Kelvinside Academy is a forward looking and ambitious school situated next to the Botanic Gardens in the West End of Glasgow. It opened in 1878 and has around 620 pupils on the roll, aged 3-18. The size of our school roll is a defining characteristic and allows the Rector to know each pupil by name. We are large enough to field quality sports teams, run successful choirs and orchestras, and embrace teamwork through activities such as CCF and Voluntary Service.

However, we are small enough to know and nurture each individual, and for strong staff-pupil-parent relationships to develop.

At KA, we constantly review our curriculum in light of real world events so that our pupils do not grow up in a vacuum.

Through a diverse curriculum, which goes far beyond the classroom, we seek to foster open hearts and minds in our youngsters so that they can not only understand the world as it is but imagine how it could be. A core function of KA is to equip youngsters with the skills, knowledge and self-belief required to do things differently, as opposed to simply repeating the actions of previous generations. Creativity and innovation alongside critical thought and analysis are encouraged.

Our fundamental aim is the transformation of young peoples lives and our essential challenges are focused on the provision of world-class education.

We live in times of rapid technological advancement, climatic uncertainty and political unrest. We are also acutely aware that as a school we have to consider how to prepare pupils for jobs that don’t yet exist.


At KA, we constantly review our curriculum in light of real world events so that our pupils do not grow up in a vacuum. The school has embraced digital technology – all of our students use iPads starting in the nursery and are taught coding skills from Junior 1. It is of note that we are currently the only independent school in Scotland to receive the Scottish Government’s Digital School award.

Each year we host an ethics conference that sees more than 300 pupils from around Scotland come to discuss some of the major challenges facing humanity. Our S6 pupils  have set up their own charity whose core task is the teaching of English on a weekly basis to local Syrian refugees. Our curriculum evolved to support this by the introduction of TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) qualifications as a S6 subject choice.

In the summer of 2016, we opened a Thinking Space – our take on a modern library. We created more open and playful spaces complete with artificial grass flooring and writable walls where pupils collaborate and share ideas.

These are but a few examples of our desire to prepare youngsters to succeed in their world, which will look very different to our world.

We believe one of our fundamental strengths is our diverse pupil body and, with almost 20 nationalities represented, it is genuinely exciting, stimulating and enlightening to be part of such a rich cultural mix. Our international pupils are a huge part of the Kelvinside Academy community and all our pupils benefit from mixing with so many different nationalities. Our Homestay Programme allows us to welcome more international pupils to the school.  

An ability to understand the world as it is and imagine it as it could be, are key traits of a KA pupil, both of which are built upon a strong platform of resilience, happiness and wellbeing.

Click below to read our Good Schools Guide Review.