Independent schools: M-W

BY SCHOOL NAME: M-W

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The Mary Erskine School

Ravelston, Edinburgh, EH4 3NT

Tel: 0131 347 5700

E: schoolsecretary@esmgc.com

Web: www.esms.edin.sch.uk

Type: Independent day; single sex 11-18 (co-educational with boys in sixth form). Part of three-school group with junior school and Stewart's Melvill College.

Boarding: Erskine House located on the Stewart's Melville site serves as a boarding house for 25 girls. They share dining and recreational facilities with the Stewart's Melville College boarders next door in Dean Park House.

Roll: 733 (girls)

Uniform: Navy blue blazer, Mary Erskine tartan kilt, white blouse, red tie.

Average class size: 20; sixth form tutor groups average class size ten.

Fees (per annum): 8,184

Bursaries: Means-tested bursaries worth up to 100 per cent may be available to parents of children entering any year-group in the senior schools. A number of awards are allocated for external candidates seeking to join the sixth form.

Main extra-curricular activities: Wide variety of clubs and societies to appeal to and challenge young women. Sport, drama and music attract large numbers as does the Duke of Edinburgh Award, but there are also clubs for jewellery makers, computer graphics enthusiasts, an adventure club for those who love the outdoors, one for budding journalists and lots more.

Community links: Through their pupils and led by very active school councils and charity committees, our schools raise funds for more than 50 charities, including: Macmillan Cancer Research; Scottish Love in Action; Oxfam, MIND; Task Brasil. The schools also raise funds for helping schools abroad and have orchestras and choirs who perform regularly at public occasions.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

We emphasise the importance of self-respect and pride and work very hard to develop every aspect of each child's personality during their time in our schools so they can grow up to play a very positive and caring role in whatever direction life takes them.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

We continue to place great emphasis on personal development, helping girls to nurture their own special talents and to explore a wide range of careers opportunities.

Merchiston Castle School

Colinton Road, Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 312 2201

E: admissions@merchiston.co.uk

Web: www.merchiston.co.uk

Type: Boys boarding & day

Boarding: From age 8 – 18

Roll: 435

Uniform: Grey trousers, Blue blazers, various ties; suits for Sixth Form

Average class size: Juniors 15; Seniors 18; Sixth Form nine

Fees (per annum): Day – 10,485-16,395 Boarding – 14,985-22,845

Bursaries: Various, including new 100 per cent awards.

Main extra-curricular activities: Sport: rugby, cricket, athletics, tennis, basketball. Music: choral society, instrumental groups. Activities: drama, debating, cooking, sub-aqua, Duke of Edinburgh Award, shooting etc.

Community links: Partnership with Balgreen Primary School; activities with other local primaries; conservation work and providing entertainment for local elderly.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

Respect for others; confidence without arrogance; strong work ethic.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

For every boy to be happy, and to be the best that he can be in all areas of his life.

Famous past pupils: Irvine Laidlaw, business/political funding; Sir Peter Burt, Bank of Scotland; John Jeffrey, rugby.

Morrison's Academy

Crieff PH7 3AN

Tel: 01764 653885

E: principal@morrisonsacademy.org

Web: www.morrisonsacademy.org

Type: Co-educational independent school from 3 years to 18 years

Boarding: No

Roll: 519

Uniform: Yes

Average class size: 20

Fees (per annum): 5,655 – 8,553

Bursaries: Yes

Main extra-curricular activities: Sports, musical activities, climbing wall, John Muir Award, Duke of Edinburgh Award, CCF.

Community links: In addition to making some of our facilities available to the community and supporting community events, sometimes with the backing of the pipe band, the school undertakes a significant amount of fundraising for charities (local, national and international) through the auspices of the Charities Committee. This year's KPI report recorded over 200 different links with the community encompassing a huge range of activities and organisations.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

Young people are educated to develop all their talents and learn the values to use that education wisely.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

Substantial modernisation of the curriculum including new subjects at Intermediate 2 and Higher, and a re-organisation of the teaching day to improve teaching and learning.

