SQA has published details of changes to the arrangements for Higher Gaelic (Learners). Units and unit assessments will be removed from session 2018-19 onwards. SQA are strengthening the course assessment to ensure that it continues to assess candidates on the full content of the course, and to maintain the current course value of 24 SCQF credit points. For more details, please visit:
Education Scotland is evidencing many successes for Gaelic (Learners) from the implementation of the policy, Language Learning in Scotland: a 1+2 Approach. Teachers’ commitment to delivering Gaelic within the curriculum is acknowledged. A presentation on the successes and challenges for Gaelic from implementing the policy is available here. One such challenge is that there are many children learning Gaelic as L3 in primary schools for whom a progression pathway into secondary is still to be identified. However, a newly-announced change to how L3 may be delivered may assist with this. In Scotland, we also have an important target to meet in increasing the number of speakers of Gaelic as part of the National Gaelic Language Plan. For this, education has a key role.
Currently, at the primary stages, children who experience a coherent and progressive experience of L3 from P5-P7 may choose to continue with that language into S1 and to the end of the broad general education (BGE). For purposes of planning the secondary curriculum, this language would become young people’s L2. For this to be the case, children need to have achieved the second level by the end of P7. In addition, there should be pathways to National Qualifications in the senior phase for that language. The 1+2 policy has recently been relaxed to state that L3 may be the language that children continue with, as they move from primary to secondary, if schools are able to demonstrate that children’s achievements are “approaching the second level”. To achieve this, the planning for the L3 language needs to result in a coherent and progressive experience from P5-P7. This new arrangement does not replace the opportunity for schools to introduce more than one language as L3.
Here are some useful steps to guide how you may incorporate this new delivery model for L3 into planning for improvement:
- Revisit your curriculum rationale, particularly in light of the local context, to ascertain if increasing the numbers approaching the second level of Gaelic (Learners) is a priority for your school.
- Ensure strong links between primary and secondary specialists who are delivering Gaelic (Learners).
- Work with the other primaries in your cluster and the associated secondary school to plan a coherent 3-18 experience.
- Review the structure of the curriculum to see how you can plan learning, teaching and assessment to enable children’s achievements to be approaching the second level.
- Review how well you use the contexts of the curriculum as a means of increasing outcomes for Gaelic and assisting young people in making connections in their learning.
- Review how you are using Gaelic partners and organisations to increase the time allocated to Gaelic (Learners) in the curriculum.
- Plan for progression and coherence by using the experiences and outcomes to show how you will develop knowledge, skills, attributes and capabilities of the four capacities.
- Plan the use of Benchmarks for Gaelic (Learners) to set out clear statements about what learners need to know and be able to do to achieve a level across all curriculum areas.
- Plan how you will integrate Gaelic (Learners) as a language in the life and work of the school.
- Use the principles of curriculum design to plan learning to motivate children in their learning of Gaelic. In particular, ensure that children understand the relevance of Gaelic, including for achieving a positive destination on leaving school.
For more information on the delivery of L3 in the 3-18 curriculum, please see Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach – Further guidance on L3 within the 1+2 policy. It is a matter for schools to determine the exact design of the curriculum, using the flexibility that Curriculum for Excellence affords them, to ensure that children’s achievements are “approaching a second level”.
Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) has published a case study which focuses on increasing the uptake for languages as young people move from the broad general education into the senior phase. It demonstrates how self-evaluation has been used to secure improvements.
The case study is available here:
To use a similar approach for Gaelic (Learners), please consider using the following:
How good is our school? (fourth edition)
Gaelic Learner Education and a 1+2 Approach to Languages
Paragraphs 2.24 – 2.28 of the statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education
The SCEL Teacher Leadership Programme supports teachers and practitioners to make a difference in the classroom, school and wider community through access to innovative and quality leadership development programmes and activities. For more details, please visit:
There is a range of support now available on Glow to help with moderation. Please visit:
For Benchmarks for literacy and Gaidhlig, Gaelic (Learners) and Benchmarks available through the medium of Gaelic to support Gaelic Medium Education (GME), please visit
This presentation is designed to raise practitioners’ awareness of the resources on our online services to support Gaelic Learner and Medium Education.
This resource, although it does not refer directly to Gaelic (Learners), has some useful information on second language acquisition. It may also be useful when planning the deployment of Language Assistants.
Tha Comhairle nan Leabhraichean air bileag ùr a chruthachadh do phàrantan aig nach eil Gàidhlig, aig a bheil clann ann am foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig. Tha molaidhean agus fiosrachadh ann mu dheidhinn leabhraichean agus goireasan a tha rim faighinn airson diofar aoisean, bho phàistean gu inbhich òga. Cuiribh fios Shelagh is cuiridh iad pasgan dhan sgoil.
The Gaelic Books Council has produced a new leaflet for non-Gaelic speaking parents of children in Gaelic Medium Education. It contains information and advice about books and resources for all ages. Please contact Shelagh for more information.
We have now published the individual chapters form the Quality and Improvement in Scottish Education report on our website, along with the full report. This report gives a review of our inspection findings for the period 2012-2016. It highlights areas of growing strength and key areas for further improvement.
For the first time, we have included a chapter on Gaelic Medium Education (GME) which exemplifies the growth of the sector. This chapter is available at:
The full report may be accessed at:
We would encourage those with responsibility for Gaelic Learner and Medium Education across sectors to engage with the report. In particular, the findings for Gaelic and to build these into improvement planning. Addressing these areas for improvement effectively will make a decisive contribution to achieving the twin aims of excellence and equity for Scottish learners which sits at the heart of the National Improvement Framework. For more information to support improvement, please use our Advice on Gaelic Education.
To keep up to date with Gaelic at Education Scotland, please visit our learning blog for Gaelic Medium Education and Gaelic Learner Education. We also publish Briefings on Gaelic Education for which partners’ contributions are invited.
The national leadership programme, formerly known as Train the Trainer, is now open for registration. Invitations have gone out to local authority representatives and teacher education institutions. The programme has Professional Recognition accreditation from GTCS and is completely free of charge for educators in the public sector. This begins with a Summer School which will take place from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th July 2017 at the University of Strathclyde’s city centre campus in Glasgow. There will be a session led by Education Scotland on the Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks for Gaelic (Learners). Teachers interested in the Programme should contact their education authority’s 1+2/Gaelic officer.