Scots Language Pathway

Scots Language Pathway


The Elphinstone Institute is ettlin tae eese its twa decades o expertise in Scots culture an research tae heeze up the teachin o oor tongue: the Doric an North-East Scots.

We hae helpit tae plan an educational gait, richt fae bairnhood tae varsity, that fowk can follae, aye improvin their Scots skills. We hae input at post-natal classes, intae the wee an big schuils an efter at the Varsity itsel.

We’re warkin ayenoo wi Jamie Fairbarin o Banff Academy. Oor MLitt students ging ilka spring tae help the bairns lairn tae gaither stories fae their faimly an neebors, so’s tae eese Scots in a research capacity an no ainly in the classroom.

We wark gey ticht wi the Scots Language Centre tae mak an furthset quality Scots leid materials fer classrooms, gien teachers materials they can lippen ontill.

“Scots as pairt o Curriculum for Excellence can gie young fowk a wye tae big up their confidence an a strang sense o identity. Learners wha hae Scots as a mither tongue are taught that their ain culture is valued an respected, gien them mair motivation tae tak pairt in lessons, be a guid example ta eithers, an achieve.”

                - Education Scotland report, Scots Language in Curriculum for Excellence, 2017

We hae significant input intae the PGDE teachers trainin coorse at Aiberdeen Varsity, and we mak sure that aa the hunners o new teachers gingin oot wir doors will hae the confidence an capacity tae eese Scots in the classroom.

Fae September 2018 new MA students at the university will hae the chance tae dae a 10-wik language course in Doric/Scots language as pairt o their degree. This biggs the connection atween nursery an varsity, gien Scots a presence in ilka step o the educational journey.

We hae pairtners oot in the community. We wark wi Historic Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland an ither siclike bodies tae heeze up the visibility o oor leid ootwith the campus an education system, gien fowk mair chances tae interact wi North-East Scots.

Gin ye’d like tae pairtner wi us, dinnae hesitate tae drap us a line at

The benefits o Scots an bilingualism in education hiv been shown bi mony reports an studies. Its eese in the classroom in achievin Curriculum for Excellence targets is ootlined here

An intensive 2017 Education Scotland report foun that usin Scots in the classroom improves attainment an pupil engagement

The Scottish Book Trust wrote on the value o Scots in the classroom

An here’s a great wabsite wi loads o great resources for teachers.


The Elphinstone Institute is committed to using its resources and expertise to promote the Scots Language Pathway in the North-East, from nursery through primary and secondary, to university education.

We currently work directly with Banff Academy. Our MLitt students assist in the Scots Language and Scottish Studies strands helping pupils to collect family and regional stories, told in Doric, and encouraging intergenerational learning.

We liaise closely with the Scots Language Centre to develop and publicise quality Scots Language, Doric, and  classroom materials, to ensure that teachers have the resources they need to succeed.

“Scots as part of Curriculum for Excellence can support young people in developing their confidence and a sense of their own identity. It can help to engage learners whose mither tongue is Scots by making them feel more valued and included, and therefore more motivated to take part in lessons, to lead learning, and to achieve more highly.”

                -Education Scotland report, Scots Language in Curriculum for Excellence, 2017

At University level, we have significant input into the University PGDE teachers training course, to ensure that all of our graduates go into teaching as activated, confident ambassadors for North-East Scots language and culture.

As of September 2018, we are offering an intensive 10-week course studying Doric/Scots Language as part of our MA programmes at the university. This ensures that Scots education can carry forward from young bairnhood to the top levels of academia.

We also partner with organisations such as Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland to bring Scots education out of the classroom and into the community.

We are always looking for more partners. If you are an educator, community stakeholder or in other ways interested in expanding the use and visibility of Scots in the North-East, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at

The benefits of Scots in education have been shown by numerous reports and studies. Its usefulness in the classroom in achieving Curriculum for Excellence targets is outlined here

An intensive 2017 Education Scotland report found that using Scots in the classroom, and being bilingual, improves attainment and pupil engagement

The Scottish Book Trust wrote on the value of Scots in the classroom

And here’s a great website with loads of great resources for teachers.