GAELIC WEEK RETURNS TO DYNAMIC EARTH!

Published On: 31st May, 2024

For over 14 years, Dynamic Earth has had the pleasure of collaborating with two Gaelic Medium Education organisations, Comann nam Parant and Comunn na Gàidhlig, to deliver school workshops as part of Gaelic Week. Each year, a school workshop from Dynamic Earth’s Learning and Engagement programme is translated and delivered entirely in Gaelic to hundreds of learners from Gaelic-speaking schools. In 2024, Rainforest Adventure – Cuairt Dhan Choille-Uisge – was delivered to over 250 pupils. Schools from as far away as Inverness, Islay and Mull all made the journey to Edinburgh to engage with us!

Dynamic Earth’s ongoing partnerships with Comann nam Parant and Comunn na Gàidhlig enable us to support the Scottish Government’s Gaelic Language Plan, and over the years have allowed thousands of young people to engage with us in ways they otherwise would not have been able to.

Innes MacCuinn of Comann nam Parant and Shona Chaimbeul of Comunn na Gàidhlig agreed to answer a couple of questions to tell us a bit more about Gaelic Week.

Innes, can you tell us a bit more about why Gaelic Week is so important?

Gaelic Medium education is available in different areas all over the country where pupils are taught entirely through the Medium of Gaelic. For the majority, they don’t have Gaelic in the home, so it is extremely important that the pupils are getting opportunities to be using their Gaelic outside the schools in new situations. At Edinburgh Gaelic, the pupils get the opportunity to attend sessions at Dynamic Earth that is new and interesting to them and that is normally through the medium of English but during Edinburgh Gaelic it is delivered through the medium of Gaelic. This is very good for the pupils to be hearing and seeing Gaelic in other places rather than just the school.

Tha Foghlam tro Mheadan na Gàidhlig ri fhaighinn ann an diofar sgìrean air feadh na dùthcha far am bi sgoilearan ag ionnsachadh tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig. Airson a’ mhòr chuid, chan eil Gàidhlig aca aig an taigh is mar sin tha e uabhasach cudromach gu bheil sgoilearan a’ faighinn chothromam a bhith a’ cleachdadh cuid Gàidhlig aca taobh a-muigh na sgoile ann an suidheachaidhean ùra. Aig Seachdain Dhùn Èideann gheibh na sgoilearan cothrom a’ frithealadh seisean aig Dynamic Earth a tha ùr is inntinneach dhaibh agus gu h-àbhaisteach tro mheadhan na Beurla ach aig Seachdain Dhùn Èideann bidh e air a lìbhreaghadh tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig. Tha seo glè mhath airson nan sgoilearanan a bhith a’ cluinntinn agus a’ faicinn Gàidhlig ann an aiteachan eile a bharrachd air an sgoil a-mhàin.

What work goes into planning for an event like Gaelic Week?

It is very important that we get information sent out to schools as early as possible so that they have time to plan for the trip. Especially for schools that come from Argyll and Highland, it is a big trip for them. Preparation work is vital and to be working with Dynamic Earth beforehand, ensuring that the resources are all prepared and that the Dynamic Earth staff know when each group will be attending! We also get a very warm welcome from the Dynamic Earth team and sessions are greatly enjoyed by the schools and by Shona who is delivering the session for us!

Tha e glè chudromach fiosrachadh a chur dha na sgoiltean cho trath ’s as urrainn dhuinn gus a tha ùine aca planaichean a chur air dòigh. Gu h-àraid airson sgoiltean a thig à Earra-Ghàidheal is a’ Ghàidhealtachd, ’s e turas mòr a th’ ann dhaibh. Tha obair uallachaidh deatamach agus a bhith ag obair còmhla ri Dynamic Earth ro-làimh gus a bhith cinnteach gu bheil na goireasan uile deiseil anns a’ Ghàidhlig agus gu bheil fhios aig muinntir Dynamic Earth cuin a bhios gach buidheann a’ nochdadh! Gheibh sinn daonnan fàilte bhlath bho sgioba Dynamic Earth agus bidh na seiseanan uile a’ cordadh ris na sgoiltean agus ri Shona a tha a’ lìbhrigeadh nan seiseanan dhuinn!

What is your role at Dynamic Earth during Gaelic Week, Shona?

During Gaelic week, I take on the role of presenting a science or earth-themed workshop to the visiting schools, through the medium of the Gaelic language. The workshops are designed and planned by the great learning team at Dynamic Earth and then we contract a professional translator who translates all the materials into Gaelic. The workshops prepared by Dynamic Earth are always super fun with interactive activities so that the children can learn about the topic – this year we covered ‘Tropical Rainforests’.

Airson Seachdain na Gàidhlig, bidh mi a’ lìbhrigeadh bhùth-obrach air cuspair saidheans / an talamh, tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig, do sgoiltean a bhios a’ tadhal. Bidh an sgioba foghlaim aig Dynamic Earth ag ullachadh nam bùithtean-obrach is bidh eadar-theangaiche gan cuir dhan Ghàidhlig. Tha na bùithtean-obrach aig Dynamic Earth an còmhnaidh glè spòrsail, le cur-seachadan gus an ionnsaich a’ chlann mun chuspair – am bliadhna rinn sinn ‘Coilltean-Uisge Tropaigeach’.

What do you enjoy most about delivering these workshops?

I always find it fascinating to learn and present the Dynamic Earth workshops because each year for Gaelic Week there’s always a really interesting topic, for example the oceans, volcanoes, or tropical rainforests. It’s also brilliant when you see the kids showing so much enthusiasm for finding small ways we can all help to protect the natural environment – sometimes they’ll put their hands up during the workshop and want to share their own facts about wildlife and the earth, which is just so great.

Tha e an còmhnaidh cho inntinneach dhomh na cuspairean ionnsachadh oir bidh rudeigin diofraichte ann gach bliadhna, mar eiseamplar na cuantan, bholcànothan no coilltean-uisge tropaigeach. Tha e cuideachd sgoinneil nuair a bhios a’ chlann airson an àrainneachd a dhìon – uaireanan cuideachd, innsidh iad fhèin criomagan fiosrachaidh tron bhùth-obrach mu fiadh-bheatha no an talamh, is tha sin dìreach cho math.

Gaelic Week runs every April at Dynamic Earth in collaboration with Comann nam Parant. Many thanks to Innes MacCuinn and Shona Chaimbeul for their continued work in Gaelic Medium Education provision, and helping Dynamic Earth to achieve their mission of empowering people with understanding and empathy for the Earth.