Scottish History

Introducing our important new original series, ‘Scottish History’. Kings, queens, treaties and battles: crucial factors of the cause to protect Scottish sovereignty, which hung in the balance during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

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Free video series for History teachers and students

Carefully unravelling the interwoven fabric that connects the themes of authority, conflict and identity, this four-part series is essential viewing for students of Scottish history. Discover all four episodes free to share with your students. Each episode comes with a pack of printable supporting resources for your lessons.

episode 1

The Great Cause and the Guardians of the Realm

The unfortunate demise of two young rulers led to several creative attempts to maintain Scotland’s newly won independence. The arranged marriages of both Alexander III and his granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway, sought to protect Scottish sovereignty, but neither tragedy nor lack of heirs had been factored in.

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episode 2

The First and Second Interregnum

The national turmoil started by the death of Alexander III and fueled once more by the death of the Maid of Norway saw Scotland enter an era of fierce competition for the throne. This video examines the major players in this rivalry, including John Balliol, William Wallace, Andrew Murray, and the unrelenting King Edward I.

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episode 3

Treaties and Allegiances

Allegiances and treaties were central to either the protection or loss of Scottish sovereignty in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This video dives deeper into the Treaties of Birgham and Edinburgh-Northampton, the Auld Alliance and the Declaration of Arbroath, and their contribution to Scottish national identity and consciousness.

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episode 4

Battles of the First War of Independence

After Scotland signed a treaty with France, England’s Edward I launched an invasion of Scotland in retaliation, beginning the Anglo-Scottish wars of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This video examines the major battles and rebellions that ensued, taking a close look at the players, weaponry and advancements in military strategy.

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Try out our ‘Scottish History’ interactive video

episode 1

The Great Cause and the Guardians of the Realm

In this interactive video, students respond to six questions about the aftermath of the untimely deaths of two Scottish monarchs and how best laid plans proved futile.

Download lesson resources

Why focus on Scottish History?

This collection has been designed to teach thirteenth and fourteenth-century Scottish history in National 5 and Higher History. Here’s why:

  • The series content makes up an important and significant component of the History curriculum for N5 and Higher.
  • Each video explores and illustrates the key themes of ‘conflict’, ‘authority’ and ‘identity’; core content in this curriculum area.

How can I use this series in my classroom?

‘Scottish History’ is designed for senior secondary students of History, with all videos and accompanying resources aligned with the Curriculum for Excellence.

  • The clips, each 7-9 minutes long, will provide a springboard for a lesson that also includes discussion, analysis and interpretation of the content and ideas.
  • The series will also be used for flipped learning or to consolidate learning.
  • The Battle maps and animations in each video help bring the historical conflict to life, giving students a sense of common military strategies and technologies of the time.
There are many advantages to using video clips to support learning:
  • Video allows a flexible approach to teaching, and will promote whole-class discussion.
  • The ability to pause and discuss the content will enhance the comprehension of information.
  • Students can rewatch and revise content in their own time.
  • Accompanying educational resources will reinforce and support video content.

What are the post-viewing outcomes for my students?

By watching and interacting with this series, your students will:
  • Better understand the causes and complexities of the First Scottish War of Independence.
  • Develop curiosity about the key figures of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
  • Better understand the past, historical events and developments.

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