Teachers at the Capital’s Boroughmuir High admitted hearts were in mouths ahead of a bid to corral the award-winning secondary’s 1100 pupils and 100 staff into the front playground for a centenary picture – the first time in its history the feat had been attempted.
But the school passed with flying colours, needing only half an hour to line up for a photographer perched on a second-floor window ledge so he could fit everyone in.
Headteacher David Dempster said: “The photographer suggested photographing the pupils in smaller groups of 400 and then stitching the images together.
“But we wanted to do it the hard way because we really felt this would be a lasting memory for the pupils and staff – we wanted every pupil’s face to be recognisable.”
Thursday’s epoch-marking snap comes at a key moment as teachers and pupils begin preparations for leaving the Viewforth building – Boroughmuir’s home for the last 100 years – ahead of a move to state-of-the-art premises on the site of the former Fountain Brewery in summer 2016.
The centenary celebrations are the latest chapter in Boroughmuir’s long history, which stretches back even further to 1904, when it was founded.
“Ever since the idea of a photo was floated at a civic reception back in June, the pupils have been looking forward to it,” said Mr Dempster.
“That’s why it was smooth on the day. When they were brought out during the last period of the day, they were so excited and enthusiastic – really keen to get into position. I think we realised it was one of the last chances we’d have to pay tribute to this great building.”
Education chiefs have welcomed the landmark photos.
Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, said: “It’s a wonderful way to mark a century in the Viewforth building. I know that the teacher and the school community have been hugely positive about the work done so far and I’m looking forward to working with them to deliver a first-class new school together.”