BOARDING AT DOLLAR Q & A
What makes boarding at Dollar special?
Dollar boarders and Houseparents are very friendly, the facilities and teaching are excellent and the location is both beautiful and easily accessible.
Who boards at Dollar?
Dollar boarders come from all parts of Britain as well as overseas, and many former pupils send their children here. Boys and girls boarding range in age from 10-18.
Why do pupils decide to board?
Many pupils board because their families live far away, and they want to access the world class facilities and opportunities on offer.
Some pupils live quite locally, but want to maximise their chances in examinations by saving travel time and having specialist teaching staff available to help with homework.
Some choose to board to prepare for university, to build independence and confidence.
Some just decide they want to have a great time at Dollar, having lots of fun with great people in a beautiful place.
Are there “weekly boarders”?
We have a few, but most decide after a while that they would prefer to stay with us at weekends as well. We can offer flexibility, however, as parents’ and pupils’ needs may change over time.
Where do Dollar pupils go when they leave?
Dollar has an outstanding academic reputation. Scotland has always been admired for the breadth and excellence of its educational system and Dollar pupils are highly successful in winning places at top universities, not only in Scotland but around the world.
Where is Dollar?
Dollar is in a wonderful setting, in a country town backed by open hills, and surrounded by farmland, rivers and lochs but with easy access to the university cities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Stirling. Edinburgh Airport is 30 minutes away.
Who looks after the boarders?
Being in a boarding house is like being in a large family. Each house has its own live-in Houseparents; significantly, they are known as House “parents”, rather than House “masters” or “mistresses”. They are assisted by House Tutors, who are teachers at the school and several Assistant Housestaff, or “Matrons”. Older pupils support the younger ones, and there are pupil Heads and their Deputies to help run the houses. The Rector (Headmaster) and Deputy Rector are in overall charge and visit the houses regularly to meet the pupils and staff. The Care Commission of Scotland, which regulates all boarding schools, has consistently rated Dollar’s provision very highly. The most recent inspection, which rated the boarding provision as 'Excellent' can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:
Care Commission Report, December 2010
What is the accommodation like?
Boys and girls live in separate Houses, although they mix as freely as the day pupils and are allowed to visit each others’ Houses. Seniors usually have their own rooms, while younger pupils share. Some of the boarders’ meals are taken in the House, and some in the main school dining hall.
What do boarders do in their free time?
Boarders have free time after school and a very busy programme of trips to interesting places as well as fun events, usually at weekends, including dances, parties, theme parks, outdoor activities, laser quest, go-karting, surfing…. Boarders can use the excellent school sports and recreational facilities. They can also visit day pupil friends, or go into town, within reasonable limits.
How are new boarders helped to settle in?
There is a full programme of social and teambuilding events and new pupils are also paired with an existing boarder of the same age to help them in the first few weeks.
How and when can parents contact their children?
Parents can telephone, text, email, send letters and parcels or contact via Skype. While parents are welcome to visit the house whenever they are in the area, lesson and homework times are fixed, so it is best to avoid arriving at these times.
Is a guardian necessary?
Boarding pupils from outside the EU require visas and for these pupils guardians are required. We would also recommend that pupils from the EU have an appointed guardian within the UK. Guardians can offer a point of contact in emergencies, support during the term and an alternative holiday destination for short breaks. They can be friends or relatives appointed by the pupil's family, but a list of professional guardianship agencies is detailed below (all Aegis approved).
Dollar also has day pupils. Wouldn’t we be better choosing a school that only has boarders?
Dollar has around 100 boarders: big enough to allow for the successful organisation of a wide variety of trips and activities, but small enough to allow a great deal of individual attention and care. There is a genuine family atmosphere with four houses of around 25 pupils each. It is worth noting that well over 300 pupils at the school live in the town of Dollar itself, so boarders are able to have a wide choice of friends from a variety of backgrounds. It is also uusually the case in the UK that very successful day schools have higher academic standards than boarding schools, as there is a greater demand for places.
How do Scottish qualifications work?
Pupils at Dollar take examinations at age 16 (National 5s or Intermediate 2s), age 17 (Highers) and at age 18 (Advanced Highers). The system is very similar to the English system of GCSEs, AS Levels and A Levels, with the added advantage of greater breadth at ages 17 and 18. Many pupils go on to excellent Scottish universities (such as Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen) but Scottish qualifications are a very strong currency internationally and other pupils freely choose universities in England (such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College and Bristol), or universities in other parts of the world, including the USA.
Does boarding in Dollar have a long history?
Founded in 1818, Dollar Academy is the oldest co-educational boarding school in the UK – and probably in the world. However, in terms of teaching methods and facilities it is a very modern school. It has always been co-educational, unlike many other boarding schools.
Are there bursaries and scholarships available?
Yes. Ask the Registrar or the Rector for more details, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
How can we find out more about Dollar?
There are more details about Dollar on our website dollaracademy.org.uk or phone +44 01259 742511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What should we do next?
Come and visit and see for yourself. We will be delighted to meet you and our pupils will show you round themselves. To arrange a visit email email@example.com