Talking heads: what was your school highlight of the academic year?

We asked four heads about the best things that happened at their schools this year

“Our greatest academic achievement of the 2018/19 session is once again featuring in the Best Schools top 10 list of outstanding Scottish independent schools based on our higher and advanced higher results. 

“The accomplishments of our pupils demonstrate the continued progress that our school is making, and we are incredibly proud of our young people and their teachers for all their hard work and effort in this. As a young independent school, we may not have the heritage that many others do, but we are determined to make history – our tremendous exam results are testament to the many wonderful things happening at our school.” 

Tom McPhail, principal, Hamilton College 


Rather uniquely we think, Lewes Old Grammar School operates an annual free reward trip to Holland for years 8 and 9 every summer term. Pupils must write me a letter outlining how they have contributed to school life during the year and why they deserve to go on the trip.

“When I sit down to read these letters, they bring tears to my eyes and make me so proud of our students. The letters remind me how they get involved in so many school activities beyond their work – drama, music, sport, art, fundraising – and contribute to making LOGS such a wonderful community.” 

Robert Blewitt, headmaster, Lewes Old Grammar School


“This year I had the opportunity to consider the essence of Farnborough Hill as part of a brand rejuvenation. For over 130 years we have been committed to ‘educating the whole person’, nurturing the talents of every pupil; this remains at our core. Our new strapline ‘wholeheartedly’ was taken from the teachings of Abbé Louis Lafosse, who said ‘serve the Lord joyfully and wholeheartedly’ – a mission that has been at the heart of the Sisters of Religious Education’s charisma and the school’s ethos.

“It is a perfect fit and true to our school. We nurture with kindness and love, challenge through opportunities and leadership, and send our dynamic and forward-thinking pupils out into the world as agents of change.”   

Alexandra Neil, head, Farnborough Hill


120 years ago, Eleanor Beatrice Wyatt founded Heathfield so that young women could ‘see the sky’. We’ve celebrated our anniversary this year in ways that reflect every aspect of Heathfield life and the highlight for me has been our science department conducting 120 different experiments in just one week with help from our prefects. This event culminated in a photo of all our pupils standing on the sports field to form the 120th element of the periodic table.

“On the cultural side, our fashion show showcased the stunning creative talent of our students, alongside the work of our alumni – celebrating the past, the present and the future, ready for the next 120 years.”

Marina Gardiner Legge, headmistress, Heathfield School

You might also like: Talking heads: how has your school changed over the past 100 years?

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