A few weeks ago Emma came to see me to discuss an idea she'd had. Emma very articulately and confidently explained that Gillespie's needed a more pupil friendly means of capturing and sharing news with pupils. She went on to suggest that what was needed was a newspaper produced specifically for pupils by pupils. She further added that she was the person to lead on this initiative. I suggested to Emma that she should, over the February break, create a draft of what she was envisaging. A few days after the break Emma delivered to me a very impressive draft of what the proposed paper would look like. To assist Emma in setting up her team and with some the logistics. Am delighted that Mrs Kirkwood has agreed to mentor this budding team of journalists. Ths is Emma's first article.
''On the 12th of March, Nicola Sturgeon came to visit our school – James Gillespie’s High School. She came to discuss votes for 16 years olds with some of the students that will be able to vote in the referendum in two years time. She said that “If you can get married and have children at 16, why can you not vote?” She also disagrees with those who say the votes will be wasted if 16 year olds are allowed to vote, arguing that many 16 years olds are mature enough to make the right decision for Scotland.
One very important question was asked, “How does this work? By allowing 16 year olds to vote means registering children who are younger than 16. What about Child Protection?”
You could hear all of the camera crew and photographers holding their breath, waiting for her reply. But she came out with a quick and confident answer – there will be a distinct register for young people, with sensitive information protected. She added that the potential risk of any leaking of such information would be discussed at Holyrood.
It was an enjoyable morning for the people who were involved and furthermore it helped our School Newspaper come up with its name: The Spark, named after Muriel Spark, the writer of ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.’
We would like to thank Ms Inglis and Miss Haliday for this opportunity and Ms Sturgeon herself for this interesting morning.