Giglets Gàidhlig is a free-to-schools literacy resource supporting Gaelic Medium Education (GME) pupils in accessing a continuously growing online library of currently nearly 100 Gaelic texts with hundreds of Gaelic resources and 68 Gaelic audio books.
In March 2018, Bòrd na Gàidhlig announced funding for a unique digital Gaelic education project hailed as ‘Netflix for reading’, Giglets Gàidhlig.
Giglets Gàidhlig is an innovative and ground-breaking Gaelic literacy project providing Gaelic texts together with supporting teacher and pupil resources, voice-overs, music, animations and illustrations in a modern, digital and cloud-based way to all GME schools.
The Giglets team have been working to put additional support measures in place following First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement on Wednesday (18/03) to close schools on Friday (20/03).
Jim Whannel, Director of Education at Bòrd na Gàidhlig said:
“The Giglets Gàidhlig resource base provides a wealth of materials that children and young people can use to continue to develop their literacy skills in Gaelic. It is easy to use, comprehensive and designed specifically to meet our immersion needs in Gaelic Medium Education. I would highly recommend this resource base to all our eager Gaelic Medium learners and their families – it’s fun too, with great texts and cartoons and useful backup material to support learning across Early Years, Primary and Secondary GME.
“I’d also like to commend the Giglets team for all their excellent work in continually expanding the resource base and their current focus on supplying our Gaelic-medium learners with high-quality materials which can be adapted for use whilst schools are closed.”
Chairman and Founder of Giglets Dr. Karsten Karcher said:
“The Giglets library of texts and supporting tasks is accessible from home for both teachers and pupils. We understand that continuing to provide high-quality education during these unprecedented times to pupils is of paramount importance. Giglets has implemented additional measures to support home learning and to provide teachers and parents additional assistance during this time.”
Although the Giglets team are based from home now, following Scottish Government advice, the helpdesk remains open for enquiries in both English and Gaelic, and remote trainings are provided to teachers. Teachers and parents can find out more and contact Giglets on Giglets.com.
Many of the activities funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and delivered by partners across the country will be subject to cancellation, alteration or re-scheduling over the coming months.
It is important that organisations follow official advice and play their part in delaying the impact of COVID-19.
Funding awards which are impacted as a result of following COVID-19 advice will be honoured where required by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and we ask that you keep us up-to-date as your plans change.
Priority should be given at this time to keeping people and communities safe and ensuring that any additional burden on the NHS in kept to a minimum.
The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, today announced the appointment of Mary MacInnes as Chair and Stewart MacLeod as a Member of the Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Mary MacInnes has numerous roles within her local community relating to Gaelic language and education spanning early years, primary and adult learning. Mairi, former head teacher of Sgoil an Iochdair, was also a member of the 1+2 Approach to Language Learning Group in the Western Isles. Mairi is Chair of Ceòlas Uibhist Ltd, the highly acclaimed Gaelic arts organisation. She has also sat on the board of a number of national organisations, such as the Scottish Arts Council and Comataidh Craoladh Gàidhlig. She was a founding member of Cothrom and a founder member and development worker for Fèis Tìr a’ Mhurain.
Stewart MacLeod is from the Isle of Lewis and attended Back School and the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway. He studied English language and Literature at the University of Aberdeen and obtained a PhD researching the minority languages of Scotland – Gaelic and Scots. He is a qualified accountant and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). His career has centred on public finance: he has worked in international development projects funded by DFID, the World Bank and EU, contributing technical assistance and financial training to government and other public bodies in more than 25 developing countries. He has been a singing member of the Lothian Gaelic Choir since 1998, and has held the office of Gaelic Tutor for the choir since 2018.
Mr Swinney Said:
“I welcome the appointments of Mairi MacInnes as Chair and Stewart MacLeod to the board of Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
“These are important appointments at a challenging time for Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government will continue to work closely with the Chair and Board in driving forward their programme of improvement.
