With the debate continuing over whether Scots is a language or a dialect, its use is being encouraged in Scottish schools.

A new website was launched for teachers to help them support children who speak Scots and encourage their learning, and it seems that in some schools, this is having a positive effect.

In the past three years, the growing use of Scots in one Scottish primary school has helped transform the education of children who are traditionally hard to engage.

Nearly 30% of children at Nethermains Primary School in Denny, near Falkirk, are on free school meals – a key indicator of poverty – twice the Scottish average.

Children from such backgrounds can often struggle at school because of the difficulties they are dealing with at home.

However, the introduction of Scots three years ago by headteacher Mary Connelly has seen a radical change in the attitudes of some pupils.

“At the time, the class was predominantly made up of boys and they were not engaging with reading at all,” she said. “We introduced Scots books and encouraged the use of Scots and a lot of these boys became hooked on reading.

“It is a language they speak at home and are comfortable with and to allow them to use it at school has sparked their enthusiasm and had a tremendous impact on their confidence.” (Source: Herald Scotland)

If Scots can be used to encourage children to read and in interested in school, this can’t be a bad thing. And perhaps their bilingualism will lead to multilingualism in the future.