In their own words

October 21, 2010

I’ve been on some fairly tedious guided tours of historic sites over the years, but I love the idea of a tour led by primary school students.

Longmore House, the home of Historic Scotland. The site used to be a hospital, but is now home to the offices of Historic Scotland.

A program run by Historic Scotland trains primary school students to be tour guides for other school groups at some of the nation’s historic sites. Sue Mitchell, Education Manager at Historic Scotland, outlined the ‘Junior Tour Guide’ program for me. Schools can decide the scope of the project and how much time it will be given to it. Crossing curriculum boundaries, this program can teach students the essential elements of public speaking and presentation; history of the site; customer care; marketing and bookings management. Historic Scotland can provide costumes for the students to wear and works with the teachers and students to develop the tour and infrastructure. Friends and families are invited to a launch, and students who may not be involved in the tour guiding can take other roles – Sue told me about a recent launch where some students arranged the catering, others were in a choir which sang Celtic songs while others had worked on the marketing materials. Once developed, the students present the tours to other school groups throughout the year.

The program is very popular, with some schools participating every year.

Indeed, it has been so successful that there is now a Summer Guides program, which students who have finished primary school (and so are no longer part of the junior guides through their school program) can still present guided tours during the summer break. There is such high demand that students have to audition to be a part of it.

One Response to “In their own words”

  1. Caz Says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

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