Tuesday, 24 August 2010

David's First Day at School

Boy was he excited!

Here he is outside the classroom with his best friend. They've been best buddies since they were about 18 months old.

I am a native Gaelic speaker, it was my first language. I speak only Gaelic to my boys and so it is their first language too. They speak it to each other and English to their daddy, who has a little Gaelic, having studied it at night school many years ago.

I know quite a lot of people my age whose parents didn't see the importance of passing on the language.They now regret the fact that they cannot speak it.

This is one of the reasons that we have chosen to send our boys to a Gaelic Medium school. Here they are taught purely in Gaelic, no English at all, until the end of Primary 3 (age 7). When they do start doing English reading/writing it is so easy in comparison to the Gaelic. Within no time they have 'caught up' on the English they 'missed' in their infant years. Our Calum (7) is already fluent in his English reading.

The attainment levels at the school are much higher than the national average, even their attainments in English are higher!

The children are immersed in not only the language, but also in the culture, including the beautiful musical culture, history and a strong church influence.

Funnily enough though, the majority of the children at the school don't actually have a parent that speaks Gaelic to them at home. A lot of them had/have grandparents/great-grandparents who spoke the language and their parents are keen to re-learn the language. Their are numerous learners classes for parents in the school.  David's best friend in the photo above has a mom from Tenessee, who is now reasonably fluent in the language. Others are simply convinced of the benefits of bi-lingualism or have heard of the reputation of the school.

I could go on and on.

David had a great day. His seat is right next to his best friend's. They had singing with the singing teacher. He can't wait until they do gym and he gets to wear his cute little gym shoes. They only attend for mornings for the first 5 weeks but he's already planning what to take in his lunch box. And doesn't he look handsome in his uniform?!

So Gaelic word for the day must be:

sgoil (sgol) - school
a chiad latha aig sgoil (a chee-ad laa eg sgol) - the first day at school

that ch sound is the stereotypical Scottish ch as in loch, och etc.


  1. That is so wonderful. I believe it's important to teach our children another language especially if it's our native language. We're bi-lingual too, so we may have a lot more in common than the boys and the hubbie working further. Thank you for visiting me and now I am your new follower here. You have a such a lovely blog.

  2. That school sounds wonderful! I love your Gaelic word of the day. I have fun trying to pronouce them. :)

  3. Oh I just loved this post! Your little David is ADORABLE! He is soo cute in his uniform with his friend.

    I loved learning about your language and how it is taught. So interesting! All your boys are just precious! Such a beautiful family.

    Much love Kirsteen!

    ~ Elizabeth

  4. Little David is indeed adorable in his uniform. I really enjoyed reading your post. It is so interesting about the Gaelic, and about the school. I think it is wonderful. Thank you for the little Gaelic lessons.

    Much Love,

  5. I love that you are teaching them their heritage language! I have a neighbor whose French father refused to speak French once he came to America. I admire the fact that he wanted them to speak the language of their new country, but how sad not to teach them the language of their original homeland. The school sounds very interesting!


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