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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Bairnrhymes for all

8th August 2013

During the school session 2012-13 children in one Perth primary school demonstrated how easily new life can be breathed into a work written several decades ago, a fact which would have delighted its author. Perth writer William Soutar’s (1898-1943) Bairnrhymes, a collection of poems in the Scots language, was made the basis of a project by Willie Oliphant who is assistant head teacher at Moncreiff Primary School. It was Soutar’s intention that Bairnryhmes would be used in schools in years to come as a way of introducing children to the language and ultimately maintaining it as a living medium. Pupils in P5 and P6 were assisted by Heather Reid and Deborah Trayhurn (members of the Friends of William Soutar Society) in producing materials for the project and in June this year held a competition for the best reciters of the poems, the winners receiving certificates. The Friends of William Soutar Society, of which Iain Mackintosh is convener, have reproduced the children’s version of the Bairnrhymes as a PDF document which may now be freely downloaded from their website at http://www.williamsoutar.com/schools.html . No doubt teachers in other schools will wish to avail themselves of this opportunity and perhaps adapt Bairnrhymes for their own pupils.