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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of Gaelic Medium Education?

There is a range of benefits from learning Gaelic through an immersion approach:

  • children have a deeper understanding of language and their ability to learn other languages is enhanced;
  • they are more confident in tackling new languages later in life;
  • children develop a wider knowledge of Scottish culture.

Will my child be confused by using two languages?

Evidence suggests that the earlier a child learns another language the easier it is for them to become fluent and being able to speak more than one language is helpful.

Do I need to be a Gaelic speaker for my child to go to a Gaelic Medium Nursery/Primary School?

No. You don't need to be a Gaelic speaker. Most children within the Gaelic Medium Unit have parents with little or no Gaelic.

What will my child do in Gaelic Medium Nursery?

The children follow the same curriculum as other nurseries. An understanding of Gaelic language is developed through play, conversation and songs by a fluent Gaelic speaking teacher and nursery nurse.

How do I enrol my child for Nursery?

As soon as your child has reached the age of two you can put his/her name on the waiting list. When your child is three a place will be offered if it is available.

Will my child be able to go to Gaelic Primary School?

Any child can enter Gaelic Medium education from Primary 1. However children will benefit greatly from 2 years within the Nursery before entering Primary 1.

As Gilcomstoun Primary School is the only provider of Gaelic Medium Education in Aberdeen, your child will be able to enrol for Gaelic medium primary education there regardless of which catchment area you live in. At present Aberdeen City Council offers transport to pupils living more than two miles away from Gilcomstoun primary school. Surrounding local authorities also support children wishing to travel to Aberdeen for Gaelic-medium education in different ways.

What happens when my child goes to Primary School?

In Primary 1/2 Gaelic is introduced using total immersion. In Primary 3/4 English is introduced into the curriculum and by Primary 5/6/7 Gaelic is used to teach the majority of the curriculum. By the end of their primary education pupils will have completed the same curriculum as mainstream classes but will be fluent Gaelic speakers as well.

Does it matter if I can't help with homework?

Parents are not expected to be able to read, speak or understand Gaelic. Help is also available via the Gaelic 4 Parents website.

Back to the Gaelic Education home page.


  • Anne Thirkell
    Development Officer – Gaelic Education
    Curriculum Team
    Aberdeen City Council
    Second Floor North
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 522849