Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Great Scots

What is this?

​This is a collection of resources about Great Scots both historical and contemporary. The materials provide learning and teaching suggestions as to how the life and work of these people might be both instructional and inspirational for Scottish learners. Sets of materials assist practitioners in delivering a variety of themes from innovation and invention to entrepreneurship and philanthropy.  There are engaging video interviews which have been edited into useful clips for children and young people to hear directly from some of the contributors.

Who is this for?

This resource has learner journeys which deliver across the broad general education years.  This material would also be of use to learners researching National 4 Added Value Units and National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Assignments.

How to use this learning and assessment resouce to improve practice

This resource is designed to provide inspiration and example to children and young people who are learning about a variety of themes through famous and noteworthy contributors to Scottish life and society, many of whom have had an international influence.  

Improvement questions

  • Can I use this material to contextualise and make links to a topic for my learners?

These noteworthy Scots come from all over the country and can help children and young people to see how those from their own society or background have succeeded in their lives.

  • Is my teaching about Scotland exciting and contemporary?

These materials with up-to-date video clips and interesting interviews have a great variety of applications.  For example watch Sir Tom Farmer talking about how he developed his career to become one of the most successful businessmen in Scotland.

  • Can I provide personalisation and choice for my learners?

Regardless of the interest of the learner there is a Great Scot for them to research and these materials make an excellent starting point for a project about how Scots have influenced their country and further afield.   

  • Can I make good cross curricular links with my teaching about Scotland?

These materials make clear links across different subject areas within each of the lives of people featured. As well as Social Studies there are strong links to Science, Sport, Business, Literature, Art and many others.

  • Are you using inspirational Scots to engage your learners?
  • Are you using inspirational Scots to help learners think about potential careers?
  • Are you using inspirational Scots to broaden your teaching of enterprise, science, etc.


Tom Farmer

Sir Thomas 'Tom' Farmer is a famous Scottish entrepreneur who founded the Kwik-Fit chain of garages. He went on to be come a successful businessman and philanthropist, supporting charity's such as Mary's Meals. 



Word file: Tom Farmer - learning journey (2.4 MB)

PDF file: Tom Farmer - learning journey (243 KB)

Paul Lawrie

Paul Stewart Lawrie OBE is a professional golfer, who won the Open Championship, has played in two Ryder Cups and has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Word file: Paul Lawrie - Learning journey (2.5 MB)

PDF file: Paul Lawrie - Learning journey (695 KB)

Magnus Macfarlane Barrow

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow is the founder and CEO of Mary's Meals, a registered charity, that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.

Word file: Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow - Learning journey (762 KB)

PDF file: Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow - Learning journey (233 KB)

Robert The Bruce

Robert the Bruce was King of Scots from 1306 to 1329 who was a leading figure in the Wars of Independence against England.

Word file: Robert the Bruce - Learning journey (2.5 MB)

PDF file: Robert the Bruce - Learning journey (334 KB)

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer.

Word file: Robert Louis Stevenson - Learning journey (2.4 MB)

PDF file: Robert Louis Stevenson - Learning journey (192 KB)

Theresa Breslin

Theresa Breslin is an award winning Scottish author who specialises in young adult fiction.

Word file: Theresa Breslin - Learning journey (2.4 MB)

PDF file: Theresa Breslin - Learning journey (170 KB)