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Scotland’s independent schools offer a varied choice of extra-curricular opportunities for their students to experience.  It is the breadth of what’s on offer that is inspiring and allows curious minds to uncover and develop previously hidden talents. From sport to cooking to creative arts – there’s something for everyone and the trick is to try everything to experience so much more.

More sporting choice

Sports can boost confidence and leadership skills, allowing a deeper interaction with teammates and opponents. Through offering a wide variety of sports independent school children will find the activity that suits them best.

Some of these sports include:


Many schools offer opportunities to take part in sports outside of the grounds. This gives children access to a more varied scope of activities such as canoeing. This type of sport teaches pupils to rely on their survival instincts and work through any fears in a controlled environment with trained instructors who are there to help and challenge them.


An activity not often associated with independent schools, Scotland’s national sport is becoming increasingly popular within our schools. The sport provides a fantastic opportunity for students to let loose and have a run-around, while at the same time building teamwork skills and keeping fit.


Could the next Andy Murray be hiding in one of Scotland’s independent schools? Many offer the chance to master this sport, which is fantastic for improving pupil’s hand-eye co-ordination and increasing their strength.

Competitive sports can teach students valuable life skills and allow for healthy competition in a controlled, monitored environment. Typically an outdoor activity, tennis allows pupils to get some of that much needed fresh air while they exercise.

More arts choice

Former US President Barack Obama said, "The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create". Scotland’s independent schools agree wholeheartedly and ensure that the arts are always an integral part of a child’s independent education.

Independent schools offer many routes for students to get involved with the arts including;

Pipe bands

The syllabus teaches specific instruments and most music teachers are trained in voice, guitar, piano and drums, plus certain wind instruments.

Specialist music teachers in independent schools are able to teach an array of instruments outside of the standard programme, like bagpipes. This allows more opportunities for your child to find their favourite instrument and a chance for them to perform publically, increasing their confidence and helping them with their teamwork.

Concert bands

This kind of band gives students the chance to work together, to not only help them with their musical talent but also their communication skills.

Performing in concerts, publicly at times, within a group will help increase confidence and let them make friends out with their year group.


There are few who don’t enjoy a musical. Producing school shows like these gives students the chance to express themselves and come out of their shell.

Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda commented on arts subjects in schools, saying, “We’re richer when we have students engaged in these activities, when arts and music have a seat at the table”. We can actively see grades improving and literacy levels going up when children are involved with more arts related activities.

Other opportunities

Community service

Independent schools are charities first and foremost, so they will always want to give back to the community they support and are part of. Students are actively encouraged to help their local area, in the hope that this will inspire the people around them take part too.

Learning from a young age about charity and voluntary work and how it benefits the country and smaller communities, will give children a greater understanding of the motivations behind it and how they can help in the future.

Young Enterprise

This programme teaches students what it’s like to set up and run a business, giving them a head start in becoming business owners later on in life. Perhaps being a captain of industry is not for everyone but having an understanding of how business works will hold them in good stead for any workplace.

Duke of Edinburgh

Scottish independent schools are proud to support a huge number of students on their Duke of Edinburgh journey. This charity initiative has transformed the lives of many young people through volunteering, teaching life skills, expeditions and much more.

Duke of Edinburgh is offered in most Scottish independent schools and provides a passport to a brighter future by teaching skills and lessons that are outside of the curriculum but valued immensely by employers and universities.


If you want to know more about the extra-curricular opportunities on offer at Scotland’s independent schools, don’t hesitate to contact us.