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Salmond opens refurbished Orkney school

Words: Sam Waddicor

First Minister Alex Salmond has officially opened a grammar school and halls of residence on a two-day visit to Orkney.

Kirkwall Grammar School and Papdale halls of residence were built as part of the £58 million Orkney Schools Investment Programme.

Improvements made to the school include a new 400-seater arts theatre, a hairdressing salon and modern classrooms, complete with sliding partitions to “aid flexible learning areas” and a 3G synthetic grass sports pitch to replace the field that was there previously. There is also an amphitheatre and wildlife garden that will be used as outdoor learning areas.

Speaking at the opening, Mr Salmond said: “The provision of quality school accommodation and learning facilities is supporting the successful delivery of Curriculum for Excellence, which meets our ambitions to support our young people to flourish as successful learners”

“The future of our young people is of the utmost importance; I want to see confident, responsible citizens who make an effective contribution to the communities they will live and work in.”

Councillor Janice Annal, chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, said: “The Schools Investment Programme is a hugely important project which has improved the quality of education provision in Orkney. Everyone who comes through the door of the new Kirkwall Grammar School is hugely impressed with the quality of the design and the ambience. I’m confident that this building provides a learning environment second to none for pupils and teachers, both now and in the years to come.”