Category Archives: Gaelic Learners

Conference: Bilingual Education and Language Revitalisation

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye 29-30 of May 2015

The second Soillse conference, in conjunction with CAER, the Education Society of the European Regions is free for practitioners of Gaelic and Gaelic Medium Education(GME).  Keynote speakers  are Miquel Strubell, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and Antonella Sorace, University of Edinburgh. For more information, please visit the website.

Audit of Career-Long Professional Learning (CLPL) needs for practitioners working in Gaelic Medium and Learner Education

As part of our Gaelic Language Plan, Education Scotland is committed to producing a CLPL needs analysis for staff.  The findings of this audit will be used to plan future programmes of professional learning.

There are three audits:
GME Secondary:

Gaelic Learner Education 3-18:

GME Early Learning and Childcare Centres and  Primary:

We appreciate your support in completing these audits by 23 March 2015.


The Scottish Voice

The Scottish Voice is a computer ‘text-to-speech’ programme to assist with reading electronic books;
PDF files (such as SQA exam papers); worksheets and other documents in Microsoft Word and create audio files using the voice.  This is being developed to assist with Gaelic text.

The new Gaelic voice will be available to schools from The Scottish Voice website for the start of the 2015-16 academic session. This will help learners with additional support needs and also all learners to read websites, documents, or to check and proof-read their own letters or emails.  The voice will be licensed for use by Scottish schools, colleges, universities, local and national government agencies, NHS units and for use at home by pupils and staff.  It is funded by The Scottish Government Gaelic and Scots Unit; Scottish Funding Council; Scottish Qualifications Authority and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Donald Meek Award 2015

The Gaelic Books Council is inviting submissions for the Donald Meek Award 2015 which aims to encourage new and creative writing.   This may be poetry, short stories, novels or drama.   Academic works and research studies written in English related to Gaelic are also invited.

For more information, please contact or Applications must be submitted no later than Friday 3 April 2015.

A new resource for Gaelic Medium Education

The Education Scotland website, Weather and Climate Change,  is now available through the medium of Gaelic.  This is aimed at providing practitioners with resources to help them include climate change within the curriculum for Gaelic Medium Education.  Read more.

Other Education Scotland websites that are available through the medium of Gaelic are:
Scotland’s History, Scotland’s Songs, Scotland’s Stories, Scots and Canada.

Gaelic Medium Education: Modern Studies National 5 Democracy in Scotland

Democracy in Scotland is a new resource available for Modern Studies National 5 through the medium of Gaelic.  Please visit the National Qualifications course materials on Glow for this resource.

Schools and local authorities are invited to advise Education Scotland of the subjects that they are offering in the senior phase through the medium of Gaelic.  We will use these responses to consider the learning materials that we will translate.

Please visit the National Qualifications course materials on Glow for previously published support materials for the senior phase: National 3, 4, 5 and Higher Gàidhlig, Gaelic (Learners), and Gaelic Medium mathematics, Lifeskills mathematics, geography, history, modern studies.

Newsletter: Gaelic Medium Education

Comann nam Pàrant, the national organisation that advises and supports parents/carers of those in Gaelic Medium Education (GME), has recently published a newsletter.

In this newsletter you will learn of:
• activities to raise awareness of the benefits of GME
• partners working with schools to help children use Gaelic beyond the classroom
•forthcoming conference for parents/carers of children and young people in GME.
• useful information to help parents/carers support their child’s learning.


Education Scotland’s Scots Language Coordinators Katrina Lucas and Simon Hall are looking for more schools who may be interested in taking part in a new scheme to promote the use of Scots Language in schools.

The Scots Language Ambassador scheme was launched in Edinburgh during Book Week on 24th November 2014. So far, Education Scotland has enlisted around 40 confident Scots speakers from different walks of life from all over Scotland who are willing to volunteer their time to work in partnership with a school, to encourage staff and pupils to use Scots within the classroom and raise the status of the language.

The Ambassadors will be expected to become champions of the Scots language, and work with schools for a period of three years to foster a love of the Scots language amongst learners. They will be expected to visit schools to learn about good practice in Scots education. They will also get involved with other activities within the school such as leading assemblies, writing a blog or newsletter, and acting as guest speakers or judges at school events.

A number of Ambassadors have already confirmed their involvement in the scheme including the cast of the Singing Kettle, Scottish Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014 Robyn Stapleton, prizewinning author James Robertson and poet and Dundee Laureate W.N. Herbert. They will develop meaningful partnerships with schools that will provide a positive environment for Scots to flourish.

