Have your say on Gaelic language plan

Gaelic is alive and kicking in East Ayrshire. With children learning it in schools – and a recent performance of our first-ever nativity play completely in Gaelic – there’s a real buzz about the language.

As part of a consultation on its Gaelic Language Plan, the Council would like to hear your views and suggestions.

Gaelic Medium Education (GME) in East Ayrshire currently includes a Gaelic Unit, made up of a nursery class and primary classes. The Unit is normally based in Onthank Primary School, Kilmarnock, but some classes are currently located in nearby Mount Carmel Primary School.

There is a programme of Gaelic Language in five of Grange Academy’s associated primary schools. Grange Academy offers lessons in fluent Gaelic and also has Gaelic Learners as a language option.

Gaelic Unit primary pupils put on a stunning all-Gaelic nativity play – complete with songs – at Christmas. The adventurous youngsters even travelled to Glasgow last year to perform in the Glasgow Mela, as part of their cultural studies. The young Gaelic speakers put on a play about the five Sikh symbols and performed a bhangra dance.

In community learning, there are nine Gaelic language classes and a well-attended annual Gaelic conversation day. The East Ayrshire Gaelic Forum is supported by Community Learning and Development.

Interested members of the public can have their say on the proposed Gaelic Language Plan 2013-17, which has been prepared under the framework of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

The Gaelic Language Plan – the authority’s first – sets out aspirations for Gaelic over the next four years and details how these will be achieved.

Seeking to promote wider interest in Gaelic culture and heritage, the plan has a strong focus on young people in education and on others with an interest in learning the language.

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “East Ayrshire has a proud history of promoting Gaelic, including educational provision for all age groups, in addition to active promotion of cultural events in the community. This is important in raising awareness of a key aspect of our nation’s heritage and culture”.

Graham Short, Executive Director of Educational and Social Services, said: “We are committed to working with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, our Community Planning Partners and other stakeholders to help safeguard Gaelic language, heritage and culture for future generations”.

The draft Gaelic Language Plan and a consultation questionnaire are both available on the Council website at www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk.

For printed copies, please contact the Council’s Policy, Planning and Performance Division on 01563 576037.

Any written responses should be returned to Policy, Planning and Performance Division, Dept of Finance and Corporate Support, East Ayrshire Council, Council HQ, London Rd, Kilmarnock KA3 7BU, by Thursday 7 March 2013.


For further information, contact Elaine Scott on 01563 576013 or email elaine.scott@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

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