Famous past pupils: Ewan McGregor, Denis Lawson (actors); Simon Taylor (rugby); Fiona Pennie (canoeist).

Queen Victoria School

Dunblane, Perthshire FK15 0JY

Tel: 0131 310 2927

E-mail: enquiries@qvs.org.uk

Web: www.qvs.org.uk

Type: Co-educational

Boarding: Full

Roll: 270

Uniform: Supplied

Average class size: Nine

Fees (per annum): 15,000 (approx)

Bursaries: Yes

Main extra-curricular activities: Sports, piping, drumming, music, Cadet Force.

Community links: Strong and growing.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

Discipline and confidence.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

Centenary year – a good time for reflection and focussing on the future.

Famous past pupils: Many distinguished Armed Forces personnel.

Robert Gordon's College

Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1FE

Tel: 01224 646346

E: enquiries@rgc.aberdeen.sch.uk

Web: www.rgc.aberdeen.sch.uk

Type: Co-educational

Boarding: No

Roll: 1,074 (senior school)

Uniform: Yes

Average class size: 11 (6th year) to 21 (1st year)

Fees (per annum): 8,495

Bursaries: Large number based on need and entrance exam. Sixth year bursaries available.

Main extra-curricular activities: Sport – hockey, rugby, cricket, tennis, athletics, cross country, rock-climbing, skiing, badminton, basketball, volleyball, curling, table tennis, swimming, diving, water polo,gymnastics; activities also include debating, chess and photography; music – pupils participate in some eight school groups, including choir, concert band and orchestra. Practically all third year pupils are involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and annually some 40 complete their Gold Award. The CCF – a voluntary organisation – is very popular and the pipe band plays regularly at events.

Community links: Robert Gordon's is a significant institution in the civic life of Aberdeen with governors drawn from most of the community and business organisations in the city. It draws pupils from and sends pupils back into the wider community of North East Scotland. The facilities at Schoolhill and Countesswells are used by groups from the community and other schools. Several hundred pupils work in the community as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award each year (Gordon's is the largest provider in Scotland). Charities group raises money each year for many local and national causes and our musicians regularly perform in public in Aberdeen.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

The strong sense of community in the school and the wide range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities allow pupils to find out what they are best at and do it to the best of their ability. This gives them self-esteem and self-confidence on which to base their tertiary education and careers and also the good manners, respect and inter-personal skills to succeed as members of all the communities they will be part of during their lives. We are proud of our low drop-out rate at university and the great variety of walks of life in which our former pupils have succeeded.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

In 2008 we hope to make good progress in the building of our new junior school, to achieve agin the best possible academic results, to send our sixth year pupils to the university of their choice and to raise more money from the Gordon's community for bursaries and buildings.

Famous past pupils: Professor Ian Frazer, medical research; Michael Gove, Tory MP; David Carry, swimmer; Graeme Catto, president of the General Medical Council; Chris Cusiter, rugby; Sir Ian Wood, business.

St Aloysius' College

45 Hill St, Glasgow, G3 6RJ

Tel: 0141 332 3190

E-mail: mail@staloysius.org

Web: www.staloysius.org

Type: Jesuit Catholic, boys and girls aged 3-18, day only

Boarding: No

Roll: 1307

Uniform: Green blazer, grey skirts/trousers

Average class size: 20

Fees (per annum): 5,771– 7,554

Bursaries: Yes

Main extra-curricular activities: Rugby, hockey and fundraising for local and international charities

Community links: A Jesuit education produces pupils who are "ready to place their talents at the disposal of others"; pupils are not only taught about social justice but are given the opportunity to put these beliefs into practice. The Arrupe Programme is a voluntary service programme which takes place on Wednesday afternoons. Fifty S5-6 pupils attend 23 different placements, including Riding for the Disabled, special needs schools, SCIAF, Starter Packs, St. Vincent's Hospice and Nazareth House. Our young people learn they should make use of their talents not only for themselves but "to help others to grow". The Arrupe Programme provides that opportunity. We ask pupils to take up this challenge and become "agents and promoters of change" and "witnesses to charity". Funds Raised by end of term 2008: Lourdes 42,000; Children's Fund 25,000; St Aloysius' Gonzaga School, Kibera 10,000; general charities 25,000.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