Dr Simon Hall, Scots Language Co-ordinator with Education Scotland, said: “We’re bringing together schools and Scots speakers from all over Scotland in order to celebrate and promote Scots language education. All of the Ambassadors and practitioners involved share a love of Scots and a commitment to providing young people with an understanding and appreciation of what is, after all, a priceless national treasure.

“The scheme works to create links between schools and Scots speakers within their communities to offer learners the chance to meet role models who use Scots, and show them that it can be used in their careers, and in their personal and professional lives. We want to celebrate and publicise good practice in Scots education and demonstrate that it is appropriate to be used in formal school and other contexts.

The introduction of the scheme is already proving popular amongst primary schools, with many considering Scots as a possibility within the 1+2 languages framework. Secondary schools are also getting involved to develop the new Scottish Qualifications Authority Awards in Scots Language to formally recognise learning in and about Scots.

If individuals or schools would like to find out more or to request a partnership with an Ambassador, please contact Simon Hall or Katrina Lucas at Education Scotland.


Gaelic Education Award at the Scottish Education Awards 2015

Nominations are now invited for the Scottish Education Awards to recognise the achievements of schools and individuals who dedicate their lives to education and delivering opportunities for every child and young person to succeed in life. There are 17 award categories with new awards for sustainability, languages and partnerships.  These include Gaelic Education Award / Duais Foghlam Gàidhlig which recognises establishments who are providing opportunities for children and young people to develop fluency in the Gaelic language.  The Making Languages Come Alive (Primary) award recognises establishments who are working effectively to implement the 1+2 policy for language learning.  For other awards, please visit Education Scotland’s website. The Daily Record organise the Scottish Education Awards, with Bòrd na Gàidhlig sponsoring the Gaelic Education Award.

Scots…an important national treasure

By Dr Simon Hall, a Scots Language Coordinator at Education Scotland.

I sometime use the phrase ‘national treasure’ when I’m out and about talking to people about Scots language. There are a few reasons why I like this phrase. Firstly, Scots is indeed a ‘national’ language. It is spoken in all its rich varieties from Stranraer to Shetland, and pretty much everywhere in between. Folk in the Borders use it, and it’s used in our Scottish cities and across the Central Belt. It thrives in Angus, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Caithness and Orkney.

Scots is the ancient language of Lowland Scotland and the Northern Isles, once used in parliament, formerly spoken by kings, poets, courtiers and commoners.  Along with English and Gaelic, it is one of the three indigenous languages of modern Scotland, and you’ll hear it today on our streets, and in our offices, factories, construction sites, shops, schools and hospitals.

Of course, Scots has a vast and rich vocabulary. Some of the academic Scots dictionaries have as many as 60,000 entries. Many of the most colourful, stand-out words are what linguists call ‘lexical items’, nouns or verbs like clanjamfry, glaur, bogle, bubblyjock, threip, gilravage, dordie-lochran, mirk or moose. But there is also a range of more common verbs and everyday prepositions – mak, tak, ken, doon, owre, ahint, afore – which are also unique to our part of the world.

Scots is so much more than just our favourite Scots word; it is the sum of the parts of the lexical items, the prepositions, and the accent. In common with Norwegian and other related Scandinavian languages, Scots uses the older ‘oo’ vowel sound in words like hoose, moose or ku where English adopted ‘ou’ or ‘ow’.

Is this stuff really treasure, though? I would have to say I think it is. Scots is a unique cultural phenomenon. Along with things like traditional dance or Scottish song, it belongs in the category of ‘intangible cultural heritage’, and, as such, it is fragile, and in some danger of being forgotten in our multi-media global village. If Scots were a wild plant or a wild creature, we would be doing everything we could to preserve it. Towns and communities using guid Scots would be designated as Sites of Special Linguistic Interest.

Scots is becoming increasingly present in social media. Shetlanders use it on Facebook every day. It is popular in text. Scots Language Dictionaries has just launched a superb new Scots dictionary app. BBC Radio Orkney broadcasts in excellent Scots every morning. Translation of classic bairns’ books into Scots is at an all-time high level.

So it’s with these and other positives in mind that the team of Scots Language coordinators at Education Scotland are working to celebrate and promote excellent Scots Language education in our schools.

Many primary schools across a range of Local Authorities are looking at developing their ability to teach Scots within the areas of Literacy and English, while a number of forward-thinking secondary schools are pioneering the new Scottish Qualifications Authority Award in Scots Language. Another exciting development is Education Scotland’s ‘Scots Language Ambassadors’ initiative, where a team of Scots speakers from all walks of life are pairing up with schools to celebrate and promote Scots. Chefs, shopkeepers, authors, musicians, broadcasters, teachers and senior educationalists have all signed up to form friendly partnerships with schools: their ultimate aim is to promote this national treasure among the next generation of learners.

