On Wednesday the 15th of June 2011, two third year pupils from Calderglen High School in East Kilbride, Danielle MacFarlane and Aaron Shields, took part in a training event ahead of this year’s BT Scotland National Gaelic Schools Debate. The pupils were chosen by the Debate Management Committee. During the training session, Danielle and Aaron were given tuition on researching subjects, voice projection and body language as well as exploring ways of getting points across effectively during a debate. The training, which was recorded for video, was delivered by John Morrison, a former BBC news correspondent, who is one of the founding directors of McGarvie Morrison Media, a leading company in Public Relations, Public Affairs and Media Training. John, who is a native Gaelic speaker and hails from North Uist said:
"Communication is a vital tool and skill in the 21st century, whatever job you do. The BT Scotland sponsored Gaelic Debates have encouraged young people across Scotland to improve their language and communication skills and learn how to present themselves effectively. They also have a lot of fun."
"The standard of debate has improved every year since the competition started. This video will give young people tips on how to further improve their performance. The skills they learn will be useful for the rest of their lives."
Rosemary Ward, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, who has been a judge at the BT Scotland Debate for the past three years, features in the video providing useful tips for future competitors. The training event took place at the impressive Clyde Port building in Glasgow and as well as pupils being given excellent advice on debating skills, they were also given a unique insight into the filming process. Director, Calum Angus Mackay, and Cameraman, Ray Hardie, put the pupils at ease and were able to pass on some broadcasting tips to the youngsters.
Commenting on the training session and the video, Chair of the Debate’s Management Committee, Calum Iain MacLeod said:
“It is hoped that the training video will be an invaluable resource for pupils and teachers alike when they are preparing for this year’s debate. But, it is also hoped that the video will be of wider benefit to schools and that they find it a useful tool when teaching language and communication skills.”
The Management Committee would like to thank BT Scotland, the main sponsors, for their continued support of the Debate.