Developing and deepening pupils' relationship with God, able to find God in reflection on their own experience. Happy, friendly and self-confident, with a sense of humour and an awareness of their God-given gifts and the need to fulfil their potential for good. Seen to have a generosity of spirit and a readiness to place their talents at the disposal of others, especially the most needy. In the process of deepening their understanding of who Christ is and of living out their faith more fully. Well prepared to take their place in wider society unmotivated by prestige or selfish ambition and aware of how fully they can contribute to the common good. Ready to ask, "What more can I do, what more can I give?" in every area of life. Proud of having belonged to a Jesuit school community with respect for its values and those who taught them.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

We will mark 150 years in 2009 by continuing to provide a strong academic development and religious and moral development. We also hope to further reduce class sizes and strengthen additional support for learning.

Famous past pupils: Eleanor Laing MP; Mairi Hedderwick (author of Katie Morag books); Vicky Jack (conquered Mount Everest); Dr Helen Laird OBE.

St Columba's School

Duchal Road, Kilmacolm, Inverclyde, PA13 4AU

Tel: 01505 872238

E-mail: secretary@st-columbas.org

Web: www.st-columbas.org

Type: HMC, non-denominational, co-educational, independent day school for pupils aged 3-18 years.

Boarding: No

Roll: 726

Uniform: Worn throughout. Dark green blazer worn with shirt and tie with tartan kilt for girls and black trousers for boys. Spring to autumn for junior school – summer dress for girls and shorts (optional) for boys.

Average class size: Senior school – 16. From Senior III to Senior VI, classes tend to be fewer than 20 depending on uptake for subject; Advanced Higher classes are often in single figures.

Fees (per annum): Primary – 2,120 Senior – 8,260

Bursaries: A number of bursary places, ranging from 10-100 per cent, available for new applicants entering Transitus (P7) and also Sixth Year to study Advanced Highers. Financial support for older Senior School students in need.

Main extra-curricular activities: More than 20 clubs including Duke of Edinburgh Award, debating, public speaking, sport, music (choirs, orchestras, ensembles, pipe band, jazz band, brass quarter), drama, chess, reading, computing, country dancing, school magazine, S6 yearbook. Individual tuition may be taken in many instruments plus diction. Regular public performances and school shows.

Community links: Our pupils, particularly those associated with Duke of Edinburgh Award, actively work with Countryview, Marcus Humphrey and Campbell Snowdon at Quarriers, Kilmacolm Day-Care Centre, Ardgowan Hospice, Brownies, Guides, Finlaystone Estate and Muirshiel Park to name a few. Pipe band regularly performs in community at agricultural shows and various charity events in addition to outdoor Christmas performance in the village. School choirs and brass quartet support church services and musical evenings. Programme of eight-week evening classes twice a year and biennial art exhibition for pupils, staff, evening-class students and local artists to display and sell their material. The school has a very strong tradition of charity fundraising and each year raises large sums of money for local and international charities. Pupils have supported diverse appeals such as Ardgowan Hospice, Yorkhill Hospital, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Quarrier', Mission in Action, Education Action International, Breast Cancer Care, The Poppy Appeal, The Rotary Club Romania Appeal, Save the Children, Glasgow City Mission, Comic Relief, Barnardos, Red Cross, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Erskine Hospital, Robin House Children's Hospice, Operation Mobilisation India and RNLI.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

The school ethos is characterised by high expectations for the success of all pupils. The pursuit of excellence is a laudable goal and each pupil should be motivated to achieve to the best of his or her abilities. Staff nurture in pupils timeless values; responsibility, loyalty, service, duty and integrity. The ultimate goal is to produce self-confident, mature individuals, able to balance personal fulfilment with consideration for others and to play a full role in society.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

We hope to be granted planning consent for a proposed extension to senior school – new science laboratories, new maths and ICT space and a new school entrance and reception area. We expect pupils to continue to aspire to high standards of attainment.

