Supported by a strong Senior Management Team, Cargilfield is led by its Headmaster Rob Taylor. Previously Registrar of Harrow School, and before that Head of Ashdown House Prep School, Rob and his family took up residence at the start of the Autumn Term 2014.
In the 2018/19 academic year, pupil numbers were similar to last year with numbers rising to 324 by the start of the Summer Term, with 134 in the 3-8 Pre-Prep age group and 190 in the 8-13 Upper School. Flexible boarding arrangements remained a key part of the character of Cargilfield, with about 50 children resident for all or part of the week. The advantages of a boarding culture are apparent in the offering of evening clubs and academic extras and the vibrancy of full weekend activities such as year-group leadership skills and outward-bound camps. Such flexible arrangements offer a critical first introduction to boarding, allowing parents and their children to consider a full range of subsequent senior school options. For 2019/20 we plan to organise taster nights for younger children to try boarding with their own year group.
The pastoral care of our children is essential to Cargilfield’s values and its success. This exists within the framework of a family-run environment which is both a school and a second home to many children. We have continued a programme of training staff in mental health first aid, underpinned by a school counsellor, who is available to support both children and their families. Our senior children have undertaken a revised course of instruction and discussion in Personal, Health and Social Education, working more informally in small groups on Wednesday evenings. We have organised training sessions for staff and parents alike, which have included internet safety training and a presentation on the impact of anxiety on children by a leading writer and speaker on child psychology. A group of senior children are also undertaking training as anti-bullying ambassadors.
The School Nursery was inspected by the Care Inspectorate in March 2017, and was awarded ‘Very Good’ in both of the categories examined: quality of care and support; and quality of management and leadership. To conclude, the report stated that ‘The staff had high expectations for all children, resulting in confident, motivated, successful learners.’ The last year saw us establish a successful Beach Nursery programme, whereby, topics such as sustainability, environmental awareness and positive action are introduced through experiential learning outdoors in a natural setting.
With an average of 16 pupils per class across the School, class sizes remained appropriate to the Cargilfield approach. In Form 8, 35 children sat 13+ Scholarship or Common Entrance, with all gaining entry into their chosen senior schools. In addition, eight children in Form 8 who were young enough to remain at Cargilfield for another year, also took Common Entrance examinations which were marked internally. Thirteen scholarships were won by the leaving cohort and these included the top academic awards at Glenalmond and Strathallan. We are proud of the School’s strong record for awards over the last ten years and there looks to be an especially strong group of academic scholars coming through next year.
The destination schools remain as diverse as the talents of the pupils themselves, and this year included Dollar Academy, Eton College, Fettes College, George Heriot’s School, Glenalmond College, Gordonstoun, Harrow School, Kilgraston School, King’s School Canterbury, Merchiston Castle School, Oundle School, Pangbourne College, Radley College, Rugby School, Shrewsbury School, Strathallan School, Stewart’s Melville College and Uppingham School.
Other academic highlights for the year included: our second Book Festival; our first STEM Day for Forms 4&5; our second French trip for children in Form 7; the Maths team winning the Scottish heats of the UK Maths Challenge for the seventh successive year; and our best performance yet in the Townsend Warner History competition for prep schools across Britain, including a 12th place individual finish. Next year we are looking forward to our first exchange programme for children and staff with St Paul’s School in Maryland, U.S.A.
The School continues to promote an all-round education in every way for each child. The music, art, design and technology departments provide an excellent outlet for the nurturing of specific talents, as well as offering cross-curricular opportunities into the main academic syllabus. Some re-organisation of the Art Room gave us improved facilities for pottery with a potters’ wheel and a new kiln. In music, we have enthusiastic junior and senior choirs that perform every week in chapel and enjoy travelling to events such as the annual Glenalmond Choral Day.
This year saw our second choir tour to Durham and Northumberland and an arts performance including drama, art and music at Rosslyn Chapel. All children are encouraged to play an instrument, and the year saw the further extension of group activities from trios to quintets including two incredibly strong pipe bands. The teaching of music theory is now a core experience at Cargilfield with about a third of children in the Upper School working towards external exams.
We are proud that every child took part in a drama production during the year, be it school or year group plays, which some children took further with opportunities through the Drama Club productions, while a group of Form 7 and 8 children appeared in a joint production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a handful of English schools under the banner of the Aquila Theatre Group.
