HM Inspectors of Schools called Kilgraston “sector-leading”. Last year it was UK Independent School of the Year, with judges praising it as “an example to other schools”. It has just invested £1m in a new state of the art Science Centre which will open in the autumn. It’s the only school in Scotland to have its own on-campus Equestrian Centre.
Clearly ambitious, Kilgraston sets the bar high. So what are the reasons for its success? Principal Frank Thompson is in no doubt.
“Small is beautiful,” he insists. “With class sizes of fifteen or less, we are totally committed to individual care. We know every one of our 317 girls extremely well. Every girl is different. Staff know who needs a little extra help or who needs to be stretched a little further. Today, our pupils need twenty-first century skills for the modern world and our philosophy is to offer twenty-first century “pupil-centred” education. This means we put our girls’ needs first, focusing on their individual abilities, interests and learning styles.”
Nestling in a stunning Perthshire valley amid 54 acres of ground, Kilgraston is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 2½–18. It has four sections: Nursery (ages 2–3 to 5), Preparatory (ages 5–13), Senior School (ages 13–16) and Sixth Form.
Kilgraston is a member of the International Network of Sacred Heart Schools, linking some 200 schools and colleges worldwide. As a Catholic school it has a strong ecumenical tradition and welcomes pupils of all religions and faiths. There is a large staff and a favourable staff:pupil ratio of about 1:12. An excellent all-round education is provided and results are consistently high. Music is strong and drama flourishes. In addition to the standard range of sports and games, it also offers skiing, karate, judo and riding. Community service is a core part of school life, as is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. There are many debates, dances and public-speaking competitions with other schools. Extensive use is made of the cultural amenities of neighbouring cities and towns. Some scholarships are offered in academic, sport (including riding and tennis), music, and drama. Means-tested bursaries are also available.
Academically, results are consistently outstanding. Last year, at Higher, pupils achieved 91.4% A-C passes, with 53% of these A grades. At Advanced Higher, the picture was even better; with pupils achieving 96.4% A-C passes, with 53% again at A grade. And Standard Grade results were excellent too, with 88% at Credit level. Scottish Qualifications are also highly regarded by all U.K. universities allowing for breadth and depth of study.
And the Kilgraston “pupils first” approach is working well, as one former pupil attests: “The experience was so memorable I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
95% upper sixth leavers go on to a degree course (approx. 10% after a gap year), 3% to Oxbridge. 8% take courses in science and engineering, 32% in humanities and social sciences, 8% in art and design, 24% in vocational subjects e.g. accountancy, physiotherapy, psychology, law, and 21% in other subjects such as fashion management, French, music, advertising and hospitality management. A percentage of students also go on to Russell Group Universities.
Kilgraston is located just 10 minutes from the city of Perth and 45 minutes from Edinburgh. Kilgraston’s campus occupies 54 acres of parkland set within a picturesque landscape of rolling hills and unspoilt open moor. We have fields, woodland and streams all on-site, providing pupils of all ages with a charming, delightfully rural experience all year round.
Nearest airports: Edinburgh 40 minutes, Dundee 30 minutes
Nearest railway stations: Perth, 8 minutes (5 miles)
When a girl decides to board at Kilgraston, she will be given access to a whole new world of social and cultural opportunities which contribute a broad new dimension to her Kilgraston education ‘experience’. Staff and pupils alike revel in the extra-curricular programme which includes activities such as skiing, theatre trips, Duke of Edinburgh award, sailing and even dog sledding! As a result, boarding is a very popular choice even for girls whose families live within commuting distance. The boarding community plays a vital role in maintaining the vibrancy and pulse of the school, and creates new opportunities for a wealth of cross-curricular links with other schools and organisations.
Wireless internet (monitored and filtered) is provided throughout all residential areas of the school, giving pupils the opportunity to keep in touch with friends and family during term time.
The boarding staff are friendly, approachable and highly professional; every girl is monitored closely to ensure she is happy and comfortable, and that she has access to appropriate help and advice at all times.
There is great camaraderie between boarders of all ages, and strong bonds of friendship are forged so that when their time at Kilgraston comes to an end, the ‘best friend’ is likely to remain so for life.
Socialising is actively encouraged and there is a busy programme of joint events and socials with neighbouring schools, including the all-boys Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh (where there are reciprocal arrangements for fees). Kilgraston encourages leadership, confidence, independence, integrity and an ambition to achieve, and has something to inspire every young woman, from rock climbing and karate; to photography and ceramics. This approach to education ensures that Kilgraston girls are well equipped for the modern world, whatever and wherever they want to be.
80% of pupils are housed in individual study bedrooms and those aged 8-12 years are in small dormitories. Kilgraston has resident qualified nurses and a local doctor visits the school each week. There are two weekend exeats (2 nights) plus half-term (5-11 days) in the autumn and spring and two long weekends in summer term. Visits to the local town are allowed on Saturday afternoon, from age 14. Evening outings for sixth formers at weekends are arranged and there is a full programme of weekend activities and visits for boarders.
Admissions & Fees
Kilgraston admits pupils of a wide range of abilities who are able to respond to the educational provision which the school provides. It is essential that all pupils at Kilgraston have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. The selection procedures for all prospective pupils are based on ability and aptitude, are fair and reflect the ethos of the school. Kilgraston is open to girls aged 2 ½ to 18 and boys aged 2 ½ to 9.
The Principal and school staff are available to answer your questions and queries about the school at any time, and we hold regular Open Days which give you an opportunity to tour the school and meet the staff and pupils.
For a comprehensive Prospectus Pack and details of fees, please contact the Principal’s PA:
Telephone: +44 (0)1738 812257
Fax: +44 (0)1738 813410
|Boarding fees per term||£6540 – £8235|
|Day fees per term||£2755 - £4830|
|Deposit||Day £500, Boarding £750|