Gaelic no longer the poor relation

22nd February 2008 at 00:00
Gaelic is no longer being treated as a second-class citizen in the curriculum, rejoices Cathie Johnston, head of Condorrat Primary in North Lanarkshire, which has 145 Gaelic-medium pupils from nursery upwards.

She thinks there are some "very good things" in the new curriculum guidance for Gaelic, also published this week, but adds the caveat that, in its current form, it is really a series of "umbrella statements" that need to be teased out to make them suitable for teaching in the classroom.

"Once they are unpacked and unpicked, I think they will be very useful", she says. "There is still some tweaking to be done on individual things : there is an assumption, for example, that the document is for fluent speakers, when some children come to school and don't speak Gaelic fluently."

Mrs Johnston believes some will find it a challenge to move the active learning approach into the upper stages of school. For that reason, the changes are more about the "how" of teaching than content.

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