“Mairi brings a wide range of relevant skills from her roles within Gaelic education and extensive experience having served as interim Chair since December 2018. As a qualified accountant Stewart’s varied experience in public finance is a valuable addition to the Board.”
The appointments will be for four years and will run from 16 March 2020 to 15 March 2024.
The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.
The appointments are part-time and the Chair attracts a remuneration of £276.94 per day for a time commitment of four days per month. The Member attracts a remuneration of £177.45 per day for a time commitment of three days per month.
OTHER MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENTS
Mary MacInnes and Stewart MacLeod do not hold any other public appointments.
All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.
Mary MacInnes and Stewart MacLeod have had no political activity in the last five years.
Read the report here;
Last year saw another sensational year for Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), with figures boasting a massive £3.2 million generated for Glasgow’s local economy.
A recent economic impact report shows that the nine-day festival, which was held in Glasgow between 11th – 19th October 2019, welcomed over 12,000 people to the city. An outstanding 81% of visitors that came to Glasgow were here to celebrate Scottish culture at the Mòd.
The average visitor to Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail spent £177 each day while staying in the city, with close to 2/3rd of these stating they would come back to Glasgow again. The figures show a notable year on year growth in the festival’s popularity, with overseas visitors staying in Scotland on average 4.3 nights compared to last year’s 3.2
The report, which was generated by STR & The Glamis Consultancy on behalf of Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail, further highlights the importance of the festival, not only as part of Scotland’s cultural calendar, but for the city of Glasgow’s tourism numbers.
Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd is the biggest, and the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland. Each year, it sees thousands of competitors from across the world take part in or watch over 200 competitions in highland dancing, sport, literature and drama, as well as Gaelic music and song.
Glasgow proved to be the perfect host city for the Mòd, showcasing not only it’s incredibly array of performance venues but also the vast range of Gaelic talent that the city has from school level through to professional performers.
President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, Allan Campbell, said: “We are extremely proud of what The Royal National Mòd has achieved this year compared to last. We have seen a higher number of festival attendees, spending habits, and amount generated for the host city – what a fantastic achievement! This is the first time that the festival has been hosted in Glasgow since 1990 and we are ecstatic about the healthy number of individuals that came to the city to celebrate with us. We are looking forward to our 2020 festivities which are taking place in Inverness where we invite you to join us for another year of celebrating Scottish & Gaelic art, music, and literature.”
Bòrd na Gàidhlig is the main funder of An Comunn Gàidhealach and Mòd Nàiseanta Rioghail na h-Alba, and their Ceannard (CEO) Shona MacLennan, said: “We fully recognise the value of the work that An Comunn does in encouraging more people to use Gaelic throughout the year as well as during the Mòd itself. The range and number of participants as well as the those attending the event bear testament to the increasing popularity of Gaelic language and culture, and its contribution to the Scottish economy. We look forward to this year’s event in Inverness where no doubt the Mòd will again provide many opportunities for participants and quality experiences for audiences.”
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “It was a memorable week celebrating the Gaelic language and its culture when the Mod returned to Glasgow for the first time in 30 years. The economic impact is one of the many direct benefits the Mod brings but more importantly it highlights the diverse range of talent from the very young to professional artists performing in Gaelic. We may well be welcoming that talent back to festivals like Celtic Connections in the future and look forward to the role Gaelic can play when Glasgow’s Culture Plan is unveiled in the coming months.”
Andrew Macnair, Head of Marketing, CalMac Ferries Ltd said: CalMac Ferries was delighted to support Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail again in 2019 in Glasgow. We recognise that it is integral to the Gaelic language and culture and are proud to be part of it.
We look forward to 2020 and will work hard with to all involved to deliver another successful Mòd in Inverness.
