Gaelic education

How Gaelic is taught in our schools

Gaelic medium primary education

By the end of primary seven, children educated in Gaelic medium units will have completed the curriculum covered by the mainstream school and also be fluent in Gaelic language.

There is a phased approach to the language. Primary one and two is the "total immersion" stage in which all the teaching is done through Gaelic language. In primary three English reading and writing are gradually introduced. Thereafter the programmes of the mainstream school are followed.

Condorrat Gaelic medium unit

The North Lanarkshire Gaelic medium unit was opened at Condorrat primary school, Cumbernauld in 1997. The school is a modern building and the Gaelic unit occupies high-quality accommodation at the heart of the school. Although educated through Gaelic, the children join the rest of the school for assemblies, school trips, extra-curricular activities and general school events. Provision has been made for Roman Catholic children to have access to the appropriate religious education and instruction.

The parents are strongly involved in the work of the unit and the wider school. There is close collaboration with the Gaelic teachers. The Gaelic parents are represented on the parent council and the parent teacher association. Most of the children who attend do not come from a Gaelic-speaking home background. Julie-Ann Price is the head teacher.

The unit was established with very strong financial support from the Scottish Office and Brian Wilson, Minister for Education, officially opened the unit in December 1997.

Gaelic pre-five provision

Condorrat also has a Gaelic nursery and there is further Gaelic nursery provision in Tollbrae Primary School, Airdrie. The authority also supports a Gaelic playgroup and parent/toddler group based at Victoria primary school in Airdrie.

The Gaelic national organisation Comhairle nan Sgoiltean Araich (CNSA) is closely involved with the authority. Further information about the provision supported by CNSA is available from CNSA, Central Chambers, 93 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 6LD, Telephone 0141 226 5222.

The benefits

Research has found that there are a range of benefits to children from learning Gaelic through the total immersion approach. They have a deeper understanding of language from an early age and their ability to learn other languages is enhanced. They are also more confident in tackling new languages at a later stage.

Children educated in Gaelic medium classes develop a wider knowledge of Scottish culture including that of the Gaelic areas. The Gaelic experience will promote a wider and outward looking approach to the opportunities in multi-lingual Europe in which Gaelic sits happily beside other European minority languages.

Further information

Use the 'contact us' box for further information about Gaelic provision in North Lanarkshire, including how to enrol your child in Gaelic education. No previous knowledge of Gaelic is required. You can also visit our Gaelic Learning Facebook page.

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