Debating is now a key part of the curriculum for children in in the Upper School. We have hosted the Scottish Prep Schools Debating Competition for the last three years, and fielded teams in other Scottish competitions where we are often the only junior school competing.
Sport and outward-bound activities remain core to Cargilfield’s distinctive offering. Games are played every afternoon and allow a mix of activities for girls and boys. While sport can be a life-long passion for some, making it fun for all has to be at the heart of any prep school. The 2018/19 year was another successful one on the games field with both Under 11 boys’ and girls’ hockey teams and the Under 13 boys’ hockey team making the later stages of the IAPS National Hockey Finals. For the third year, we have hosted a rugby 7s tournament for under 11 boys, although this was the first year where we extended the tournament for under 11 girls’ hockey. A number of boys and girls were successful in winning all-rounder and sports scholarships to their senior schools while others represented Scottish prep school, regional and national teams in a variety of sports.
During the year we completed the construction of a new astroturf playing surface to support our coaching of all ages and abilities across a range of boys’ and girls’ sports. The new astroturf courts were constructed partially on the site of tennis courts that had been built in the memory of a former pupil and head boy of Cargilfield, who subsequently served as a governor of the School between 1927 and 1958. In February 2019 the new tennis courts were officially opened and named in his memory by his grandson, who had also served as head boy at Cargilfield during the 1960s.
The new astroturf hockey pitches were named in memory of two brothers, both former pupils of Cargilfield, one a former head boy and one an Olympic rowing silver-medalist, who had both been killed on active service within a few miles of each other during the Great War. The new hockey pitches were named in memory of the brothers by their great nephew, a BBC television presenter, following which the School held its first former pupils’ hockey match, which is now expected to become an annual event. These new facilities also allowed us to run mixed abilities holiday hockey and tennis camps for Cargilfield and other local children during the Autumn half-term and Summer holidays.
The School makes good use of its opportunities in the Scottish countryside. All children in the Upper School have the option to take part in camping trips through the year – and we have developed many intrepid Munro-baggers, canoeists, cyclists and climbers. In Form 7, the whole year group visit the Burn Estate in Kincardineshire for a two-day Geography and Science Field trip. A group of Form 7 children were also invited to take part in a three-day sailing expedition off the west coast of Scotland. A team of Cargilfield children were successful in winning the Gordonstoun Challenge for the first time in living memory. Other teams have attended similar competitions at St Mary’s Melrose and will be involved in the inaugural 1847 Challenge at Glenalmond in September.
Other activities that have been prominent this year have included: the re-introduction of a chess club to support curriculum chess for Form 4; the introduction of an eco-club examining how we use our resources around school; the introduction of a padel club to reflect the birth of this new sport and the introduction of an ice-skating club following a request from the School Council.
Against the background of enthusiastic staff and pupils, the School has to be fit for purpose. In addition to the new astroturf sports facilities, the last ten years have seen the addition of two new classroom blocks, a new music school, and a substantial changing room facility. Over the last five years, the focus has also been on more mundane, but perhaps more critical, programmes of repair and renewal. The School has completed a major re-roofing project covering the main building and the Chapel, renewed boilers and electrical connections, as well as investing to update our systems and practices in respect of IT, asbestos, water and fire. We have reviewed and updated our approach to property management and health & safety, working with appropriate professional advisers and ensuring adequate training of all staff.
A very visible manifestation of this review has been the repairs and alterations to the on-site roadways, which have allowed us to improve parking and ensure School grounds are as safe as possible. In addition to building and re-laying sports pitches in the Summer / Autumn of 2018, we have refurbished our Chapel and Theatre, with the project partially paid for using funds raised by Friends of Cargilfield, and are introducing new audio/visual equipment to better serve the increasing number of visiting speakers coming to the School. We have also recently completed projects to refurbish the Pre-Prep building ahead of celebrating its 40th anniversary in Autumn 2019 and to introduce new medical, counselling and meeting rooms within the main school building. A new bathroom and staff flat within the girls’ boarding wing have been welcome improvements.