This article first appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News on Monday 8 December 2014.

Scottish Education Awards 2015 – now open for nominations

Nominations for the Scottish Education Awards 2015 awards are now open. Celebrating the hard work and success in Scottish education, the awards recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people.

There are 17 awards available across a range of categories covering all areas of education. New awards for this year include learning for sustainability, making languages come alive and transforming lives through partnerships.

If you know of a school or teacher that deserves to be recognised for their hard work visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information and to submit a nomination.

Nominations must be submitted by Monday 16 February 2015, good luck.

Award for Leadership in Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

There are still a few places left on the Award for Leadership for those teaching in GME.  On this programme, you will gain a valuable insight into what it takes to be an effective leader.  This course gives an opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

The programme will be delivered in two sessions, 4 & 5 December  and 26 & 27 February on the Isle of Skye.  For more information and to apply, please contact Kate McArdle on 01463 238 088 or

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2014 – nominations now open

Entries are being sought for the annual Gaelic Awards that recognise the contribution the language and culture make to Scottish life. Following the success of the 2013 Gaelic Awards, The Daily Record are proud to launch the 2014 campaign with sponsors Bord Na Gaidhlig. Education Scotland is delighted to sponsor the Innovation in Education Award.

Last year’s awards celebrated dozens of individuals and community organisations who had made a huge difference to the Gaelic world. With 10 categories, this year’s awards will highlight education and language and the excellent work done to maintain growth and heritage.

To place a nomination please visit, the deadline for nominations is Friday 26 September.

Route maps for Gaelic (Learners) and Gàidhlig

Route maps are a sequential list of the key guidelines, advice and support for qualifications at N4, N5 and Higher. They include important information about assessment, learning and teaching.  These papers are for teachers and other staff who provide learning, teaching and support as learners work towards National 4, National 5 and Higher.  The route maps for Gaelic (Learners) and Gàidhlig are available on the Education Scotland website.

Leadership Award for Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

Education Scotland has worked with Social Enterprise Academy to develop a bespoke leadership award for teachers of Gaelic Medium Education who aspire to be principal teachers, depute headteachers and headteachers of nursery, primary and secondary GME provision.  On this programme,  you will gain invaluable insight into what it takes to be an effective leader.  The leadership award will support teachers to:

•    Reflect on your role and identify your key strengths and areas for growth.
•    Gain clarity on setting direction and developing confidence in communicating change.
•    Gain confidence in your abilities as a leader.
•    Develop your skills and knowledge to prepare you for being in a leadership role in GME provision, for example, leading the curriculum, self-evaluation, support those with additional support needs, professional development and review.
•    Learn to use participatory techniques and other skills to improve your ability to engage in partnership working.
•    Gain a nationally recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

The programme will be delivered in two sessions, 16 & 17 September and 4 & 5 December 2014 at Columba 1400 on the Isle of Skye.

For more information and to apply, please contact Kate McArdle on 01463 238 088 or

Leadership Award for Gaelic Medium Education

A bespoke leadership award has been developed for those who aspire to be principal teachers, depute headteachers and headteachers of nursery, primary and secondary Gaelic Medium Education provision.  On this programme, you will gain invaluable insight into what it takes to be an effective leader.

The leadership award will support teachers to:

  • Reflect on your role and identify your key strengths and areas for growth.
  • Gain clarity on setting direction and developing confidence in communicating change.
  • Gain confidence in your abilities as a leader.
  • Develop your skills and knowledge to prepare you for being in a leadership role in GME provision, for example, leading the curriculum, self- evaluation, supporting those with additional support needs, professional development and review.
  • Learn to use participatory techniques and other skills to improve your ability to engage in partnership working.
  • Gain a nationally recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

The programme will be delivered in two sessions, 16 & 17 September and 4 & 5 December 2014 at Columba 1400 on the Isle of Skye. For more information and to apply, please contact Kate McArdle on 01463 238 088 or

Become an inspection volunteer today

Passionate about good care?

The Care Inspectorate is looking for people to help them carry out their work. They would like people with first-hand experience of care to help make sure care in Scotland continues to improve, by becoming an inspection volunteer. Inspection volunteers are members of the public who use a care service, have used a care service in the past or care for someone like a family member or friend who has used a care service.

Volunteers help the Care Inspectorate get the views of people using care services.  They work closely with the Care Inspectorate’s teams of specialist inspectors and together they help spot where things need to improve, help keep people safe and ensure that the rights of people receiving care are respected and their needs met.


