Big History Project

Teachers taking part in the Big History ProjectBig History weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines across 13.7 billion years into a single, accessible origin story. One that explores who we are, how we got here, how we are connected to everything around us, and where we may be heading. The concept arose from a desire to go beyond the specialised and self-contained fields that emerged in the 20th century and grasp history as a whole, looking for common themes across the entire time scale of history.

Three South Ayrshire Schools will represent Scotland in developing the Big History Project; an innovative, collaborative, on-line, global curriculum development project funded by Bill Gates directly through Bill Gates Catalyst Three.

Schools in Scotland will work with schools in Australia and the United States of America in piloting the on-line curriculum from August 2012. The aim is that the project based multi-disciplinary learning experience will be available globally from August 2013. The flexibility of the Scottish curriculum makes it an ideal platform to trial new and innovative approaches to learning.

The pilot schools, which include Ayr Academy, Kyle Academy and Marr College, will gain experience of working with global partners on a new multi-disciplinary curriculum.

This is a superb opportunity to be part of a global project that is cutting edge, showcases project-based learning and fits very well with Curriculum for Excellence. The curriculum is aimed at 2nd and 3rd year pupils and matches well the experiences and outcomes of a Curriculum for Excellence.

The teachers involved are from the Sciences and Social Subject areas. The participating schools will attend an induction programme in the USA in June 2012 in preparation to deliver the programme from August 2012.

The schools were selected following competitive application process. Applications were received from seven local authorities.
Find out more about the Big History Project:

Hear a message from David Christian, Co-Founder of the Big History Project; to Scottish Schools: David Christian

The project is funded through the Big History Project with support from Microsoft Partners in Learning. The Scottish Qualifications Authority secured international funding and facilitated the project initiation. The project will be delivered in partnership with Education Scotland and is supported by SQA.

For more information about project in Scotland contact: Liam Priest at