Looking back on the best days of our lives
Open days this year at Buckhaven and Kirkland High Schools gave former pupils a chance to meet up with old classmates, see around the corridors and classrooms for the last time, and reflect on their own association with the schools.
Among those trading throughts and memories was Catherine Punton (nee Arthur), who went to Buckhaven in 1955.
“I remember Mrs Dawson the arithmetic teacher – she taught us algebra in an all-girls class. I never understood it! And it was the only class I ever got the belt in. There was also Mrs Alexander, one of the commercial teachers – she had been in America and she introduced Gregg’s shorthand. I was in the first class to get it.”
Scott Bissett went to Buckhaven from 1997-2003 and was Balgonie vice-captain: “Myself and a few others were really into politics and modern studies and the teachers had a huge influence on me, but we did used to hide out in the politics cupboard!” he said.
Amanda Thomson added: “It was great – I found a picture of myself in the (Buckhaven) hockey team! The smell of the place brings it all back – I have fantastic memories of being here. My husband and I were both pupils and both our children are pupils, so I’m here quite regularly.”
At Kirkland, Elizabeth Wilson (nee Duffy), of Denbeath, was there the first summer the school was open, in the mid-1960s. Elizabeth mainly recalled cooking, singing and music teacher Mrs Graham.
Julie Chrystal, Glenrothes, took advantage of a last chance to see Kirkland and how much it had changed, as well as catching up with a few old friends. She remembered Mrs Crombie, an English teacher: “She was just amazing. She encouraged us to write non-stop and made it fun. It was an enjoyable time here.”
Sarah Smith and sisters Nicola Seath and Claire Seath, who left in 2012, enjoyed “a final look around the place” and recalled their Kirkland days.
“We went on a few Paris trips – they were always hilarious,” they said. “There was a good good social side, where you got on with Buckhaven.”
Additionally, Danielle Herd was Kirkland’s head girl from 2010-11 and said her six years there were “amazing”, having influenced her choice to become a high school teacher.
“I am particularly saddened to now see Kirkland closing, but I know if I get the opportunity to work in a school which creates such a positive and encouraging environment for its pupils, I will be very lucky,” she said.
We asked the last ever head boys and head girls at Kirkland and Buckhaven what the position has meant to them:
JAY HOGG (18), head boy at Kirkland
“It’s kind of a huge honour to be the last head boy at Kirkland. It means a lot that I got selected for that role because it comes with great responsibility, especially when you see the people who have had it before. The captains’ team we had this year was really good. I have a lot of fond memories of school – it’s been like a big family.” Jay, of Methil, will be studying PE teaching at West of Scotland and Edinburgh Universities.
MEGAN LAWSON (17), head girl at Buckhaven
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a year but absolutely brilliant. The team I’ve had has been really good as well, and I didn’t really know them at first. I am really thankful to the school for giving me that choice. Buckhaven High has given me so many opportunities over the years and I’ve become a different person.” Megan, of Kennoway, wants to be a primary school teacher.
EUAN WILLIAMSON (17), head boy at Buckhaven
“It’s been very honouring, with so many opportunities that opened up lots of doors for me, as well as boosting my confidence. I got to work with good people as well and there was a link to Kirkland, through the new school. I had loads of opportunities through school that will stay with me for the rest of my life.” Euan, of Leven, is going to Aberdeen University to study mechanical engineering.
ERIN CAMPBELL (17), head girl at Kirkland
“I think it was a massive honour to be part of it in the last year. Every year, it’s held as quite an honour but this year was the biggest. It was nice to be involved in helping younger people get ready for the new school. There’s something really unique about Kirkland – it may be similar at Buckhaven – in the ways in which pupils and teachers interact.” Erin , of Leven, is going to Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh to study human biology.