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Scotland’s independent schools have produced some of the country's next stars, from famous rugby players to show-stopping journalists, leading lawyers, politicians and more. These success stories show how SCIS schools can produce the best results and aspiring role models for your children.  

In this blog, we will talk about a few of the arts icons who attended Scotland’s independent schools and what creative opportunities schools offer, both to their own pupils and their wider communities. 


Tilda Swinton 

A Scottish actress best known for her starring roles in independent films, Tilda started out her education attending three independent schools including Fettes College in Edinburgh. Born in London to an Australian mother and Scottish father whose lineage dates back to the Anglo-Scots, Swinton considers herself “first and foremost” a Scot. 
Tilda was given a special tribute by the Museum of Modern Art for her contribution to the British film industry in 2013 and was thirteenth on The New York Times list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century. 


Ewan McGregor 

The Scottish actor was born in Perth and raised in Crieff where he attended Morrison’s Academy. Upon turning 16, Ewan worked as a stagehand at Perth Theatre before moving down to London to study drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 
McGregor’s career took off when he was only 22 after starring in a Channel 4 series before nabbing his infamous role as Mark Renton in Trainspotting in 1996. Ewan’s career went from strength to strength as he took on more leading roles in Star Wars and Moulin Rouge, among many other blockbusters.  

Robbie Coltrane 

Best known for his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series, the Scottish actor, writer and comedian grew up in Rutherglen in Lanarkshire and attended Glenalmond College in Perth and Kinross. 
Coltrane is also well recognised for his role in the James Bond films Golden Eye and The World Is Not Enough. In 2006, Robbie was Appointed an OBE in the New Year Honours by Queen Elizabeth. 

Supporting the Arts Community 

At Scotland’s independent schools, the support goes beyond the basic art, music and drama departments for pupils who are interested in the creative arts.  

In Fettes College, pupils have access to a light-filled creative hub where they can learn about artistic techniques such as printmaking, ceramics, drawing and painting alongside learning about history of art. 

Independent schools support the arts in their communities too – for example, at Morrison’s Academy regular use is currently made of the music facilities, the climbing wall and Academy Hall by various community groups. 

Glenalmond College likewise is actively involved in their community, with the Chapel Choir visiting Fowlis Wester Parish Church to offer a Christmas Concert and pupils going carol singing in Perth City Centre to raise funds for good causes every year. They have also built strong links with other Primary Schools in the area who are invited to the school to use their facilities and take part in events. 


Do you want your child to attend a school where their interests and talents are nurtured? SCIS can help – use our find a school tool or get in touch with us today.