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Scots language teacher professional learning programme

Scots language teacher professional learning programme

This collection is home to a professional learning course for teachers teaching in any subject area at any level in a Scottish school context, who are keen to learn how to develop their skills in incorporating teaching Scots language and culture in their classroom. Developed and delivered by the Open University in partnership with Education Scotland, the programme has been designed to suit any learning environment, and helps teachers understand the equality, diversity and inclusion aspect of bringing Scots language into pupils’ education. 

We are in the process of securing the General Teaching Council for Scotland professional recognition award for this programme.

The Scottish Government are funding all places for teachers studying on the course starting in January 2024. We are planning to apply for funding for places on future presentations of the course. The next presentation will start in September 2024 and we will post an update before the summer holidays.

To register your interest in signing up for the next course presentation, please complete this short online form. Following your completion of the form, we will contact you to finalise your registration process. Please note: Read our FAQs information before completing the online form.

If you have any questions or comments on the programme, contact

  • The need and demand for high-quality training material specifically for teachers to improve and develop their skills in and knowledge of Scots language teaching approaches for use in the modern multilingual Scottish classroom has been communicated from stakeholders for generations.
  • The Open University in Scotland and Education Scotland began by creating and publishing the free public-facing OpenLearn Create course in ‘Scots Language and Culture’, which has had over 17,000 unique visitors from 129 different countries.
  • The popularity and positive reviews of both the course content and platform made it the ideal starting point upon which to base our teacher-specific version which is now ready to be launched.
Teachers studying this CPD course will
  • learn about the educational guidance and academic research, as well as best practice, of teaching Scots language and culture in Scottish schools
  • learn how to incorporate elements of Scots language and culture in their own teaching and be given opportunities to practice this in their classrooms
  • learn how to take an interdisciplinary approach to teaching Scots language and culture 
  • understand the value of the Scots language skills their pupils bring to their education as key transferable literacy skills that form an important part of their identity
  • understand educational benefits of Scots in the classroom for the wide-ranging skills for learning across the school experience 
  • learn about the SQA Awards pupils can gain for studying Scots language and culture, as well as planning a progression from earlier in the school experience
  • build their confidence in teaching in multilingual classrooms, using a wide variety of education materials to assist with exploring pupil voice, as well as related developmental skills for increased pupil self-confidence, resilience, communication, creativity and more

To gain an insight into the impact of the course study on classroom practice and pupils' learning, you can watch the presentation of the findings from the CPD course pilot at Banff Academy at the 2023 Scots in Education Conference hosted by the Scots Language Centre.

Course principles
  • The multi-media course materials are available online, on a website accessible to registered course students.
  • We ensure a safe space for teachers to share their experiences and ask questions.
  • The course develops confidence in an area of education where many have had no prior training.
  • Teachers will share teaching ideas and reflection on their application in the classroom with their peers on the course.
  • Flexibility is built in to provide opportunities for teachers to focus on areas most relevant to them.
  • Teachers will have the time and support required to experiment with lessons which explore the educational benefits of Scots language.
  • Teachers gain experience from delivering lessons to their own class of learners as part of the course.
Course elements
  • 60 study hours comprising guided self-study, live tutorials, assessment and classroom application 
  • Live group online tutorial sessions with tutors on MS Teams
  • Teachers study relevant academic research on Scots in education
  • Teachers write lesson/activity plans
  • They try out their lessons/activities with their class in school
  • They share their experience in groups
  • And they write reflective accounts of their experience teaching Scots and engaging with peers on the course
  • Formative
  • Masters level
  • GTCS Professional recognition award
  • 6 tasks, reflective practitioner discussion in
  • forum and private blog posts which are tutor-marked
  • 400-800 words per unit
  • Joint forum work for reflection on application
  • to prepare for blog posts
  • Reflective prompts
  • Self-evaluation wheel

Course structure

Unit 1The role and use of Scots language in Scotland today

  • Introduction to Scots in the classroom

Unit 2: Scots: exploring the educational benefits

  • Development of literacy skills

Unit 3: Scots in the BGE

  • Focus on Early Years & First Level

Unit 4: Scots and Social Studies in Secondary School

  • Geography, History, Modern Studies and more

Unit 5: Scots in literature and creative writing

  • Writing in Scots for speakers and learners

Unit 6: Scots, Creativity and the Expressive Arts

  • Engage with Scots in various forms, registers and voices in a variety of art forms, including poetry, drama and song

Unit 7: Scots as a language learning option in schools

  • Learning about standardisation/dialect diversity and the impact of multilingual classroom practices on pupils’ attainment and inclusion

Only units 1 and 7 are mandatory and there is the option to leave out 1 of the other units, with the requirement to complete a total of 6 units overall.

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  • Scots language teacher CPD pilot

    Scots language teacher CPD pilot

    This is a teacher continuous professional learning course about teaching Scots language and culture in Scotland's primary and secondary school classrooms.

    Try this course


    24+ hrs

  • Scots language teacher CPD 2024

    Scots language teacher CPD 2024

    This professional learning course is designed for teachers teaching any subject at any level in a Scottish school context. The course is recognised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland with the GTCS professional recognition award. The course upskills teachers in incorporating teaching Scots language and culture in their classroom. 

    Try this course


    24+ hrs

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