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As they prepare for their Higher and Advanced Higher examinations, our sixth form girls are offered a variety of study options. This could be quietly in their own rooms, with support in the communal study areas or working together in small groups much as they would at university.
The Sixth Form has its own boarding houses where each girl has her own room in which she can study, listen to music or just enjoy chatting with friends. Boarding is a great way to learn about new cultures; we currently have students from South America, Asia and Europe. This makes boarding a truly international experience and the cosmopolitan thinking this generates is a hugely positive experience both academically and socially.
Our Sixth Form boarding houses – called ‘Barat’ and ‘Swinton’ – are named after two pivotal women in the field of education. Sister Swinton was Headmistress of Kilgraston from 1954 to 1974 during which time she influenced and guided many of our young women. Saint Madeline Sophie Barat was the founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart and dedicated her life to the education of young women. Her Sacred Heart Schools were established to promote serious and thoughtful study, to cultivate the mind and to create young women who would perform good deeds in God’s name.
Living away from home encourages teamwork and self-responsibility and in a boarding community, students learn the need for compromise and co-operation. Boarding is therefore an excellent ‘stepping stone’ to university and independent living. Residential staff are always available to talk if pupils have any concerns, and a sense of reassurance, security and support is tangible throughout the entire boarding community.
We have a shared kitchen where Sixth Formers can prepare snacks and hot drinks and of course their own common room, Scotties, complete with wide screen TV, pool table and comfy chairs. At weekends, the Sixth Form use Scotties to host the Sixth Form social events. Girls love the warm and friendly atmosphere of the Sixth Form areas; a ‘home away from home’. Kilgraston has a strong sense of ‘family’ across the year groups, and when the Sixth Formers get together with the lower school, it is not clear who enjoys it more!
There is a full programme of weekend and evening activities for the boarders to take part and get involved in. They get out and about to plays, films and restaurants; there are regular social events – from discos to debates with local schools.