IT WILL be "business as usual" for Woodmill High pupils returning to their school this week.

Around 1,000 students, covering years S3-S5, are back in the corridors of the Shields Road site using part of the original building as well as new state-of-the-art modular accommodation.

Students have been scattered around seven different locations since a devastating fire burnt down large parts of Woodmill.

Although pupils and staff alike are excited to be back home, Woodmill's rector made it clear that the school would "hit the ground running" to make sure everybody's focus was on learning.

Headteacher Sandy McIntosh said: "We are very fortunate to have back part of the building.

"This is the first step to get all our young people back to the site.

"Obviously, a massive amount of work has taken place over the last few months to make sure it is ready for the young people coming back.

"The quality of modular accommodation is fantastic.

"It was a very challenging experience for all of the school community. I think the strength of response we had across the wider community was significant.

"The sense of loss that we had was absolutely palpable.

"There is a real sense of satisfaction that we are back into the school building but we're not all back yet.

"So it is my priority to make sure that those young people feel included in the school community so that they have the same opportunity.

"That will help us as we work toward getting permanently back on the Woodmill site."

Woodmill High School is still a live construction site with work under way on the next phases of reinstatement, to bring all pupils together by August 2020.

It's hoped that S1 and S2 pupils will be able to return after the Easter holidays but could be at Woodmill for some lessons.

Another 20-25 modular classrooms are planned for construction.

Pupils from the Department of Additional Support (DAS) will continue with their current arrangements until the final phase of works are complete and return in the next school session, August 2020.

Speaking on the quick progress that has been made, Mr McIntosh added: "There has been a relatively short period of time that's elapsed between August and now but that's not to say there hasn't been an element of disruption that has been caused.

"Everyone has been exceptionally resilient. Teachers have made sure pupils have worked really hard to minimise the disruption.

"Prelims start next week so for us, it is business as usual.

"I think the school has done very well and we need to make sure we continue to do that."

Modular accommodation has replaced six classrooms on-site, which are being used by social subjects just now.

Although they remain offsite, at the Vine Centre and Queen Anne High, it's hoped that S1 and S2 will be able to come to Woodmill for some subjects such as PE over the next term so they continue to feel a part of the school. S6 will use St Columba's just across the road as well as the Woodmill facility so now all Woodmill pupils are being schooled in Dunfermline.

Mr McIntosh thanked everyone involved in getting Woodmill back on its feet while reflecting his own experience over the last few months.

He added: "It was a real challenge. If you are doing your job correctly it is more than just a job.

"My own children come to this school, I've been here seven years and I live in the community so all of those things have a significant impact.

"Obviously, it is my responsibility to sort these problems, and work with my colleagues and Fife Council to make sure we get things back on track as quickly as possible.

"There has been a massive commitment from everybody.

"I think there is a genuine sense that they are really pleased to be back and we are really pleased to see them back as well.

"There is a sense of relief that they're back in their home so they can focus on what is important – and that is their learning.

"I've spoken to staff this morning and the instruction is that we hit the ground running so there is a real focus on attainment and learning and teaching."