D-I Brown, Convenor of Mòd Ghlaschu 2019 said: “The Local Organising Committee (LOC) set out to try and deliver the “best Mod ever” and are delighted that this report vindicates that ambition. Not only did a record number of people attend the 9 day festival, but the LOC made a concerted effort to deliver the first “digital and social Mod” with more content from competitions, the fringe and the general day-to-day events captured and distributed through a well-planned social media strategy. Focussed on engaging young audiences, our social content reached over 12000 people through Facebook, nearly 4000 people on Instagram and #modghlaschu2019 appeared in over 470,000 peoples’ timeline on Twitter.
The LOC organised Fringe events were all well attended, from the Opening George Square party where 600 people partied (in the rain) to Princes Square over-flowing with people on the Sunday evening to listen to Celtic Praise with Soisgeul Choir and later in the week professional singers and performers entertained people at the Glasgow Gold Concert in the Concert Hall. Just a few of the events that took place during the week to delighted audiences. Without doubt, Glasgow has proven to be a perfect choice to stage the Mod and we are confident that that it won’t be another 29 years before the Mod returns to Baile Mòr nan Gaidheal – the City of the Gaels.”
The Royal National Mòd returns this year from October 9th-17th and will be hosted in Inverness.
Details of some of the plans for LUACH, a new Gaelic-medium festival which will take place for the first time on 3rd and 4th April 2020, have been revealed by organisers.
LUACH is being organised by a number of community groups in Lewis and Harris with support from e-Sgoil. Among those taking part will be Dr Alasdair Whyte, Gaelic Ambassador of the Year; Linda MacLeod with ‘Leugh is Seinn le Linda’ (reading and singing sessions for children and their parents); Spòrs Gàidhlig who will be providing outdoor activities, and the festival will be brought to a close by Trail West in Stornoway Town Hall on Saturday 4th April.
Jenna Morrison, CnaG Officer in Harris, explains: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with e-Sgoil and other local groups as part of the LUACH project. It is important that young people get opportunities to use Gaelic outside the school system and in the community, so that they gain confidence in speaking the language in different situations.”
For the inaugural event LUACH will focus on different areas in Lewis and Harris but organisers are already working on plans to stage events in communities throughout the Western Isles in 2021.
LUACH has received support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Scottish Government, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and An Lanntair as well as community groups such as Galson Estate Trust, Bragar and Arnol Community Trust and Comann Eachdraidh Sgìre a’ Bhac.
Shona MacLennan, CEO of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said:
“LUACH will contribute to the main aim of the National Gaelic Language Plan: that Gaelic is used more often, by more people in a wider range of situation. We wish the festival organisers every success with their programme of events which will be very attractive to Gaelic-speakers in the islands and from across the country.”
Further information can be found on Facebook @LUACHnaGaidhlig, by contacting groups involved or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Bòrd na Gàidhlig has made significant strides in promoting and supporting Gaelic language and culture in Scotland, the organisation’s 2018-19 annual report has revealed. It also demonstrates how Gaelic development contributes strongly to Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework.
The non-departmental public body helped thousands more children and young people learn and use Gaelic in the course of their daily lives over the course of the last financial year. It also achieved an increase in the number of adults learning or enhancing their Gaelic skills nationally.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig is working closely with 70 public authorities, with 54 of these having approved Gaelic language plans. In its stakeholder survey, Bòrd na Gàidhlig received a 100% full or partially satisfied rating from stakeholders, with none expressing any dissatisfaction,
According to the report, Bòrd na Gàidhlig received a total Grant-in-Aid allocation of just under £5.2 million – the financial allocation Bòrd na Gàidhlig is required to operate within by Scottish Ministers.
Of that total, £1.4 million covered core running costs, while £2.5 million went to Gaelic development funds – including community funding for people, projects and groups, including its Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd (Community Grant Scheme) – and £1.1 million towards the Gaelic Language Plans Implementation Fund.
