IT'S hoped that all pupils will return to Woodmill High School by August 2020.

That would be one year after the devastating fire that ripped through the building on August 25.

Since then, pupils have been split by school year across the Vine Centre in Dunfermline and Fife College as well as St Columba's, Queen Anne, Inverkeithing and Beath high schools.

On the eve of the October half-term holiday, Rector Sandy McIntosh contacted all parents last night (Thursday) with an update on "planned timelines" to get pupils back to Woodmill.

He revealed that a "modular village" on the school site would allow all pupils back on site for the start of the next school year and even earlier if possible.

S6 pupils may sit some of their prelim exams at St Columba's High in December and some later at Woodmill, with an update after the October break on prelim arrangements for S4, 5 and 6 pupils working towards qualifications.

He also confirmed that Primary 7s due to attend the school next year will start at Woodmill as an S1 group for the 2020/21 school year as normal.

Mr McIntosh told parents: "As we implement our plans for our phased return to Woodmill High School we will continue with the interim timetable structures that are now in place across our various schools until we are in a position to return to our ‘normal’ curriculum structure and timetable delivery, as soon as practical.

"I appreciate that this has been an unsettling and challenging experience for our young people, families and staff and it is important that we are all able to return to our school as soon as we are able to do so.

"To help your young person, we will work with them to communicate the timelines and arrangements that are being planned, offering them appropriate support, as required.

"We have started implementing the recovery programme, which will allow us to regain working access for staff and pupils at Woodmill High School.

"After a meeting held this afternoon I can start to communicate some of these planned timelines, as it is important that you, and your young person, have this information available to you as soon as practical.

"As you will appreciate, these plans could be subject to change and amendment as we work through the various logistics of the partial demolition, cleaning and reinstatement of the Woodmill building and addition of modular accommodation.

"During the coming weeks I will keep the school community updated as these plans and timelines progress.

"We are confident that we will be able to return a number of our young people to the Woodmill site after the Christmas holidays, with the remainder returning once a larger, modular village has been built on the site.

"Initially, three double modular units will be temporarily installed on site. Along with the remaining accommodation of the main Woodmill building, these will provide capacity for three year groups, including a range of general classrooms, eight science labs, three gym halls, three computing rooms, four CDT rooms and four Home Economic rooms, as well as a range of other teaching spaces.

"S3, S4 and S5 pupils will return to Woodmill in this initial phase, continuing to work to the curriculum as they are now. This should ensure these young people are back in their own school to allow the S4 and S5 to sit their prelims in January. This will give them greater access to specialist facilities as they finish their certificated courses and sit their SQA examinations.

"S1, S2 and DAS pupils will continue with their interim arrangements until we are able to install a full modular village on the Woodmill site. We are absolutely committed to returning the whole school cohort to Woodmill by August 2020, and we’re actively working to try and make that earlier if possible.

"As S1 and S2 pupils are all hosted in Dunfermline, we’ll be looking for opportunities for them to have learning and social experiences at the re-opened Woodmill site in early 2020. This may be particularly beneficial for the S1 group for specialist activities and PE events. We will also explore options for DAS pupils to join activities at Woodmill where appropriate.

"S6 pupils will remain at St Columba’s as they have been timetabled into their courses with St Columba’s pupils. After Christmas, our S6 pupils who currently undertake classes at Fife College will attend those lessons on the Woodmill site. This will reduce the time used to travel between the sites and allow many of our S6 pupils to access to their own school. Given the proximity of the schools, S6 Woodmill pupils working at St Columba’s will be able to use some of the facilities at the reopened school where appropriate eg PE, library, study space.

"S6 pupils may sit some of their prelims at St Columba’s High School in December and some later at Woodmill, dependant on whether they were undertaking classes with our S5 pupils who are currently at Fife College.

"Procedures for the new S1 intake in August 2020 will continue as normal. Transition work with current P7s will be planned with our associated primary schools and the 2020/21 S1 year group will start at Woodmill High School, as normal. These plans should have limited impact on our transition activities, however timelines may be adapted to reflect the status and availability of the Woodmill site.

"After the October break, we will be communicating updated Prelim arrangements for our S4, 5 and 6 pupils who are all working towards their certificated courses. These Prelims will take place both at St Columba’s for our S6 and at Woodmill for our S4 and S5 pupils. Updated arrangements for Parent Information evenings and reporting will also be distributed."