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The independent schools that could be perfect for your child

Our guide to the best education in the area.

School pupils running. Article about some independent schools in Scotland
Find out where your school uniform bank is in Moray. Image: Shutterstock.

Independent schools provide an outstanding education across the board with pupils guaranteed a broad and stimulating experience. But diversity is their strength and each institution has a unique offering.

When selecting one you’ll need to consider a range of things, including the school’s ethos, curriculum and extra-curricular activities, as well as your own child’s strengths and personality.

If you click on the interactive map below you’ll get information on some of the top independent schools in Scotland and you can scroll down to find out more about what makes them special.

What you can be assured of is that each school will be committed to providing the very best experience for your child.

Here we find out why they might be the right fit for your family.

ISA’s culture of care and compassion helps shape future success

ISA pupils.
ISA puts a focus on the children for who they are as individuals.

At ISA, children are given the opportunity to embrace a different kind of learning driven by a school-wide culture that focuses on children for who they are as individuals.

Among top of the list for families choosing a school is always the level of care their child will receive to support their learning. Student wellbeing sits at the heart of everything they do at ISA and from preschool age upwards, they pride themselves on ensuring students are free to be themselves, encouraging natural curiosity and a zest for learning.

Student-centred learning takes a whole child approach including having two full-time counsellors dedicated to Elementary and Middle School. Their team of experienced teachers know that by engaging with their young people and giving them a sense of control over their own learning, their brains will adapt to produce powerful results.

Elementary School at ISA covers preschool to Grade 5 (Preschool to Primary 6). Elementary School Principal, Morio Kajiwara, who has more than two decades’ experience in the education sector, says:

“ISA has fantastic pastoral care and a true passion to empower, support and inspire the next generation.”

They make every decision with the child in mind, and know it is the quality of their relationships that determine the strength of leadership.

As Scotland’s first international school, ISA educates children from age three to 18. With small class sizes and first-rate learning, language and counselling support, your child will receive the support they need to prepare them to thrive in a globalised world.

Let’s shape our children’s future together.

For more information, visit the ISA website.

Your daughter will be all she can be at St Margaret’s

St Margaret's School pupils.
St Margaret’s nurtures their pupils in a welcoming, all-girl environment.

St Margaret’s aim to make choosing the right school for your daughter, at any stage of her development, a little less daunting. They recognise the importance of a decision that has the potential to shape her entire future, but they also understand girls – how they learn, how they play and how they develop. Their school values of respect, equality, hard work, ambition and community are at the heart of all they do.

They are nurturing the communication skills, resilience, self-confidence and global outlook necessary for pupils to thrive in an ever-changing world.

The only girls’ school in Aberdeen, St Margaret’s has around 370 pupils ranging in age from 3 to 18. The school is large enough to offer flexibility and choice in terms of the curriculum and extra-curricular activities, but small enough to ensure each girl is well known within a welcoming atmosphere. St Margaret’s staff are experts in teaching girls and are committed to supporting each student to be all that she can be.

They believe a single- sex education offers girls the space in which their intellectual and physical identity can blossom. Their pupils are socially aware and prepared to cope with the challenges of the world beyond school.

They provide pupils at all ages and stages with a variety of extra-curricular opportunities. Music, sport, debating, drama, dance, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and many other activities are available.

From nursery to sixth year, they provide abundant leadership opportunities and foster a sense of belonging. At St Margaret’s there are no glass ceilings.

St Margaret’s School for Girls accepts applications all year round and look forward to showing you what a special place this is. To apply for August 2023 entry, email, or call 01224 584466. For further information and to find out more about our school visit the St Margaret’s website.

Discover your pathway at Robert Gordon’s College

Robert Gordon pupils playing. Article about some independent schools in Scotland
Children at Robert Gordon’s have access to the broadest range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities.

Renowned for its stimulating environment and high academic achievements, Robert Gordon’s is also recognised for its ethos of being a caring, inclusive and respectful community where children are encouraged to discover and explore a broad range of subjects and co-curricular programmes to help them find their niche and build a love for learning.

Mrs Sarah Webb, Head of Nursery and Junior School highlights: “Getting the best start for every child is really important to us. We encourage children to explore what they are passionate about, in a stimulating and inspiring atmosphere where your child will be motivated, value hard work and strive to achieve their best. We aim to spark a love of learning, to challenge and stretch pupils to be intellectually curious.”

Mrs Clare Smith, Head of Senior School, adds: “Our pupils build their knowledge and confidence as they begin to discover more about themselves as learners and explore options for new pathways for the future. Leadership is a key element of these final years at school, where pupils are supported by the wider Gordon’s community of alumni and partners across the world. We believe that exposing pupils to others who have experienced life beyond school, perhaps moving to a new city or region of the world, experiencing new industries and perhaps even connecting with alumni for work experience, is a critical part of preparing them for the future.”

Mr Robin Macpherson, Head of College, summarises: “We are proud to have the broadest curriculum in the North-east of Scotland and our results are outstanding. Incredibly, 99% of our pupils went to their first-choice university last year and we offer a diverse range of future pathways, including Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League universities. That same breadth can be seen in the co-curriculum where many pupils go on to careers in the performing arts, professional sport and in technology.”

Register  for the next Open Morning on Friday 2 June 2023 at 9.15am at the Robert Gordon’s College website.

An education for life at Albyn School

Albyn School teacher and pupils
Albyn staff are committed to ensuring your child gets the best education they can.

The decision of where to educate your child is one of the most important that you will make as a parent.

At Albyn School staff are firm believers in educating for life. While they are proud that the School achieved the best SQA Higher exam results in Scotland last year, it is equally important that their pupils grow up to be caring and respectful adults.

The school wants their children to be self-aware, ambitious and outward-looking so they can contribute to the world they will enter when they leave school. In order to achieve that, they seek to help them develop six key qualities: curiosity, resilience, confidence, endeavour, empathy and teamwork.

“Albyn School is committed to being a welcoming community for everyone. Together, we celebrate diversity and support an inclusive culture where all our young people can make choices to grow and thrive in an ever-changing world,” shared Headmaster Stefan Horsman.

Their boys and girls have different skills, abilities and interests, and, thanks to small class sizes, the dedicated teachers can fully focus on harnessing their talents.

The wide range of subjects available, the flexibility to make timetables fit and the breadth of co-curricular activities on offer are the vital ingredients which enable Albyn’s young people to achieve their aspirations.

At Albyn School, the staff are certain the school  could be a good fit for your child, but, just like their pupils, they would like to encourage you to be curious and find out for yourself – at their next open day on Friday May 26.

To explore all Albyn School has to offer, contact the Admissions Team on 01224 322408, email or visit the Albyn School website.