In 2018-2019, Bòrd na Gàidhlig continued its support for people to develop their Gaelic skills at any age and these opportunities included: Supporting seven placements throughout Scotland in the Year of Young People 2018 in organisations such as Galson Estate Trust, Young Scot, An Àirigh, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, An Lanntair, Taigh Chearsabhagh and Theatre Gu Leòr. They also provided funding for the employment of a Digital Officer within MG ALBA who oversees LearnGaelic.scot, an integral website for Gaelic learners and speakers alike boasting around 30,000 regular users every month.
Interim Chair Mary MacInnes said Bòrd na Gàidhlig continued to work hard on implementing its ambitious Corporate Plan 2018-23, which sets out ways to get more people using Gaelic more often and in more situations.
She added that thanks to the new working group, working under the banner ‘a Faster Rate of Progress’, other public bodies had also unveiled commitments to boosting the profile and use of Gaelic in Scotland. These included VisitScotland publishing its first ever Gaelic Tourism Strategy, and Police Scotland adopting Gaelic in its new logo. This has dramatically increased the awareness of Gaelic throughout Scotland.
She said: “The annual report and accounts for Bòrd na Gàidhlig detail the significant progress we have made in promoting and supporting the Gaelic language and culture.
“It has been heartening to see participation in learning and using Gaelic continue to grow, particularly among younger language activists, and many public bodies create their own Gaelic plans. The impact of these on the visibility and normalisation of Gaelic cannot be understated. Together, we are ensuring Gaelic’s place at the heart of Scottish national life.”
Chief executive Shona MacLennan cited work being undertaken to improve the organisation. She said: “We recognised the need to develop our leadership skills and work to increase openness and transparency across the organisation.
“We have been addressing these issues through the commissioning of a review of our remit and leadership structure, alongside a programme of development for senior managers. We also conducted an annual staff survey where we recognised a need to improve communication, engagement and wellbeing of our staff. In order to address these, we are working towards the Investors in People standard.”
“Our work shows how Bòrd na Gàidhlig is committed to seeing Gaelic develop and flourish in Scotland.”
This Bòrd na Gàidhlig Section 22 report is based on the Governance and Transparency Report, presented to the Audit and Risk Management Committee earlier this year. This is the most in-depth audit the organisation has ever undergone. It follows an extremely busy three years for Bòrd na Gàidhlig with many changes in structure and procedures taking place. The chief executive was charged with making these changes by the Board.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s board recognises the findings, which focused on its governance, leadership and management as well as its openness and transparency, were not all good news for the organisation.
The Bòrd na Gàidhlig board recognises the need to develop new ways of working and has embarked on a comprehensive programme of change. These changes across the whole organisation include:
This programme is already underway, with more than 50% of the actions recommended being implemented within four months of receiving the report, and the remainder on target to be completed by the end of this financial year.
Mairi MacInnes, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Interim Chair, said: “Periods of change are difficult for any organisation, so Bòrd na Gàidhlig is not unique. This report has highlighted many of the challenges we have faced during the past three years, particularly in terms of the volume of work we have to deliver every day, our recruitment challenges and our limited resources. For the organisation to grow and achieve the commitments in our Corporate Plan 2018-23, we must continue to review all of our work and make changes where necessary. We remain committed to completing our programme of change, to help Gaelic flourish in Scotland and for Gaelic communities to continue to grow and thrive.
“All those involved in Bòrd na Gàidhlig recognise the need for and are thoroughly committed to finding a way forward so the recommendations made in the report are implemented and we are happy to explain the organisation and our decisions to the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee if required.
“However, it is also important to highlight the significant and forward-thinking programme of work that we have delivered over recent years.
“Among our most notable achievements were gaining ministerial approval of the National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23, which has been widely welcomed and received substantial cross-party support as well as acclaim from language planners in other minority languages.
“We maintained the annual budget in an increasingly challenging fiscal environment, as well as increasing both the use, learning and promotion of Gaelic in Scotland and also the number of public authorities actively involved in the Gaelic language.
