‘Hogwarts’ setting provides backdrop for national launch of magical learning packs

By Ellen Thomson at

In their gowns and uniforms, these young pupils would look the part in any Harry Potter film.

But these children were in the West End for the national launch of new learning resources for schools.

Children with books

Pupils help launch the new resources with a special visitor, deputy first minister John Swinney. Photo: Martin Shields

The 12 teaching packs have been created using University of Glasgow research.

All are tailored to the needs of Scottish pupils and the Curriculum for Excellence.

They will be used in broad general education, which covers nursery to S3.

They cover a diverse range of topics from French comics to archaeology, political songs to medieval history, Polish films to Scots language.

And pupils from St Patrick’s primary school in Shotts were among the first to get their hands on them when they helped launch the resources at a photocall within the university’s stunning cloisters.

Children with books

Magic: The university’s stunning cloisters provided a stunning backdrop for the launch. Photo: Martin Shields

The grand university building is often compared to the fictional school for wizards in the books by JK Rowling.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney joined the pupils at the launch.

Mr Swinney said: “These resources deliver a diverse range of topics – many of which are unique in a classroom setting – to learners from age three to 15 in an engaging and exciting way.

“They support teachers and other practitioners by providing them access to current academic research for use in their own practice and they promote the flexibility that is so central to our Curriculum for Excellence.

“I thank the University of Glasgow and Education Scotland, whose strong collaboration was instrumental in the project’s success.”

Children with books

Heads-up: University principal and vice-chancellor Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli with Mr Swinney at the launch. Photo Martin Shields

The collaboration, which started as a pilot in 2014, is run by Professor Dauvit Broun and Dr Joanna Tucker (University of Glasgow) and Lynne Robertson (Education Scotland).

The project takes full advantage of the Curriculum for Excellence which allows for more flexibility in its content as BGE is based primarily on ‘experiences & outcomes’.

This structure means that diverse subject areas – such as those researched at universities – can now be taught in the classroom.