This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 05/12/2019 

It’s been a busy few months for the islands’ young people, who have been making their voices heard in the Outer Hebrides at a variety of different events, on issues ranging from climate change to mental health.

The activities kicked off with the Young Leaders Conference on September 24th. Held in the Caberfeidh Hotel in Stornoway, the event was spearheaded by the islands’ two Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs), Sakshi Orchison, from Lewis, and Maria McGoldrick, from Uist. 35 young leaders who hold leadership roles in local organisations attended the conference, which aimed to encourage and inspire young leaders, volunteers, and activists.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 05/12/2019 

The use and growth of the Gaelic language has been making headlines recently, with language learning-app Duolingo announcing it would add Scottish Gaelic to its roster, and the Royal National Mod taking place in Glasgow this autumn.

But closer to home, efforts to increase the use of Gaelic – and encourage the uptake of Gaelic Medium Education – have been underway for some time.

In the summer of 2018, Deputy First Minister John Swinney tasked Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, alongside a number of key partners across Scotland, with increasing the rate of Gaelic growth, both locally and nationally, through the Gaelic: A Faster Rate of Progress project. Since then, work has been done to expand the use of Gaelic, not only in education, but in workspaces and the community, too.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 07/11/2019 

Runrig, Julie Fowlis, and Capercaillie are just a few of the big names in Scottish music who have performed over the years at Celtic Connections, Glasgow’s annual folk, roots, and world music festival. In January 2020, thousands of musicians from around the world will travel to the city to take part in 18 days of concerts, cèilidhs, and workshops – and young musicians from across the Outer Hebrides will be among them.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 03/10/2019 

This autumn sees the start of another chapter in the story of Dileab, the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar initiative which began in 2018 as an intergenerational, bilingual project to bring local history alive for the young people of the Outer Hebrides.

Now, it’s grown into a long-term project that also encompasses the cultural and historical work done in schools, with a showcase event headlined by Scottish folk band, Skipinnish, being held next month.

The latest release of exam data in September 2019 by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) shows continued educational success in a range of national qualification for pupils across all four secondary schools in the Western Isles.

SQA data is released twice annually: in February with school leaver figures, and again in September following the summer exam results.

Schools continually make use of this data to plan for improvement and ensure that learners leave school with a broad range of skills and qualifications that meet their future needs.