Last Updated: Friday, July 03, 2020

Broad General Education @ The University of Glasgow

What is this?

​​​This project is a partnership between the University of Glasgow and Education Scotland. It brings together academic staff from the University with education practitioners in schools to create resources which are suitable for use in the Broad General Education. The resources are located in a number of curricular areas such as Social Studies, Modern Languages, RME and Technologies. This project is funded by the University of Glasgow's ArtsLab.

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Who is this for?

​Each resource has been aimed at a particular curricular level within BGE and will be useful to practitioners teaching at that level. Resources generally have lesson plans and resources as well as background information about the topic.

These resources enable practitioners to bring the most up-to-date research from one of Scotland's leading universities into their classroom within the Broad General Education. They are engaging and interesting contexts which motivate learners.

The projects are:

Engaging with spelling in Scots language - BGE@​The University of Glasgow​​​​

Using pre-historic sites to support learning and teaching: Balfarg Henge and standing stones (requires a Glow log-in)

This resource explores how prehistoric monuments (such as standing stones) can be used to understand Scottish prehistoric life, but also how we value and protect our heritage. It features an extensive Learning Journey, based largely on the pre-historic site at Balfarg in Glenrothes (but can be adapted for any pre-historic site, or any site of historical, religious or cultural interest). For early, first, second, third and fourth level.

People of Medieval Scotland

This resource focuses on the lives of people in Scotland during medieval times, including their names, languages, money, battles, maps, weapons and government. It includes 32 extensive packs (featuring translated texts, images, and supporting explanations) and a range of Learning Journeys for teachers which showcase how these materials can be best used at all levels of BGE, as well as other supporting materials (timelines, vocabulary list). For early, first, second, third and fourth level.

Asterix:​​ Using comics to teach French

This resource supports the learning of French language and culture using the Astérix comics. It features an excerpt from an Astérix comic strip (with an English plot summary), a PowerPoint about Astérix and the history of comics, teacher notes (with suggested activities), video interviews in French (with transcripts), sound files, a workbook for pupils, and a second level Learning Journey. For second level, and can be adapted for third level.​

Gwiazda Kopernika: Learning Polish through film

This resource uses a film to teach Polish language, culture and history, with a particular focus on the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. It features teacher notes (with suggested activities), a pupil activity pack, sound files, a PowerPoint introduction to Poland, a PowerPoint introduction to Nicolaus Copernicus, a link to a film (on GLOW), and an L3 Learning Journey. For level: L3 (primary or secondary).

Weather words in Scots

This resource highlights the different Scots words for types of weather, focusing in particular on words for ‘snow’. It features an activity about a ‘snaw-ghaist’ (the name for a spirit which people imagined they saw in swirling snow storms), and a resource for making paper snowflakes (with instructions written in Scots). For second level.

The People’s Voice: Scottish political poetry, song, and the franchise, 1832–1918​ (requires a Glow log-in)

This resource uses a set of recently collected poems and songs to explore political issues of the day across Scotland (such as voting rights and the Suffragettes) around the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The poems and songs have come from archives across Scotland, including Aberdeen, Ayrshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kilmarnock and Paisley. The extensive pack features poetry texts, learning journeys, and suggested activities. For second and third level.

Homes in high places: ​Urban life in 20th century Glasgow (requires a Glow log-in)

This resource explores life in urban Scotland, particularly focusing on the experiences of living in tenements and high-rise flats. It features a series of worksheets, lesson plans, PowerPoints, and activities for pupils. For third and fourth level.

Scotland in the World: ​How others see us in film

This resource explores how Scotland and Scottish identity is portrayed in films, using three particular examples of Brigadoon (1954), Loch Ness (1996) and The Da Vinci Code (2006). It features an extensive Learning Journey, including Es & Os, background to the films, underlying themes, and suggested questions. For third level.

History of the Weather (requires a Glow log-in)

This resource explores how weather is recorded and studied, both now and in the past. It features a PowerPoint, a lesson plan on the ‘History of Weather’, resource sheets on cloud types and weather instruments, and a weather words ‘heads and tails’ exercise. For first and second level, and possibly third.

The Hero's Journey: Computer games and storytelling (requires a Glow log-in)

This resource looks at how computer games use storytelling, in particular looking at the concept of the ‘Hero’s journey’ narrative and exploring how this is recognisable in well-known films, books, and games in gaming. It also introduces the digital tool ‘Twine’, and visual programming languages. It features a document explaining the traditional stages of the Hero’s journey, a PowerPoint demonstrating the Hero’s journey, nine comic strip resources, notes for teachers explaining the resource’s rationale and place in the curriculum, and two videos. For first and second level.

Vikings in Scotland (requires a Glow log-in)

This resource looks at how the Vikings lived in Scotland, including their burials and naming patterns, and how archaeologists today research the Vikings in Scotland. It features teacher background information sheets, introductory PowerPoints, a placenames activity, a Viking burials activity, lesson plans, and a worksheet on being an archaeologist. For first level.

Alfred Nobel and the Peace Prize (requires a Glow log-in)

This resource explores the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, some of its prominent winners, and the links to Scotland through the founder, Alfred Nobel. It asks questions such as: Who was Alfred Nobel and what was his connection with Scotland? What motivated the creation of the Peace Prize and how is it operated? Who are some of the winners and why did they win? Are any of the past winners controversial and why? It features four PowerPoints (containing information and activities for pupils), a document with background information, and an explanation of the resource’s place within the curriculum. For second level.

Reflective questions

There are number of questions which these materials could address.

  • Can I use this material to contextualise and make links to a topic for my learners?
  • Can I provide personalisation and choice for my learners?
  • Is the material I am providing for my learners contemporary and engaging?
  • Can I make good cross curricular links with my teaching about Scotland and the world?