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4 independent schools that will put your child on the path to success

Support networks and strong ethos lay foundations for the future.

Lineup of school pupils.
A strong start at school can put you on the path to success.

A good school doesn’t just provide an education, it creates a brighter future for its pupils.

A sense of community, a strong network of support and an ethos that instils true confidence in children is vital to them going on to achieving their goals.

Luckily we’re spoilt for choice in the north-east for establishments that provide that sort of outstanding environment.

Here we look at four independent Aberdeenshire schools that epitomise this spirit and provide the perfect platform for their students’ future success.

Discover your pathway at Robert Gordon’s College

Robert Gordon's pupils with bunsen burner in science lab.
Robert Gordon’s College encourages pupils to be brave and adventurous, with a focus on learning how to learn.

Recognised for its ethos of being a caring, inclusive and respectful community, children at Robert Gordon’s College are encouraged to expand their horizons with a strong support network for educational and career development.

Extending beyond their school years, the values of a Robert Gordon’s education become an integral part of pupils who take them far into their future paths.

Jackie Frary, Class of 2005, XR Senior Programme Manager at Ultraleap in Bristol, shared: “Technology development is all about problem solving and being part of a team, skills I learnt being part of the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force. It wasn’t until I went to university that I realised the opportunities that going to RGC afforded me, from the number of subjects on offer all through school and the extra curricular clubs to suit all. I was able to indulge in all my interests which is an approach to life I follow to this day. Not only has my time at RGC shaped my work life, it also gave me the best friends I could ask for.”

Dougal Grimes, Class of 2000, VP of Innovation at Spin Master Ltd in New York, added: “I remember RGC being an early adopter of IT/Computer Science for Schools. I think this early exposure to technology, future growth subjects and thinking has a direct and indirect effect positively on students, and has on myself having studied computer science at university. I currently work in the field of product design, innovation and design management and I think the exposure early to art and design, as well as the breadth of subjects at Robert Gordon’s College, allowed me to be exposed to more opportunities for my career and also helped me learn a more multidisciplinary management approach to my future vocation.”

Mr Robin Macpherson, Head of Robert Gordon’s College, shared: “The RGC curriculum combines the best of both traditional and progressive approaches where our children quickly become confident, curious and resilient. As an independent school we have more freedom to make decisions which are right for our pupils and that makes a huge difference. They are supported emotionally and socially, and given just the right amount of stretch academically. It’s a powerful combination. There is no better place to be!”

Contact the Robert Gordon’s admissions team and take the next step in making that journey for your child.

Albyn School is educating for life

Fionna Ironside
Fionna Ironside says there is a strong family atmosphere at Albyn School.

Albyn School is educating for life. It helps all pupils become self-aware, ambitious and outward-looking so they can contribute to the world as global citizens. It also supports them to develop six key qualities: curiosity, resilience, confidence, endeavour, empathy and teamwork.

When parents choose Albyn School, they can rest assured that their child will receive more than just an excellent education. They will be inspired and supported by a team of teachers focused on their happiness and wellbeing during their time at Albyn. Thanks to the school’s small class sizes, teachers can gain an in-depth understanding of all pupils and tailor the teaching to their specific needs and interests.

One of the school’s dedicated educators is Fionna Ironside, a former pupil who returned to Albyn School as a Lower School teacher in 2018. She said: “I joined Albyn School as a pupil in S1 and loved the size of the school – everybody knew everyone. I immediately got the sense of the strong family atmosphere.

“If you had a passion for something, teachers really supported you. I am very grateful for them because they got me where I am today.

“What I love about working at Albyn are the fantastic staff and children. I love the energy, enthusiasm and opportunities available. As teachers, we are able to be ourselves and bring our love and passion into our classrooms.”

Albyn School is a forward-looking, forward-thinking and progressive school situated in the heart of Aberdeen’s West End. The wide range of subjects available and the breadth of co-curricular activities on offer empower Albyn’s children and young people to achieve their aspirations.

Explore all Albyn School has to offer children aged two to 18.

Shaping successful futures with International School Aberdeen

ISA pupils talking together
ISA pupils have a strong sense of community and develop deep bonds with each other.

Former students are the greatest advocates for any school and, as Aberdeen’s only international school, ISA is proud to shine a spotlight on graduates who are flying the flag for it.

ISA is a community that has comprised some of the most influential and inspirational alumni with graduates succeeding in careers as business executives, lawyers, education leaders, tech and science professionals, and global sporting icons to name a few.

Many former students keep in touch with their teachers at ISA and staff are always delighted to hear about their achievements.

ISA alumni, Chris Van Dort took a few minutes out of his busy schedule as Teacher of History and Politics at Whitgift School, Surrey, to explain how ISA inspired him to pursue a career in teaching.

“ISA had a unique appeal from the start and I knew from day one that it was the school for me,” said Chris. “I immediately felt a sense of community and belonging at ISA.”

Chris has been a teacher at Whitgift School since 2019 where he teaches both A level and IB. He is also Deputy to the Assistant Head of Student Futures, supporting senior students in their university applications.

“At ISA, I was offered amazing support from the high school counsellor who helped me set out my options for universities very clearly. I believe I chose the path into teaching thanks to the inspiration and support from the teachers and counsellors at ISA who truly embedded my desire to support the next generation.”

ISA is running a Preschool Open Day on Saturday, January 27, from 10am – 12pm.

Find out more about how your child can thrive in a globalised world thanks to an independent education at ISA’s website

Achieve your goals with St Margaret’s

St Margaret's school pupil
Erin says her time at St Margaret’s has helped her to push the boundaries of what is possible.

At St Margaret’s, staff create an environment where there is no gender stereotype and pupils are empowered to have high aspirations and work hard towards their goals.

“I undoubtedly benefited massively from the nurturing environment at school where I was encouraged to find the right path for me,” shared class of 2015 alumna, Erin Cornwell. “St Margaret’s is amazing for allowing you to do so much alongside your studies.”

After graduating with a First-Class degree from RGU in International Business Management, Erin was accepted into the Mountbatten Programme and worked in New York during the Covid lockdowns, demonstrating the confidence and resilience which she had consistently displayed since her school days at St Margaret’s.

“I always felt cared for and encouraged at school which has definitely contributed to who I am both personally and professionally today. A lot of the values we are taught at St Margaret’s I have definitely held close in my time post-school.”

Erin is now thriving in her current exciting role as a production coordinator at Sky Sports for the Formula 1 team.

“At school we were continually reminded of how valuable our input was and to tackle challenges head on. Knowing my worth has allowed me to push myself to continually improve and reach for more. I was more than ready to work in a male-dominated sport and I am pleased to work with fearless women who keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

Find out more about how you can put your daughter on the path to success at St Margaret’s.