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Perth pupils launch radio project to keep elderly residents company

Bertha Park headmaster Stuart Clyde.
Bertha Park headmaster Stuart Clyde.

Pupils at a Tayside school are reaching out across the airwaves in a new radio project designed to tackle loneliness among the elderly.

Bertha Park School in Perth has joined forces with Generations Working Together as part of a Scottish Government’s programme to combat social isolation this winter.

The youngsters will be launching their own radio station in the new year and will be playing musical requests and delivering shout-outs, mentions and dedications to listeners.

As well as picking up valuable practical skills, the children will be aiming to help people who live alone and are missing out on access to friends and family to feel more connected to their community and the wider world.

The station will be broadcasting via internet radio which will be accessible through the school’s website.

Pupils and staff will be responsible for programme content, production and performance of the shows.

It’s hoped literacy and numeracy skills will be boosted during the planning, production, preparation and delivery of the broadcasts.

Pupils’ confidence, resilience and communication abilities will also improve, say teachers, and the scheme will encourage teamwork and give learners a voice

Whilst the school awaits the delivery of the radio broadcast facility, it is producing a 10-minute Christmas TV programme which will be sent around care homes across the country.

The show is aimed at older people and contains musical performances, poetry readings, personal greetings from the pupils and staff and the occasional Christmas-cracker joke.

It was made available to watch on the school’s YouTube channel on 21 December 2020 and pupils hope that elderly people will enjoy their content, bringing a little more Christmas cheer from those in their community that are thinking of them.

This isn’t the first time that the school have gone above and beyond by using creative media to engage those around them.

Earlier this summer, head teacher Stuart Clyde kept pupils informed with a special sci-fi assembly in honour of Star Wars Day.

Mr Clyde made his presentation to pupils from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.

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