St. Modan’s High School is situated in the St. Ninian’s area of Stirling. It was officially opened by Archbishop McDonald of St. Andrew’s and Edinburgh on 5 September 1933. The school was built to serve the senior secondary pupils of Stirlingshire, Bannockburn and Cowie. It opened with a roll of 410 pupils and was one of the first Catholic secondary schools built in Scotland after the 1918 Education Act.
During the war years and afterwards the school continued to grow reaching the maximum size of over 1200 pupils when the leaving age was raised to 16 years. With the regionalisation and the growth of comprehensive schools in the 1970’s, two 6-year Catholic comprehensive schools were established in Central region – St. Mungo’s in the east, and St. Modan’s in the west.
In recent years, the school roll has settled between 880 and 920 which is an ideal size of school as it is big enough to provide a wide range of courses but is small enough to enable good relationships to be established between staff and pupils and parents. The school is one of the best resourced in the area. Our modern facilities are also well used by the local community. The combination of community and educational cooperation is strongly developed in St. Modan’s High school.
St. Modan of Rosneath
Evidence of who exactly St. Modan was is hard to come by. There are several places with the name ‘Modan’ in them. For example on the site of the old priory of Ardchattan near Loch Etive there is an oratory which bears the name Balmodhan (meaning ‘Modan’s town’) which was the name for Ardchattan. Above Loch Riddan on the Kyles of Bute there is a place called Kilmodan (meaning church of Modan). The fact that he had a town (‘Bal’) and not just a church (‘Kil’) named after him means that he must have been wealthy.
There were two St. Modans: one was St. Modan of Fraserburgh in Aberdeen who was a bishop and whose feast is 14 November. Our St. Modan was an Abbot at the time of King Conranus in Scotland and has his feast on 4 February. Both of these saints appear in the Aberdeen Breviary written between 1488-1514. The breviary is the book which contains all the daily prayers of the church and all the saints feast days. The Aberdeen Breviary is the oldest breviary in the Scottish church.
Our St Modan came from an early tradition- he was a Celtic- a follower of St Columba who came to Iona from Ireland sometime after 563. It was he who had the priory at Ardchattan and who preached as far east as Falkirk and Stirling. St Mungo had evangelised the west of Scotland so Modan travelled east and north. The church of Falkirk and the High church of Stirling were once dedicated to this St. Modan and so is our school.
Lord Hardie – Former Lord Advocate now a High Court Judge
Billy Bremner – Football
Philip Differ – BBC Presenter
Fergus McCann – Football
Lord Advocate Hardie
John Colquhoun – Football
George Graham – Scotland Rugby
Simone Lahbib – Actress
Gordon Brewer – BBC Presenter
School Memorial Chapel
The need for a new Chapel arose when, on the arrival of a new Rector in May 1996, the annual problem of how to accomodate candidates for external examinations without disrupting the whole school came up. Because the Dining Hall is adjacent to the Assembly Hall, it is not possible to use the Assembly Hall for external examinations without rescheduling the lunch interval for the whole school.
The old chapel had been used to supplement the Lecture Theatre during exams but this was felt to be an unsatisfactory arrangement. We were in any event, looking for some way of recognising the school’s rich heritage at a historic time in its development and the idea of a new Memorial Chapel was suggested. The Chapel is a conversion of a Biology store and greenhouse.
We are very proud of the fact that everything in the chapel is the product of the wider St. Modan’s community. The funding for it was raised by the school in session 1996-97. The architect was Mr Alistair MacDuff a parent; the builders were Mr John Fern and Mr Michael Fern both parents; the painting was done by a former pupil; the electric work was by former pupils and so was the carpet fitting. The altar, designed by Fr Bagan our Chaplain and Mr MacDuff, has been made from an old science bench by Mr John Lawless from Denny. The Stations of the Cross are from the old chapel (now a Confrence Room).
The Chapel is dedicated to all those who have studied in, worked in or who have been otherwise associated with St. Modan’s High School over the years. Some of their names can be seen in the Book of Commemorative Inscriptions.
The Chapel was opened by His Grace Archbishop Keith O’Brien on 5 September 1997- sixty four years to the day after the school was opened.