A showcase of the best heritage learning resources in Scotland!

All the major heritage organisations’ chose their best resources – and we gathered them together in one place, the Heritage Resources Portal. It is aimed primarily at teachers but it is a great place for youth workers, home-schoolers and people in other learning and educational settings, to find resources for leading sessions. It also includes learners’ resources, such as games, apps, and primary sources.

All of the resources such as PDFs and games, are free, but note that there may be a charge for workshops.

There are two sections to this page below: How to use this website and About the Portal.

Questions? Comments? Want to write a blog post or submit a resource? Contact Rebecca, the Portal coordinator, on heritageportal@archaeologyscotland.org.uk

Are you a resources provider? Check out our page just for you to find out more and submit a resource.

How to use this website:

Use the search button on the left or find by category:

  • Curriculum for Excellence levels and areas
  • Learning setting – youth group, school, adult learning, early years, or informal setting
  • Scottish time period
  • Users – are you looking for something for educators, learners, or both?
  • Topics – a mix of topics that educators use. We feature a new one each month.
  • Type of resources:
    • places to visit, activities (45 minutes or less), projects (over 45 minutes and up to several weeks), background information, teachers/educators’ notes, apps, games, and handling kits, and our blog

Find out about each category in more detail:

Curriculum for Excellence levels and areas

Curricular Areas

These three are the responsibility of educators across the curriculum:

  • Literacy across learning
  • Numeracy across learning
  • Health and Wellbeing

The other areas, in no particular order, are:

  • Expressive Arts
  • Languages
    • Classical
    • Gaelic (Learners)
    • Gaelic and Literacy
    • Literacy and English
    • Modern Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Religious and Moral Education
  • Sciences
  • Social Studies
  • Technologies
Curricular Levels

There are five curricular levels. They do not have ceilings, i.e. some learners will complete a level earlier or later than others, so these age ranges are just a guide:

Early Years – preschool to age 5

First Level – from P1 to the end of P4

Second Level – P5 to the end of P7

Third and Fourth Level – S1 to S3 with Fourth level at approximately SCQF level 4

Senior Phase – S4 to S6 and college or other studies

Learning Setting

Early Years need tailored resources. Most resources on the portal currently would need to be adapted for Early Years. We’d love to hear from you if you have ideas for Early Years resources or how current ones can be changed for this audience – we could all work together.

Schools: Note there is a category for parents – a lot of the resources can be done at home, too. Most of the resources we have produced are for primary schools, hence why the main audience for the Portal is teachers. Secondary teachers – we realise that you need resources specifically tailored to secondary teaching. At the moment, most of what we have labelled as ‘secondary’ are primary sources. Get in touch if you’d like to make primary resources more relevant to secondary settings.

Many of the resources for schools can be adapted for different settings: youthwork-led, informal and adult learning and community learning and development (including community heritage groups). We will be illustrating and exploring this on our Blog.

Other learning settings featured include: adult learners, community groups, informal learning, professional development (for teachers, heritage professionals, etc), and youth work.

Scottish Time Period

*some sites may link to resources from other places. Refer to these time periods below to see if they match what was happening in Scotland at the time. You’ll see a lot of ‘c.’ this means ‘circa’ i.e. ‘this time roundabout’. It’s difficult to pin down exact time periods and these change as new research extends or shortens them:

  • Stone Age c. 8,500 BC-2,000 BC includes the Mesolithic (middle stone age) and Neolithic (new stone age)
  • Bronze Age c. 2,000 BC-1,000 BC
  • Iron Age c. 1,000-BC 500-100 AD
Proto-historic (‘proto’ because the Romans wrote about the native peoples here)
  • Roman AD 80-c. 400 AD
Historic (all AD):
  • Early Historic 300-1100 AD
  • Viking/Norse 8th-15th centuries
  • Medieval c. 11th-12th centuries
  • The Stuarts 14th-17th centuries
  • Renaissance 15th-17th centuries
  • Union and Rebellion – 17th/18th centuries
  • Enlightenment – 18th century
  • Industrial/Victorian – 18th/19th centuries
  • Modern times – 20-21st centuries

Don’t see what you’re looking for? We’ve put some other distinctive categories in Topics, such as the Picts.


Some resources are tailored to educators, such as lesson plans encapsulated in an activity, while others are aimed at educators, such as Games. Some are a mix of the two.


These are what we educators tell us that they’re  looking for – this category is being updated constantly. We’d love to hear from you if you have more ideas to add! We’ll feature a new one on the homepage every month.

Type of resource

  •  Places to visit – for field trips
  • Activities (45 minutes or less)
  • Projects (over 45 minutes and up to several weeks)
  • Background information – to aid session delivery, such as in-depth information on e.g. an event or technology
  • Educators’ notes – instructions
  • Apps – often aimed at learners
  • Games – often aimed at learners
  • Handling kits – these are usually a mix of real and replica objects, information cards and activity ideas


We’ll write post blogs once a month minimum, on topics of interest to educators. Some of these will be static posts and some will be ‘living documents’ that we’ll update as and when. Topics will include but aren’t limited to:

  • best practice
  • showcase of our resource providers
  • in-depth reviews
  • using resources – how this works in a variety of learning settings and for different audiences
  • ‘how to’s
  • case studies
  • funding sources – where to go

About the Portal:

Archaeology Scotland

The Heritage Resources Portal is an Archaeology Scotland initiative. Learning forms an integral part of Archaeology Scotland’s activities. Our aim is to encourage understanding of, and promote involvement in, Scotland’s archaeological heritage for all ages and levels of interest – from formal education to informal learning. We offer educators support and information about what archaeology is and how it can be used in delivering learning activities. Contact the Learning team on info@archaeologyscotland.org.uk or tel: 0300 012 9878.

The Heritage Resources Portal is supported by the resource providers, such as members of the Heritage Education Forum, and others. A special thanks to Historic Environment Scotland, who fund and support the Portal as part of achieving Aim 4 of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy  #HESSupported #scotarchstrat

Historic Environment Scotland logo (c) Historic Environment Scotland

These are the stellar organisations who are showcasing their resources on the Heritage Resources Portal:

Click on each logo to find out more about the organisations.

Historic Environment Scotland logo (c) Historic Environment Scotland

(c) Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership

(c) Dig It! Scotland

Antonine Wall logo (c) Historic Environment Scotland

Dig It! TV (c) Dig It! Scotland

(c) Forestry Commission Scotland


Archaeology Scotland

(c) Young Archaeologists' Club (c) National Library of Scotland

(c) National Galleries Scotland








Archaeology Scotland 75 years (c) Archaeology Scotland

Archaeology Scotland

……..to inspire the discovery, exploration, stewardship and enjoyment of Scotland’s past.

Archaeology Scotland, Suite 1a, Stuart House, Eskmills, Station Road, Musselburgh EH21 7PB
Registered Scottish Charity No. SC001723, Company Registered in Scotland No. 262056

Tel: 0300 012 9878   www.archaeologyscotland.org.uk