Famous past pupils: Eleanor Laing MP; Mhairi Hedderwick, author of Katie Morag books; Vicky Jack, conquered Mount Everest and author.

St George's School for Girls

Garscube Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 6BG

Tel: 0131 311 8000

E: head@st-georges.edin.sch.uk

Web: www.st-georges.edin.sch.uk

Type: Indpendent Girls School age 2-18, Boys age 2-4

Boarding: Boarding House on site for approx 50 full and flexi-boarders

Roll: 918

Uniform: Yes, in P1–S4; own clothes/optional uniform in S5/S6

Average class size: 24; 16 in Sixth Form years

Fees (per annum): 3,435-9,630 (boarding extra)

Bursaries: Individual circumstances considered

Main extra-curricular activities: Sport, music, drama, CCF, Duke of Edinburgh, Young Enterprise International Programme, Independent Learning Programme.

Community links: More than 200 community partnerships; links with Wester Hailes Education Centre, Craigroyston Community High, Balerno High, Telford College.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

Confident, independent young women who will take the ethos of the school with them into the world of work.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

Opening of Confucius classroom in May 2008; further advance International Programme which sends students to schools in US, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, China, Italy, Germany and France and welcomes students from these schools into our community; continuing excellence in education to send over 98 per cent of students into higher education; continued support of Tennis Academy students in conjunction with Tennis Scotland and our other Scottish International sports players in hockey, lacrosse, skiing, sailing, netball, tennis and polo.

Famous past pupils: Marie Stopes, scientist and founder of the family planning movement in Britain; Kathleen Scott, sculptor (taught by Rodin in Paris) and wife of Captain Scott; Phyllis Bone, sculptor, RSA, first woman to be elected a fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy; Lady Mary Ogilvie, first President of St Anne's College, Oxford; actress Bridget Forsyth; novelist Candia McWilliam; TV journalists Penny Macmillan and Nell Nelson; Tam Dalyell was here as a boy in the primary department.

St Leonards School and Sixth Form College

St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9QJ

Tel: 01334 472126

E-mail: info@stleonardsfife.org

Web: www.stleonards-fife.org

Type: Co-ed day and boarding, 4-18

Boarding: From senior school

Roll: 444

Uniform: Junior and senior school girls wear St Leonards tartan kilted skirt, light blue shirt and navy V-necked jumper. Boys wear St Leonards kilt or grey trousers, light blue shirt and navy jumper. College has no uniform but a dress code.

Average class size: 18-20

Fees (per annum): Day – 9,339 Boarding – 22,233

Bursaries: Assisted places – means-tested places for children to enter school in years 8, 10 or 12. Up to 100 per cent assistance with fees possible. Scholarships awarded by competitive examination to outstandingly talented students entering at years 8, 9 or 12 – academic, music, art and design, drama, golf and sport.

Main extra-curricular activities: Duke of Edinburgh; sport; music; drama productions at the Byre Theatre; skiing, art and music trips; exchange visits to Germany and France; winter skills and climbing activities and charity work in the community.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

We teach them to work effectively, communicate articulately, respect others and participate with purpose. We are strongly committed to preparing young people for the challenges of life ahead. Life lessons of consideration for others and an awareness of the world at large also play an important part. Students are encouraged to learn, explore and discover: to be individuals but to benefit from the fun of a strong school community.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

We are expanding to have two year one classes, starting this year.

Famous past pupils: Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw, Baroness Byford, Agnata Ramsay, Bettie Harvey Anderson, Stella Tennant.

St Margaret's School

East Suffolk Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5PJ

Tel: 0131 668 1986

E: contact@st-margarets.edin.sch.uk

Web: www.st-margarets.edin.sch.uk

Type: All-round education for girls aged three months to 18 years and for boys from three months to eight years.

