This year some schools have received seeds for sowing in late April/early May.Read full article: Heritage crofting seeds for 2017 season
The Scottish press are getting excited by the new generation of weavers being encouraged in schools in the Western Isles now and we feel Crofting Connections is playing its part in nurturing this. With ‘taster’ S2 sessions in the Nicolson Institute and an SQA award in Harris Tweed for S5/S6 as well as our own experiences linking Crofting, Careers and Culture in Ceangal gatherings reported in this website, weaving is now opening hearts and minds in our young workforce and giving them further reasons to stay in the rural locations they grow up in.Read full article: Crofting Connections: A gateway to the fashion industry.
Crofting Connections joined with Rosie Hazelton from Wild Rose Escapes and Maggie Wormald from Royal Highland Education Trust to deliver a great day in January for 55 children from the Balnain, Cannich and Glenurquhart Primary Schools to learn more about sheep and wool.Read full article: Wool and Lamb day at Drumnadrochit
A’ guidhe dhuibh Nollaig Chridheil agus deagh bhliadhna croitearachd sa Bliadhna Ùir bho Cheanglaichean Croitearachd.
from Brid and Pam Crofting Connections, December 2016
Earth, Fire, Water, Air….how to make an ice-bowl, to bring light - or ice-cream - to your festive table this seasonRead full article: Wishing you a very warm Christmas and happy crofting in the New Year
An alert over bird flu in Europe has led the Scottish Government to order all poultry in Scotland to be kept indoors for 30 days.
A few of our Crofting Connections schools that keep poultry have been telling us what they are doing to cope with the situation and what the children make of it.Read full article: What do we do about avian flu?
Pupils in Gergask Primary school have been following the sheep year at a local farm from before birth all the way to the sales. This was celebrated with a roast lamb dinner on 22nd November provided by Cathy and Archie from Breakachy farm.Read full article: Roast lamb dinner in Gergask Primary School
Crofting Connections and pupils from Orkney’s small island schools, in partnership with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, gathered at the library in Kirkwall on Monday 7th November to celebrate the stories of the past and to dream the stories of the future in six of Orkney’s very special islands – islands rich with archaeology, culture, history and wildlife and home to very special communities of people of all generations.Read full article: Dare to Dream of Orkney’s Peedie Isles
To celebrate World soils day 2016, here is a selection of photos from schools engaged with Crofting Connections and our partner project NECOFA Kenya to show the importance of learning how to look after our soils, probably the most precious and most neglected of resources on Earth.Read full article: World Soils Day December 5th 2016
This year, we are reviewing the strategy for the Crofting Connections programme to make sure it will thrive over the next few years.Read full article: What next for Crofting Connections?
Duncan Ferguson has been associated with Crofting Connections for many years, since his time as head teacher at Plockton High School. His extensive knowledge of education, Gaelic, crofting and culture in the Highlands and Islands are of great benefit to the Crofting Connections steering group and we welcome his recommendations to John Swinney in this article published in the West Highland Free Press on 6th October 2016.Read full article: Education, education, education — West Highland and Island style?
