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SPONSORED: 7 great independent schools in Scotland – and how to visit them

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Many independent schools in Scotland are getting ready to welcome prospective students – it’s a great chance to find a new school in which your child can thrive.

From smaller class sizes to first class facilities, a range of subjects and unique extra-curricular activities, independent schools have lots to offer.

And with many day and boarding independent schools situated across Scotland, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the right one for your child.

That’s why virtual tours, open days or open evenings are a great first step for prospective students and their families.

Here are seven great independent schools in Scotland and more information on how you can arrange a visit.

International School Aberdeen

The International School of Aberdeen (ISA) believes healthy communities and positive learning environments are always built on the quality of human relationships.

The ISA Virtual Open Days have been designed to give you a sense of the level of care that makes ISA special. Not just for expatriate students new to Scotland, but also for Scottish families looking for something different.

Step into the world of ISA to experience its 21st-century campus with pool, theatre, gyms, three-storey library, science and design labs, the specialist art, music and drama studios, the spacious classrooms, the wide and welcoming corridors and the incredible outdoor spaces.

As Scotland’s first international school, ISA educates children from age 3 to 18.

Families and children of all ages are welcome to register for its next Virtual Open Day on Friday, October 8th, 2021.

The ISA is looking forward to giving you a warm welcome! Visit the ISA website to find out more.


Glenalmond College

Located in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Glenalmond College in Perthshire offers a truly extraordinary place to learn. Boys and girls age 12 – 18 thrive in Glenalmond’s 300 acres with countless opportunities for activities, fun and friendship.

Most of Glenalmond’s teachers live on site, a very important factor in the support each pupil receives in this bustling community where teamwork and leadership skills flourish alongside academic subjects, sport, music, drama and art.

The school offers full and flexi boarding and, with only around 360 pupils, class sizes are reassuringly small.

According to Tatler Schools Guide 2022: “There could be no finer place to spend one’s school days… the atmosphere is warm, vibrant and busy… leavers depart fuelled with the ambition and knowledge to make a valuable contribution to the world.”

Find out more via or call 01738 842144. Next Open Day: Oct 2nd 2021.

Check out the Glenalmond College website for further information.


The High School of Dundee

The High School of Dundee’s focus is on enabling every pupil to achieve their full potential. Its goal is to identify the interests, talents and ambitions of each and every one of its pupils and to equip them with the tools and skills to achieve and exceed their goals.

Now more than ever The High School of Dundee wants to be sure that, as well as providing pupils with all the support they need, they are also building skills in creativity, resilience and confidence so that they can adapt to and thrive in the ever-changing world.

The High School of Dundee welcomes new pupils throughout the year and means-tested financial assistance is available in the Senior School and P6 and P7 of the Junior School.

Its Virtual Open Morning took place on September 18th, but if you missed it don’t worry. Parents can also book a tour of the school or a taster session for their child on a school day in September and October.

Find out more about student life at The High School of Dundee.


St Aloysius College

Situated in the heart of Glasgow, St Aloysius College is Scotland’s only Jesuit school. It is one of the country’s top-performing schools for exam results, however, academic achievement is only one part of life at this school.

St Aloysius College places the formation of the whole person at the centre of all learning, with an extensive extra-curricular and outreach programme.

In a 3-18 school, continuity of learning is important and the mission and values spread across all schools, from Kindergarten, right through to the Junior and Senior schools.

Register to join St Aloysius College for its Open Evening on Thursday 4th November.



Merchiston is a remarkable school where boys make lifelong friends and community connections, whilst gaining a world-class, global, outward-looking education.

Community wellbeing is central; without it, no one will ever achieve their best. That is why well-being underpins everything the school does.

It is what makes for meaningful and connected conversations. It is how Merchiston gets to know your son really well.

It is why the school can support and motivate him in just the right way. Your son will thrive because he is known, understood, valued and supported in everything he does.

Your son will leave Merchiston as a rounded individual, not only having achieved the highest level of personal academic success but also with a sense of who he is and with respect for others, having learnt what it means to have true integrity and character.

Attend its Virtual Open Morning at 10 am on Saturday 2 October and take a closer look. The whole family will be welcomed to hear from the Headmaster, members of staff and pupils, and enjoy a virtual tour of the school.

Merchiston will also hold a live question and answer session with the Headmaster, the Academic Leadership Team and other key members of staff.

Register for Merchiston’s upcoming open day to find out more.


St Columba’s

St Columba’s is an independent, non-denominational day school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18.

St Columba’s is one of Scotland’s highest achieving schools, nestled in the beautiful town of Kilmacolm, near Glasgow.

The Columban ethos recognises that the classroom extends further than the walls of the school.

St Columba’s also boasts an Outdoor Centre and Outdoor Education specialist who leads the school’s Duke of Edinburgh and John Muir Award activities.

Meanwhile, at Junior School, pupils from infant years onwards take part in the Mini and Junior Dukes awards.

Children are the adults of tomorrow. It is perhaps not surprising that staff, parents and pupils see a Columban education as an investment for life – an unparalleled learning experience in a stunning part of the world.

Visit the website to book a virtual tour or register interest in visiting St Columba’s in Kilmacolm.


Strathallan School

For over 100 years, Strathallan has done things its own way. Its 153-acre campus is home to some of the best facilities in the country, and a tailored curriculum of Highers, Advanced Highers and A-Levels is the broadest available at a Scottish co-educational boarding school.

Whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find a place for it at Strathallan.

Strathallan’s aim has always been to bring out the very best in every pupil, and its non-selective admissions policy means it gets to welcome some truly remarkable young people.

Some go on to play sports for their country, others excel academically or artistically, and still more enjoy all-round successes.

Strathallan School changes the game. Are you ready to discover where Strathallan could take you?

Discreetly set within Strathallan’s safe, rural campus, the Prep School is a small, tight-knit community that benefits from access to the extensive facilities of the whole school.

Pupils enjoy the expertise of specialist teachers and coaches combined with small class sizes. This means every pupil – day or boarding – has the opportunity to broaden their skills and discover what inspires them.

Visit Strathallan online and download a prospectus.