29 September 2023

Scots Language Awards winners include Aberdeenshire school and two teachers

The winners of the Scots Language Awards 2023 include an Aberdeenshire school and two teachers.

Monymusk Primary School was awarded Scots School o the Year whilst Banff Academy teacher Dr Jamie Fairbairn was named Scots Speaker o the Year.

Fellow Banff Academy teacher Rebecca Logan was announced as Scots Teacher o the Year.

Dr Fairbairn, the Principal Teacher of the Faculty of Humanities at the Academy, has been championing the Scots language at the school for over a decade, promoting Scots wherever possible.

He said: "I'm fair tricket tae be awarded Scots spikker o the Year. It's a real honour tae represent the bairns that hiv deen sae muckle work ower the years, and tae spikk fer them, tae validate aa spikkers o the mither tongue, their faimlies and communities, as weel as folk wantin tae learn mair aboot Scots. 

“The Awards help tae heeze up the courses we have in place, raise the status o the language an hopefully encourage mair teachers across Aiberdeenshire an the rest o Scotland tae tak up the training that will be offert soon by the Open University an Education Scotland, piloted last year here at Banff Academy".

Monymusk was chosen from 14 shortlisted schools because of its dedication to sharing Scots – in particular Doric for the north east of the country - with the next generation.

Headteacher Jill Moir said: “My wee heart is still thumping, and our pupils, staff and parents are overjoyed with the news.

“We’re now planning not just a school celebration, but one for the whole community as we wouldn’t be where we are without them.

“The importance of keeping Doric alive, along with the knowledge and understanding of our local heritage and culture, is not just part of learning and teaching here at Monymusk School, it is embedded in the hearts of us all.”

The school recently showed its dedication to the Scots language with the publishing of a book, written by the pupils, in the Doric dialect.

The book, Jock’s Daunder Roon Monymusk, was written and illustrated by the children, and invites readers to join Jock the Giant as he goes around Monymusk on an adventure through the letters of the alphabet. 

Scots Teacher o the Year Rebecca Logan, a geography teacher at Banff Academy, added: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been awarded Scots Teacher of the Year.

“It has been a busy year doing the Scots Open University course, making a film with my students for the Doric Film Festival and having amazing guest speakers into school like Shane Strachan. 

“I can’t wait to get involved in future projects and continue to promote Scots Language.”

The ceremony took place earlier this month at Johnstone Town Hall in Renfrewshire and saw 13 individuals, projects and businesses out of more than 60 nominees crowned at the annual awards night.

Showcasing the very best of Scots language and culture, the awards, first started in 2019, celebrate the importance of Scots language within arts and culture alongside daily life, education, and business.