Gaelic education

Gaelic Medium Education is offered at various stages within Aberdeen City.  A Parent and Child Group, Nursery and Primary Unit are based at Gilcomstoun Primary School.  The Gaelic Primary Unit was opened in 1991 and the success of the unit let to the opening of the Gaelic Nursery in 1999.  Secondary pupils can continue studying Gaelic at Hazlehead Academy. 

Adult Education Gaelic Language evening classes and weekend courses are run by Aberdeen Gaelic Club throughout the year.

Pàrant is Pàiste Obar Dheathain

Pàrant is Pàiste Beag is Mòr provide an introduction to Gaelic for babies and young children, from birth up to five years old, through enabling play opportunities. We meet every Wednesday and Friday morning at Rosemount Community Centre and have a mixture of Gaelic speakers and non-Gaelic speakers in our group. We also have a group for 3-5 year olds on Thursday afternoons. 

Come and join us!


Facebook:  Pàrant is Pàiste Obar Dheathain

The Gaelic Nursery at Gilcomstoun Primary School opened in August 1999. This is a well equipped nursery and the children follow the same curriculum as other nurseries but through the medium of Gaelic. 

These pre-school years within the nursery prepare children for entry into the Gaelic Medium Unit and the children benefit greatly prior to Primary 1.

Parents are welcome to visit the nursery at anytime by contacting the Head teacher at the school. Places are available at present for three and four year olds.

Gaelic Medium Primary Unit

The Gaelic Medium Primary Unit was established at Gilcomstoun Primary School in August 1991. Children within the Gaelic unit are fully integrated within the school and take part in various activities including assemblies, school trips, a visit to the local Mod in Inverness (where they have had a great deal of success over the past few years) and various Gaelic television productions. 

The Gaelic unit currently has two classes: primary 1, 2 ,3 and primary 4,5,6,7. In primary 1,2 Gaelic is introduced using the total immersion method, and due to this pupils can only start at the beginning of primary one. Pupils will greatly benefit from two years in the nursery. In primary 3 onwards English is introduced into the curriculum, and by primary 7 pupils should be at the same levels in all subjects as their non-Gaelic speaking counterparts but with the added benefit of being bi-lingual.

Suzanne Carson
Head Teacher
Gilcomstoun Primary School
Skene Street
AB10 1PG
01224 642722

Hazlehead Academy is the designated secondary school within Aberdeen City where provision is made for children to continue studying Gaelic Language. Children are offered Gaelic as a subject at all stages.

S1-S3 course

Pupils will continue their Gaelic Medium Education by taking part in a wide range of learning experiences e.g. the study of novels, poetry and drama, creative writing, presentations and projects.

S4-S6 courses 

The following courses are available to pupils in the senior school:

  • Gàidhlig N4
  • Gàidhlig N5
  • Gàidhlig Higher
  • Gàidhlig Advanced Higher

The focus of the above courses leans towards a more in depth study and appreciation of wider aspects of culture, language, literature and media, all of which increase in depth and complexity as the students progresses through the levels.  Advanced grammar and language learning is core to these courses.

Links to further education and employment

Gàidhlig can be studied at many Higher Education establishments throughout Scotland, Ireland and Canada, either as a discrete subject or as an ancillary option. The study of a modern language has been proven to enhance employability in all job sectors. A qualification in a modern language is proof of communication and presentation skills. Information on specific courses in this county and in Europe can be obtained from the department.

Head Teacher
Hazlehead Academy
Groats Road
AB15 8BE
01224 310184

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

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