Last Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021

History of Scots

What is this?

​This resource details the history of Scots from the Middle Ages to the present day.

It features a short animation, a text resource and audio clips which provide examples of how Scots has been used over the last 400 years.

There's also a longer, PDF version of the resource which can be downloaded with the audio clips and used offline.

Who is this for?

​This resource is suitable for second level up to the senior phase and will be particularly useful to those studying the Scots Language Award.

​How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

Scots is one of the three indigenous languages of Scotland and forms an integral part of our heritage and cultural life. It plays a vital role in children’s and young people’s learning about Scotland.
- Have your studies of Scotland featured Scots language?

The ‘3-18 Literacy and English Review’ recognises that Scots can make a strong contribution to the development of children’s and young people’s literacy skills.
- Have you explored how learning Scots can often improve your learners’ development of their wider literacy skills?

Including Scots as part of Curriculum for Excellence can help motivate some learners and their families by showing them that the language they use at home is valued:
- Have you explored how using Scots in learning settings can often improve learners’ engagement and attainment?

Both the SQA Scots Language Award and Scottish Studies Award have seen increased uptake since being launched:
- Has your school considered offering either Award to learners?

Download(s)

PDF file: History of Scots (329 KB)

Zip file: History of Scots audios (22.7 MB)

Can't view this video? You can also view this clip on Glow (log-in required).

 

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, ranked number 3 in the world for performing art educationAudios

The audios in the zip file above are made up of readings in Scots from various eras in Scotland's history.

These recordings were done in partnership between Education Scotland and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland RCS. The performers reading are current and former students at the RCS. They were coached by Jean Sangster, Head of Voice and the Centre for Voice in Performance at RCS. The readings were recorded in the RCS Recording Studio by Recording Studio Engineer Bob Whitney.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked number three in the world for performing art education.

The recordings include:

What is the Scots language?

1. The Scots Language Today, read by Simon Hall

The beginnings of the Scots Language - Scots during the Middle Ages

2. From the Statutes of the Scottish Parliament, read by Adam Stevenson, BA Acting

3. John Barbour – The Brus, read by Katie Barnett, BA Musical Theatre

4. William Dunbar – My Heid Did Yak, read by Euan McCormack, BA Musical Theatre

5. Robert Henryson – The Preaching of the Swallow, read by Emma Hindle, BA Acting

Scots during Renaissance and Reformation times

6. John Knox – The History of the Reformation, read by Michael Abubakar, BA Acting

7. James VI – Reulis and Cautelis, read by Nicholas Ralph, BA Acting

8. James VI – Counterblast Against Tobacco, read by Nicholas Ralph, BA Acting

Scots in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

9. William Drummond – Sleepe, Silence Child, read by Megan McGuire, BA Musical Theatre

10. Robert Ayton – To View Thy Beauty Well, read by Michael Abubakar, BA Acting

11. Robert Fergusson – Auld Reikie, read by Ainsley Jordan, BA Acting

12. Robert Burns – Address to the Deil, read by Duncan Brown, BA Musical Theatre

Scots in the Romantic Age and Victorian times

13. Sir Walter Scott – Old Mortality, read by Ainsley Jordan, BA Acting

14. James Hogg – Confessions of a Justified Sinner, read by Christopher Marshall, BA Musical Theatre

15. Janet Hamilton – Oor location, read by Emma Hindle, BA Acting

16. The Scotchman Journal, read by Katie Barnett, BA Musical Theatre

Scots in the twentieth century

17. Charles Murray – A Sough O’ War, read by Euan McCormack, BA Musical Theatre

18. Hugh MacDairmid – A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle, read by Duncan Brown, BA Musical Theatre

19. Sydney Goodsir Smith – The Grace of God and The Meth Drinker, read by Adam Stevenson, BA Acting

20. Hamish Henderson – The Freedom Come All Ye, sung by Megan McGuire, BA Musical Theatre

21. WL Lorimer – The New Testament in Scots, read by Christopher Marshall, BA Musical Theatre