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Highland pupils make history on the web

Issued: 6 Mar 2007

A pioneering £35,000 interactive internet publishing initiative for pupils and teachers was introduced this week within The Highland Council's national award winning website, Am Baile - www.ambaile.org.uk.

A joint initiative between The Highland Council and Historic Scotland, the Am Baile for Schools - Am Baile do sgoiltean bilingual project goes live on 6th March to tie in with Highland 2007. It gives young people the freedom to publish text, pictures, video and audio clips about their history projects and share them with others across the world.

Councillor Andrew Anderson, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: "This feature, now available from the Am Baile homepage is fun and easy to use and will help pupils to learn more about Highland history and culture either in English or Gaelic. Drawing on information supplied by the Council's library service, archives, museums, local heritage groups and individuals, this site helps pupils develop their research and IT skills and explore methods of publishing multi media materials such as photographs, audio and video online."

Patricia Weeks, Historic Scotland Education Officer, said: "We really wanted to make a significant contribution to Highland 2007, one which would benefit communities for years to come, and this project does just that. It has been created so pupils can share their interest and excitement in history projects not only with other schoolchildren but their parents too.

"Children have the option of either doing work in the classroom online, or they can log on at home, giving a great deal of flexibility as well as encouragement to extend and share learning beyond the walls of the school. The website is also valuable because the pupils get the chance to learn all about publishing on the web because they have to do things like scan in the pictures themselves."

Content is closely controlled by teachers and will only appear on the internet once it has their approval. The first school to take advantage of Am Baile for Schools ~ Am Baile do sgoiltean is Fortrose Academy which has a highly active history club. Six pupils from the school have used the site to publish a project all about Orkney, from its prehistoric past through to the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow. Jennifer Coulshed, Hannah Doughty, Lois Fuerst, Daisy Hewitt, Siobhan Knowles and Brionaidh Siegel have captured their story through Am Baile.

Tracy Rennie, Fortrose Academy History Teacher said: "Am Baile for Schools enabled my pupils to document their recent trip to Orkney in a fun and unique way, while working together and improving their ICT skills. The website helped us to bring history alive and gave the pupils a real sense of achievement. We found the template simple to use and were delighted with the end results. The site also lends itself very well to research projects because of the extensive resources which are available online. I definitely plan to use this programme again with larger groups, and would recommend other teachers to try it out."

Am Baile for schools includes a database which can help teachers to locate national and local resources which are linked to national curriculum topics and can be used to support classroom learning. Topics covered in the database range from prehistory, the clearances and emigration to the Jacobites and World War II. The database includes information on a variety of organisations, museums, local and historic facilities and other online resources.

Am Baile for schools can be found at: http://www.ambaile.org.uk/en/schools/index.jsp while
Am Baile do sgoiltean can be found at http://www.ambaile.org.uk/gd/schools/index.jsp.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme