This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 04/04/2019  

“I don’t really feel boxed in by any one approach,” says local singer-songwriter Willie Campbell of his songwriting techniques.

“Sometimes on long drives, that’s a good opportunity for melodies or lyrical patterns to come to me, but I don’t have any fixed way of doing it.”

“I love sitting there with a guitar and humming. Maybe I’m oversimplifying it a wee bit, but it’s just talking with a melody and some music, and if you keep it as simple as that you can finesse the rest of it really.”

It’s this creative attitude that Willie brought to school pupils in the Western Isles as part of the Dileab project.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 04/04/2019   

Since its launch in 2016, e-Sgoil, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s digital learning service, has gone from strength to strength, offering everything from global Gaelic lessons to supply teacher provision and more.

Now, the next phase will be further expansion: not just digitally, but physically, with the proposed creation of a second e-Sgoil satellite hub in South Uist.

The new hub will be located at Iochdar School, with the goal of it becoming a focus for arts, music, and culture in the islands and beyond.“It is proposed that it be developed as a further satellite provision for e-Sgoil and the Multimedia Unit as a creative digital media hub,” says Bernard Chisholm, Director of Education, Skills, and Children’s Services at the Comhairle.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 06/03/2019 

After a moving performance of the Gaelic song Eilean Fhraoich by dozens of school pupils singing and playing a multitude of instruments, the audience took to their feet for a standing ovation. 

The performance at Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais in Stornoway on 14th December was the hugely successful culmination of the first stage of Dileab, an intergenerational bilingual project that throughout 2018 saw young people explore the legacy of four major social influences on the islands over the last century: emigration, wartime experiences, protest and politics, and the Iolaire. 

The project resulted in four sold-out concerts of drama, poetry, and music throughout November and December, held in Castlebay School, Sgoil Lionacleit, Sir E Scott School, and Stornoway. 

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Attainment 2017-18

There were a total of 2409 presentations in SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams in 2018 across the Secondary Schools in Eilean Siar.  This resulted in 1945 passes (approx. 81%).  There is some outstanding data to be included and this will further increase the percentage of passes achieved.

This article by James Mackinnon was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 06/09/2018 

The international provision of education is next on the agenda for e-Sgoil following both local and national successes.

The e-Sgoil initiative was first launched by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in August 2016.  Its main aim then was to, “enhance equality in terms of subject choice for all pupils, irrespective of geographic location or which school they attended in the Western Isles.”

E-Sgoil head teacher Angus Maclennan explained performance against this aim.  “We are pretty well catered for in the islands now, we’re teaching everything from fiddle and chanter to Advanced Higher Maths, it’s very wide and varied.”