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New community, new school: Unique addition to the education system

Bertha Park High School, which was built for the area's new community, will open next week.

New build: Bertha Park High School is opening next week.
New build: Bertha Park High School is opening next week. STV

By Haley Bouma

Scotland's first new secondary school in over 20 years is set to open its doors next week in Perth. Unlike other newly-built schools across the country, Bertha Park High School was not constructed to replace an existing school.

The campus was created to accommodate the new community of Bertha Park located on the outskirts of Perth.

Head teacher at the school, Stuart Clyde said: "It's a really unique opportunity to examine what a school is, what it feels like, what goes on inside of the school and re-examine if there's an opportunity to do these differently or do things better."

The campus was created to accommodate the new community of Bertha Park.
The campus was created to accommodate the new community of Bertha Park. STV

Bertha Park currently has fewer than 100 homes.

But, has plans to build 3000 over the next 20 years as well as developing spaces for businesses.

Each pupil will be given an iPad to help them with their work, and the school is developing a media department specialising in video and sound technology.

Councillor Caroline Shiers from Perth and Kinross Council said: "It's right in the heart of a brand new community.

"It's also one of the Microsoft academies across the world so that makes it globally recognised.

"The school does make its mark in Perth and Kinross, in Scotland and around the world."

But despite this technical emphasis it does have rules about pupils using mobile phones.

Each pupil will be given a locker where their phones are expected to be locked away for the school day.

Mr Clyde said: "There's a place for mobile phones in society but we just don't necessarily think that they have a place here where pupils have a phone with them all the time.

"We've researched this and found out that most of the time they're a distraction for people's learning and we want the pupils to come here and be ready to use what the school has to offer them."

The school can house 1100 students, but come Wednesday around 200 pupils will walk through its doors, those entering first and second year.

It plans to expand as the community around it continues to develop.

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