To find out more please click the link below

e-Stòras, a new resource for Gaelic Medium Education, is now live

The Multimedia Unit of the Education and Children’s Services Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has developed a new website to support 3-18 Gaelic Medium Education.Resources support Gàidhlig as well as a range of other curricular areas.

The website is being continuously updated with new materials to enhance young people’s learning opportunities through the medium of Gaelic. For more information,visit the website or contact the Multimedia Unit at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar by emailing

Writing competition for Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner Education

CLAS – The Professional Association for Secondary Teachers of Gaelic – are pleased to launch their annual writing competition for Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner Education.  Young people in S1 and S2 are being encouraged to write on a choice of topics related to the significance of the year 2014 for Scotland.  Schools should submit their entries by 9 June 2014.

For more information on the competition, please visit For general information on CLAS, which celebrates its 10th anniversary later this year, please visit

New Gaelic Young Writers Award

The Gaelic Books Council, the lead organisation for Gaelic literature in Scotland, is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Scottish Book Trust to establish an award for a young writer of Gaelic.

Teenagers who are keen writers are being offered a golden opportunity with four awards from the Scottish Book Trust being available to people between 14 and 17 who write in Gaelic, English or Scots. The recipients of this year’s Young Writers’ Awards will receive a prize which includes a six month mentoring period with a published writer, a visit to a top London publisher, a writers’ retreat at Moniack Mhòr and the chance to meet industry professionals.

Budding authors are invited to submit a piece of creative writing and a personal statement explaining why they would benefit from this programme. The closing date for applications is 27 June 2014. Full details are available on the Scottish Book Trust website. For more information on the award for Gaelic please contact

Gaelic Language Plan Consultation/ Co-Chomhairleachadh Air Plana Gàidhlig

Education Scotland has published its first draft Gaelic Language Plan for public consultation.  It confirms Education Scotland’s commitment to partnership working to secure and strengthen the use of Gaelic in Scotland.  Education Scotland values all of Scotland’s languages.  The focus of this particular plan is Gaelic in recognition of its valuable contribution to Scotland’s heritage and its status as an official language of Scotland.  The plan demonstrates Education Scotland’s commitment to the National Plan for Gaelic and the Gaelic Language ( Scotland ) Act 2005.  Dr. Bill Maxwell, Chief Executive of Education Scotland said, “Our Gaelic Language Plan sets out  to show how we will embed the promotion and use of Gaelic across all of our work.  I look forward to receiving views on the proposals in the draft Plan. Looking forward, I am absolutely committed to ensuring that improvements in the health and quality of Gaelic Education are a key strand of the overall impact we seek to have in improving Scottish education”.  You can view or download a copy of the draft Gaelic Language Plan on and send your comments to or write to Education Scotland, Longman House, Longman Road, Inverness, IV1 1SF.  The consultation runs until 12 September 2013.

Tha Foghlam Alba air a’ chiad dreachd de a Phlana Gàidhlig fhoillseachadh airson co-chomhairleachadh poblach.  Tha e a’ dearbhadh dealas Foghlam Alba mu bhith ag obair ann an com-pàirteachas gus cleachdadh na Gàidhlig a dhèanamh tèarainte agus a neartachadh ann an Alba. Tha Foghlam Alba a’ cur luach air cànain na h-Alba air fad.  Is e a’ Ghàidhlig fòcas a’ phlana shònraichte a tha seo ag aithneachadh an cuideachadh luachmhor a tha e a’ toirt do dhualchas na h-Alba agus an inbhe a tha aige mar chànan oifigeil an Alba. Tha am plana a’ comharrachadh dealas Foghlam Alba a thaobh Plana Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig agus Achd na Gàidhlig (Alba) 2005.  Thuirt An t-Oll Bill Maxwell, Ceannard Foghlam Alba, “Tha am Plana Gàidhlig againn a’ cur an cèill an dòigh anns an cuir sinn adhartachadh agus cleachdadh na Gàidhlig a-steach do ar n-obair air fad. Tha mi a’ dèanamh fiughair ri bhith a’ cluinntinn bheachdan air na molaidhean a tha san dreachd Phlana.   A’ coimhead air adhart, tha mi làn dhealasach mu bhith a’ dèanamh cinnteach gum bi leasachaidhean ann an slàinte agus càileachd Foghlam Gàidhlig nam prìomh dhual sa bhuaidh fharsaing a tha sinn a’ sireadh ann a bhith a’ leasachadh foghlam na h-Alba.”  Faodaidh tu an dreachd Phlana Gàidhlig fhaicinn aig no lethbhreac dheth a luchdachadh a-nuas agus do bheachdan a chur gu no sgrìobhadh gu Foghlam Alba, Taigh an Raon Rèidh, Rathad an Raon Rèidh, Inbhir Nis, IV1 1SF.  Bidh an co-chomhairleachadh a’ dol gu 12 Sultain 2013.

