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The Compass School
West Road, EH41 3RD, UK Haddington
+44 (0)1620 822642

Welcome to the Compass School!

We hope that you enjoy your visit and are able to learn more about East Lothian’s only independent primary school, catering for girls and boys age 4-12.

Our website is designed to let you find out even more about our unique school, from curricular to extra-curricular activities, from dates in the School calendar to details of the admissions procedure. We have aimed to let you enjoy a snapshot of life at the School and hope that you will want to learn more.

If the website does not answer all your questions, please feel free to contact us directly where a friendly welcome awaits you.

The Compass School is unique. As East Lothian's only independent primary school, it has acquired an outstanding reputation for providing its children with a firm foundation for their life-long learning.

At The Compass, our aim is to provide a warm, caring environment in which our children are encouraged to develop their unique gifts and talents and progress not only academically but in confidence and self-esteem too. We strongly believe that every child has the ability to excel in some aspect of school life and we provide our children with numerous opportunities to enjoy success and flourish, through achieving their own personal targets.

At the heart of The Compass lies the principle that a child's time at school should be a happy one. We encourage strong personal values such as care and respect for others, polite and responsible behaviour, high standards of appearance and personal organisation and our children derive great satisfaction from meeting these expectations. Consequently, they develop positive and healthy relationships based on friendship, honesty and trust.

We aim to prepare children not only for their next stage of education, but for the challenges of a fast-moving and modern world where knowledge, communication and creativity will be the keys to our children's future success.


Children can begin at The Compass as early as their pre-school year and this element of the school's provision was highly commended by HM Inspectors. For a child to enjoy this level of excellence at such a significant point in their early schooling means that, at The Compass, firm foundations are laid for the rapid development of literacy and numeracy from the earliest stage.

As well as enjoying the challenges of academic subjects, children also enjoy many opportunities for music, drama and art. Mr Mark Becher, the Headmaster, believes that "Children should have frequent opportunities to develop their confidence and self esteem, for instance, performing in front of an audience. The Compass allows children to build their self-confidence and generally become more sure of themselves in their day to day activities".

"In addition, we encourage strong personal values such as care and respect for others, polite and responsible behaviour, high standards of appearance and personal organisation and our children take pride in achieving these".

In providing the children with further challenges for their personal development, the school offers a wide-ranging outdoor education programme. In recent months, children have taken part in outward bound courses in Perthshire and Peebleshire, field-studies in geography and geology in the Scottish Highlands and expeditions to Paris, York and London. Extra-curricular activities too are an important feature of school life with numerous opportunities for children to enjoy after-school clubs and sport.


Admission to The Compass School is by application to the Headteacher. We encourage parents who are interested in the school to come and visit us during a normal school day when they can experience the unique atmosphere which makes coming to The Compass School so special.

Interested parents will enjoy a tour of the School by the Headteacher who will explain further the positive ethos and values of the School and how children develop and progress during their time with us. It is also a good opportunity for parents to share with us their own hopes and aspirations for their child/children and to discuss with the Headteacher how the School might meet their individual needs.

The Compass holds an Open Day early in November of each year to provide another opportunity for interested parents to visit the school. The next open day will be held on the 1st of  November 2007.

Places are offered strictly by the order in which application forms have been received, with siblings of children already at the School being given priority in this process.

The earliest stage at which children may join The Compass is in the September of the year in which they become four, when they may begin in our Reception Class. The School’s intake runs from 1 January to 31 December (local authority schools - 1 March to 28/29 February). Places are normally offered in early February for children beginning in the following September.

A child may begin at The Compass School at any point from age 4-11, so long as there is a place available at the child’s particular stage. Similarly, children may join at any stage of the school year, although the start of a new term is preferable. Children are normally invited to spend some time in the School before they begin with us officially, in order to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings and make the first of many new friends.

The Governors aim to ensure that tuition fees are kept to a minimum and yet ensure that they represent value for money. Fees currently range from £1460 - £2243 which provides not only for all textbooks, jotters and learning materials but also include tuition fees for swimming and judo which all the children enjoy each week of the school year.

Most of the uniform items are supplied directly from the School and as a consequence the uniform costs are considerably less than those which might be charged by other school outfitters. Any profit of course stays within the School, allowing it to further enhance the quality of the childrens’ learning.


Bursary Assisted Places at The Compass School

A new scheme of bursary assisted places was launched at The Compass School from the start of session, 2003/2004.

As East Lothian’s only independent primary school attracting children from across the region, we are keen to ensure that an education at The Compass School is not restricted to only those families who can meet the financial commitment. We recognise that there are many children who would positively contribute to and benefit from the Compass ‘experience’, yet their families would require assistance in terms of bursary funding to allow them to attend.

In partnership with The Compass School Foundation (a charitable trust set up to support the School in realising its long-term plans and ambitions), The Compass School offers bursary-assisted places for entry into Primary Four, Five, Six or Seven. The bursary scheme, known as The Somnerfield Award, offers a 50% reduction in tuition fees. The scheme is open to parents with children who live within East Lothian and who are not current patrons of the School.

To apply for an award, parents should contact the School by telephone (01620 822642) or by e-mail ( to request an application form and to gain further details. Application forms must be received by 1 May of each year. Candidates will then be invited to attend the School for a tour with their parents and for an assessment, with a report on the candidate being requested from the current school. The parents or guardians will also meet the selection committee and the Headteacher for the final interview stage with a decision being made by the beginning of June. To ensure fairness, all applications will be subject to a financial means-test.

If you would like to know more about the scheme, please contact the Headteacher who will be more than happy to discuss the scheme with you further.


Compass Care aims to provide a happy and challenging environment for the children in its care. Providing an opportunity for children to relax and unwind as well as being able to enjoy a varied range of activities suited to their needs after a busy day at school. It s designed to operate around the School’s current rich variety of after-school clubs and activities and to meet such requirements as returning children to school when they are involved in off-site activities, such as games and swimming.


Compass Care has two full time members of staff, who will work with your children every day to provide a welcoming and friendly environment to meet your child’s needs.

Andrew Goddard – Compass Care Co-ordinator

Andrew joined Compass Care in March 2007 from Yester After School Club. He was there for five years and has an SVQ 2 in playwork and is currently studying for his SVQ 4 in Play Management.

Liz Wright – Compass Care Assistant

Liz joined Compass Care from the Pumpkin Patch Nursery in Dunbar, where Liz had responsibility as a Nursery Nurse. She holds an NC and HNC in childcare and Education


If you require additional information or wish to visit Compass Care, please contact the Compass Care Co-ordinator.

We are always happy to show you and your children around the facility and can arrange visits during Compass Care hours.

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