Category Archives: Social Studies

Building a Curriculum for West Barns Primary School

West Barns Primary School was inspected in November 2013.  The lead inspector during the feedback challenged the school community to develop the curriculum to make it the ‘West Barns Curriculum’.  Over the past 18 months, the school community has worked to develop the curriculum – moving from ‘a blank wall’ to a shared understanding of the rich West Barns Curriculum experienced by the learners.  Follow the link to the West Barns Curriculum Magazine to look at how the school has outlined the curriculum for parents:

Curriculum for West Barns BOB


Whose Town?

Whose Town? is an innovative resource for teaching social studies. A fun and interactive digital resource which brings Edinburgh’s history to life, it has been made available to all Glow users.  It can be found in the Whose Town? Glow Group and accessed from the Glow National Site notice board. The resource is built on the City of Edinburgh’s heritage collections and is linked to the Curriculum for Excellence second, third and fourth levels.

Whose Town? looks at Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s past from 1850s to the 1950s through the eyes of people who lived there. There are 14 real lives to discover – people who lived in Victorian times, at the beginning of the twentieth century, during the Second World War and in the Fifties. Archival material is collected in a digital box and hidden in an attic for pupils to uncover and examine. Each life is captured at a particular point in history, creating a snapshot of their life: a Life in a Box.

Whose Town? features two lives with direct connections to East Lothian. Florence grew up in an affluent Victorian household and enjoyed holidays at the West Pans seaside with her family. Luca Scappaticcio arrived in Scotland from Italy at the turn of the twentieth century and settled in Musselburgh where he established what is now S. Luca’s of Musselburgh.

There are over 450 unique and original documents in digital format for topic and skills based work. Maps, newspaper articles, photographs, objects, documents, video and audio clips and even the bits and bobs that everyone collects are all used to bring the histories of the fourteen real lives to life. Whose Town? also contains a wealth of support materials for teachers from lesson plans to ideas on how to use archival materials in the classroom.   

For more information or to request a free Whose Town? CD contact the Digital Information Team at Central Library in Edinburgh on 0131 242 8047. You’ll also find a wide range of supporting mat

Competition – Set the Scene for an Adventure

An exciting competition for primary school children offers the chance to set the scene for a new adventure by award-winning Scottish children’s author Lari Don. The Edinburgh-based author will launch the competition on Thursday 23 June.  Children are invited to suggest the perfect real-life Scottish location to be used in the fourth, and final book of the First Aid for Fairies series. The winner’s setting will be incorporated into the thrilling series finale, where it could be visited by one of the fabled beast stars of the adventures (including a centaur, a selkie, a fairy and a dragon).   

Entrants are asked to come up with a location and describe why it is special in no more than 250 words. As well as having their location used in the final book, the winner will also get signed copies of all the books in the series and a special author visit to their class. The deadline for entry is Friday 23 September. 

More information about the First Aid for Fairies series and Set the Scene Competition can be found on from Thursday 23 June.