Congratulations to Banff Academy (schools award) who have been nominated in Scots School o the Year sponsored by Itchy Coo and Black and White Publishing in the Scots Language Awards 2020. Vote now!
We asked Jamie Fairbairn of Banff Academy (schools award) the following questions.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
Banff Academy is a braw secondary schuil sittin on e bonnie Moray coast. Tradeetionally an area o fishin an fairmin, the schuil serves e villages o Gamrie, MacDuff, Banff, Fitehills, Portsoy an Foggie amon ithers. The schuil his offered e Scots Language Award fae the virry stert in 2014 as a senior elective, competin wi a the ither subjects. The census tells us that ower 50% o fowk in these airts can spik Scots, and Banff Academy, sometime cried BXA, gies mony o these bairns the chunce tae engage in their mither tongue at schuil.
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
We’ve aye deen Scots widder words in Geography, an the English Depairtment were deein Scottish texts, so fan the Scots Language Award cam alang, Jamie Fairbairn wis encouraged tae stert a cless, an we nivver lookit back. Diane Anderson fae Education Scotland gied him a wheen o confidence, then Bruce Eunson pit a wheen o opportunities in front o him, an awa we wint! Matthew Fitt veesited, wi help fae funds through Alistair Henderson in the leebrary, an has bin a constant source o encouragement. Mony an muckle thanks tae Matthew.
Ony particlar career heighlichts?
Up til noo 94 brave loons an quines hae passed the Scots Language Award, giein them vital SCQF pynts that coont taewards their future learnin. Weel deen! As weel as thon, aboot 1,450 junior bairns hae engaged wi Scots in their learnin, scrievin poetry, deein research, learnin vocabulary, studyin culture an gainin confidence. We’ve deen Scots Language wikks, far the hale schuil wis covert wi Doric words on ilka door, workshops wi Matthew Fitt, Hamish MacDonald, Shane Strachan, Deborah Leslie, Tom McKean, Peter Chapman. We’ve deen projects wi ‘Caged Beasty’ tae mak traivlin exhibitions an a research booklet in Doric, taewards Scots Medium Education. We’ve warked wi Duff Hoose an the Oor Hoose Project wi Education Scotland, wi sharin events and mair fun. We’ve worked wi the Elphinstone Institute tae dee research aboot Scots, an won a BERA (British Educational Research Award) grant tae help bairns mak brilliant resources. We’ve scrievit research reports an a buik Chapter aboot Scots an Transformative Pedagogy. We’ve hid bairns on Scots Radio recitin the Bairns Charter in Doric, and blethered wi Frieda. An a wheen o ither things A canna even min!
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
Tae haud gaan wi the Scots Language Award, an gie as mony bairns as we can the chance tae engage in their mither tongue if they spik it, an learn it gin they dinna. Tae gie EAL bairns anither leid tae learn (they’re aye brilliant!) Tae boost bairns’ self esteem, heeze up their literacy skills, an validate their leid, community an culture. Oh, an Scots Medium Education wid be guid an aa!
Read more about Banff Academy (schools award)
The Scots Language Awards 2020 will be online at www.scotslanguageawards.com. We will have a mixture of events on the 23rd / 24th October. Performing at the Award on Saturday 24th September will be Gerda Stevenson, Gary Robertson, Shona Donaldson and Jim Malcolm.
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