Success for island pupils in national competition

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Pupils from the Western Isles have swept the boards for the third year running at the Royal Mail’s National Gaelic creative writing competition.

In the 8-12 year old category, Lauren Matheson from Barvas Primary School was presented with the prestigious Scottish Books Trust’s first prize for Gaelic at the annual Royal Mail awards ceremony which was held in the Tramway Theatre in Glasgow on Tuesday the 15th of February 2011.  Freya MacLeod from Stornoway Primary, who won the event last year, along with Katie Finlayson from Barvas Primary School, was awarded joint runners up in the national competition.  Freya and Lauren attended the prize giving ceremony in Glasgow but Katie was unable to attend.

Chair of the Gaelic Language Plan Implemenation Committee at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Councillor Agnes Rennie commented:

“On behalf of the Comhairle I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all three pupils and this only serves to highlight the excellent work that is taking place in our Gaelic Medium Units throughout the islands.  For the third year consecutively island pupils have done exceptionally well, in a national competition, and it demonstrates the talent and skills which our island pupils possess”.

Rosemary Ward, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, who presented the awards to the island youngsters, commented:“The Gaelic Books Council is delighted to be associated with the Royal Mail Scottish Children’s Books Awards and to be working in collaboration with the Scottish Books Trust to promote the children’s Gaelic writing competitions.

“There were a very large number of Gaelic entries received in the 0-7 and 8-11 years categories this year and parents and teachers are to be commended for encouraging and supporting our Gaelic youngsters to put pen to paper and enter this important national competition. I would like to extend my special congratulations to all of the winners who produced writing of a particularly high standard.  I was hugely encouraged by the standard of the children’s written Gaelic in general and I hope that all who participated in the competition will continue to develop their writing skills and love of literature.”