“We developed new national initiatives, such as A Faster Rate of Progress, led by Depute First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney to deliver a range of key commitments in the National Gaelic Language Plan.
“In 2017 we gained Ministerial approval of the Statutory Guidance for Gaelic Education through a collaborative working group led by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
“Finally, as well as increasing demand for Gaelic medium education in Scotland, we developed new three-year funding agreements which will enable increased planning, development and efficiency for the main community organisations involved in using, learning and promoting Gaelic.”
“We all want Bòrd na Gàidhlig to be a success story – taking on board this report’s findings will help us work towards that goal.”
Bòrd na Gàidhlig is welcoming organisations in Scotland which support and promote the Gaelic language to apply for grants of up to £5,000, after launching its community funding scheme for 2020/21.
A budget of £125,000 has been set aside for Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd community grants scheme and organisations committed to delivering a local project that promotes Gaelic are encouraged to apply.
Last year Bòrd na Gàidhlig awarded funding to 74 projects – including voluntary organisations, social enterprises, sporting, religious, school and arts groups.
Among those awarded cash last year was Garrabost Free Church which used £3,200 from Bòrd na Gàidhlig along with other funding, to help digitally preserve a rare set of recordings of islanders on Lewis reciting the New Testament.
The recordings from the 1980s were of the congregation of Knock Free Church, now merged with Garrabost, and it is hoped these recordings will become a valuable resource for all those learning the Gaelic language.
Also Urras an Taobh Sear (Staffin Community Trust) was awarded £3,400 to continue its unique course it has been running since 2013, entitled Àrainneachd, Cànan is Dualchas (Gaelic in the environment) at Staffin on Skye, one of the most beautiful locations in the country.
Birks Cinema Trust, which runs the community-owned Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy, Perth and Kinross, was provided with £1,300 to help run a Gaelic cafe and Gaelic events.
Mairi MacInnes, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Interim Chair, said this year’s scheme above all wants to help support projects promoting extra-curricular Gaelic use for GME pupils, promote the use of Gaelic in the home, encourage Gaelic in communities and help more adults learn and use Gaelic, and promote better access and awareness of Scotland’s Gaelic heritage.
She said: “All 74 projects we awarded funding have done fantastic work promoting and developing the Gaelic language.
“The Knock Free Church recordings represent an amazing resource, while Urras an Taobh Sear’s Àrainneachd and Birks Cinema Trust’s cafe and events are hugely popular.
“We at Bòrd na Gàidhlig are delighted to support them and urge many more organisations committed to promoting and growing Gaelic to apply for this latest round of funding.”
David Murray, Garrabost Free Church Clerk to Session, said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s funding from its Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd fund enabled us to digitise and clean sound files of an audio version of the Gaelic New Testamant which was produced by members of the congregation in the 1980s. We also received funding from the Point and Sandwick Trust to complete the project.
“Without the Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd funding it is likely that these audio recordings would have been lost, as the cassette tapes were old and very few sets of the audio recordings remain. The fund allowed us to employ a local IT specialist to undertake the work of digitising and cleaning the recordings.
“The Audio Recording of the New Testament is a rich archive of local Gaelic speakers and we are delighted that it has been preserved. We hope to produce a website to host the sound files in the near future.
“The Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd fund is a great help for Gaelic development work which goes on at community level.”
Sìne Gillespie, of Urras an Taobh Sear, said: “Àrainneachd, Cànan is Dualchas is a course created by Roddy Maclean for fluent and near fluent speakers of Gaelic. The course provides students with teaching tools that are indispensable not merely for educators but for anybody who is passionate about Gaelic Scotland. Students learn that there are 130 Gaelic words to describe a mountain. Of particular joy and usefulness are Roddy’s lists of Gaelic names for seabirds, wildlife and Scottish trees.
