish cities eg. the demolition of the Red Road Flats in Glasgow
• Values, beliefs and cultures
• Global Citizenship
• Expressive Arts

Ponte City was built for white people at the height of apartheid, but with the end of the Group Areas Act in 1991 became a refuge for black newcomers from the townships and rural areas, and then immigrants from elsewhere in Africa.

The building entered into a period of decline; by the turn of the century Ponte City symbolised urban decay and was perceived as the epicentre of crime, prostitution and drug dealing in Johannesburg. In 2007 developers evicted half of the residents and began gutting the empty apartments, but financial difficulties halted the renovation process before completion.

During this time artists Subotzky and Waterhouse began to document the building by:
• interviewing the remaining tenants
• photographing every door in the 54-storey structure
• photographing the view from every window
• photographing TV screens in the flats where residents were watching television
• collecting documents and other debris from the abandoned units