“There could be no finer place to spend one’s school days.” That’s the description put forward by Tatler magazine about Glenalmond College, an independent day and boarding school in Scotland. With its wide, vast grounds and greenery that stretches beyond what the eye can see, that impression can hardly be contended with — it’s clear that the school is a haven on earth for its many pupils.
It’s tucked away in the heart of the Perthshire countryside, just one hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. Here, boys and girls aged 12 to 18 find their purpose amidst one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. From an excellent academic focus to the calling of the wild outdoors, there’s something on offer for everyone.
“Glenalmond’s teachers are ambitious for their pupils,” says a parent — a fact that rings true with every second that ticks by in the halls of Glenalmond. Academic excellence is a point of great pride, with all pupils working their way towards their GCSEs, making for a seamless preparation for the demands and challenges of Sixth Form and beyond. At Glenalmond, curiosity is not just encouraged in the classroom — it is expected, and enthusiastically supported by a collection of teachers with years of experience in their subject areas.
What students learn in their subjects are expanded upon in the host of visiting lecturers the school brings in throughout the year, as well as regular cultural and academic trips. This naturally results in the development of an inquisitive spirit, and one that is interested in learning for its own sake as well as to lock in competitive examination grades.
This ensures that by the time students reach their A Level years, they’re well prepared to face the challenges that will come with it. Students are spoilt for choice, with a broad range of 26 A Level subjects on offer. Here, students can decide to take everything from Politics and History of Art to Computer Science and Technology — whatever their future aspirations, there’s always a guarantee that Glenalmond will be there to help them reach their goals.
While Glenalmond understands that achievement comes in many different forms, it consistently realises its ambitions for pupils; last year, the average A-level results achieved by pupils were A*AA and over 60% went on to Russell Group universities, including Oxbridge, medical and veterinary schools.
Outside the classroom is a world of wonder that’s just waiting to be explored. The school’s countryside setting allows for an impressive range of extra-curricular activities, most of them tapping into the vast Scottish environment around them. Students can climb Scotland’s collection of beautiful mountains or kayak across its lochs, all whilst being supervised by local guides and coaches that will ensure their safety at all times.
As such, Glenalmond is well-placed to host exciting, challenging initiatives that are designed to push students to reach their full potential. This includes the internationally-recognised Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, of which Glenalmond is proud to have one of the highest success rates for the completion of the Gold and Silver categories.
Naturally, this makes for a dreamlike environment for the active student. With 300 acres of land at their disposal, the Glenalmond campus is fully utilised to give students the best sporting facilities any school can offer. This includes an Olympic-standard, water-based hockey astro and a nine-hole James Braid-designed golf course. For students interested in horse riding, the school has close links with several local equestrian enterprises and a picturesque setting in which to learn in. Glenalmond alumni agree that it’s this that makes their school experience so memorable, and one that has played a large role in shaping their future successes.
Of course, that’s not to distract from the emphasis the school places on the arts. Music is celebrated at Glenalmond, with chamber groups, choirs, ensembles, instrument and singing lessons, and a range of music scholarships available to nurture every student’s talents. They’re supported by a truly impressive myriad of facilities, including a beautiful-wood-floored Recital Hall, a full surround-sound classroom, and another dedicated Music Technology space with an adjacent soundproofed room.
Drama, too, is encouraged at Glenalmond. The school prides itself on staging high-standard productions which its talented students eagerly partake in — some recent shows include Broadway classics such as “The Sound of Music” and “Anything Goes.” The annual Senior Production alternates between a musical and two-act play, and those who do not join these activities are often in the audience, cheering their fellow schoolmates on. It’s an exciting and supportive time that showcases the best Glenalmond has to offer.
What truly sets Glenalmond apart, however, is its warm and welcoming atmosphere. From the moment visitors step onto the school’s grounds, they’re met with friendly staff and pupils, all of whom are excited to share the magic of their entire academic experience. This is no accident: Warden Dr. Michael Alderson says that above all, students at Glenalmond are raised to “be decent, to have clear values, and have the courage to stand by them.” In this, it’s certainly an educational experience that any student would dream of.
Visit Glenalmond College’s website for more information