With a school roll of around 650 and just 60 places available in each year group in the Senior School, St Columba’s in Kilmacolm may be considered ‘small’ when measured against the standards of many schools.
The truth is that our size is our strength. We are a through-school and many of our pupils have been part of the St Columba’s community since they were three years old. They are known, not just by name, but by their interests, their strengths, their achievements and their aspirations.
And it is this knowledge that allows us to ensure that our educational ethos, which puts the pupil at the centre of all we do, is borne out in the experience of our young people.
We are able to tailor the curriculum and learning journey to suit each child’s very individual needs, to help them develop their unique talents and ensure that every young person achieves and becomes the very best version of themselves they can be.
From the gifted musicians, linguists, philosophers and mathematicians to the scientists, engineers, gymnasts and mountaineers, every pupil in the school aspires to greatness and so many of them achieve it on national and international stages.
A startling number of our pupils represent their country on the rugby pitch and hockey field, in the orchestra pit and in choirs and in debating and public speaking.
It is frequently said of St Columba’s that for a school of our size ‘we punch above our weight’. But it is precisely because of our size that our pupils achieve all they do.
We are not just a school that talks about the importance of the individual, we believe it and we live it.
St Columba’s pupils do not ‘slip under the radar’ or become simply a statistic in the annual results analysis for league tables. Each pupil is known by name across year groups by every member of staff. Individual achievements are celebrated and we offer personalised support within and outwith the classroom, academically and pastorally.
St Columba’s offers an alternative to the supersized schools; indeed, we offer an ideal environment in which children can grow and flourish.
A school in a beautiful leafy setting yet within a stone’s throw of Glasgow, with the beautiful West of Scotland landscape on our doorstep. Because of our size each child is known and nurtured, stretched and challenged, before setting out into the wider world to make their mark.
What do we want our leaders of the future to learn? Compassion and integrity, tolerance and acceptance, aspiration and self-belief. Being part of a family like St Columba’s teaches these qualities. And it is our size that means every pupil is part of that family.
Because, let’s face it, size matters.