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What says..

During our visit, one lot were tucking into chopped up banana, sliced strawberries and hummus (interesting mixture), plain yogurt and water (followed by a lesson in teeth-brushing); some were drawing their dreams – two drawers to a large piece of paper; one or two were playing with magic sand. Jolly and vibrant. Astroturf pitch near senior school for hockey and tennis, though most rugby games are played on local park opposite the junior school, which has a vast games hall, tactfully curtained off for little ones so they're not overwhelmed, and a fearsome-looking fitness room...

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What the school says...

St Columba's, founded in 1897 and set in the picturesque village of Kilmacolm, is one of Scotland's leading independent day schools. The School has an enviable reputation for academic excellence and in most years 97% of its pupils go to university either straight from school of after a gap year. A team of committed and experienced staff guides pupils through a varied curriculum to reach one of the consistently highest levels of academic attainment in Scotland.

The academic development of pupils is balanced effectively with strong pastoral care and extra-curricular activities which allow pupils to develop as confident individuals and to experience success across a range of disciplines. The range of clubs and societies include sport, music, debating, public speaking, chess, drama, dance, outdoor education, community work and charitable fundraising. St Columba's pupils were the first in Scotland to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Leadership Award.

The School places considerable emphasis on the care and well-being of all of its pupils. Our pupils are direct, quietly self-confident and articulate. Our team of dedicated staff nurture such timeless values as loyalty, responsibility, service, duty and integrity.

In recent years we have invested in new resources. We have also invested in our staff and the School is recognised as an Investor in People. We are also proud to have attained Eco School Green Flag status and to be the recipients of the healthyliving Award.

You are most welcome to visit the School to see for yourself all that St Columba's has to offer.
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Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2002, Mr David Girdwood DL BSc PGCE MEd SQH (50s); educated at Alva Academy followed by St Andrews, Jordanhill, Stirling and Edinburgh universities; previously 'taught chemistry for 15 years' at Stewarts Melville, now a governor. His solicitor wife works in Glasgow, two daughters at university (one doing a PhD). The rector first visited St Columba’s as part of an HMI team and was 'enchanted that pupils gathered for assembly should be so numerous that Transitus sat on the stage in front of the rector'. Not so the boss of the HMI team and, as we reported previously, the Transitus 11-12 year old class is now banished (apart from forays to the, science, art and music blocks) to the (admittedly all singing and dancing) junior dept (but the new new build – planning permission...

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Special Education Needs

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
Not Applicable
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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