WOODMILL High welcomed back its final group of pupils yesterday (Wednesday) over a year after fire devastated their school.

The remaining pupils from the Department of Additional Support (DAS) returned to the building after being temporarily housed at Blairhall Primary since the blaze, 430 days ago.

The school was badly damaged by fire on August 25 last year. Soon after, a 14-year-old boy was charged with wilful fire-raising and appeared in court in connection with the incident.

Pupils have been gradually returning since January and headteacher Sandy McIntosh was delighted to eventually get everyone back together under one roof.

“The past year has been extremely challenging,” he said.

“Not only did we have the fire, but then we were hit with Covid-19. I knew this day was always going to happen, I just didn’t think we’d be delayed due to a pandemic! The main thing, however, is that we’re all back safe and sound.

“Obviously, because of Covid, we’re working a bit differently to before, but having our whole school community back together is wonderful. Our school is looking good and we’ve got a really nice environment for our young people to learn in.

"We want to make sure our young people have the best possible opportunities now they’re back in their classes.

“I’m looking forward to us all being together and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to catching up and reconnecting with friends, teachers and learning.”

Councillor Fay Sinclair, convener of the education and children’s services committee, added: “I’m delighted that we’re finally able to welcome back our children and young people to the school.

"Life has been very different since the fire and with the outbreak of Covid, but, hopefully with everyone being on the same campus again, things will start to feel a bit more normal.

"I’d like to thank everyone – staff, parents, carers, pupils and the local community for the support they showed the school during this time. It really was a huge team effort and we wouldn’t be where we are today without you all, so thank you.”