Wednesday November 7th 2018
Mr Swinney talks to pupils
Midlothian’s pioneering Newbattle High School, a Digital Centre of Excellence that focuses on equipping young people with 21st century digital skills, has been officially opened by Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney.
Part of the £38million Newbattle Community Campus, the building includes a new public library, gym, sports facilities, a swimming pool and community meeting spaces.
The unveiling of the plaque.
Mr Swinney said: “It is my pleasure to officially open the Newbattle Community Campus and I would like to thank Midlothian Council for its continued commitment to its school estate.
“Newbattle High School’s state of the art facilities were constructed as a part of the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future building programme and is an example of the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to our young people, parents and educators.
“The Scottish Government was able to provide funding of over £20 million towards the construction of Newbattle High School. By March 2020, 117 schools will be replaced or refurbished as part of the programme to innovate and inspire new generations of learners.”
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead
Welcoming the Deputy First Minister, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead said the school, which incorporates a Digital Centre of Excellence, will transform learning and teaching.
He said: “We’re proud to be working with the University of Edinburgh to ensure the high school is a world-class hub of innovation.
“We’re committed to tackling the cycle of poverty by making sure all of our pupils, whatever their background, have the same fantastic learning opportunities.
“Young people from across Midlothian and beyond, therefore, will have the opportunity to study digital industries such as robotics, data science, informatics, digital marketing, graphic design, video and music production.
“We want them to leave school with high level skills that will allow them to compete in the global knowledge economy.”
Newbattle High School band.
Before unveiling an opening plaque, Mr Swinney was entertained by music from S1 piper Struan MacIntosh and Newbattle High School band.
Head Boy Nathan Fotheringham and Head Girl Sophie Verrecchia.
After a short speech by head teacher Gib McMillan, head girl and head boy, Sophie Verrecchia and Nathan Fotheringham introduced a video about a day in the life of the school made by pupils.
Mr Swinney was then given a guided tour of the facilities, including dropping in on a virtual reality lesson, a mountain bike mechanics workshop delivered by the school’s CDT technician and the school’s beauty and hair salon where senior pupils were being taught by and Edinburgh College lecturer.
Head Teacher Gib McMillan
Head teacher Gib McMillan said: “I am so proud of the way that the new campus has come together. Huge amounts of consultation have resulted in something very special here. A key part of the success is the daily intergenerational working between community users and school students.
“In school we have tracked increased engagement and work with a range of pivotal partners delivering a truly motivating curriculum. Our technology as a Digital Centre of Excellence is fantastic. Through this, we are pioneering a number of projects with demonstrable impact to close the attainment gap. I would like to thank all of our partners and users for their continued support.”
Deputy First Minister speaks with S1 piper Struan MacIntosh
Senior pupil Craig Melon compèred the opening event very ably.
Dance group entertained the VIP party.
Mr Swinney unveils the opening plaque.
Jennifer Robertson performs the closing song.
Mr Swinney was given some tips in a mountain bike mechanics workshop.
Mr Swinney speaks with pupils during his tour of the school.
All the photographs by Midlothian photographer Lee Live can be found HERE.Tweet Share on Facebook