The bell rang on a successful first day for nine P1 pupils at a rural Perthshire school.
Abernyte Primary School had a bumper intake of the young pupils which meant the school roll was at its highest level since 2010, with 20 pupils now enrolled at the Carse of Gowrie school.
It was a special day for parents who watched their young children take their first steps into the classroom this morning.
Four-year-old Lily Donoghue was apprehensive about starting school but after the big day she told her mum Sarah she could not wait to go back tomorrow.
Sarah, who lives in Abernyte, said: “She seems happy and I can tell she’s had a good time. She was a little bit nervous bit still excited about going to school.”
It’s the first time the school has been able to make use of its second teaching room which has been transformed into a classroom for the young children to learn and play.
Both classrooms will be required until at least 2024-25 and a new teacher will be recruited to support the surge in pupils.
A new teacher has also been recruited to accommodate the intake of pupils. The other 11 children at the school are part of a composite class which is made up of P2-P7.
The kids drew pictures and made new friends on their first day.
Sarah said her family feel “so lucky” to be at the small school where the teachers are so involved.
She said: “We feel so lucky as it seems like a lovely school. Lily is a bit nervous in big groups but she feels comfortable here and the teachers are so welcoming.”
Lynda Shanks lives in Inchture with her son Arthur, 4, and says she was drawn to the school because of the welcoming nature of the school staff, especially in lockdown when children weren’t able to visit their new school beforehand.
Arthur was “absolutely ecstatic” about starting school and couldn’t wait to see his new classroom and make new friends.
Lynda said: “Arthur couldn’t wait to get to school this morning, he was one of the first ones up following the teacher into the school.
“We decided to come here after speaking with the head teacher (Jennifer Clark) on a Zoom call. She was absolutely lovely and I loved everything about the school.
“I thought for Arthur in particular he would really do well in a smaller school.”
Just a few years ago the school was at threat of closure however the school’s parent council and the local community successfully appealed the decision by Perth and Kinross Council.
The community have now been working towards raising the school roll, which can accommodate 40 children.