This page is dedicated to Mr Brian Diack who orchestrated all of the work from Orkney's schools. Brian was a huge supporter of Metasaga. He passed away on Christmas Eve 2010. This page is part of his legacy.

Orkney's School of Ambition Project - A medley of Metasagas

Explore our Island Think our thoughts Find your voice
Orkney embraced the idea of Metasaga and decided to create a medley of Metasagas , one from each of their Secondary departments.
The idea was also introduced to probationers and teaching staff through In Service training.

Below is the Metasaga used to introduce the concept. It is based on the work done by pupils in Kirkwall Grammar School.

Guides - S2 Pupils

St Magnus Cathedral– Royal Oak Memorial
The Royal Oak was sank on the night of October 14th 1939, by the German Submarine U-47 with the loss of 833 lives. The bell hanging in the Cathedra l is from the Royal Oak and the book below it contains the names of the 833 men who died on the 14th of October a new page is turned everyday.

royal_oak_1938_a.jpg Interpretive Questions:
What date did the Royal Oak sink and why?royaloak.jpg
How many people died on the Royal Oak?

Reflective Questions:
What does belonging mean to you?
What is your life motto?
What makes someone a hero?

Learning Materials

John Rae’s Tomb in the Cathedral
Inside the cathedral nave is a memorial to John Rae , who was born in 1813, the fourth son of a wealthy man. Making friends with natives in Canada he became a skilled arctic explorer and is possibly most famous for the discovery of the North West Passage and the fate of Sir John Franklin's last expedition.

fromsw.jpg Interpretive Questions: johnraex.jpg
Who was John Rae?
What did he do to be remembered in the Cathedral?
Who was St Magnus ?
Why is the Cathedral named after him?

Reflective Questions:
In what ways have you explored something new?
Have you ever had to stand your ground when people didn't believe something you said?

Tankerness House Museum
Inside Tankerness house are some paintings by the famous Orkney painter Stanley Cursiter whose plaque can be seen in the Cathedral you just left. Tankerness house museum was originally a house, bought in 1641 by James Baikie as the “town house of the Baikies of Tankerness” and renamed Tankerness house. You can read more about James Baikie in the Museum . The family continued to own the house until 1951, when it was passed to Kirkwall Burgh Council. Since owning the museum the council has restored the building and converted it into a museum.

museum-450.jpgInterpretive Questions:225px-Cursiter,_Landscape_in_the_Orkneys.jpg
What was the purpose of St Magnus Cathedral?
What were the main exports of Orkney before the 19th Century?
What was the main industry in the 19th Century, and what about now?
What are the main exports of Orkney today?
What happened in the 1840’s and why?

Reflective Question:
What are your special talent(s)?
Do you think its important to develop your talent(s)?
Do you feel confident enough to share your talents with other people?

Groatie Buckie Hoose
The Groatie Hoose or ‘Pirate Gow’s follie’ as it is also known is a summer house built in 1730; it was relocated to Tankerness gardens in May 2005. The spire was built using igneous rock that was the ballast * in the ship belonging to an Orcadian called John Gow , he was the last British pirate to be hanged for treason.

Interpretive Questions:
What is the name of the weather instrument found at the top of the Groatie Hoose?gowsketch.jpg
What is the Spire made of?
What was the name of John Gow’s ship?
Where was the ballast reclaimed from?
What is a Groatie Buckie, and why is the Groatie Hoose named after them?

Reflective Questions:
Do you contribute to activities going on in the community you live in?
How does it make you feel when you do something for your community?
What do you think people will remember you for?

"On a fine day he sailed away and came back years later as a full blown pirate."
Ernest Marwick

The Ba’
The Ba’ is a ball game that is played annually in Kirkwall between two teams– The ‘Uppies’ and the ‘Doonies’. There is a men's ‘Ba’ and a boy’s ‘ Ba’ on held on Chrismas and New Years day. For the ‘Uppies’ to win the ‘Ba’, they have to touch the ‘Uppie’ wall, situated at
west end of the town. For the ‘Doonies’ to win the ‘Ba’, they have to jump off the pier into the inner harbour holding onto the ball.
Once the ‘Ba’ reaches either wall at the west end of the town or the harbour; players from the winning side contest amongst themselves to see who wins the right to keep the ‘Ba’. It is a great honour to become a ‘Ba’ winner.

Interpretive Questions:3179639655_a62088d396.jpg
When was the Ba’ first played?
What makes you an ‘Uppie’ or a ‘Doonie’?
How is the ba’ won?
Who won the last Ba’?

Reflective Questions:
How do you know if you belong to a group or a team?
How might it feel to be excluded?
Would you feel jealous if someone in your team was given more praise than you?

The Earls Palace
Then known as “Newark in the yards”, the construction of the earls palace began in 1600, by Patrick Stewart, a few years after he became the Earl. Using forced labour to quarry and ship in the stone for the ambitious scheme, Patrick Stewart planned to build a dwelling unrivalled in comfort, design, and beauty. His plan was to incorporate the remains of the bishops palace into a massive palatial complex.
The Earls Palace was completed in 1607 but, shortly afterwards Patrick Stewart was arrested for treason, and work had to be abandoned. After his execution in 1615, the portion of the Earls Palace already built became the residence of Orkney's bishop.

220px-Earl's_palace.jpg Interpretive Questions:
Who built the Earls Palace?
Why was it built?
Why was it never finished?

Reflective Questions:
Do you think the past is important?
Do you think we should be proud of our history?
What traditions are important to you and your family?

During an international study visit one of the participants shared this quote about their experience in Orkney. An experience which included Metasaga.

"The silence is so deep that I can hear the moonbeams clashing against the windows." Lucian Blaga

PDF versions of the the 6 Schools of Ambition Metasagas:

Please be patient in waiting for the Sanday pdf to download..its a very large file :-)

You may be interested to
know that the work of the metasagas on the
Schools of Ambition
programme was included in the recent Leading Change
2 publication
which was sent out to every Secondary School in Scotland.

You will find it on Page 30