Boarding: Full-time boarding and flexible residential care where pupils can stay for short periods.

Roll: 450

Average class size: 14-18

Fees (per annum): Day – 5,364-8,184 Boarding – 17,415-18,696

Bursaries: We provide help. For more information on our bursaries, please contact the principal.

Main extra-curricular activities: We offer an extremely wide and varied range of extra curricular clubs and societies, designed to enable pupils to utilise their leisure time developing new interests and hobbies. Currently our most popular activities are hockey club, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and "Mad for Arts". Each year our calendar of extra-curricular activities evolves with pupil preference.

Community links: We support local charities and join in with community initiatives wherever possible.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond school?

St Margaret's School is a thriving and forward-thinking organisation where traditional values meet inspired, creative learning in a happy, nurturing community which builds confidence, character and pride in all its young people. This is because we believe we must equip all our pupils, not only with first class academic qualifications, but also with the life skills required to exploit the many opportunities our modern-day society affords.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

Extension of the S6 offer to ensure an increased emphasis on lifeskills. Increased used of new on-site PE facilities. Further development of eco-school and Healthy Lifestyle initiatives. Extended GAP student exchange programme and pupil exchanges with Australia and Paris.

Famous past pupils: Sally Gray MBE (TV Presenter), Carolyn Spray (director Pentland Plants/Beechgrove Garden Presenter).

St Margaret's School for Girls, Aberdeen

17 Albyn Place, Aberdeen AB10 1RU

Tel: 01224 584466

E: info@st-margaret.aberdeen.sch.uk

W: www.st-margaret.aberdeen.sch.uk

Type: Independent Day School for Girls age 5-18. Nursery for Girls and Boys age 3-5.

Boarding: No

Roll: 385

Uniform: Yes

Average class size: 18

Fees (per annum): 8,580

Bursaries: Bursaries are means tested. We offer up to 100 per cent remission on fees for entry into 1st year senior and bursaries up to 50 per cent remission on fees for entry into 5th and 6th year senior.

Main extra-curricular activities: We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities including film club, music, eco club, badminton, Choi Kwang Do, dance, debating, art, cross-country, tennis, chess, maths, netball, hockey and we even have our own girls football team involved in the local league.

Community links: We have very strong links with our local community through the Duke of Edinburgh Award, this includes helping in charity shops, coaching sport and helping with the elderly. Our girls provide hampers for the needy and elderly at harvest. We raise thousands of pounds every year for local charity groups.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond their school years?

Confidence, honesty, an openness to new ideas and a positive 'can do' outlook.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

We hope to continue to offer excellent education in a caring and friendly environment. We aim to achieve successful, confident and caring girls who achieve not just in academics but all areas of their life.

Famous past pupils: Tessa Jowell MP.

St Mary's Music School

Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL

Tel: 0131 538 7766

E-mail: info@st-marys-music-school.co.uk

Web: www.st-marys-music-school.co.uk

Type: Co-ed for exceptionally talented young musicians, 9-19

Boarding: Yes (and day)

Roll: 71 full-time pupils (49 instrumentalists and 22 choristers, who sing in the Choir of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral) plus four post-Higher pupils on our part-time Pathways to Specialism scheme.

Uniform: P5–S2: school sweatshirt or polo shirt. Chorister pupils: also school tie and white shirt. S3 and above: comfortable clothes for day-to-day, plus simple, inexpensive uniform for school concerts, photographs etc.

Average class size: 7

Fees (per annum): On application. Open access, with places awarded solely on musical merit, aptitude and potential. Instrumental pupils and some choristers are supported (up to 100 per cent) by the Scottish Government through the Aided Places Scheme and, for other chorister pupils, by cathedral bursaries. Parents pay on a sliding scale according to their means.

Bursaries: See above.

