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Fife Family Learning Events

Take part in fun family learning activities this weekend as part of the Fife Challenge.   

Bring the Doves Back to the Doocot!
Saturday 5th and Sunday 13th April, Aberdour Castle, Fife
Explore the fantastic beehive doocot at Aberdour Castle, find out what it was used for, then learn how to make your own origami doves to bring the doocot ‘back to life’.

Free with normal admission to site.
Drop-in between 10.30 and 3.30.
Suitable for aged 5 and over. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Contact Aberdour Castle on 01383 860 519

Historical Figure Making
Saturday 12th April, Dunfermline Abbey
Sunday 6th April, St Andrews Cathedral

Find out about the people who worked at, lived in and visited these historic Fife sites, as you work with an artist to create your own rag dollsinspired by your favouritehistorical character.

Free with normal admission to site.
Booking essential. Sessions at 11, 12.15, 2.00 and 3.15 (1 hour duration).
Suitable for aged 7 and over. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Contact St Andrews Cathedral on 01334 472 563
Contact Dunfermline Abbey on 01383 739 026

Fiona Davidson
Learning Development Officer
Tel: 01738 825 925 / 829 053


Five students from Wester Hailes Education Centre in Edinburgh were announced as winners of the 2013 Keys to the Castle Challenge and presented with a trophy at a special ceremony at Stirling Castle.

The competition is a joint venture between Historic Scotland and Springboard Scotland designed to inspire young people to consider a career in tourism. The winning team worked together to complete a series of challenges about Scotland’s history and culture.

The 2014 challenge is now live and open to all secondary schools in Scotland. Full details of how to enter can be found here.

Good luck!


Historic Scotland’s Medieval Construction Science Show is coming to Aberdour Castle and St Andrews Cathedral in March and Dunfermline Abbey, Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace in April. The show explores the science and technology behind Medieval buildings. We have a special Medieval Science and Technology Challenge for schools to try in the classroom, in advance of the shows. Download the challenge sheet below:

PDF icon Science & Technology Challenge [pdf, 65kb]

If you are interested in bringing a class to a show at one of the sites, contact: or Tel. 0131 652 8155/8156. Shows are suitable for P4-S1 pupils and are FREE!


The Learning Services team co-ordinated lots of events to celebrate The Big Draw in autumn 2013.  To tie in with Year of Natural Scotland, the theme was Landscapes, and participants were invited to draw inspiration from the natural settings of our monuments to create a piece of artwork. Professional artists were also commissioned to work with community groups at Duff House, Lochleven Castle, Doune Castle, Linlithgow Peel, Holyrood Park and Trinity House. Keep an eye on our Pinterest and Facebook pages for a gallery of the results!


Learning Lab workshops provide learner-centred experiences, tailored around the journey through history that can be unique to each individual or group. Using the magnificent backdrop of Stirling Castle, learners can undertake genuine site-specific research, helping to develop their critical thinking and study skills across many areas of the curriculum. Learners will have the opportunity to use mobile devices to capture information in a variety of formats and to create a digital record of their experience.

For further details of Learning Lab, or to arrange a detailed planning visit, please contact the Stirling Castle Learning Development Officer direct on 01786 431309


Learning Services and Heritage Management colleagues have been working together to refresh the popular Haunted Heritage show, which aims to engage pupils with their local built heritage. The show, which has two parts, a drama presentation and a debate, will be complemented by an education pack which will be piloted with a local Primary 7 class this September in Kelso. The culmination of the project will be the half hour interactive ‘Haunted Heritage’ show by two professional actors, involving the pupils in audience participation and a follow-on workshop (approx 90 mins) involving drama and role-play.


As home to Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, Edinburgh Castle recently teamed up with the Tower of London (home of the British Crown Jewels) and Westminster Abbey (home of English and British coronation ceremonies) to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Working with Historic Scotland’s education team, over 200 learners from local community groups have been taking part in the Coronation Stories project, engaging in a series of workshops and visits with a creative focus including photography, creative writing, fabric printing, graphic design, storytelling, animation, daytime excursions, night-time tours and reminiscence sessions.


After a highly successful year at Edinburgh Castle, performing for visiting schools from throughout the Central Belt; our Gaelic Guides visited the Island of Lewis from 6th to 9th May inclusive. After meeting The Blackhouse Guides at Sgoil an Taobh Siar, both groups were interviewed by Radio nan Gàidheal, with positive feedback on the standard of Gaelic from Stenhouse Primary Guides.

Edinburgh Guides performed in costume at the school, and were then shown round the Historic Scotland site, The Blackhouse by the Junior Guides from Lewis. This successful morning was followed by a visit to Dalmore beach, and the Callanish Stones. The pupils agreed the trip was an amazing experience, and have continued their links with Sgoil an Taobh Siar Guides.

We await with anticipation the DVD, “From Stenhouse to Stornoway”, made possible through funding from Bord na Gàidhlig and Edinburgh Council.

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Contact us

Learning Services
Historic Scotland
Holyrood Park Education Centre
1 Queen’s Drive
Tel: +44 (0)131 652 8155/8156