Another wave of pupils leaves Inverness Central, after school’s remarkable 200 years

by Colin Campbell
Inverness Central will soon mark its 200th anniversary.

AFTER seven happy years at Inverness Central Primary School, one of my offspring left on Friday for the last time. As bright as they come, in my biased opinion at any rate, she thoroughly enjoyed her time there, appreciated and in one or two cases adored the teachers there, and never had a single bad word to say about it.

I told here that if she lives to be 100 or beyond, she won’t forget the names of at least some of the teachers who guided her through her formative school years.

Nearly 60 years on, I still remember at least a couple of my primary school teachers.

Doesn’t everyone? The kinder ones, and they all seemed pretty kind at the time, form an indelible memory.

The Central School has a mix of pupils with a significant number from the EU and elsewhere, and as far as I’ve been told, no one is left behind and everyone gets along.

So another wave of pupils departs the school, and parents and grandparents look on it and those who work there with appreciation and gratitude.

Inverness Central is the oldest school in Inverness. It opened 200 years ago this August.

Our extended family connections with the school go back a long way. I had two cousins who went there, as brothers, around 70 years ago. Both still going strong, one went on to become a head of department at a senior school in Moray, and the other spent decades as a university lecturer.

And so for two centuries Inverness Central has played a vital role in education in the Highland capital.

On a workaday basis, it’s just bricks and mortar, mightily upgraded over so many decades. But when I stop and think as I meet the kids some days at the school gates, the fact that Invernessians were doing the same thing even before our parents and grandparents were born has an awesome quality to it.

Now a new influx of children will be going there for the first time after the holidays.

And so life and education at Inverness Central goes on, and on, and on.

Plans are being drawn up to celebrate the schools 200th anniversary and to emphasise the remarkable role it has played in Inverness since 1821.

It deserves to be quite a celebration, because, as my granddaughter who left on Friday and my cousins who left 70 years ago would testify, it is a place that has produced a million happy schoolday memories, back through the mists of time.


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