School History

Kennoway Village

The Parish of Kennoway lies on the hills of Fife approximately three miles inland from the Firth of Forth north of Leven. In the days of stage coaches it held strategic importance because it was directly on the stage route from  Pettycur ferry, on the shores of the Firth of Forth, to St Andrews.

Agriculture has always played an important part in local community life. At the beginning of the 19th Century handloom weaving became an important cottage industry in the area but the industrial revolution brought an end to this era as the weaving industry moved into city factories. The village also had a shoemaking industry which supplied the Dundee market prior to the mechanisation of footwear manufacture. With the demise of these industries many villagers found work in the mining industry but that too has now ceased and most villagers find employment out with the village.

Kennoway School

The origins of any school in Kennoway are unknown but we do know that there was a school by 1649. The first mention of a school in the Kennoway records is in 1656 but the Kirk Session have records which mention the school as early as 1650.

In 1692 we know that a new building was erected for the schoolmaster and the school. The house had two rooms and a classroom. By 1707 there were several other small schools in the parish and the Kirk session ordered that people should use the ‘legal’ school.

In 1809 a new schoolhouse was built and by 1843 the school had about 120 children. A new infant room was added in 1901 but this was overcrowded by 1910. In 1912 work was commenced on a school extension and this eased the overcrowding problems. Apart from ongoing maintenance the school buildings seemed to be adequate until the 1930’s when internal changes were made to the classrooms. By December 1948 the school was again overcrowded and some classes were carried out in church halls.

Attempts were made to remedy this situation,in 1949, with the completion of a new ‘Aluminium School’ but by 1950 classes were still using the church halls. In October 1951 the new Junior School opened and in August 1954 Medway huts were erected  with the intention that use of the church halls would no longer be necessary. However, by February 1955 it became necessary to use the church halls again.

In March 1956 more Medway huts were erected to create adequate  school accommodation until the new secondary school was built. This was finally completed in April 1959 and with the exodus of secondary pupils to Hallfields Secondary School the Primary school was able to undergo a period of stability for the next eighteen years.

To be continued!

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