Community celebrates official opening of Kinellar School

Jemima Adeoye, Director of Education and Children's Services Laurence Findlay, Elizabeth Lyall, Cooper Masson, Cllr Gillian Owen, Cllr Jim Gifford, Provost Bill Howatson, Chief Executive Jim Savege, Tami Fadeyi, Ruaridh Cumming and Head Teacher Pamela Farquhar with pupils outside the new Kinellar School
Jemima Adeoye, Director of Education and Children's Services Laurence Findlay, Elizabeth Lyall, Cooper Masson, Cllr Gillian Owen, Cllr Jim Gifford, Provost Bill Howatson, Chief Executive Jim Savege, Tami Fadeyi, Ruaridh Cumming and Head Teacher Pamela Farquhar with pupils outside the new Kinellar School

Pupils and staff at Kinellar Primary School in Blackburn marked the facility’s official opening on Wednesday, February 6.

The school invited along special guests for the opening ceremony including Provost of Aberdeenshire Bill Howatson, who unveiled a special commemorative plaque.

Provost Bill Howatson and pupils Tami Fadeyi (P1) and Ruairidh Cumming (P7) unveiled a ceremonial plaque

Provost Bill Howatson and pupils Tami Fadeyi (P1) and Ruairidh Cumming (P7) unveiled a ceremonial plaque

Pupils in the school’s choir sang two songs at the ceremony while a video documenting the construction project played alongside them.

The £12m project was completed last year and pupils have been at the school since August.

During the building’s construction more than 400 pupils were taken by bus daily to nearby Midmill School for 18 months, following a fire in the old building back in 2016.

Temporary accommodation on site was made for the nursery children.

The new library space at Kinellar School

The new library space at Kinellar School

The new school is built on the same site as its predecessor.

As part of the build, the project team used the opportunity to improve facilities in the village by redeveloping a derelict tennis court and constructing an enclosed children’s play park as well as additional parking for use by the school and local community.

The school’s social staircase is already becoming a well-used architectural feature alongside its many other bright and airy flexible learning spaces, including the glass fronted library and learning area upstairs.

Its teaching wings benefit from cleverly designed acoustics, modern set up and technology offerings in all 16 classrooms, and are on two levels, with lightwells connecting them.

Specially commissioned artwork is also an important feature of the new school.

Local artists worked with pupils to design and create a number of pieces, including a large Oak tree in the dining area symbolizing growth with leaves painted by every child.

Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said: “A great team effort has led to the delivery of an extremely high quality building on time and on budget, and we’re thankful to everyone who has played their part in that.

“It stands testament to what a community can achieve by working together, right from those dark early days after the fire when local people rallied round to offer soup and sandwiches to staff, to the lovely reception pupils received from the community in Kintore.”

Chair of Education and Children’s Services Committee, Councillor Gillian Owen said: “It’s not only wonderful to see the pupils at Kinellar enjoying their new school but also to reflect on what a fantastic learning experience this project has given them. In addition to the educational opportunities – working with artists, the community and the construction team – the pupils have also learned important lessons when it comes to being resilient and flexible.”

Head Teacher Pamela Farquhar added: “As much as we loved our time at Kintore it is nice to be back home.

“The new school was made possible thanks to Anne Gibson who sold her land to Aberdeenshire Council.

“Her husband was a former head teacher here so the school has a special place in her heart.”