"Our family has found that Airthrie’s unique ethos has provided exactly what our unusual, last child from a large family needed. Airthrie has helped her find the tools to learn and thrive and is a truly unique place where children seem to be allowed to be children. Homely, welcoming, cheerful, child-like, yet seeking success for each pupil. In a competitive environment where all schools tout themselves as unique, we think Airthrie truly is.
Our family’s story may help someone else make their decision. We have a large family and found our youngest posed unique challenges to learning. Having tried various tactics such as visiting specialists, a pre-school, tutors, alternative education, etc, we were at a point of frustration and did not know where to turn. At our wits’ end we rang Airthrie, and after hearing our story, they welcomed us in. Our child began in a team-taught Year 3 class. Within days she had a smile on her face and within weeks she was reading and her writing began to improve tremendously. Interestingly, social skills (previously a problem), have not been an issue at Airthrie from day one. Somehow, there was just enough kindness, just enough discipline, just enough competition, just enough fun for her to thrive.
I recall our first teachers’ meeting when I sat down with the two young women who demonstrated that they had got to know my daughter's strengths and weaknesses almost as well as I did in a very short time. I was so impressed…and relieved! They seemed to know just what needed to be encouraged in our child, what needed to be curbed, and what needed to be left alone - knowing that with time, it would come. Perhaps this was made possible by the lovely small class size - under 10 pupils in the year at that time. Her current year size is slightly larger, however, the relative smallness of class is a great help to the children. They can ‘fit in’ because of the small class size, teachers know the children well enough that they can spot cliques and issues and deal with them early, and regularly. Our girl enjoys being challenged by her friends at the top of her year, and feels comfortable being at the lower end of some subjects as there is room to shine elsewhere.
She has specialist help from the cheerful, welcoming SEN department three times a week. This is handled discreetly and sensibly.
Her second year showed continued improvement with a male teacher who dealt with the class so ably and intelligently whilst managing to have many a laugh with them as well. Our daughter’s abilities were stretched and strengthened and she continued to pester us throughout her holidays about when the first day of school would be! She prefers Airthrie to her holidays!
Now in her third year at Airthrie, our daughter is continuing well, having come up to ‘standard’ for her age in some subjects (and working hard in those in which she still has a way to go). She has been given confidence by her teachers and her classmates, whom she also sees progressing and achieving. She sees the Year 6 children get places in many of the best local grammar and secondary schools and this motivates her to try her best.
She loves daily school life at Airthrie, and the child-scaled fun that is woven into the seasons of the school year: a walk to a French restaurant for French class; being taken to theatre performances; competitive sports matches against other schools; fancy dress days, traditional fayres; a small, friendly swimming gala; and Sports Day at year end. Another Airthrie tradition that is especially cheering during dark December is the delightful Christmas decoration of the school, based in part in a lovely Victorian house on a tree-lined street.
For parents, there are other benefits - the staff who greet us cheerfully, universally, every day; who take every phone call politely and helpfully; and it seems nothing is ever too much to ask regarding the children - forgotten blazer, late pick-up, Grandma visiting, Airthrie’s staff seem to be a helpful mix. A team of lovely and experienced, seasoned, veteran teachers in which one feels a great deal of trust, balanced by many young faces - many of whom, nevertheless, have been with the school for years, as they seem to find it such a good place to work! We believe Airthrie is a school where your children will be helped.
"We are so impressed with all we have seen at Airthrie during our son's term at Nursery. It is a happy, caring, joyful community and one that you must be so proud of, having shaped it for so many years. Such a gift - a positive and secure start to his educational journey and for that our profound thanks."
"I am so pleased that we found Airthrie. Millie has thrived in her extended family at School - thank you."
"This is the best school ever!" Comment from a new pupil after receiving education in 5 different schools in 5 countries.
"Thank you for another wonderful year where my girls have both had a lovely time and grown enormously."
"Thank you so much for running Airthrie. I have enjoyed coming to School so much."
"What a special school you've helped to create. I am so pleased we moved our girls here. There is something about the school that engenders a sense of safety and warmth, that lets children enjoy being children but also encourages them to grow, explore and develop."
"Airthrie is truly a special place."
"Thank you so much for a wonderful year. Joining Airthrie was the the best move we could have made."
"Thank you for being the Principal. You've made my 7 years at Airthrie all that brighter."
"Thank you so much for everything you have done for me - I really appreciate it. I have loved my time at Airthrie. I have had some amazing teachers and amazing new experiences. I am so glad I came here and I will really miss coming in every morning."
"Thank you for supporting me through the years."
"Thank you, as always, for your wonderful School and our two very happy boys."