Main extra-curricular activities: Huge variety of music: orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles, jazz, Scottish traditional music, participation in competitions such as BBC Young Musician, concerts around Scotland and beyond, regular participation in festivals such as at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, links with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and helping at the school's Saturday Morning Music Classes with over 200 local children; also debating, football, science club, Gaelic club, craft club etc.

Community links: More than 200 children attend our Saturday morning music classes; we offer specialist music opportunities through our Part-time Pathways to Specialism Scheme for post-Higher pupils; we offer open access to workshops given by distinguished visiting musicians; many concerts in the community, often for charities.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond their school years?

We aim to prepare pupils musically, academically, socially and emotionally for the next stage in their educational development. We encourage a high level of motivation, self-discipline and self-esteem, giving pupils the opportunity to achieve their potential.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

To continue to help deliver the Scottish Executive's vision for excellence in education by nurturing Scotland's finest young musical talent, being ambitious for our pupils and aiming for excellence across all aspects of the education we provide.

Famous past pupils: Pianist Steven Osborne, conductor Garry Walker, soprano Susan Hamilton, composer David Horne, "All Angels" singer Daisy Chute, among many others.

Stewart's Melville College

Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3EZ

Tel: 0131 311 1000

E-mail: secretary@esmgc.com

Web: www.esms.edin.sch.uk

Type: Independent day; single sex (age 11 to 18); co-educational with girls in sixth form. Part of three-school group with junior school and The Mary Erskine School.

Boarding: Dean Park House adjoining the school grounds serves as the boarding house for up to 32 boys. They share dining and recreational facilities with The Mary Erskine School boarders next door in Erskine House.

Roll: 733 (boys)

Uniform: Black with red edging bespoke blazers, white shirt, red tie

Average class size: 17

Fees (per annum): 8,184

Bursaries: Means-tested bursaries worth up to 100 per cent may be available to parents of children entering any year-group in the senior schools. A number of awards are allocated for external candidates seeking to join the sixth form.

Main extra-curricular activities: Each week, the school offers 71 clubs and societies to suit the interests of all boys. In sport, the school has particular strengths in rugby, swimming, basketball, athletics, hockey, soccer, tennis and skiing with representation at district and national level. Other activities include: Duke of Edinburgh Award; music and drama; debating, outdoor education and pipe band.

Community links: The schools, through pupils led by very active school councils and charity committees, raise funds for more than 50 charities, including: Macmillan Cancer Research; Scottish Love in Action; Oxfam, MIND; Task Brasil. Schools also raise funds to help schools abroad; chemistry department worked with Aberdeen City Education Dept to establish a Chemistry Challenge, also at Stewart's Melville College they ran an inaugural sports tournament for children from four local primary schools. The schools also have orchestras and choirs who perform regularly throughout the year at public occasions.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond their school years?

We emphasise the importance of self-respect and pride and work very hard to develop every aspect of each child's personality during their time in our schools so that they can grow up to play a very positive and caring role in whatever direction life takes them.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

Maintenance of excellent academic performance achieved in recent years alongside continuing promotion of Advanced Highers in sixth form where students now take at least two Advanced Highers each. This to be combined with sustaining the high level of early-UCAS applications and Oxbridge success. Improving our games facilities with the construction of an all-weather pitch at our Inverleith sportsground and the replacement of the artificial lawns on our main campus. Developing the use of our performing arts facilities for community use and for professional musicians.

Strathallan School

Forgandenny, Perth, PH2 9EG

Tel: 01738 815003

E-mail: admissions@strathallan.co.uk

Web: www.strathallan.co.uk

Type: Boarding and Day School for girls and boys aged 9 to 18.

Boarding: 1 junior house, 2 girls houses (a 3rd under construction), 4 boys houses – 329 boarders.

Roll: 501

Uniform: Girls – navy skirts, white shirts, school tie, navy jumpers; boys – same as girls expect black or charcoal grey trousers, different sports kit for various sports.