Shakespeare among island megaliths at the summer solsticeRead full article: Somnium Solstitiale: Am bàrd mòr a-measg tùrsachan Leòdhais
Rogart Primary school has been working with Crofting Connections just for a few terms but has already covered a wide range of topics. The upper primary pupils have been getting out into their local area which is steeped in crofting tradition.Read full article: Crofting in Sutherland
On Thursday 5th November 140 P6 pupils from the Charleston Academy ASG enjoyed a day learning about the traditions and skills used to produce clothes from wool.Read full article: Weaving Wool. Weaving Words in Inverness
Crofting Connections “an exemplary programme of national significance”Read full article: Crofting Connections Phase 2 evaluation
Lochcarron primary school pupils harvest their heritage tatties and turn them into crisps.Read full article: Crispy Crofting
After a wonderful eleven days of school visits and activities, we said goodbye to our four teachers and four community leaders from Kenya on Wednesday 10th June.Read full article: Kenyan visitors putting down roots
P6 pupils from Central Primary School celebrated the end of their transition topic this year at the High School in Inverness with a day of activities and their own version of a Caithness crofting tradition, half-yoking.Read full article: Inverness pupils take part in ‘Half-Yoking’ at the High School
Crofting Connections was part of the Food and Regality Fair in Grantown on Spey last Wednesday 24th June.Read full article: Crofting Connections at Grantown 250
The first exchange visit of Kenyan teachers and community members culminated in a conference held at the Highland Council Chamber on Monday 8th June 2015Read full article: Kenyan Connections Conference in Inverness
Kenyan Connections is a partnership between Crofting Connections and NECOFA Kenya School Gardens Initiative which works with rural schools and communities in the Eastern Rift Valley. It has very similar aims to Crofting Connections. This partnership echoes a wider global movement to raise the profile of local small-scale food production all over the world.Read full article: Kenyan Connections
Last month Raasay Primary School and nursery pupils spent a whole day exploring what food crofters grew and produced.Read full article: Exploring Croft food in Raasay Primary School
One of the highlights of Crofting Connections this year has been widening our work in secondary schools, starting with a gathering in Assynt in October 2014, with secondary pupils, teachers and crofters, supported by Crofting Connections and the Scottish Crofting Federation. Nearly a third of these pupils live on working crofts, some in community-owned crofting estates. Over half said they would like to work in their communities after finishing their studies.Read full article: Films from the Crofting In Schools Gathering in Assynt
In the middle of November over 50 pupils in Acharacle, Ardgour and Kilchoan Primary Schools in Ardnamurchan had a chance to learn about crofter cereals, grind some grain and make bannocks at their schools.Read full article: Bannock Workshops on Ardnamurchan
Crofting Connections was part of the Food Education activities at Living Food in Cawdor Castle on 20th September along with RHET, RoWAN, Highland Council Catering, Slow Food Scotland and Food for Life Scotland.Read full article: Living Food for Children at Cawdor Castle
Kinlochbervie High School trips normally involve a trip south, west or east but rarely north. Last month 11 S2-5 Crofting Connections pupils and 2 staff drove the 90 miles north to get the first of 3 ferries at Scrabster to take them to visit Whalsay Junior High School via Orkney and Shetland mainland.Read full article: Northern school travels north
Crofting Connections schools in north Skye had a concentrated fortnight of learning about crofting in the area in both Gaelic and English medium.Read full article: Staffin and Kilmuir Primary schools’ crofting fortnight
The Crafty Crofters at Lochcarron PS are off to stock up on wool the traditional way.Read full article: Gathering wool
The Gàidhlig medium P6/7 class at Sandbank Primary School in Argyll have been working with Crofting Connections this year. Class teacher Catriona MacPhail tells us about the exciting work the class have done so far and their plans for the remainder of the year.Read full article: Researching local crofts and learning weaving at Sandbank PS
Scotland’s Biodiversity is being celebrated from 17th to 25th May this year and Scottish Natural Heritage has made this year’s theme “Love Life, Love Nature”.Read full article: Biodiversity in Crofting Connections
Two of our Shetland Crofting Connections schools, Burravoe Primary School and Cullivoe Primary School, have been awarded a Food For Thought grant from Education Scotland so they can learn about the Shetland aquaculture industry.
