Students from Peebles High this week walked back through the doors of the school they fled from two months ago following a devastating blaze.

On Sunday, reporter Hilary Scott, caught up with Head boy William Adams, and Deputy Head Girl Emma Raeburn, for a chat about life since the fire, how they feel about going back to school, and plans for the future.

IT’S a big day for senior students at Peebles High.

They are dressed smartly in their uniforms that proudly bear the school crest, and they’re wearing a smile.

It’s a far cry from two months ago, when panic set in and shouts and screams echoed from the school as over 1300 pupils escaped the fire unharmed.

I sat down with senior students William and Emma, who told me being back in Peebles High, was like coming home.

William said: “It’s a massive feeling of déjà vu.

"You’re walking through somewhere and you feel like you recognise it but then you’ll see the room we are sitting in now and think, this wasn’t here before.

“There have been changes, mostly just the blocking of certain parts of the building, so we definitely know we’ll walk into some walls. It’s going to be an adjustment, especially for the younger ones.”

As senior students and prefects, they have many responsibilities, even more so since the fire.

I asked them what role they would play in helping their younger peers.

William replied: “Standing in front of those walls to stop them from walking into them!”

There’s no doubt that there’s going to be a lot of adjustments like getting out to the portacabins, so for the first couple of weeks it’s just going to be shepherding people and making sure everyone is in the right place. Once people get use to it, it will be fine.

Emma added: “As leaders of the school we have to set an example for them and let them know that this is normal and that everything’s okay.”

The senior pupils were displaced to Galashiels Academy for face to face teaching for two months.

Speaking about their experience at a different school in another town, William said: “It was undeniably the best of a bad scenario. A lot of people forget that we’re not only ones having our learning disturbed, when we went to Gala we were disturbing the learning of a lot of other kids there.

“To be back here is great, as much as Gala was so great and accommodating and is a really lovely building, this is our school.”

Reflecting on the day of the fire, Emma said they all felt very emotional watching their school ablaze. “It was really strange because we were walking out thinking it was just a fire drill but I heard people shouting and when we saw the smoke, that’s when it got scary.”

Emma said the comfort pupils provided one another is something she’ll never forget. “The senior students were looking after the younger ones and helping by giving them coats to keep warm.

“I think as a senior student, I feel like we had lost the most because it had been our home, our school for so long.”

The art department went up in flames and the hard work of senior pupil’s portfolios were in ashes, leaving many talented students devastated.

“I know so many people who are advanced higher and are now going on to Uni and because the Art department went down they lost their entire folio. It was really tough,” said William.

“And I, going into computing, have lost nothing. There’s a great variance of what people have had to cope with.”

Another department that faced heartache in the aftermath of the fire was drama.

The cast of the Addams Family had wrapped up their second successful show the night before the fire.

I was fortunate in that I’d seen these talented pupils bring to the stage the gloriously gloomy family.

Emma played Morticia in the production, she said: “It was something we looked forward to and as seniors it was our last show. We had such a two great nights and we’re grateful for that.”

The fire may have cast an end to the show, but these students are looking forward to their remaining time at Peebles High.

“I’m on the events team,” explained Emma.

“We’re working on a few things like a charity concert and we’ve got our graduation to plan. We definitely have plenty to keep moral up.”

The Peeblesshire News reported the praise of pupils whilst they were relocated to Galashiels, with many business owners hailing them a credit to their school.

William said he felt very proud when he heard this news. “When we would go for lunch we were grateful because they were having to serve an additional number of children. Something that I wasn’t expecting was the sense of gratitude and community that the kids had.

“For people that had never spoken, because of this one thing we had come together and everyone was helping each other, especially during prelims. The amount of resource sharing was just amazing.”

This week they will be adapting to the changes in their school and, despite perhaps bumping into a few new walls that weren’t there before, they feel they’re back where they belong at Peebles High.