What we did:
Over lockdown, we created a series of podcasts in Gaelic to promote and support Gaelic talking and listening across the whole school and its community. The podcasts were created to provide a further connection to the Gaelic community across Glasgow and provide an opportunity for pupils and families to hear their language of learning in a fun setting with familiar voices, as well as communicating with pupils and staff. The podcasts included interviews with pupils and staff, a quiz and a weekly art and craft activity for families to recreate together.
Additionally, the podcast provided our P7 with an opportunity to deliver a special transition podcast where they got to say their goodbyes and thank you to the school, supporting their health and wellbeing and transition at this difficult time. The podcast provided us with a new way of communicating, directly to families and further opportunity for exposure to the Gaelic language, as many pupils do not have this in their home. With the podcast now established, this has now provided us with further opportunity to develop researching, recording and editing skills with our pupils to work towards producing their own school podcasts.
Who we involved:
The podcasts were created by teachers with weekly input from pupils from nursery to S5 and from teachers. There was also input from professionals who use Gaelic in their daily work, providing relevance and encouragement for our pupils to use and be proud of their language.
The difference it made:
This provided a connection to the language in a fun way which didn't feel like school work for our pupils. They could listen and hear their friends, hear from their teachers and play along with the quiz - all whilst using Gaelic in a way they maybe hadn't been able to, since physically being in school. It provided opportunities to strengthen the pupils' Gaelic language skills, a prime focus to podcast, whilst offering a chance to check in on pupils’ wellbeing. We had updates from different pupils throughout the series on how they were doing during lockdown and what they had been up to during lockdown, providing a positive attitude.
Parents and pupils commented that the podcast was a great addition to our home learning, with pupils getting in touch asking to be included in the next episode and offering ways in which they could join in and contribute.
Establishing the podcast has allowed us to continue this as a new school project, improving digital literacy skills for the staff and pupils and further developing their language skills in talking and listening and increasing oral competence.
What we will do differently in the future:
The podcast has given us a platform to positively communicate with our families and school community. Having continued with the podcast since our return, feedback has been very encouraging and pupils have had the opportunity to listen to it in class as well as at home, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access it.
We hope to provide the pupils with the skills to produce their own podcast, which will immensely improve their digital literacy skills and encourage further development of their research and language skills. We are keen to link with Gaelic media such as freelance social media personalities and BBC Alba to develop media skills. There is scope to progress the podcast further and make it a weekly or bi-weekly podcast, providing updates about school and pupil successes, upcoming events, and a class focus. Through the podcast, the pupils could establish relationships with other Gaelic Medium Schools, connecting digitally and meeting Gaelic language pupils across Scotland.
The focus of the podcast would remain as an opportunity to enhance Gaelic language skills but with the additional benefit of improving digital literacy skills, provide a platform for recognition and communication with our school community.