Two pupils tell us in their own words what they have been doing.Read full article: Sea and Soil on the menu in two Shetland schools
Seed tatties, cereals, vegetables and flowers have been distributed to nearly all our 123 Crofting Connections schools for this season. It’s great to hear that the warm weather in West Highland allowed Lochcarron PS to start planting already!Read full article: Planting started for 2014 Crofting Connections season
Pupils in Crofting Connections PS in Lochcarron were looking for ways their interest in all things wool could be sustained in their school for future classes.Read full article: Crafty Crofters in Lochcarron
In February Crofting Connections hosted a visit to Moray schools from a retired primary school teacher who spent every summer in her early childhood on her grandparents croft near Rothes in Moray. Linda Mitchell spoke to teachers from 5 primary schools in a twilight CPD session and to all the pupils in Craigellachie PS the following day.Read full article: Crofting in Moray
Three Crofting Connections primary schools in Orkney came together in Eday in February to take part in the Junior Saltire Prize.Read full article: Budding Marine engineers in Eday
Crofting Connections was part of an international collaboration on place-based learning last November which culminated in a symposium in Plockton High school. The research investigating the engagement of children and young people in understanding and valuing their communities is supported by the Arkleton Trust and Highland Council and involved projects in Norway, Alabama and Scotland.Read full article: Crofting Connections: an ideal context for place-based learning
The Isles of Lewis and Harris were hosts last month to a Gathering of Rural Skills pupils from four Crofting Connections secondary schools, Kinlochbervie, Plockton (Highland), Whalsay (Shetland) and the Nicolson Institute (Western Isles).The pupils were accompanied by teachers and crofters who teach on their Rural Skills courses. The visit coincided with the Scottish Crofting Federation’s Annual Gathering in Stornoway, the theme of which was Common Grazings – Utilising Potential, in recognition of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013.Read full article: Sheiling - Àirigh 2013
Two of our Crofting Connections schools have been working hard not only on Crofting Connections projects but they have been involved in putting together a great video to showcase their learning about Scottish crofting to the world.Read full article: Crofting Connections on the small screen
Crofting Connections staff and assistants have been on the go around the country visiting lots of schools and events. This has included several taster sessions on milling grain and making traditional beremeal bannocks.Read full article: Making Bannocks
This year schools not only have received seeds for cereals old and new but also some legumes so children can explore the full soil cycle.Read full article: Getting excited about seeds
Crofting Connections is now almost at the end of its three years of exciting and productive study of Crofting past, present and future by over 2.500 pupils in 59 schools across the Highlands and Islands.Read full article: Crofting Connections Phase One draws to a close
This report is the result of an independent review of Crofting Connections carried out in March and April 2012. Crofting Connections is a three year project, started in 2009 and now in its final year.Read full article: Crofting Connections final evaluation
An event to showcase the range of Crofting Connections activities in Orkney’s schools. Sponsored by the Orkney Islands Council.Read full article: Orkney’s Crofting Connections
In September 2007, Michael Russell, the Environment Minister, asked pupils from P1 to S4 in four schools in the Highlands and Islands: “Who wants to be a crofter?” All hands were raised. The occasion was the final celebration of Planting to Plate, a celebration of Crofting in the Highland Year of Culture 2007. This was the pilot project for what has become Crofting Connections.Read full article: Crofting Connections Interim Report
In October 2011, Crofting Connections hosted an event as part of Scotland’s Islands, with a performance of Voices of the Island Crofts at the Scottish Crofting Federation Annual Gathering, at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye.Read full article: Voices of the Island Crofts Report
Portree High School
Tuesday 4th October at 7.30 pmRead full article: Voices of the Island Crofts - Portree 4th Oct
This book was produced by the Macaulay Land Use Institute in partnership with Crofting Connections.
The purpose of the book is to make young people aware of the important roles that soils play in a crofting community.Read full article: Soils of the Crofts
As part of the Crofting Connections Project and putting Curriculm for Excellence into practice, secondary pupils attended the Auction Mart in Lochmaddy on Thurs 20th January for the first sale of the year. While there, they took note of number of beasts sold, breeds, weights and the prices fetched. All the data collected has been entered into spreadsheets to produce graphs, charts and to make numerous calculations.
For their language work, they produced a piece of descriptive writing of their experience. Here are a couple of examples of their work.Read full article: Paible School visit Lochmaddy Sale
In Minard Primary, we have been working hard over the last year on our Crofting Connections project.