We’re Going on a Gaelic Bear Hunt!

Our friends at Grounds for Learning have very kindly  shared a link to the children of Caledonia Primary school giving a tour of their school grounds as they go on a bear hunt. You can see the video here.

Do you have a project you would like to share? Drop us a line in the comments box and we’ll get back to you.

Resources and ideas now available!

If you visit our Early Years Saturday Conference Community you will see links, resources and information from delegates.

If you are developing new ideas using this inspiring information why not make a pledge and let the community know all about it? Other You may be able to join other members of the community in developing your idea.

Learning about Scotland in the Early Years

Saturday was a very inspirational day for the Early Years team at Education Scotland. Our Saturday Conference, Learning about Scotland in the Early Years was a great success. There was singing, poetry writing and even a competition!


If you would like to follow up on any interesting discussions from the day or revisit and reflect on the presentations then visit our Early Years CPD community. The presentations are within the Early Years Saturday Conference mini CPD site.

If you have not joined our community yet, then please do. We had a queue of enthusiastic delegates who couldn’t wait to join on Saturday and you can meet them (virtually!) when you do.

Well done to Sharon from South Lanarkshire who won the well deserved prize of two Scots books to share with her establishment.

Thank you

The Early Years Team

Calling all educators interested in languages!

We are hosting a CPDMeet on Glow on the use of technology in the learning of Modern Foreign Languages. Catriona Oates (facilitator of MLPSNet on Glow) will host the online webconference. It will be of interest to language educators in all sectors; primary, secondary and special education.

It starts at 4pm on Thursday 17th May. More details and sign-up at

MLPSNet is a community on Glow which is open to all educators. See for details.

Note that this CPD opportunity came about as a request from one of our CPD community members. You too can ‘order’ free, online CPD on any subject matter using the service at

Wise up Wednesday – new online resource

Studying Scotland is a resource that will help build confidence in the learning and teaching of Scotland within the curriculum, making it a rewarding and valuable experience for both learner and practitioner.

The resource includes new and exciting learning and teaching ideas as well as resources for learning. There are ideas on how to teach about Scotland within the Early Level.

There is also a Glow page on the Early Years National site which has gathered together all early years relevant resources on this subject.

Visit today and be inspired!

Health and wellbeing Glow Meet Wednesday 22 February 1615-1700

This Glow meet will provide CPD support to deliver the aspects of HWB that are the Responsibility of All. 

You will have the opportunity to hear about the building blocks of HWB to develop a whole school approach and a shared understanding of Responsibility of all.  This shared understanding can help teachers and partners to consider assessment in HWB, in particular on those aspects that are the Responsibility of all.

There will be the opportunity to post questions throughout the meet.

To join your colleagues, please click here. (Glow log in required).

Wise Up Wednesday!

Robert Burns – Lets Celebrate

Happy New Year from the Early Years Team at Education Scotland!

Its time to celebrate the life of Robert Burns on Burns’ Day 25th January.

To give you some ideas on where to get started we have provided you with some links to good practice and some interesting resources which will enable you to explore Burns’ birthday as well as Scotland itself including the languages of Gaelic and Scots particularly within the early years.

  • Why not explore the stories of Katie Morag by Mairi Hedderwick? Katie lives on a Scottish Island.

What is it like to live on an island?

What Islands are around Scotland?

Sing and speak the Scots language by tuning into our Glow meet on ‘watch again’.

Matthew Fitt, author of many stories in Scots for young children including “Katie’s Coo” and “A Wee Book O’ Fairytales in Scots” sings, tells stories and will have you ‘burlin roon’ before you know it!

Have a wee sing song

Visit the Education Scotland Knowledge of Language site and listen to auld favourites such as ‘Coulter’s Candy’ and ‘Ye Cannie Shuv Yer Grannie’. Also visit ‘Scotland’s Songs’ and see songs for the early years and songs in Gaelic too!

Celebrate Robert Burns’ birthday in a nursery setting

You could make a book all about things relating to Scotland. This would also encourage reflection and recall. You could add various pictures of Scottish food, tartan, animals, landmarks, places etc. The children may also want to add the Scots word that they like to use in conversation!

The Early Years team at Education Scotland hope you have a fabulous time during you Burns’ celebrations.