The original St Columba’s RC High School was opened in 1922 in Cowdenbeath as a combined Catholic senior secondary for all Fife pupils and a junior secondary for pupils from the immediate Cowdenbeath area. In 1959, the new St Andrew’s High School in Kirkcaldy took on the role of the Catholic senior secondary and St Columba’s became a junior high school with a catchment area covering Dunfermline and West Fife.
The present school buildings were constructed in 1969, at which point the old junior high school in Cowdenbeath was closed. In 1973 St Columba’s then developed into a six year Catholic co-educational comprehensive school in line with local authority policy.
The school Latin motto is "Tenui Nec Dimittam"
which means “I will hold and not let go”.
The buildings of the school are situated within a campus covering three hectares. There are a range of classrooms and specialist accommodation which includes:
- 9 Science laboratories
- 4 Technical rooms
- 2 Art rooms containing two electric kilns and specialist equipment for ceramics
- 3 Home Economics rooms
- 3 Music rooms which can be used for teaching as well as instrumental practice areas
- 1 Drama studio
- 6 IT suites
- 1 Library Resource Centre
- Sports facilities including Games Hall, fitness suite, gymnasium and a range of playing fields which includes all weather pitch facilities
Pupils and adults who have mild mobility difficulties can access all areas of the school. Wheelchair access is limited to the ground floor of the Main Building and the Technical Block. St. Columba's has a fully functional lift for those pupils who struggle with mobility