Caledonia Primary School

Caledonia Primary and Speech, Language and Communication resource are going on a bear hunt……..but it’s no ordinary bear hunt!

Caledonia has over the past few years introduced Gaelic to all learners.  Our depute head teacher is a passionate Gaelic learner herself.  I have more of an interest in the way learning a language can assist all areas of learning.   A couple of years ago we decided that since Gaelic is part of the broad general education for Curriculum for Excellence we would add it to our school improvement plan.  At the time we didn’t realise the impact this would have!

There is something about the language which connects with the children.  Our children feel more Scottish.  We began by introducing it to the P5’s and then decided that we wanted to see the difference it would make if we introduced P1’s and P2’s.  Other classes then felt they were missing out and the children requested more.  The P6’s were meant to finish after a year however have insisted it continue.
Our other “big thing” in Caledonia is Outdoor Learning.  We were approached to host the annual Grounds For Learning conference.  The organiser asked if I had any ideas for workshops- I suggested that it would be great to have something connected to storytelling using the outdoors and also suggested that it could be in Gaelic.  I then passed the organiser onto my depute head teacher who had already been teaching children Gaelic through the book “We’re going on a bear hunt.”  She then described her idea for this and asked whether we could include a film.
Hence the creation of the Bear Hunt.  
Gaelic in Caledonia is in every classroom, every home and all staff, pupils, parents, dinner ladies, cleaners all have at the very least phrases they can use.  
This work was recognised when we were given the Scottish education award for Gaelic Language and Culture at the annual Scottish Education Awards 2013 .  
We are happy for anyone who would like to visit and find out more.

Sheona Allen
Head teacher
Caledonia Primary School