Rosslyn Chapel’s Junior Tour Guides are taking to the screen to overcome the difficulties imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Normally the Guides, comprising the Primary 7 class of Roslin Primary School, would host weekly visits from other schools at the Midlothian site but, because of all the current restrictions, have taken their tours online and available to view on Rosslyn Chapel’s website through this link.
Ian Gardner, Director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said; ‘ This partnership with Roslin Primary School has been running since 2009 and, normally, the children would spend time learning about the Chapel and then share their knowledge through dramatic performances for visiting schools. For obvious reasons, we could not run the scheme as before, but were delighted that we were able to film the tours and make them available through our website, increasing awareness of the Chapel and meaning that the tours can be enjoyed, potentially, by a global audience. Filming took place in November, before the current lockdown was imposed and all of our Junior Tour Guides seemed to take well to being in front of the cameras. We may see some acting careers developing from this first taster!’
The Junior Tour Guide programme is run in conjunction with East Lothian based company Illuminate UK. Karen Kyle McKenzie, Director, said : ‘What we have to offer schools is special not just because of the high quality information and storytelling but because the films are interactive – allowing the audience to pause and try things out and to watch activity videos where the Roslin Primary School children talk the audience through making and doing, games and crafts. I’d particularly like to offer huge congratulations to Primary 7 from Roslin Primary School who put the work in to give extraordinary performances and responded so well to direction. They were a pleasure to work with and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together.”
Colin Burt, P7 teacher, Roslin Primary School, said : ‘We know, from previous years, what this means to the children, what it brings to the children, and importantly what it brings out of the children. We may not have the weekly performances or the ability to perform in front of our families, or the school, but we have realised we can make things work when we work together. We can do the difficult things when we persevere. We can grow in confidence. Junior Tour Guides is an amazing experience for the children of Roslin Primary School. I am so pleased that even in such difficult times we could make it happen.”
The Junior Tour Guides, themselves, agreed that it was a good experience for them. Thomas, who plays one of the green men, loved learning the green man dance routine, and Jonathan, who also played the part of a green man said: ‘I have also learned so much about filming and acting and speaking at the right volume for the speaker. I thought Junior Tour Guides was very fun and I loved filming and being a green man.’ Euan, who plays the scribe, said: ‘ Due to COVID-19 our P7 year has been very different but this has definitely been my favourite part. We had to do Junior Tour Guides differently this year but it was great being part of the film production and learning how to act in front of cameras. It has given me the chance to learn about the history of the chapel and, as the Scribe, I was able to share my knowledge in my own way. Hopefully now it is on film we will be able to show other people about the chapel, who wouldn’t normally be able to see it, and maybe we will become famous!”
The videos and activities, all filmed at the Chapel by Media Education, are all available on the Chapel’s website www.rosslynchapel.com and it is hoped that schools, and families, from around the world will now be able to enjoy the children’s tours, which otherwise would have been cancelled this year.
Jo Wilson, Head Teacher, Roslin Primary School, concluded: ‘I am extremely proud of what the children have achieved and this film will continue our Junior Tour Guide legacy. A tremendous amount of work has gone into this with their class teacher Mr Burt. This film will now always be a reminder to the children of their outstanding achievement.’