A Highland school has beaten off stiff competition from across Scotland to be selected as a finalist at the Scottish Education Awards 2012.
Portree High School has been shortlisted for the Gaelic Language and Culture in Learning Award to celebrate the school’s commitment to preserving the native language.
The school’s Head Teacher, Catherine MacDonald has worked hard to create an ethos of involvement, creativity and a positive outlook on the future of Gaelic language and culture for students.
Students at Portree High School have a breadth of opportunities to use the language in different practical contexts with eight subjects currently offered through the medium of the language in S1 and S2.
Registration and religious assemblies are also conducted in Gaelic, official school letters are sent to parents in both Gaelic and English and there is Gaelic signage throughout the school.
Pupils at all stages of learning have been involved in a range of extra-curricular activities. This includes a one day Mini-Fèis for all pupils in S1, both learners and Gaelic medium pupils, to introduce them to Gaelic singing, drama, whistle and percussion. The students were then offered the opportunity to perform along with visiting tutors at an afternoon concert.
The school also provides an after school club offering pupils drama, singing and art in Gaelic. As part of this activity, the students organised a concert and cèildh where they will perform with professional musicians. The children worked together to plan the event including arranging professional PA equipment, lighting, catering and ticketing.
The judges commended Portree High School for their dedication to integrating Gaelic language into cross curricular learning for students, earning them a top spot as finalists at this year’s award ceremony.
Hugh Fraser, Director of Education Culture and Sport with The Highland Council, said: “I am delighted that Cath MacDonald's positive and committed approach to the promotion of Gaelic language and culture in the everyday life of Portree High School and her proactive support for an innovative range of Gaelic related projects has been recognised. The recognition is very well deserved.”
Portree High School will join finalists at an awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow on Tuesday 12 June 2012 where judges will unveil the winners of each award category.
People across the Highlands are being thanked for nominating their local schools, nurseries or individuals into the Scottish Education Awards 2012 so that their exceptional achievements can be recognised.
The awards, which celebrate the achievements of schools and teachers across Scotland, are open to all publicly funded schools, including secondary, primary, nursery and special schools. There are also categories to recognise and reward the dedication of teachers, head-teachers and support staff across the country.
For further information visit www.scottisheducationawards.org.uk