Staff and students from Portree High School on the Isle of Skye are top of the class as they claimed a top accolade at the Scottish Education Awards 2012.
The school collected the Gaelic Language and Culture in Learning Award at the award ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow as the judges praised the school’s commitment to preserving Scotland’s native language.
The school’s Headteacher, Cath 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.
Catherine MacDonald, Head Teacher, Portree High School said: “We are delighted that the school’s efforts to promote our language and culture have been recognised. Portree High School is proud to be a school community that promotes Gaelic and has an inclusive approach to its promotion. Our young people have been involved in a number of projects this year which have showcased our successes and this award is a highlight.”
The Scottish Education Awards are open to all publicly funded schools and provide the opportunity to showcase the hard work and achievements of all education staff in Scotland. There are 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