Budding journalists at Perth Academy have started an online series which has seen pupils interview famous faces from across Scotland.
The Inspiring Perth Academy series has been running since the start of February, with notable people from the worlds of sport, comedy and business taking part so far.
Guests have included former Perth Academy pupil and Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay, Young Scot CEO Louise MacDonald and stand-up comedian Daniel Sloss.
More interviews are in the works, with Michelin star chef Tom Kitchin also lined up to take part.
Speaking about the initial idea, Louis Gallagher – who is the head prefect – said: “Having had many talks about pathways after school in the past, few of which personally resonated, I thought we had to try and do something better that pupils might actually relate to – and where the pupils ask the questions.”
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Depute head prefect, Tom Cahalin, was full of praise for Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss, saying it was “amazing” to have him on the series.
“Apart from being extremely funny, he was a really nice guy who enjoyed talking to us about school and how everyone is coping with lockdown”, Tom said.
Guests in the online series were carefully considered by the S6 senior pupil leadership team and so far have surpassed the pupils’ expectations.
The conversational approach, rather than being a presentation from a keynote speaker has allowed the guests to interact directly with young people, answer questions and offer advice in a more personal fashion.
I thought we had to try and do something better that pupils might actually relate to – and where the pupils ask the questions.”
Louis Gallagher, head prefect
Tom added: “Daniel Sloss told us how he has genuine admiration for young people in this difficult time.
“He spoke about the toll the pandemic has taken on his own mental health, and was inspired by how young people are able to carry on.
“It showed that, no matter how much you achieve or how successful you are in life, you are still human.”
The project has also proven to be something positive to focus on in the current lockdown and the pupils are grateful to the guests for taking the time to take part.
Louis added: “I think it’s actually been one of the benefits of lockdown, that lots of incredible people have actually had a lot of free time on their hands.
“We’re so grateful to our guests for giving us their time.”
Pupils from different year groups have also been able to enjoy and take inspiration from the guests, with the series being shared in online assemblies via Microsoft Teams.
One S3 pupil said: “It’s brilliant to see these big names that have accomplished so many good things.
“It has been really insightful to hear what people like Gemma Fay and Louise Macdonald have to say about what they have done during their careers.”
Another, a pupil in S4, said “Inspiring Perth Academy has really helped me to understand just how wide the range of jobs available are after I leave school.
“I have really enjoyed seeing former pupils on the videos because it makes it feel a lot more real – that could be any of the pupils at our school one day.”
The interviews have been shared on school Twitter accounts and are also being made available on the Perth Academy News YouTube channel, which is dedicated news outlet for the school with content created by a news team of senior pupils.