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The Languages Baccalaureate and Paternal Pride

We’re accustomed to complaining when “the powers that be” get things wrong – and properly so, particularly where our own children’s futures are concerned. It only seems fair then, to give credit where it’s due when they get them right. So please take a bow, Sgoil Lìonacleit, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and all other agencies and individuals who have played their part in this particular success story. (Loud applause.)

Take a look at this clip from Scottish CILT:

Morag Wells, who should also take a bow, (more loud applause, cheers to the rafters, hats in the air etc) would no doubt be more than happy if I stayed silent on this matter – but paternal pride trumps that this time. (There won’t be many more occasions for me to exercise such “authority”…) Her distinctive “interdisciplinary project” that defines the Scottish Languages Baccalaureate as more than just a bundle of off-the-shelf Highers and Advanced Highers really did offer something different, outward-looking and integrative to occupy herself with in S6. That will no doubt stand her in very good stead when she moves on to university.

PS. Just one nagging question. (And no, it’s got nothing to do with whether or not she’s passed, which we still don’t know. Her previous successes in S5 have already guaranteed her a place, so in one very concrete sense it “doesn’t matter”, strange to relate.) But if Scottish schools can successfully offer this level of challenge at the senior end, then why do the universities persist in wanting students to spend at least four more years getting their first degree?

Ich bin ein Uibhisteach

I wouldn’t normally feature the same video simultaneously both here and on the Island Voices site. But I confess to a special weakness for this one – certainly not for its technical merits, shot on an ageing hand-held mini-DV camera with a grumbling motor – but I love the content. So many smiling faces, and of all ages! The Uist community at its very best that night. What a delight to see familiar faces in less familiar surroundings, and all contributing of their own talents to give everyone a good time. And what a privilege to be able to record it.

Animals last month, and now children – learning English, singing Gaelic, teaching Russian, oh, and also speaking Polish…. Inspirational stuff, but everyone was a star, including the incoming music students gelling with local youth (and the not quite so youthful…) to provide the perfect soundtrack for a great community event. A real sense of vindication for the work “ris a’ bhruthaich” back in the early years of FE/HE development here in Uist.

Is there a better place to be on a midsummer’s night than Uibhist fhèin?

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