Pupils at award-winning school enjoy cultural activities
Wednesday 27th June 2012
Pupils at Portree High School were treated to an end of term cultural feast with a one-day Meanbh-Fhèis, or Mini-Fèis.
The event was organised by the Gaelic Department of Portree High School who, with funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, were able to bring in Fèisean nan Gàidheal to offer music, dance and drama classes for all S2 pupils. Those fluent in the language received tuition entirely in Gaelic, while those in the Gaelic learners classes were taught bilingually. On offer were classes in Tin Whistle, Gaelic Song, Gaelic Drama and Step Dance with tutors Calum Macmillan, Dougie Beck, Angus Macleod, Calum McConnell, Ellen MacDonald, Debbie MacKay and Tara Rankin.
The afternoon saw the Fèis tutors joining forces with some of Portree High School’s pupils for a concert featuring Gaelic song, music, drama and step-dance, as well as Gaelic Bingo! And there was a special guest appearance - much appreciated by the audience of pupils - by Norrie MacIver of Gaelic supergroup, Mànran, who treated the young people to several songs with which they were familiar including Latha Math, Norrie’s own composition that was a hit for the band last year.
This is the second time that Portree High School, which recently won the Gaelic Language and Culture category at the Daily Record Scottish Education Awards, have offered this kind of event.
Ruairidh MacVicar, Principal Teacher of Gaelic at the school said: “We wanted to organise a cultural event in school which would be accessible to both fluent Gàidhlig speakers and Gaelic learners and we have had a tremendous day with a very high level of enthusiasm and participation from the pupils. The tutors tailored their classes to the level of ability in the language and all pupils were made to feel a part of the event, both in the morning workshops and in the very entertaining afternoon concert. We are very grateful to Bòrd na Gàidhlig who assisted us with funding for the event and to Fèisean nan Gàidheal for providing the tutors and the expertise to make the day possible. This is our second very successful Meanbh-Fhèis and we hope that with continued support and co-operation, we can establish it as an annual event."
Arthur Cormack, Chief Executive of Fèisean nan Gàidheal said that the organisation was delighted to work with schools in strengthening Gaelic cultural activities. He said: “As part of our agreements with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, HIE and Creative Scotland we have undertaken to work with local Gaelic Initiatives. Schools are central to what is going on in communities. Fèisean nan Gàidheal has plans for a new Gaelic Arts in Education Service, Fèisgoil, and events such as the Meanbh-Fhèis we have organised twice now for Portree High School could be run in any school in Scotland, helping to deliver the outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence as well as the newly-published National Gaelic Language Plan. The activities we offer afford further opportunities for young people to use their Gaelic language skills in an informal setting, thus assisting Gaelic medium education, and they also engage Gaelic learners with the language and culture, perhaps for the first time.”