The Scottish Education Awards recognise early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a vibrant and progressive culture and climate of continuous innovation in relation to Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner Education. The culture and ethos should promote respect, ambition and achievement in Gaelic Education while improving outcomes for all learners in ways which eliminate inequity.
Do you know an early learning and childcare centre or school that can respond to the above statement? Then why not nominate them for the Gaelic Education Award?
Nominations close at 12 noon on Wednesday 14 February 2018
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.
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 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:
Leadership is key to the success of schools to which all colleagues can contribute.
This leadership programme aims to develop practitioners as teacher leaders who are able to positively influence Gaelic Education within their school. It has been developed by Social Enterprise Academy, in partnership with Education Scotland, and accredited by the Scottish College of Educational Leadership(SCEL).
Specific objectives are to:
apply leadership principles to the contemporary issues and challenges in Gaelic Education
use action learning and peer learning approaches to identify new approaches to improving practice
enable educational professionals to develop reflective practice techniques to ensure their ongoing development as classroom practitioners
develop practitioners’ own leadership ability.
Practitioners can gain an Award in Leadership (SCQF 9) on attending the leadership programme and successfully completing a reflective assessment. The programme, and related assessment, is delivered through the medium of Gaelic.
For more information, please contact Jessica@socialenterprise.academy.
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.
SCILT have published a programme of professional learning which practitioners may find useful in implementing Gaelic (Learners) as part of the 1+2 Approach to languages. We have also taken this opportunity to list a few resources which curriculum planners may find useful in taking forward Gaelic as part of 1+2.