“Students who undertake this course gain access to a wealth of material that connects the language, culture and environment of Gaelic Scotland. Àrainneachd, Cànan is Dualchas represents, after all, the lifetime’s work of a Gaelic ambassador at the height of his powers. And ACD is strengthened further through its rootedness in a community where fluent Gaelic is spoken eloquently.
“Staffin Community Trust would be unable to host this marvellous course without financial assistance. We have been very fortunate to receive a grant over seven summers from Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
“We and our partners are indeed grateful to Bòrd na Gàidhlig who – through their Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd scheme – have helped us in the community of Staffin to build richly on our reputation as an excellent location for Gaelic courses in the outdoors.
“As a community trust, Urras an Taobh Sear is mindful of the related economic benefits as well as those that come from investing in the proactive development of our unique and precious Gaelic language.”
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 21st January 2020. Application forms can be found at https://www.gaidhlig.scot/bord/fundraising/
The organisation has backed Giglets Gàidhlig, which provides online learning for students in Gaelic schools throughout Scotland using a cloud-based system, to the tune of £147,000 over three years.
Already more than 90% of Gaelic Medium Education (GME) schools are using or are trained on Giglets Gàidhlig’s system, with 600 teachers and 4,500 pupils registered.
Jim Whannel, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Director of Education, said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted that Giglets Gàidhlig is proving such a success story.
“We believe Giglets Gàidhlig is a perfect fit for the ultimate aim of Bòrd na Gàidhlig – to help Gaelic flourish in Scotland through people learning the language in an enterprising, fun yet academically challenging way.
“Its aim is to give children a love for reading and provide teachers with a rich collection of texts and resources. It supports multiple media, such as graphics, pictures, animations at key moments of the story, so every child and teacher can use it in Gaelic.
“We believe Giglets Gàidhlig will continue to help pupils, teachers, schools and the Gaelic community in Scotland as a whole to work towards our goal.”
Headquartered in Kilmarnock, Giglets Gàidhlig is a K-12 company involved in early years, primary and early secondary education. The project is supported by several hundred Gaelic resources aligned with Curriculum for Excellence, with 45 Gaelic voiceovers professionally recorded and published.
It also provides a library of hundreds of texts and thousands of curriculum-aligned resources, and provides educational training and support services. It also partners with Stòrlann Nàiseanta, the organisation which is the main producer of Gaelic educational resources.
It is the brainchild of Dr Karsten Karcher, chairman and founder of Giglets Education. He says Giglets Gàidhlig provides a low cost, scalable, cloud-based learning platform and software-as-a-service (SaaS) that improves learning experiences for teachers and pupils.
Also vital to the edtech system’s success is it is education first and technology second.
He said: “Its content consists of a library of online titles, both fiction and non-fiction. They are delivered in a totally accessible way according to the abilities of the student reading them – be it novel, newspaper or cartoon style.”
Aimed at those aged between three to 14, Giglets Gàidhlig is accessible on tablet, computer, and mobiles. Dr Karcher says texts also have full voiceovers.
He added: “Giglets Gàidhlig is unique in terms of the number of schools engaged – thanks to its aim to reverse a fall in reading standards. It also helps reduce teachers’ workloads by reducing preparation and marking time, and provides data and analytics to teachers, schools, local authorities and governments.
“Ultimately Giglets Gàidhlig helps teachers raise standards and supports them in engaging pupils and involving parents while providing valuable information to reinforce their judgements about a learner’s progress.”
Giglets Gàidhlig is supported by the Gaelic Local Authority Network (GLAN) as well as all 14 Scottish local authorities involved in GME. They are Highland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Argyll and Bute, Glasgow, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeen City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh City, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, Angus and Inverclyde Councils.
Giglets Gàidhlig is also supported by Gaelic teaching organisations, University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde, University of the Highlands and Islands, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Newbattle Abbey College in Midlothian.
Media Contact: Elaine Fee on 07540 124245 or Philip Gates on 07525 645350