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29 October 2014
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Burgh Life in Mary's Time

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In the Scottish 5 - 14 National Guidelines for Environmental Studies (2000), Social Subjects, it states that pupils should have gained experience in five historical eras, in their study of People in the Past, by the time they complete S2. The 'Burgh Life' website focuses on burgh life in Scotland during the 16th century. This site enables children to focus on people, events and societies of significance in the past - in a Scottish context. The children will also have the opportunity to make comparisons with other European countries when they consider religion and the import and export trade at that time.

Learning in Environmental Studies should encompass knowledge and understanding, skills, and developing informed attitudes. Children will have the opportunity to gain competence in all three aspects as they complete the programme of study contained in the site.

The material contained in this site is pitched at Levels C and D. The use of the site not only facilitates learning through ICT but learning in ICT. The specific learning strands covered within the site have been identified in our forward plan.


From the Burgh Life homepage the user may opt to use the Flash site or the Non Flash site. There are also background pages on Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.

Flash site
This site is built in flash and contains animation, audio and interactivity. Your computer must have a flash plug-in to view the flash site. See the section on plug-ins if you need to install a flash plug-in or are unsure what to do.

The Story: The site is set in 1566 and Mary, Queen of Scots is about to have her son baptised at Stirling Castle. The Earl of Bedford has been sent to the celebrations on behalf of Elizabeth I of England. Bedford's servant enlists the help of the user in finding 4 missing objects for his master. The servant promises to reward the user, with a visit to the castle, if he or she is successful.

The user must explore 4 areas of the royal burgh: the Shore; the Smithy; the Mercat Cross and the Kirk. In each area they will learn about the lifestyles of people at the time by clicking, or rolling over, characters and objects. The user must collect one object from each area. In order to collect each object, they will be quizzed on information given in each area. These objects are then stored in the on-screen sack. The user may click on the sack at any time to check how many items have been collected.

To move around the burgh, the user should click on the map of Stirling in the top right hand corner.

In each area there is also the opportunity to compare Stirling in 1566 with Stirling today by clicking on the 'View Today' button.

Once all 4 objects have been collected, the user will be permitted entry to the castle by Bedford's servant. The user then accompanies Bedford into the castle.

Inside the castle, at the banquet to celebrate the baptism, the user will meet Mary, Queen of Scots and learn about the lifestyle of the nobility at that time. Knowing that Bedford will report back to Elizabeth I, Mary quizzes Bedford on Scotland. If he answers the questions correctly he may attend the firework display, if not, he will spend the night in the dungeon! The user must help Bedford to answer correctly.

The user will also be able to complete a choice of two reports on Scotland at the time for Elizabeth I, as an additional exercise. There is a report for both level C and level D pupils. They are presented as an option after the firework display, or, are available on Elizabeth's page which is found on the Burgh Life homepage. Both reports can be printed.

Non-flash site
This html site is similar to the flash site but it does not contain any animation or audio. The users will not be required to collect items, but to simply answer questions on burgh life in order to enter the castle. Once inside the castle they will also help the Earl of Bedford answer Mary's questions.

Help book On each page you will find two kinds of help button. The first, a book, allows the pupil to check what they should be attempting to do or find out.
where the children can refresh what they should be attempting to do or find out.

There is also a Teacher's help button which indicates a) how the game works and b) a brief explanation of where the game fits in with the strand. This should help the teacher as they move from desk to desk. It explains how the game works and what the child is expected to do at each stage.
Teachers Help

We have provided a glossary containing the more difficult words on the site. It would be advisable to print this off before the work on the site is undertaken.

There is also a forward plan provided which lays out clearly the Strands, Attainment Targets and the Pupil experience as well as what they should learn for Levels C and D



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