Woodmill High School

Woodmill High School is a local authority ran high school in Dunfermline, Scotland. It is one of the town’s four high schools.

The school opened in 1958, to serve the expanding estates of Abbeyview, Touch, Brucefield and Garvock. The name Woodmill comes from the former purpose of the land it was built on. It was initially a secondary school, but was upgraded to full high school status in 1968. Woodmill is also the designated high school for children from the coastal villages of Limekilns, and Charlestown. The catchment area also includes Duloch, Masterton, Carnegie, Touch and Linburn.

Former pupils

Singer and actress Barbara Dickson attended the school in the early 1960s. She dedicated her debut album to Sandy Sadler, one of her music teachers at Woodmill. In her autobiography, she quotes Sadler as telling her "you may not be the best singer in the class, but you are certainly the loudest".[1]

Former pupil Murray McCallum has played international rugby union for Scotland.[2]

Possible replacement

Fife Council has confirmed that they are replacing the current school buildings. A March 2019 proposal suggested building a new campus, which would host Woodmill, St Columba's Roman Catholic High School, and Fife College.[3]

2019 fire

Woodmill was seriously damaged by a large fire which started on 25 August 2019 which was reported on 5:05pm and continued to burn to the next day. The fire originally started in the school's Department of Additional Support (DAS) which was for people who needed additional support with learning difficulties. The fire completely destroyed everything in the DAS and had spread over other parts of the school including the E, F and G corridors, the cafeteria and the catwalk.

Over 80 firefighters fought the fire, many of those firefighters came from different parts of Scotland. During the fight with the fire, surrounding homes around the area had their water supply affected as the firefighters used many hydrants which affected the local water supply.[4]

Aftermath and local impact

The school was closed on 26 August 2019. and will remain closed until further notice. Fife Council announced a plan that was put together to determine where pupils and staff would work and learn on 31 August, just 5 days after the blaze. All 1400 pupils are back in full time education, and are based at other schools and sites across West Fife. S1 are at Vine Conference Centre, S2 at Queen Anne High School, S3 at Beath High School in Cowdenbeath, S4 at Inverkeithing High School, S5 at Fife College’s Halbeath Campus, and S6 are at the nearby St Columba’s High School. The Department for Additional Support have exclusive use of Blairhall Primary School, with Blairhall pupils being taught at Tulliallan Primary School in Kincardine.[5]

Following the blaze, a 14 year old boy was charged with wilful fire raising. The boys father turned him in to the police.[6]

The local community is rallying together to provide additional support to pupils.[7] Support centres around the area will be giving out free meals to those affected by the school.

£9000 has been raised in a crowdfunding campaign hosted on Just Giving by over 470 backers which has superseded the original £1000 goal.[8]

References


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