Pupils and staff said goodbye to their beloved schools and early childhood centres this week as classrooms were packed up and preparations got underway to move into the Barony Campus this week.

Greenmill PS and Barshare PS bid an emotional farewell to their schools as they now make the transition to Lochnorris Primary which will be situated in the new super-school.

Hillside School, which caters for pupils with additional support needs, and a number of early childhood centres will also join former Cumnock and Auchinleck Academy students in the new state-of-the-art facility – the largest of its kind in Scotland.

Cindy O’Driscoll, Head Teacher of Lochnorris Primary, said: “Last week, we said goodbye to Barshare and Greenmill Primary Schools and will celebrate the legacy of the schools with both communities as soon as we are able to do so safely. The facilities within the new Campus are exceptional and are going to provide wonderful learning opportunities for our young people.

“We are working hard with parents and carers to make the transition to Lochnorris as smooth as possible for everyone and I would like to thank our parents, and particularly the Parent Council, for supporting our efforts.”

Debbie Skeoch, Head Teacher of Hillside School, said: “Our last day in the old Hillside building was an emotional day for us all and we were so sorry that COVID restrictions meant we couldn’t join together with parents, carers and friends of the school for a huge party in usual Hillside fashion but we will all come together, in our new school, as a whole school community when it is safe to do so.

“We have an amazing new school facility that will ensure some incredible learning experiences for our pupils and there will just be so many more opportunities at Barony.

“Our school motto is ‘Be Fantastic!’ and we think our new school is just that.”

Ex-pupils have also been reminiscing about their days at Greenmill and Barshare.

Tommy Samson, Secretary of Netherthird & District Community Council, said: “The thing I remember most about my short time at Barshare PS was the open plan classrooms. One memory of Greenmill PS was having the lead role in the Christmas play in P6. Mrs Grosart was my teacher then, one of my favourites.”