An Comunn Gàidhealach, The Highland Council and the Lochaber Royal National Mòd Local Organising Committee (LOC) are working in partnership with Fèisean nan Gàidheal to deliver the Mòd Academy Project in the lead up to the Royal National Mòd taking place in Lochaber during mid-October.
Schools in the Lochaber area are currently being offered the opportunity to participate in the Mòd Academy Project where experienced Gaelic tutors and tutors of traditional music will visit schools in the area to give language and musical tuition to pupils.
The Mòd Academy will ensure that appropriate recognition is given to Gaelic, Gaelic songs, bàrdachd and traditional music in schools, and that pupils will have the opportunity to receive tuition in these areas. This will support and prepare the young people to participate in the Mòd.
Currently 14 schools in the area have accepted the opportunity to participate in the Mòd Academy Project.
The Project also includes a series of Mòd Road Shows, which involves An Comunn Officers visiting schools to raise awareness about the Mòd and how the pupils can take part and participate in the competitions and events. It is hoped that this will lead to more young people participating in the Mòd.
Mr Ronald Cameron, Chairperson of the LOC said, “In the last few years Meur Lochabar, the local branch of An Comunn, did arrange for a tutor to prepare pupils in 3 local primary schools for the Lochabar Provincial Mòd.
We are delighted that The Highland Council, in partnership with An Comunn Gàidhealach and have engaged Fèisean nan Gàidheal to deliver the Mòd Academy Project which is extending tuition to 14 schools across the greater district and prepare pupils for both Local Mòds and the Royal National Mod. This is very exciting and will create a momentum for cultural and linguistic enrichment that will continue for years to come. This also provides early evidence of both the cultural and economic benefits that the Royal National Mod offers the area.”
He continued, “The Mòd Academy Project includes highly experienced and well renowned singers and tradition bearers from the surrounding area, including Joy Dunlop, Mary Ann Kennedy, Janet Campbell and Sìleas Sinclair. We would like to take the opportunity to thank the organisers, the tutors and all the Head Teachers who are involved with the project.”
Mrs Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager, Fèisean nan Gàidheal said,
“Participation in Gaelic music making, especially in a group setting, is a good example of the Curriculum for Excellence at its best. By working in partnership with The Highland Council and An Comunn Gaidhealach, it has enabled us to engage with a fantastic tutor team, and the programme that we have pulled together, is able to support staff and encourage children, at the same time showing them that learning Gaelic songs is entirely achievable whatever your previous knowledge of the culture, not to mention lots of fun!”
Mr John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn said,
“The Mòd Academy is an excellent example of the Highland Council Gaelic Team, An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd 2017 Local Organising Committee and Fèisean nan Gàidheal working in partnership to deliver an innovative project which will benefit all those participating. We are grateful for the funding support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Highland Council, the Patrons Fund and the contributions from the families of the late Charlie MacColl and the late George Smith.”