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Belhaven Hill School
Belhaven Hill, EH42 1NN, UK Dunbar
+44 (0)1368 862785

Welcome to Belhaven Hill School

A visit to the school will reveal a vibrant, happy community. We believe that excellent pastoral care and good teaching provide the bedrock of an education that fosters a desire to learn, develops a sense of responsibility and consideration for others, and equips pupils to move on with confidence to the leading senior independent schools in England and Scotland.

But don’t just take my word for it – come and see!


Michael Osborne, Headmaster

Our School

What Do We Believe?

Our thoughts on Education echo those expressed by Professor Bart McGettrick at the I.A.P.S. Conference in October 2005:

“Education is concerned with developing people…using systems. Systems can support change, but real change is in the hearts and minds of people Education has a moral purpose and dimension…to improve society. All people are vulnerable and even fragile. Education (and especially boarding education) is intrinsically concerned with values.

“Education is in the hearts and minds of people… not in the papers and documents of a bureaucracy. Education is fundamentally concerned with Hope, Wisdom and Justice for All.

“Amongst the most significant purposes of education are:

Forming People Of love, care and compassion,
  With a deep sense of hope,
  Who appreciate beauty and wonder,
  Who will serve the world by their gifts.”

What Do We Say About Ourselves?

"The well-being of the individual child is central to the care we provide; and that care is the key to our success."
“We aim to create a happy and secure environment in which all children, boarders and day pupils, can thrive spiritually, emotionally, physically and academically. Against a background of Christian values pupils are taught to show consideration for others and to respect the feelings and property of fellow pupils, members of staff and the wider public with a view to making a positive contribution to society.

“The well-being of the individual child is central to the care we provide; and that care is the key to our success. We accentuate the positive and we deprecate the negative. We believe there is too much emphasis these days on Rights and not enough on Duties and Responsibilities. We treat the children with warmth and understanding and we value enthusiasm, tolerance and a sense of humour.”

What Have Others Said About Us?

"This is a reflection of the wholesome atmosphere with reels parties, garden plots and birthday cakes for everyone"
“Parents and children incredibly happy, with masses of input from the parents… School is flourishing.”

“Pupils at Belhaven tend to make friendships that last well into later life. This is a reflection of the wholesome atmosphere with reels parties, garden plots and birthday cakes for everyone – all very jolly and lots of honest, clean fun. This is a well-run school where the vast majority board – and love it.”

“Belhaven is a slightly quirky school with an inspirational headmaster. The approach is old-fashioned; there are services in the morning and evening and grace at meals. Happiness is widespread here – although we hear that pupils can be rowdy.”

“Hogwarts for Muggles! I defy anyone to visit Belhaven Hill School without feeling they have stepped into a children’s world almost as magical as that created by J.K. Rowling.”

“Having had experience for many years of other boarding schools, I wonder if you know how very unusual Belhaven is in so many ways – not only of course in its excellent education but also in its effortless (apparently!) assumption that civilised people behave in a certain way, whatever their age, that kindness is the norm, and tolerance of other faiths, and to see unhappiness is to want to help – of course you have been told all this, but it is truly rare, believe me!”


Clothes List

The school uniform is now obtainable directly from the school.  It is available to view by clicking on the link 'Uniform Size and Price Guide'. 

Mrs Roddis, the Senior Matron, whose e-mail address is can be contacted with any queries or orders.  We can also provide a name taping facility if required. Could you please ensure that you complete and return the clothes list at the start of term.

Home Clothes

ONLY boarders may bring back one set, and no more please, of their own clothing. This clothing is the children’s responsibility.




Every encouragement is given to the Arts at Belhaven. There are formal lessons  in Art, Music and Drama; most children learn an instrument, many belong to an orchestral group or choir and there are frequent opportunities to perform in public.


Every class has one double lesson a week with Lucy Wimbledon or Jenny Tod in the new Art Block with its wonderful views north towards the Firth of Forth. The Art Rooms are also open in free time when there are often special sessions for prospective Art Scholars. Examples of children's work are displayed around the school and reproduced in 'The Bugle'. Visits are made to the galleries in Edinburgh.




With a long boarding school day there is much time devoted to Sport. Each form has P.E. as part of the curriculum and there are daily games in addition.

The principal games for boys are Rugby, Hockey, and Cricket; and for girls Netball, Hockey and Rounders.

Children also play Football, do Athletics and Cross Country Running, and Swim, either in the school's heated outdoor pool or indoors in Dunbar.

Amongst the other sports on offer are Tennis (two grass courts and four on astroturf); Golf on the Winterfield course at the back gate; Judo; and Skiing at Hillend.

Enthusiastic, well-coached teams of all ages enjoy an enviable record of success but the emphasis is on introducing children to a wide variety of activities and to giving as many as possible the opportunity to represent the school.



In a small school the Headmaster can have a close understanding of the abilities and qualities of each child. The boys sleep in warm attractive dormitories in the main building, and the girls in the new, purpose-built girls' house.

Whilst the whole staff plays a part in pastoral care, the boys' Housemaster and the girls' Housemistress are largely responsible, together with the Matrons and the Headmaster, for the day to day wellbeing of the children.

Everyone, staff and children, eats together and a perennial complaint of leavers is that the food at their new school is 'nothing like as good as it was at Belhaven'!

Whilst a number of day children is an integral and welcome feature of the younger age groups, the large majority of children are boarders. Boarding may not suit everyone but we believe that increasingly as a child grows older he or she gains the fullest benefit from the school by being a boarder.

Boarders generally stay at the school one weekend in two and go out on the other weekends. During "in weekends" there is a full programme of lessons, games and activities on the Saturday. Day children in Form 5 are excused attendance but others are expected to stay until 5.30p.m.

There is a structured programme on Sunday mornings that includes church some weeks and the Service in the school on others. On Sunday afternoons there is a full range of activities and outings.

Children may be allowed out at the Headmaster's discretion between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to pursue an activity such as riding or sailing.

Weekends out and half terms start at 3.45 p.m. on the Friday and children return either on the Sunday evening or by 8.30 a.m. on the Monday. To assist parents who live comparatively far away school mini-buses convey children to places like Perth, Brechin and Dumfries at the beginning and end of a weekend out.


At Belhaven we believe in giving children the opportunity to develop a broad range of hobbies and interests. Many of these activities take place in the lunch hour, during breaks, after school and on weekends.


Belhaven Hill School Fees 2007/8

For 2007/08 the Fee for Boarders is £5495 per term and for day Pupils £3810 per term.  Means-tested Bursaries are available for up to 100% of the Fees and Sibling Discounts are generally available to parents with more than two children at the school.  For details please contact The Headmaster.

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