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Learning on The Move – Edinburgh

The earliest know human habitation in the Edinburgh area is from the Mesolitihic site dated around 8,500 BC. Traces from both the Bronze Age and Iron Age have also been found. The Romans made it as far at the Lothian area at the end of the first century (AD). They connected Edinburg with the south, with a Roman road known as Deer Street which connects to York.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle's in 710, the Angles were fighting against the Picts for control of the region. Edinburg, at this point, may have been the furthest north-west of the Angles' kingdom.

By the late ninth century, York was the centre of Danelaw. The northern part of Northumbria was cut off from the rest of England by the old Norse-speaking Danes. It was not until the 11th century when according to the the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, Edinburg was abandoned to the Scots.

Kind David I, established the town of Edinburgh as one of Scotland's earliest royal burghs, protected by his royal fortress, on the slope below Castle Rock. Merchants were allocated strips of land known as 'tofts', along Market Street, on condition that they built a house on their land within a year and a day.

By the middle of the 14th century, the town had 400 dwellings, under the reign of David II and was known as the the "Paris of Scotland." The link with France was established and continues strongly from this point.

However, by 1603 King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, uniting the monarchies of both Scotland and England know as the Union of the Crowns. By the start of the 1700's the Acts of Union were passed uniting the two kingdoms into The Kingdom of Great Britain.

By the fist half of the 18th century, rising prosperity was evident by the growth of the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the British Linen Bank. However, not everyone was benefiting from all of this wealth. Living conditions for some were very poor and all classes has to live and work alongside each other. There was a proposal for improvements which became New Town to the north of the Old Town. With in a grid plan, the houses were built north to south and apartments were built east to west.The professions of architect, engineers and surveyors flourished and were soon off to London, to ply their trades. Soon the other professionals and business leaders moved from the old to the new, and the old town were left to the poor.

By the 19th century, Edinburgh's industries of printing, brewing and distilling continued to grow but remained relatively small scale and were joined by new industries like rubber, engineering and pharmaceuticals. Glasgow was more industrialised than Edinburgh, by the Second World War came, which meant it was spared mass bombing although there were some.

Geography: The must see, without really saying, is Castle Rock. The rock is estimated to have formed some 350 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, and is a volcanic plug in the middle of Edinburgh and here stands the castle. on the other side of Old Town within Holyrood park is Arthur's seat. Both of which are a strenuous walk, so will cover physical education as well.

History: The is the castle as well as the palace. I can defiantly recommend the castle. However, on every occasion (5 in total) we have visited Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyrood House has been closed. You do need to read the website carefully to find out when it is open as they close if a member of the Royal Household is visiting and reserve the right to close without notice.

St Giles Cathedral, may come under Religious Education if you attend a service. However, there is a lovely section within the cathedral that you can use for art. St Giles Cathedral was founded in 1124 by King David I. It has been used as a church for over 900 years and is the backdrop to Scotlands' turbulent religious history. It was the parish church of John Knox's during the Reformation. the Thistle Chapel is worth the visit and take time to listen to the guild about the knights stalls. The order of the Thistle is Scoltand's great order of chivalry and membership is considered to one of the counties honours. The Order is traditionally given to Scots, who have given distinguished service and are the personal gift of the Sovereign. The Thistle Chapel was designed in 1911 but the order has its origins int he Middle Ages. You will entered he space though a low valued vestibule. it is richly decorated with both religious and heraldic details, the chairs for the knight are capped with lavishly cared canopies with helms and crest of the knights rising above. Using this as inspiration, how would you design one for your family?

The Royal Yacht Britannia is an interesting history lesson, you can discover what life was like for the Queen Elizabeth II while she used the yacht for royal visits.

Art: You are spoilt for choice with the art galleries to visit. the Scottish national Gallery of Modern Art and The Scottish national Gallery are both very interesting and have a varieties of art that everyone could find at least one piece or genre they like.

S.T.E.M: Dynamic Earth is a great place to visit for Learning on the Move and will tick off science, geography, history and technology. You are invited to take a journey through time to follow the story of planet earth. It takes the whole afternoon to do and makes learning this stuff fun - lava flows, earth quakes, witness the first big bang, polar ice caps and the Aurora Borealis. It is for 5 to 18 year olds but best for upper KS 2 and lower KS3.

Physical Exercise: like Liverpool, Edinburgh has a lot to see in a small space, so walk every where and that will cover your health education for the week, for sure.

Last but defiantly not least - if the busy-ness of the city gets too much, I would defiantly recommend the Royal Botanic Garden, especially if you are part of the Orchard Training Homeschool Garden Club. It is free! There is so much to see and it is a lovely place to while a way some time. As gardening is part of our home school curriculum it would be foolish not to notch up some hours here, in beautiful surroundings, learning about plants and getting ideas for what we could grow next!

Don’t forget to add all of the activities that you take part in- in to your diary.


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