Kirkcaldy High School

Kirkcaldy High School is a 6-year co-educational comprehensive state school in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.

Kirkcaldy High School
MottoUsque conabor
"I will strive to my utmost!"
RectorMr Derek Allan
Teaching staff90 (approx.)
Number of students1,200 (approx.)
School colour(s)Navy Blue and Gold


The school was established in 1582 as Kirkcaldy Burgh School; the "High School" name dates from the middle part of the 19th century. The school's motto is Usque conabor, "I will strive to my utmost".

The High School was originally on St Brycedale Avenue and part of the old building is now incorporated into Kirkcaldy College. In 1958 a new school was built on Dunnikier Way in the shape of a 'H' and opened by the Queen. In 1970 the last entrance exams for the school were taken after which pupils were zoned into their nearest high school. The following year Templehall High School (about half a mile away) became the "Junior" building of the High School originally accommodating 1st, 2nd & 3rd year pupils (later just 1st and 2nd years). The original high school became home for the seniors. As requirements changed over the years the senior school was extended and pupil numbers declined. The requirement for two buildings was no longer necessary. In 1994 the junior building was closed and demolished; the site is now occupied by a housing estate.

The most recent inspection of the school took place in 2012. The reports stated that the school was making good progress with its goals and identified key strengths: pupils who were proud of their school and positive about learning, high achievement in out-of-class learning, high quality pastoral care, very good community partnership working, staff who listened to and involved pupils, and the headteacher's leadership of an improving school.[1]

In March 2014, the school won the prestigious COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) Excellence Award for its work in relation to teenage sexual health and pregnancy prevention. Working with NHS Fife, the school was recognised as being an example of best practice in this field and was featured in the national press, TV and radio.[2][3]

Later in 2014, Kirkcaldy High School was shortlisted as a finalist in the Scottish Education Awards 2014[4] in the Health and Wellbeing section and were selected as the "Kingdom FM" Best School[5] in their "Local Hero" Awards in August 2014.

During session 2015-2016, the school was increasingly involved in promoting "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Education, with a staff member being recognised as UK STEM Teacher of the Year,[6] the school winning the Scottish finals of the Engineering Development Trust's "Go4SET" competition[7] and another finalist place in the Scottish Education Awards[8]

In 2018, the school won a second COSLA Excellence Award for their work tackling LGBT+ bullying and promoting equality across the school as well as taking training t a number of local and national organisations.[9]

House system

The pupils of Kirkcaldy High School are organised into four different houses. Originally the House system was named after areas of Kirkcaldy - Balwearie, Raith, Ravenscraig & St. Serfs. Now the houses are named after famous persons of the town.

  • Oswald (green) - Named after an old Kirkcaldy family, at one time associated with the Dunnikier estate, on which the school is now sited.
  • Adam Smith (purple) - Named after the famous economist who wrote "The Wealth of Nations" and attended the school in the eighteenth century.
  • Carlyle (blue) - Named after the famous writer Thomas Carlyle who famously wrote "The French Revolution, A History" and taught at the school between 1816 and 1818.

Leadership Team

  • Rector - Derek Allan
  • Depute Rector – Audrey Diamond
  • Depute Rector – Jennifer Davidson
  • Senior Rector - Sharon Hamilton
  • Depute Rector – Sandy Young

Notable former pupils


  1. "Kirkcaldy High School - Fife - Primary and Secondary schools - Inspection and review". Education Scotland. Archived from the original on 2013-01-01.
  2. "COSLA Excellence Awards » COSLA CHAIR'S AWARD – Fife Council- Teenage Pregnancy Initiative". Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. Archived from the original on 2014-05-08.
  3. "Kirkcaldy High sex education project tackles teen pregnancies". BBC News.
  4. "2014 Awards - Previous awards". Scottish Education Awards. Archived from the original on 2016-10-11.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-05. Retrieved 2014-09-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "STEMNET AWARDS HONOUR THOSE INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE IN STEM". STEMNET. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16.
  7. "Future Scottish Talent Showcased in Go4SET Celebration".
  8. "Winners 2016 - Scottish Education Awards". Education Scotland.
  9. "TACKLING INEQUALITIES AND IMPROVING HEALTH – Fife Council – Kirkcaldy High School LGBT+ | The COSLA Excellence Awards".
  10. "Kirkcaldy man's moving story inspires huge fundraising surge". Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  11. "Gordon Brown's school days are recalled in Kirkcaldy High revival". Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  12. "Kate Donegan, Scotland's senior woman in the prison service, tells her inside story. How the barriers can be broken". Herald Scotland.
  13. Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  14. "Graeme Park". Graeme Park.
  15. Goold, David. "DSA Architect Biography Report (September 10, 2016, 12:35 pm)". Dictionary of Scottish Architects.
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