Solar eclipse perfect time for tech launch

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A teaching resource from Forestry Commission Scotland that marries ancient technology with the modern curriculum saw a spectacular launch.

Pupils and teachers from Durris Primary, Crathes Primary and Whitehill Primary Schools gathered at to watch Friday’s partial solar eclipse from the centre of a mysterious stone circle at Clune Wood.

Staff and children joined archaeologists and Forestry Commission Scotland, who combined the launch of the new teaching resource with the eclipse. Together they explored the fascinating history of recumbent stone circles and how they can be used to study a wide range of topics.

Matt Ritchie, the Commission’s archaeologist, said: “We’ve designed this resource to be fun, engaging and interactive so that pupils and their teachers can use archaeology to inspire creativity and develop understanding in a wide range of lessons.

“It’s incredible to think that even after 4000 years these fascinating Bronze Age stone circles can still excite the imagination and inspire inquisitive minds.

“These are amongst the oldest surviving structures in the north east. They are a fantastic gateway into exploring ways of living and the belief systems of Bronze Age peoples. Exploring the construction and use of the circles can be applied to history, astronomy, maths and geometry.

“The resource provides plenty of opportunities for young people to share their experiences, creativity and understanding and aims to illustrate how the artefacts of the distant past can still be relevant, entertaining and educational.

“And hopefully the experience will raise awareness of the wealth of historic and archaeological learning resources that are available online and in print.”

The launch coincided with British Science Week, a UK-wide initiative promoting science, technology, engineering and maths. The activities in the resource are designed to deliver skills learning and outcomes at Level 2 (Curriculum for Excellence) and, although best suited to pupils in P6 and 7, can be adapted for later or earlier stages.

A Continuing Professional Development workshop was held on Saturday March 21 to introduce interested professionals to the learning resource.

The resource aims to complement Aberdeenshire Council’s ‘Stone Circle trail’.