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At primary

A number of primary schools in Edinburgh offer Gaelic as one of the languages taught as a subject to all pupils, normally during P5.

These are currently the primary schools in the cluster feeding James Gillespie’s High School, and one or two other primary schools.

This is made available through a national scheme known as Gaelic Language in the Primary Schools (GLPS). The course is delivered by a teacher who has undergone a twenty-week tuition programme.

GLPS does not result in fluency, but is popular, and allows many primary schools to experience and learn about Gaelic. It may also encourage more children to take Gaelic as a language subject at secondary.

At secondary

James Gillespie’s High School will offer Gaelic as language subject for learners if there is sufficient demand. Other schools have sometimes made use of SQA certified courses at Edinburgh’s Telford college to provide Gaelic up to qualification level.

The course is a language learning course, and is not the same as the course followed by Gaelic-medium students, which is a language and literature course (to the same level as the subject of English is taught to English-speakers).

Gaelic for learners also does not generally lead to complete fluency, but many who take it will consider going on to study Gaelic at college or university. There are a number of options for this, such as studying at the colleges of the UHI Millennium Institute that offer Gaelic, like Sabhal Mňr Ostaig on Skye.