Average class size: 11 (1:7 teacher to pupil ratio)

Fees (per annum): Primary – 3,359-5,377 Senior – 5,112-7,535

Bursaries: Yes, all bursaries are means-tested.

Main extra-curricular activities: Dancing, expressive arts, drama, pottery, art, theatre, LAMDA, pipe band, choir, music, jazz band, choirs (4), orchestra, wood band, samba band, sculpting, brass ensemble, choral scholars. Athletics, badminton, hockey, tennis, cricket, swimming, cross country, cycling, equestrian, football, basketball, netball, volleyball, golf, judo, rugby, sailing, skiing, squash, table tennis, fencing, dance, clay pigeon shooting, fitness, karate. Small groups such as golf, combined cadet force, community service, film club, fly tying club, sub aqua, climbing (we have our own climbing wall), life skills, law, strength and conditioning, cooking, young enterprise, Duke of Edinburgh, choral scholars, Btech, eco group, charity's committee.

Community links: Community use of all sporting facilities, hockey coaching, swimming coaching, attendance at all school performances free, as well as many of our concerts etc. Activities during the year which are open to all the local communities. Community service – nursing homes, charity shops etc every Wednesday by pupils.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond their school years?

Confidence but not arrogance; giving our pupils a range of experiences and independence to enable them to adapt to the myriads of today's society.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

Completion of the new synthetic pitch and another new girl's boarding house, as well as maintain national success, academically, in sport, music, art, design technology and extra activities.

Famous past pupils: Colin Montgomerie as well as many others who have gone on to be successful in their chosen field.

Wellington School, Ayr

Carleton Turrets, 1 Craigweil Road, Ayr, KA7 2XH

Tel: 01292 269321

E-mail: info@wellingtonschool.org

Web: www.wellingtonschool.org

Type: Independent 3-8 co-educational

Boarding: No

Roll: 592

Uniform: Green blazer, grey trousers (boys), tartan kilt (girls).

Average class size: 13.4

Fees (per annum): 4,470 – 8,775

Bursaries: 100 per cent bursaries (varies each year): this year 2 in S3 and 1 in S1.

Main extra-curricular activities: Music, drama, rugby, hockey, athletics, art, Duke of Edinburgh Award, public speaking.

Community links: Majority of pupils take part in Duke of Edinburgh Award and we try to make sure they choose their own service to contribute meaningfully to their community. All pupils take part in extensive range of charity events run by sixth year. This year we are raising money for National Children's Homes. Senior pupils are encouraged to attend refereeing, umpiring and coaching courses so they can contribute to sports in the wider community when they leave school. We have strong links with Europe (exchanges to France/Germany, sports fixtures with French schools, Comenius participation, etc). Music ensembles from senior school play at functions in the community – even P3 visit a local nursing home to chat with the residents and entertain them with songs. There is a big commitment to eco-schools with projects, involving pupils from nursery to S6, within school and in the local community.

What qualities do you try to instil in pupils to take beyond their school years?

Participation/involvement – most pupils take part in a very wide range of extracurricular activities (many involved every day of the week); compassion and respect for others – all pupils involved in charity work, senior pupils mentor younger pupils; responsible citizenship – thriving school council which helps inform school policy, work experience being expanded, eco-schools and Healthy Eating initiatives, new Fairtrade Schools Scheme, etc; entrepreneurship – pupils have the opportunity to run their own companies (enterprise education is in the curriculum from Nursery to S6); successful lifelong learning – pupils are taught to think for themselves and take more ownership of their own learning.

What do you hope to achieve in 2008?

Expand Duke of Edinburgh Award: to accommodate whole year groups; to include canoeing and horse riding and ultimately cycling; to include more exotic locations such as Norway and Morocco. Develop opportunities for outdoor education in all year groups; additional staff training in outdoor education; further development of sports infrastructure - 1.3m on new pavilion/Astroturf pitch, hosting refereeing, umpiring and coaching courses to build expertise and support the community.

Famous past pupils: Kirsty Wark, Nicola Benedetti, Kirsty Hume.