Academic excellence and university entrance are almost taken as granted at the Edinburgh Academy. It is the richness of the life at the school that really sets us apart and equips our alumni to be ‘Grounded in Scotland, Ready for the World’.
Through our extensive co-curricular programme, including many residential trips, our students gain life-changing experiences and opportunities that extend way beyond the formal confines of the classroom. Whether in the theatre; on the sports field; in the orchestra pit or on the high seas, our students develop hugely in terms of confidence, independence and leadership.
All pupils in Fourths (S3) have the opportunity to join our Combined Cadet Force in either the Army, Pipe Band (Army) or Royal Air Force Sections. Through weekly training our cadets learn Fieldcraft, Weapons Handling, Orienteering, Drill and First Aid. Most of the activities are team based and aim to build the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance. On completion of their first year our cadets can seek promotion through the gaining of various proficiency certificates and NCO Cadre Courses.
Accordion Community Service
Whether through our Eco-Club, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, community concerts or the Charities Committee we are very committed to community service.
The student-led Henderson Row Charities Committee comprises pupils from all year groups. The committee selects one or more charities annually and organises activities to raise funds for them.
The Christmas Fair, fashion shows, frugal lunches and sleep outs have all helped raise many thousands of pounds. In the recent past pupils and parents have supported (amongst others) Water-aid, Brazilian street orphans and (closer to home) the Sick Kids Hospital Pyjamas Appeal.
Based in our wonderful Magnusson Centre for the Performing Arts, our students are given many opportunities to develop themselves through drama.
Whether through our curricular teaching, LAMDA examinations, theatre trips, several productions or workshops in areas such as Musical Theatre; Playwriting; Set design; Make up; Costume Design; Audio-Visual Skills; Radio Club; Special Effects or Voice-Overs, there is something for everyone.
Former pupils of the school have carved out hugely successful stage and broadcasting careers. These include Magnus Magnusson, after whom the theatre is named, journalist Nicky Campbell and actors Jamie Newall and Iain Glen.
Accordion International Links
Our co-curricular trips play a huge part in the holistic personal development of our students.
Optional trips in recent years have included a Drama trip to Venice and Verona, Sports Tours to South Africa, Canada, Ireland and Holland, Battlefields Tours of France and Belgium; Art Trips to New York; Language Trips to China and Music Trips to Italy and Spain, as well as the orchestra tour to the Rhineland. Our RME and Geography Departments recently visited Sri Lanka.
The school is currently developing strong links with schools in the United States of America and China and we look to develop new trips when we can. An international perspective is vital in this multinational world, and these trips are excellent in teaching our students about the wider world around them.
The Edinburgh Academy has an unrivalled reputation amongst Scottish schools for its music education. Excellence is the norm whether it is in choral singing or the playing of a wide variety of instruments.
The Senior School has facilities for many kinds of music, and pupils are actively encouraged to learn an instrument and to sing in the Choir. Time is allowed for weekly Orchestra, Concert Band and Choir practices in the lunch break and activity periods, and all pupils learning an orchestral instrument beyond beginner level play in either the Junior or Senior Orchestra or Concert Band. The Choir consists of some 100 singers; it performs mainly large-scale choral works and leads the singing in the Carol Service. In the recent past the Chamber Choir has won the title of British School Choir of the Year and the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year award.
There is a staff of resident and visiting teachers covering every orchestral instrument, guitar, piano and the organ. The School has a selection of instruments that pupils may hire for a limited period, and we can make arrangements to buy or hire other instruments as needed.
Accordion Outdoor Education
Taking students out of the classroom to obtain direct experience of things for themselves is a vital component of an Academy education. It could be trekking across Borneo, journeying to Costa Rica, or simply taking students out in the local environment around Edinburgh. These trips develop independence, resilience, confidence and leadership. Organised parties of pupils of all ages regularly travel throughout Scotland, and the world, to undertake Outdoor Education trips in kayaking, rock climbing and mountaineering, as well as mountain biking.
The most recent trips have included:
- Ski trips to France
- World Challenge expeditions to India and Borneo
- Scuba diving in the Red Sea and Malaysia
- Trekking trips to Morocco and Nepal
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has become increasingly popular at the Edinburgh Academy, providing an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development. It is open to pupils from the Fourths upwards, starting with the Bronze Award and moving on through Silver and finally to Gold.
The Edinburgh Academy places a strong emphasis on the value and benefits of sport. The school has a strong record in many sports but aims to cater for every level of enthusiasm and ability. The Sports Hall, Squash Courts, Outdoor Pitches, Climbing Wall and astroturf surfaces for Hockey, Football and Tennis provide the highest quality of facilities for pupils to enjoy and enhance their skills. Sport for all and physical fitness are seen as preparation for a healthy and active life.