New schools project to explore the names of Scottish places

School pupils can find out all about island placenames through the new project
School pupils can find out all about island placenames through the new project
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A new education resource launched this week is teaching school children from around Scotland the hidden history behind the names of their local communities.

The online resource will teach pupils from Galloway to Shetland the history behind the names that they may take for granted, what they mean and how they have evolved.
The resource was developed by experts at the University of Glasgow in partnership with Education Scotland to create an online set of materials called ‘Scotland’s Place Names’ aimed at upper primary and early secondary in the new curriculum.
Dr Simon Taylor, Chief Researcher of Scottish Toponymy in Transition at the University of Glasgow, said: “Scotland is a country where many different languages have been spoken over the last 1,500 years, and its place-names reflect this rich and varied history.

“We are pleased to be working with Education Scotland on such a unique project and we hope that it will encourage young people to learn more about the different languages and peoples that have created the modern namescape, and to appreciate the rich cultural legacy embodied in their place-names.”

Scotland’s Place Names is designed to raise awareness about Scotland’s cultural and linguistic history by providing a guide for teachers and learning tools for students.

It will explain what languages various place-names are from, what they might mean and the stories that are attached to them.
The four-level course forms part of the ‘Studying Scotland’ series of teaching resources developed by Education Scotland to teach about the forces and events which have shaped Scotland’s national identity through a wide range of geographical, historical and cultural perspectives.

By the end of it learners will be able to use a variety of maps to interpret place place-names and see how they have changed over time.

Lynne Robertson, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland, said: “Scotland is a nation rich in artists and writers and a nation of several languages and of many voices.

“Studying Scotland helps teachers to plan interdisciplinary learning experiences which draw on a wide range of geographical, historical and cultural perspectives in a coherent and relevant way.”