Scottish school pupils’ work to feature in high profile exhibition on William Wallace

02/07/2012

The work of three Scottish primary and four secondary school classes will feature in ‘Special Delivery: The William Wallace Letters’ exhibition being hosted in the Scottish Parliament from 15 August. This unique exhibition has been developed in partnership with National Records of Scotland and the pupils’ work will be displayed on audio-visual screens and panels.

‘Special Delivery: The William Wallace Letters’ will put on public display a 700-year-old letter believed to have been in the possession of William Wallace and the famous Lübeck Letter. Pupils from across Scotland were invited to submit their work to help tell the story of William Wallace and the struggle for power that took place across Europe in the early 1300s. Staff from National Records of Scotland and the Scottish Parliament then selected submissions.

Work is being included by pupils from:

  1. John Paul Academy, Glasgow
  2. Craigholme School, Glasgow
  3. Canal View Primary School, Edinburgh:
  4. Croftmalloch Primary School, Whitburn, West Lothian
  5. John Logie Baird Primary School, Helensburgh
  6. Wester Hailes Education Centre, Edinburgh
  7. Bishopbriggs Academy, East Dunbartonshire

Speaking on behalf of National Records of Scotland, Margaret McBryde, Education Officer, said:

“We have been delighted to receive such varied responses. Clearly the pupils have been inspired by Wallace’s story, and they should be proud of their work. We are very pleased to include their imaginative contributions in this exciting exhibition at Holyrood.”

The exhibition opens in the Main Hall of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 15 August and is open until Saturday 8 September. Both letters in the exhibition are fragile and can only go on display under controlled lighting for a very limited period every few years. The Wallace Letter has been held in England since it was discovered in the Tower of London in the 1830s. It is now on long-term loan to the National Records of Scotland after an agreement was reached with The National Archives in Kew. The Lübeck Letter is being loaned by the archives of the City of Lübeck, with the agreement of the Mayor and Council. It was last shown in Scotland in 2005, during the ‘For Freedom Alone’ exhibition at the Scottish Parliament. 

Background

The selected materials come from P5, S1 and S2 classes from the schools above. This includes audio and video news reports, newspaper headlines, artwork and poetry:

John Paul Academy, Glasgow:
S1 – print cartoon / drawing artwork.

Craigholme School, Glasgow:
S1 – radio presentation including interviews with ‘witnesses’ to key events.

Canal View Primary School, Edinburgh:
P5 - poetry and artwork.

Croftmalloch Primary School, Whitburn, West Lothian:
P5 - artwork and an illustrated report.

John Logie Baird Primary School, Helensburgh:
P5 - Powerpoint presentation about their Wallace project, including photographs of their artwork.

Wester Hailes Education Centre, Edinburgh:
S2 – written news reports presented as newspapers.

Bishopbriggs Academy, East Dunbartonshire:
S2 – includes a narrated stop motion animation about William Wallace’s life.

The exhibition is being mounted by National Records of Scotland in the Scottish Parliament. It focuses on the only two surviving documents, both over 700 years old, that are directly connected to William Wallace. The letter from The National Archives in London is now on long-term loan to the National Records of Scotland after an agreement was reached last year. Both it and the ’Lübeck letter’ will be displayed side by side in a rare opportunity to view them together.

Those wishing to comment on or follow news about the exhibition through twitter should use the hashtag #wallaceletters

Festival of Politics

Events are taking place during the Parliament’s Festival of Politics associated with the exhibition on Friday 24 August:

10:00-11:00, Committee Room 1, FREE
The Attempted Restoration: Wallace's Support of King John, 1299-1302
In association with National Records of Scotland.

This talk by Dr Amanda Beam-Frazier of the University of Glasgow complements the Wallace exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. She will focus on efforts by the Scots, including William Wallace, to restore John Balliol as king of Scots after his abdication in 1296. She will also consider Balliol's own desire to return to the Scottish throne, and the political and diplomatic context from 1299 to 1302.

11:30-12:30, Debating Chamber, FREE
Sir William Wallace, Scotland and the wider world
In association with National Records of Scotland.

Come and take part in this debate between four expert historians of medieval Europe, including Dr Fiona Watson and Professor Michael Prestwich. Members of the audience have the chance to quiz the panel about Wallace and the momentous decades for Scotland around 1286 to 1306. The debate will be chaired by the Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP.

For more information, please visit www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk