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More than 1,700 people join free online Gaelic language and music sessions during lockdown so far

Gaelic arts organisation continues to offer range of Gaelic education activities for all ages

Since putting all its usual classroom based lessons and activities online, Gaelic arts organisation, Fèisean nan Gàidheal (FnG) has provided free lessons to 1,718 people across Scotland and further afield.

Activities on offer have included Gaelic song and game sessions, drama tips and games, Gaelic conversation classes, CLPL training for teachers, and fiddle and accordion lessons, with participants from all over Scotland and even a few from Canada.

Fèisgoil, the formal education strand of FnG, reorganised several aspects of the service to ensure youngsters across Scotland were still benefitting from the Gaelic tuition usually provided in the classroom. Through the service it organises music tuition through the Youth Music Initiative and teaches Gaelic language to support GLE and 1+2 languages. Organisers have been overwhelmed at the response to some of the Fèisgoil activities, with demand exceeding expectation and have fully embraced the Bòrd na Gàidhlig hashtag #cleachdiaigantaigh with most of the focus on the GME sector and supporting families with direct access to live interactive sessions.
The Hùb Hàb early years theatre-in-education project is one of those delivered through Fèisgoil. Aimed at the 3-5 year age group but also suitable for young primary school children, during lockdown, the theatre production focuses on lending a helping hand at home, including Gaelic action songs all sung by Ellen Macdonald (singer with Sian and Dàimh), all written by Fèisgoil staff. These were offered to Gaelic Medium Education classes and have been extremely well received, with all slots booked out within a few hours. Around 150 children and their parents are benefitting from one of the 10 online session every week for 8 weeks.

One of the main projects delivered by Fèisgoil, is Blasad Gàidhlig. Blasad Gàidhlig, meaning a taste of Gaelic, was developed to support the 1+2 language part of the Curriculum for Excellence and supports local councils in delivering their Gaelic language plan in nurseries and primary schools. During lockdown, in a bid to encourage speaking the language at home, particularly in those homes where Gaelic is not normally spoken on a daily basis, children in GME have been enjoying song and game sessions with Fèisgoil tutors. Children from Glasgow to Barra and Inverness to Lewis have taken part. Demand was so high for the sessions, additional tutors had to be brought in to meet demand.
Similarly, a waiting list was opened almost immediately following the launch of a brand-new initiative, Caraidean Còmhraidh (Blether Buddies). In response to comments made by several parents, Fèisgoil has undertaken to lead a conversation-based project for groups of friends of primary-age children. These friendship groups are paired with a young adult Gaelic speaker for informal conversation.

Fèisgoil is also collaborating with the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) on Wee Summer Sing, a series of song sessions every weekday morning for the next five weeks, culminating in the Gaelic Wee Summer Sing from 29th June – 3rd July, led by Eilidh Mackenzie.

And it hasn’t just been children who have benefitted from the new online offering from the organisation. Glasgow City Council is also engaging with experienced Fèisgoil tutors in one-to-one support for GLPS teachers. CLPL (career-long professional learning) sessions have been running for the past 8 weeks with teachers who have been involved with the Blasad Gàidhlig sessions in their schools, in order to continue their learning of the language.

Fluent secondary pupils and young adults have been able to engage with Gaelic speakers on an international platform through Café Bheairteis. Held every Friday afternoon online, each week there is a new guest to start the conversation and share their stories. Past guests, all fluent Gaelic speakers, have included professional footballers Roddy Macgregor and Calum Ferguson, BBC weather presenter Kirsteen Macdonald and husband, James Graham, CEO of An Comunn Gàidhealach, wild swimmer, adventurer and filmmaker, Calum Maclean, Commonwealth cyclist Kerry Macphee, female singing trio, Sian and fiddler and presenter of BBC Alba upcylcing show, Dreachd Ùr, Shona Masson. Upcoming guests will be announced with Niteworks closing this first term of the online Café and organisers are delighted to have been joined in the Café sessions by young folk living on both sides of the Atlantic. There is also a more formal strand of the project, Beairteas, which sees presentations and Q&As on different topics, offering youngsters the rare opportunity to hear in-depth talks from all walks of life. To date this has included sessions as varied as the role of Gaelic speaking Highlanders in the First World War, led by Skye man Murdo Beaton and couturier Sandra Murray talking through the processes involved in high-end fashion.

These sessions have not only provided valuable learning experiences for a wide range of age groups across Scotland but have also provided much needed income for many freelance tutors and musicians across Scotland, one of the hardest hit groups of individuals during this pandemic. With no indication of when musicians will be able to get back to work, or when visiting specialist tutors will be able to get back into classrooms, the online work provided by organisations such as FnG, has been very welcome.

Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil manager, commented: “Every change in circumstance brings new opportunity and at Fèisgoil we have been keen to embrace the potential partnership between not just schools and Fèisean nan Gàidheal but also families themselves.”

“We fully appreciate the difficult circumstances in which many families and individual young people now find themselves and we are determined to help engagement in the Gaelic Arts continue and even flourish through these unusual times. We are very grateful to the continued support we receive from some Local Authorities as well as our tutor group and individual schools.”

Steven Kellow, Projects and Funding Officer, Bòrd na Gàidhlig added: “We are delighted to see the overwhelming response to Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s online sessions as part of the #cleachdiaigantaigh initiative and to see so many young people engaging in the Gaelic language and culture during this time. These types of sessions are crucial to young people with Gaelic and who may not have the opportunity to use the language at home out with school hours.”

Other activities offered by Fèisean nan Gàidheal have included song sessions with Calum Alex Macmillan, workshops on the history of songs with Margaret Stewart and learning Gaelic expressions with Alec ‘Bhaltos’ Macdonald. For further information about the schedule of online events please visit www.feisean.org and check out the Facebook page where you will find information about how to book onto upcoming events. If you would like to find out more about Fèisgoil and its offering for schools, please get in touch with Eilidh Mackenzie, eilidh@feisean.scot.

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Tha còrr is 1,700 duine air pàirt a ghabhail ann an seiseanan cànain is ciùil an-asgaidh air-loidhne tron ghlasadh gu ruige seo

Buidheann ealain Ghàidhlig a’ cumail oirre a’ tabhann caochladh ghnìomhan foghlaim Gàidhlig do gach aois.

Bho chuir iad na leasain is na gnìomhan as àbhaist a bhith aca sa chlas air-loidhne, tha Fèisean nan Gàidheal (FnG) air leasain an-asgaidh a thoirt do 1,718 daoine air feadh Alba is thall thairis.

Nam measg a tha gan tairgsinn tha seiseanan gheamannan is òrain Ghàidhlig, comhairle dràma is gheamannan, clasaichean còmhraidh Gàidhlig, oideachadh CLPL do luchd-teagaisg, agus leasain fìdhle is bogsa, còmhla ri luchd-còmpairt air feadh na h-Alba is fiù ’s beagan ann an Canada.

Chuir Fèisgoil, meur foirmeil foghlam FnG, cruth ùr air grunn phàirtean den t-seirbhis aice gus dèanamh cinnteach gun robh òganaich air feadh na h-Alba fhathast a’ faighinn leas às an oideas Ghàidhlig as àbhaist dhaibh faighinn sa chlas fhèin. Tron t-seirbhis bidh i a’cur air dòigh oideas ciùil tro Iomairt Ciùil na h-Òigridh agus a’ teagasg na Gàidhlig fhèin gus taic a chumail ri GLE agus cànainean 1+2. Rinn an luchd-obrach toileachas mòr leis mar a chaidh gabhail ri cuid de ghnìomhan Fèisgoil, leis an iarrtas a’ dol seachad air na bha an dùil agus tha iad air gabhail gu mòr ris a’ chliathaig #cleachdiaigantaigh leis a’ bheum as mò air foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig agus cumail taic ri teaghlaichean tro cheangal dìreach ri seiseanan eadar-ghnìomhach.

Tha am pròiseict tràth-bhliadhnaichean teatar ann am foghlam Hùb-Hàb air fear den fheadhainn a tha ga thoirt seachad le Fèisgoil. Ga amas air clann 3-5 bliadhn’ a dh’aois, ach cuideachd freagarrach do chloinn òg a’ bhun-sgoil, tron ghlasadh, tha an cudrom air làmh-chuideachaidh a thoirt dhaibhsan aig an taigh, le òrain gnìomh Ghàidhlig air an seinn air fad le Ellen Dhòmhnallach (a’ bhana-sheinneadair aig Sian is aig Dàimh) is air an cruthachadh le luchd-obrach Fèisgoil. Chaidh an tabhann air clasaichean nan Sgoiltean Gàidhlig agus chòrd iad gu mòr riutha, leis na h-àiteachan air fad air an glèidheadh taobh a-staigh beagan uairean a thìde. Tha mu 150 de chloinn is an cuid phàrantan a’ faighinn leas à fear de na 10 seiseanan air loidhne a h-uile seachdain fad ochd seachdainean.

Air fear de na prìomh-phròiseictean a thugadh seachad le Fèisgoil, chaidh Blasad Gàidhlig a dhealbhachadh gus taic a chumail ri roinn a’ chànain 1+2 de Churraicealam airson Sàr-mhaitheis agus tha e a’ cuideachadh le comhairlean ionadail a bhith a’ toirt am plana cànain gu buil ann an sgoiltean-àraich is am bun-sgoiltean. Feadh a’ ghlasaidh, mar dhòigh air bruidhinn na Gàidhlig a bhrosnachadh aig an taigh, gu h-àraidh ann an dachaighean far nach àbhaist do Ghàidhlig a bhith ga bruidhinn bho latha gu latha, tha clann ann am foghlam na Gàidhlig air a bhith a’ mealtainn seiseanan òrain is geamannan còmhla ri oidean Fèisgoil. Tha clann bho Ghlaschu gu Barraigh agus bho Inbhir Nis gu Leòdhas air a bhith a’ gabhail pàirt ann. Bha a leithid a dh’fhèill orra, gum b’ fheudar dhuinn barrachd oidean a thoirt a-staigh airson an t-iarrtas a shàsachadh.

Mar an ceudna, chaidh liosta feitheimh fhosgladh cha mhòr sa bhad an dèidh tòiseachadh air pròiseict ùr-nuadh, Caraidean Còmhraidh. Mar fhreagairt air beachdan a rinneadh le grunn phàrantan, tha Fèisgoil air pròiseict bonntaichte air còmhradh a ghabhail os làimh do bhuidhnean chàirdean de chloinn aois a’ bhun-sgoil. Tha na buidhnean càirdeis sin air an caigneachadh le inbheach òg fileanta airson còmhradh neo-fhoirmeil.
Tha Fèisgoil cuideachd a’ co-obrachadh le Còisir Òigridh Nàiseanta na h-Alba (NYCoS) air Seinn Bheag an t-Samhraidh, sreath sheiseanan seinn a h-uile madainn seachdaineach fad an ath-chòig seachdainean, a’ crìochnachadh le Seinn Bheag Ghàidhlig an t-Samhraidh bho 29 Òg-mhìos – 3 Iuchar, is Eilidh NicCoinnich air a cheann.

Agus chan iad clann a-mhàin a thug leas às na tha ga thabhann air-loidhne leis a’ bhuidhinn.
Tha Comhairle Baile Ghlaschu air a bhith a’ cur feum air oidean eòlach Fèisgoil gus ionnsachadh a chumail ri luchd-teagaisg bun-sgoiltean Beurla a bhios a’ teagasg Gàidhlig do na sgoilearan aca (GLPL). Tha seiseanan CLPL (sìor-ionnsachadh proifeiseanta san dreuchd)
air a bhith a’ dol o chionn 8 seachdainean còmhla ri luchd-teagaisg a tha air a bhith a’ teagasg seiseanan Blasad Gàidhlig sna sgoiltean aca, gus an ionnsachadh fhèin den chànain a chumail a’ dol.

B’ urrainn do sgoilearan fileanta àrd-sgoiltean agus inbhich òga bruidhinn ri luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig air stèidh eadar-nàiseanta tro Chafé Bheairteis. A h-uile feasgar Dihaoine air-loidhne, tha aoigh ùr gach seachdain airson an còmhradh a thòiseachadh agus an cuid naidheachdan innse. Am measg nan aoighean bha cluicheadairean proifeiseanta ball-coise, Ruairidh MacGriogair agus Calum MacFhearghais, riochdaire na sìde air an telebhisean, Kirsteen Dhòmhnallach, agus Seumas Greumach, an duine aice, Ceannard a’ Chomuinn Ghàidhealaich, snàmhaiche a’ bhlàr a-muigh is craoladair, Calum MacIllEathain, rothairiche Kerry Nic a’ Phì, an triùir seinn Sian, a’ bhan-fhìdhlear is riochdaire prògram Dreachd Ùr BBC Alba, Shona Masson. Thèid innse fhathast mu thuilleadh aoighean le Niteworks a’ dùnadh a’ chiad teirm den Chafé air-loidhne agus tha na chuir air chois e air an dòigh glan gun do ghabh daoine òga air gach taobh den Chuan Siar pàirt anns na seiseanan Café. Cuideachd tha meur nas fhoirmeile den phròisect, Beairteas, far an cluinnear òraidean is Ceist is Freagairt air diofar chuspairean, a’ toirt a’ chothroim don òigridh òraidean mionaideach a chluinntinn bho dhaoine eadar-dhealaichte. Gu ruige seo chualas mu phàirt nan saighdearan Gàidhealach sa Chogadh Mhòr leis an Sgitheanach, Murchadh Peutan, agus Sandra Mhoireach a’ labhairt air na tha an lùib fasan den t-sàr-ìre.

Chan ann a-mhàin gu bheil na seiseanan seo air ionnsachadh luachmhor a thoirt do bhuidhnean de chaochladh aoisean air feadh na h-Alba ach cuideachd tha iad air teachd a-steach air an robh cruaidh fheum a thoirt do dh’oidean is do luchd-ciùil air feadh na h-Alba a bhios ag obair air an ceann fhèin, is iad air cuid de na daoine as motha a tha a’ fulang aig àm a’ ghalair a tha seo. Gun ghuth air cuin’ a thèid aig an luchd-ciùil seo air tilleadh a dh’obair, no cuine a dh’fhaodas oidean-ciùil tadhail tilleadh don chlas, rinn an obair air-loidhne a chuir buidhnean mar FnG air dòigh feum mhòr dhaibh.

Thuirt Eilidh NicCoinnich, Manaidsear Fèisgoil, “Tha cothroman ùra anns a h-uile atharrachadh suidheachaidh agus tha sinne aig Fèisgoil ro dheònach gabhail ris a’ cho-obrachadh a ghabhas dèanamh, chan ann a-mhàin eadar sgoiltean agus Fèisean nan Gàidheal ach le teaghlaichean fhèin cuideachd.”

”Tha sinn a’ tuigsinn glè mhath an t-suidheachaidh dhoirbh sa bheil mòran teaghlaichean is daoine òg air leth an-dràsta agus tha sinne cinnteach gun cuidich sinn le daoine pàirt a ghabhail sna h-ealain Ghàidhlig agus fiù’ s gum fàs iad san àm annasach seo. Tha sinn taingeil airson na taic leantainnich a tha sinn a’ faighinn bho chuid a dh’ùghdarrasan ionadail agus cuideachd bho ar n-oidean is bho sgoiltean air leth.”
Thuirt Steven Kellow, Oifigear Maoineachaidh ‘s Phròiseactan air Bòrd na Gàidhlig: “Tha sinn cho toilichte leis cho soirbheachail ’s a tha seiseanan air-loidhne Fèisean nan Gàidheal air a bhith mar phàirt den iomairt #cleachdiaigantaigh agus àireamh cho mòr de dhaoine òga a’ togail ùidh sa chànan agus cultar aig an àm seo. Tha na seòrsa seiseanan seo air leth cudromach do dhaoine òga le Gàidhlig agus ma dh’fhaoidte aig nach eil an cothrom an cànan a chleachdadh aig an taigh a-mach à uairean sgoile.”

Am measg nan gnìomhan eile a chaidh a chur an tairgse le Fèisean nan Gàidheal bha seiseanan seinn le Calum Ailig MacMhaoilein, seiseanan-obrach air eachdraidh òran le Mairead Stiùbhart agus ionnsachadh ghnàthasan-cainnte le Ailig ‘Bhaltois’ Dòmhnallach.
Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh air clàr-ama nan tachartasan air loidhne, feuch gun tadhail sibh air www.feisean.org agus thoiribh sùil air duilleag Facebook FnG far am faigh sibh fiosrachadh air mar a chlàrar airson tachartasan ri tighinn. Nam bu toigh leibh barrachd fhaighinn a-mach mu Fhèisgoil agus na bhios i a’ tabhann do na sgoiltean, cuiribh fios gu Eilidh NicCoinnich, eilidh@feisean.scot.