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Pupils from Glaitness Primary School step back in time!

20 May 2014

Pupils from Glaitness Primary School stepped back in time this week as they began their new roles as junior guides at one of Orkney’s most iconic historical attractions – The Bishops and Earl’s Palace.

The pupils - all from Primary 6 - are taking part in Historic Scotland’s Junior Guides scheme which gives pupils the opportunity to learn more about their local heritage by becoming costumed guides at sites across Scotland.

The pupils go through a period of two months of training where they learn more about the site and its history, as well as incorporating skills in areas such as performance and drama.

They are then assigned a historical character from the palace’s past, who they play on special tours for other school children who visit the site, helping to bring history to life.

The pupils performed their tours for the first time to an audience of friends and family at the palace this week before they begin taking tours for other schools across Scotland.

Sylvie Clarke, Learning Development Officer for Historic Scotland said;

“The pupils have been rehearsing extremely hard for their new roles as junior guides at The Bishops and Earl’s Palace.

“It’s fantastic to see them take on their inaugural tour and they really do add something special for other young visitors to the site.

“None of this is possible however without the hard work of the teachers in helping to bring the scheme to life and I’d like to take this opportunity to extend a big thank you  to all those involved.”

Anne McRae, for Glaitness Primary said;

“The Historic Scotland tour guiding scheme is a very valuable learning experience for the pupils. They enjoy learning about the local history and sharing their knowledge with others through drama. They are also learning respect for historical buildings and finding out about the importance of looking after them for future generations.”

The Glaitness pupils will be offering tours to other school groups from now until the end of June and again at the start of the new school term. For more information and to book tours please contact the Bishops and Earl’s Palace on 01856 871 918.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • Scotland welcomes the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run until 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more visit For more on Historic Scotland’s Homecoming activities visit or tweet us using #hshomecoming.

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For further information

Iona Matheson
Historic Scotland Media Office
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858