New game aids Gaelic learning

Deputy First Minister John Swinney officially launches the new game with the help of  pupils from Laxdale School.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney officially launches the new game with the help of pupils from Laxdale School.

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, officially launched a new Gaelic board game during a visit to Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig recently.

The organisation is involved educational resources for schools.

The game, entitled Ciste Ulàidh na h-Alba and created by Stòrlann, is a Gaelic version of the popular Scottish Quest and is being made available to all the primary and secondary schools involved in Gaelic Medium Education across Scotland.

Like Scottish Quest, it is a heritage game with questions about land and nature, history, culture and contemporary Scotland — with all the questions and place names in Gaelic.

It will also be made available to families, via the Stòrlann website or the Gaelic Books Council, but most of the 500 sets will be going into schools.

John Swinney, who is also Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, kickstarted its distribution by presenting class sets to Laxdale School pupils during a visit to Stòrlann as part of a tour of key education organisations in the Western Isles.

After making the presentation, the Deputy First Minister said: “It was a pleasure to be here to present the first set of games to the pupils of Laxdale Primary School and to witness the valuable work that Stòrlann is doing to support our young people in Gaelic education. This resource will help strengthen language learning both at home and at school.”

The game is suitable for children in upper primary and secondary school, as well as adults, and fits in with the ‘learning about Scotland’ part of the curriculum in addition to promoting the usage of Gaelic through reading, listening and speaking.

Ciste is suitable for children from the age of eight as Stòrlann created a new set of easier questions for younger players, which are included in every box alongside the moreadvanced set. There are 1000 questions in each set, making 2000 altogether.

The game is entirely in Gaelic and means that two to six players are introduced to a lot of vocabulary through the four categories of questions: eachdraidh (history), fearann agus nàdar (land and nature), cultar (culture) and an latha an-diugh (contemporary).

Ciste is Gaelic for ‘chest’ and the aim is to collect the letters C I S T E from their locations around the map of Scotland, which is pictured on the board.

Stòrlann’s in-house team and associated experts redeveloped the game.