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.
I hope this finds you all safe and well. I appreciate that this is an uncertain and anxious time for us all.
I would like to reiterate Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s commitment to all of our funding partners, volunteer groups, communities and Gaelic speakers and learners alike during this time. We have outlined the work that lies ahead of us below and will provide you with regular updates as we move forward.
As announced last week, 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.
Following the Scottish Government’s advice, all staff are working from home until advised this is not necessary. We will be conducting business as usual during this time as far as possible. We will not receive post at this time, please scan any documents to us.
During this period, here is information on what Bòrd na Gàidhlig is working on:
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and your message will be forwarded to the relevant person or department.
Cumaibh sàbhailte a chàirdean.
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 email@example.com
Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes the news that North Ayrshire is set to offer Gaelic Medium Education for the first time with a new provision set to open in August 2020.
It will be located within Whitehirst Park Primary School, Kilwinning, with the post of Principal Teacher Gaelic advertised this week.
This is the first successful application for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) under the Education Act (Scotland) 2016 and Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Statutory Guidance on Education.
In August 2017, Bòrd na Gàidhlig advised and funded a group of parent volunteers who wanted to set-up an early years’ playgroup in North Ayrshire. The volunteers worked extremely hard on this campaign and since 2017, the interest in GME has continued to grow.
Parents submitted a formal application to North Ayrshire Council on 24 January 2019 and after the first assessment, the council concluded that they were willing to introduce GME.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes this news and its Director of Education, Jim Whannel, who was involved in the developments said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig are extremely happy that Gaelic Medium Education will now be offered in North Ayrshire and we are indebted to the parents and council for their progress with this. Bòrd na Gàidhlig wish them every success and we look forward to continue working closely with them in the months ahead.”
Applications are now open for enrolment for GME at the school in Kilwinning. Whitehirst Park Primary’s Deputy headteacher, Louise Johnstone, said: “This is exciting news and we are all looking forward to welcoming our first intake of pupils in August. It is a real privilege to be the school chosen to deliver Gaelic Media Education for the first time in North Ayrshire.
“We are collaborative in our approach to this new provision and we are working with the council’s Education service and, of course, the parents to ensure we provide the best possible learning environment.”
Caroline Amos, Head of Service for Education at North Ayrshire Council, said : “We were very receptive to the wishes of the parents as ultimately we want to deliver services and education that meets their needs.
“The parents are really keen and excited by this. We will now recruit a principal teacher who will help us move forward and ensure we are ready to open in August.”
Pamela Jardine, a parent who has been heavily involved in the campaign from the beginning said:
“We are just over the moon that our daughter will be attending a new GME unit in the summer, it is a dream come true and we think she will really enjoy her primary years at Whitehirst Park. It has been a long journey, but the help and guidance we received along the way from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and North Ayrshire Council made it relatively easy to do.”
It is hoped that the new Principal Teacher Gaelic will be in post after Easter allowing them time to prepare for the August start date.
This great news means that there are now 15 local authorities in Scotland with GME. This is the first rise in council numbers since Inverclyde Council opened GME in Greenock in 1999-2000. North Ayrshire Council is the first local authority to offer GME in 21 years (to 2020-2021).
Bòrd na Gàidhlig agreed to North Ayrshire’s Gaelic Language Plan in 2014 and since then there have been many encouraging results including: supporting Gaelic education developments, Gaelic arts in the community and a new bilingual corporate logo.
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.”