St Andrew’s High School - 60 years of education

The opening of St Andrew’s High School was in response to the changes in the region.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 5:14 pm

St Columba’s in Cowdenbeath had been the main RC school since 1922, but the shift in population to the east – in particular the rise of Glenrothes – meant pupils were leaving home before 7am and not returning until early evening.

St Andrew’s was the 24th school built in the region since World War Two, and the second Catholic school to open during that period.

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60 years of school at heart of Kirkcaldy community

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Official opening of St Andrew's High School in Kirkcaldy, 1959.

It cost £342,263 and officially opened six months ahead of schedule with the Most Rev Gordon Joseph Gray, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, performing the honours.

He spoke of the school “turning out the completely educated child who will become a complete adult aware of responsibilities to God as well as the Kingdom of Fife.”

The school had all the features of the day.

According to the Fife Free Press report, the main entrance was “distinctive yet harmonious” - and the building had a compactness which was ideal for pupils and staff. It boasted six science labs, a gym and heated swimming pool, a geography room which was “a classroom laboratory with all the modern equipment for making and studying maps” and 20 clasrooms for teaching the core cirriculum.

The self contained dining room could cater for up to 600 people, while the school’s administrative quarters included the medical inspection room, a rest room, and a lady adviser’s room.

The homecraft section consisted of two large cookery and laundry rooms, a needlework room and a housewifery suite – very much aimed at female pupils.

Noted the Press: “The cookery and laundry rooms have been designed in such a way that the time spent by the girls moving from place to place is at a minimum.

“The housewifery suite is a neat modern flat with a hall, sitting room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. It is tastefully furnished and decorated to teach the girls the proper use and care of up to date household appliances, and to inculate good taste in the choice of furnishings and decoration in their future home.”