To celebrate the end of our first year, we held a crofters’ market to show everyone in the community what we had been doing.Read full article: Crofting Connections schools hold Crofters’ Market
Article by Pam Rodway on the project in Shetland for Landwise in the Shetland Times.Read full article: Landwise Article
Last week we went to Edinburgh to visit the parliament. We travelled there by minibus and we knew it was going to be exciting. We got to go there because we are a Crofting Connections school and our names were picked out of a hat.Read full article: Our Trip to Edinburgh - Lochcarron Primary School
80 pupils from 40 schools in crofting communities throughout the Highlands and Islands from Argyll, Western isles, Highland, Orkney and Shetland will be coming to Edinburgh this week for a reception in the Scottish parliament to celebrate Crofting Connections, the project that links them with their crofting heritage.Read full article: Crofting Connections at the Scottish Parliament Press Release
Article from the Northern Times
Nine far north pupils, two each from Melvich, Tongue and Farr Primary Schools plus three seniors from Farr High School had an exciting day in Edinburgh last Wednesday prior to an evening presentation in the Scottish Parliament as representatives of Crofting Connections, an innovative educational programme in which these schools, together with 37 others from all over the Crofting Counties, have played a pivotal part.Read full article: Scottish Parliament Reception 10 November 2010
Harmeny School is a residential school just outside Edinburgh on the edge of the Pentland Hills. It sits in about 30 acres of woodland that includes a pond, a wildlife area, an allotment, and a treetop classroom. The schools have an opportunity to “twin” with Harmeny as a way to learn from each other experiences and their culture. Alastair and his pupils have kindly taken the time to write about what Crofting Connections means to them.Read full article: Crofting Connections – At Harmeny School
There are lots of different colours of wool there’s moorit, black, white, katmoget, and gulmoget. Shetland wool is very soft so you get soft jumpers but most Shetland wool comes from Australia and it’s a denser fleece. You can do lots of different things with wool like knit a jumper, scarves, make rugs, blankets, knit hats and felt.Read full article: Shetland Wool
The children here at Dalwhinnie Primary School had a very special experience in May when they went to the Highland Folk Park in Newtonmore to help with planting potatoes. The children had previously planted 5 varieties of potatoes that had come as part of the crofting Connections project at school. These they had planted in bags alongside the variety that they received as part of the RHET Grow and Count project.Read full article: Dalwhinnie Primary, May 2010
Pupils at Gergask and Dalwhinnie Primary Schools were buzzing with excitement when “The Honey Man” came to visit them in March as part of the Crofting Connections programme.Read full article: Honey producer creates a buzz in Crofting Connections schools
I am a pupil in my second year of Sgoil Lionacleit’s crofting course, studying for the Intermediate 2 qualification. I was asked to give a speech at the Future of Crofting conference held in Stornoway about my own croft and crofting experiences.Read full article: Crofting will be my life
We are now in the second run through of ‘The Crofting Year’ at Sgoil Lionacleit on the Isle of Benbecula.Read full article: Lionacleit Crofter
For the first time since 1847, a small area of land at Auchindrain will be worked using the runrig system.Read full article: Discovering the past to understand the future
Winter is almost over and we are beginning to look forward to spring and all that it entails.Read full article: Kilchoan primary’s crofting connection
Pam Rodway, project co-ordinator, reports
Crofting Connections is a three-year project to establish links between schools and their crofting heritage in the crofting counties of Argyll, Highland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.Read full article: The launch of Crofting Connections
One of the highlights of the Scottish Crofting Foundation Gathering at Dingwall a couple of years ago was the enthusiasm and satisfaction of school children who participated in Planting to Plate.Read full article: The crofting connection
Set against the twin challenges of climate change and peak oil, crofting with its low carbon principles, and strong cultural identity, has a unique role to play in getting today’s younger generation interested in planet-friendly food and farming. Crofting Connections is a groundbreaking education project being led by Soil Association Scotland and the Scottish Crofting Foundation, which aims to do just exactly that.Read full article: Carry on Crofting! [Article for Living Earth]
Lillian Kelly, development officer with Soil Association Scotland, reports on an innovative new project.Read full article: Crofting Connections – Ceanglaichean Croitearachd