Company: Kilgraston School
Address: Bridge of Earn, Perthshire PH2 9BQ
Achieving the best
Kilgraston School is an independent boarding and day school in Perth for girls aged 5-18.
Q: How long have you been head at Kilgraston School? What are the most enjoyable aspects of your position at the school?
The most enjoyable aspects are when I see girls achieve something they have been trying to succeed in for a long time, such as a Duke of Edinburgh expedition; or it might be a team winning a competition or the orchestra performing particularly well. All the staff at Kilgraston derived their professional satisfaction from the girls’ achievements.
Q: Kilgraston School is guided by the global vision of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Can you tell us a bit more about the ethos of the school?
The ethos of the school is very much built around Sophie Barat’s five principles of a deep respect for intellectual values, personal growth, social awareness, developing faith relevant to the world today and building community. These principles underpin all that we do at Kilgraston and they are lived out in the girls’ daily lives.
Q: Do you think Kilgraston School provides the tools for pupils to progress to the next stage when leaving school?
Absolutely, our girls leave as young adults, comfortable in their own skins, with the confidence and skills to communicate with others on many levels. The soft skills our girls develop are exactly what universities and employers are looking for in young people.
Q: In 2015 Kilgraston was named as the Sunday Times top performing independent school and produces great results, why do think this is?
When I first arrived at Kilgraston two years ago I asked the girls what they liked most about their school. Their answer was perhaps a little surprising for a group of 16-yearold teenagers. They said that the best thing about Kilgraston was the relationships they have with their teachers. They had a strong sense that their teachers wanted them to achieve all that they possibly could in their hobbies and activities but particularly in their academic pursuits. They had a keen sense that their teachers fully supported them, knew how they liked to learn and understood what they were capable of and, that ultimately, they would achieve what they were aiming for. A nurturing environment, of course supports this, and I think it is a great strength of a girls’ school, that girls feel secure enough to take academic risks and challenge each other. I tell the girls, never underestimate what we can learn from trying things that are perhaps not as successful as we would wish: we just try something else!
Q: 38% of girls at Kilgraston School are now studying a STEM undergraduate course. Do you encourage girls to progress in industry that are mainly associated with males?
We encourage girls to pursue undergraduate courses and future careers in whichever field they are interested in whether it is male dominated or otherwise. What we teach the girls is that they can be anything they wish to be provided they want it enough and they are prepared to work for it. We do have a large percentage each year going on to study a STEM subject and that is partly due to having superb science facilities and highly enthusiastic science teachers.
Kilgraston School, Bridge of Earn, Perthshire PH2 9BQ www.kilgraston.com www.facebook.com/kilgrastonschool