Strathallan School has been doing education differently for over 100 years. Its award-winning education attracts boarders from across the UK and around the world. With a vast range of activities and the broadest curriculum in Scotland, there’s room for everyone to find their place to shine.
The school’s founder, Harry Riley, believed that education should be enjoyed and provide opportunities for all to find hidden character, talents and potential (quite a revolutionary approach in 1913). Today, the school still firmly believes that the foundation of an enriching life lies in the diverse experiences and opportunities woven into every day at Strathallan.
These are key considerations for any parent considering independent education in Scotland. Finding the right school for a child can feel like picking a second home. A strong academic foundation, like sturdy walls, is needed to support their growth and learning. Just like home requires more than just walls to be genuinely fulfilling, the best schools offer ample space for children to explore their passions, evolve as individuals, and discover their unique talents.
With over a century of nurturing minds and talents across the UK and worldwide, Strathallan understands this. Its diverse offerings provide fertile ground for education to be joyful, fostering academic prowess, talents and potential — bringing out the best in students from the moment they wake up until it’s time for bed.
Learning doesn’t stop when class finishes
Strathallan believes that cultivating students to become lifelong learners extends well beyond the classroom. Preparing young people for success in an ever-evolving world relies on building up a broad collection of experiences in as many different environments as possible. The school has an extensive extra-curricular programme packed with different sports and artistic pursuits, academic extension activities, and global outreach projects designed to complement – and build on – what’s taught inside the classroom.
From the Model United Nations to skiing, fencing, and equestrian sports, Strathallan has many opportunities for all students to excel. They can channel their inner engineer with LEGO coding, hone their oratory skills in the debating society, or even join the on-site Combined Cadet Force. Environmental enthusiasts can engage in “Bee the Change” initiatives and budding journalists can join the school’s podcast “What about the Bear?” showcasing campus life on its expansive 153-acre grounds near Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The scale of what’s on offer outside the classroom at Strathallan is outstanding — as is how much the school has invested into its campus. In the past two decades, Strathallan has poured 22 million pounds into its campus and facilities. With these updated, purpose-built spaces, the most talented athletes can perform at the very top of their game and everyone else can enjoy a seemingly endless roster of activities, from percussion ensemble and jazz band to boxercise and indoor climbing.
All of these are activities that shape children into well-rounded graduates — with record-breaking results in 2023’s Higher and Advanced Higher examinations, the Scottish equivalent to A Levels. A grades at Higher and Advanced Higher not only more than doubled since 2019, the best results yet, but Lower Sixth also achieved a 92% pass rate at Higher, with 100% A’s obtained in Drama, Economics, French, Music, Latin and Spanish. As many as 93% of Upper Sixth students were accepted to their first choice of destination, including the Universities of Bath, Edinburgh, Durham, St Andrews, Glasgow, Manchester, Stirling and the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London.
“We are especially pleased to note that we have a record number of pupils with 5 As or better, demonstrating the exceptional calibre of our students and the value of our holistic, individually focused teaching approach,” says Headmaster of Strathallan School Mark Lauder.
Six out of 10 students are boarders and most staff live on-site on Strathallan School’s safe campus in rural Perthshire, the perfect environment to develop well-rounded students. Source: Strathallan School
Encouraging exploration and critical engagement
Today’s students aren’t just observers, but are encouraged to explore and actively engage with the world around them. Strathallan fosters a culture of critical engagement, urging pupils to grapple with important issues and develop the skills necessary to solve real-world problems. Whether they are developing leadership skills through the Combined Cadet Force or teamwork and active listening in the orchestra, co-curricular activities offer a feast of opportunities to learn real-life skills.
As they’re Strathallan students, learning how to thrive in the world entails going out to it. Through Strathallan’s exchange programme, students can spend their summer holiday in one of its partner schools in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Each year, a team of pupils and staff heads out to Nairobi to participate in community projects as well while others go on excursions within Scotland, throughout the UK and abroad. Past trips included Iceland, Rome, Venice, Berlin and to the First World War battlefields. Exchanges and global outreach programmes expose young people to different cultures, values and ways of life, widening their perspectives and social experiences, not to mention the invaluable opportunity to develop independence and build new friendships that travel to different countries offers.
Seeing the world is a great way to appreciate different aspects of human experience. Children become curious and critical, sparking creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. They develop points of view and effective communication skills to build confidence and clarity, preparing them for a future where adaptability and innovation are paramount.
With a Strathallan education, they’re set to succeed in a fast-changing world.