In IT, a series of new initiatives continue to improve the base infrastructure and allow the expansion of technology into teaching and learning. Building on the significant upgrade to broadband capacity completed previously, the servers, Wi-Fi and support systems continue to be improved. Staff are continuing to evaluate the greater integration of iPads and smart boards into curriculum delivery, and the Education Committee continues to work alongside the Senior Management Team to scope out the best strategies for training and development. We are preparing to introduce a new Management Information System that will be used much more widely by staff than the previous system – this will also be our first significant application to be hosted in the cloud rather than locally hosted on School servers and it is expected that other applications will follow in the future. For the pupils themselves, ICT was re-branded as Computer Science to reflect the changing nature of the curriculum with additional opportunities for advances in coding offered both within the School curriculum and through external clubs. We are supported further by a new IT Apprentice who was successfully recruited towards the end of the year to provide first line IT support to pupils and staff.
The School undertook a review of Health and Safety practice and went through a process to select new Health and Safety advisors. The Senior Management team also examined their own roles to create a Business Continuity Plan.
From a marketing and communication standpoint, the School has established a new minibus route to collect pupils from Murrayfield and the West End of Edinburgh. We held our second open morning with our senior pupils heavily involved. We have also made efforts to communicate more effectively with former pupils, adding a data capture page to our website to record their information and producing a twice-yearly newsletter to stay in touch with them. Our fortnightly newsletter to parents has also been switched to a new digitally-friendly format.
The Governors have continued to review their approach to the oversight of the School. In terms of training and the assimilation of best practice, the Governors have continued to attend a series of INSET training activities throughout the year. At their meetings, they have considered strategies for fund-raising to support bursaries and future capital developments. With this in mind, they have examined the School’s Bursary Policy and supported the Senior Management Team in a process of highlighting development priorities. The climate of increasing demands upon Scottish independent schools have challenged the governors to look carefully at fee and pay structures in the light of the impending loss of Business Rates Relief, increased employer contributions to teachers’ pensions and upward pressure on teachers’ salaries in the state-maintained sector in Scotland. The Education and Welfare Committee continued its work in guiding developments in pastoral care, especially with a view to counselling and children’s mental health. They have also looked at curriculum matters with a particular focus on the structure of academic departments and how this will help improvement planning. A new Safeguarding Committee of governors is working towards establishing precise reporting criteria so that potential issues can be monitored most effectively.
Cargilfield is proud of its position in the community. Cargilfield buildings and grounds are available to hire for a wide range of activities and events. Within the community the Pipe Band plays regularly in the local area; the Chapel Choir visits nearby nursing homes, as do other groups of children and Cargilfield continues to maintain its very close links with Cramond Kirk. The Sports Hall is used regularly by various groups in the Edinburgh area for badminton, cricket, fencing, football and hockey in particular. In addition, the School allowed Royal High & Corstorphine Cricket Club to use its grounds for matches this year and hosted one of their visiting coaches. Cramond Primary School use many facilities at the School throughout the course of the year, including holding its annual sports day at Cargilfield. The Cargilfield Activity Week during the summer is open not only to Cargilfield children, but also to others in the Edinburgh area. Similar holiday coaching camps for football, fencing, tennis, hockey and Young Engineers are also hosted. The annual Christmas Fair is open to the public and continues to be very popular. We look very favourably on all applications from outside Cargilfield to use Cargilfield grounds and facilities. Some of the groups which use Cargilfield do so free of charge, in other cases, there is a very low hourly-rate.
During the year, children and parents of Cargilfield have raised in excess of £10,000 for various charitable causes. The children were involved in selecting the three main charities for fund-raising events involving parents, staff and children. For 2018/19, these were The Yard, Spartans Community Football Project and Pilton Youth Project. The main focus for the pupil’s fund-raising efforts continues to be the School Summer Fair and the annual Pentland Round sponsored walk, for which all of the Upper School (and many in the Pre-Prep) walk 13 miles through our local hills. In addition, pupils, parents and staff organise cake and toy sales, discos and ceilidhs during the year to boost the fundraising totals. Collections at the end of term services also raised funds for the Almond Mains Initiative, a local service providing meals and day care for over 65s whilst one-off activities during the year saw the children raising funds for Poppy Scotland, Children in Need and Build Africa. Children and staff in the Nursery were involved in the national ‘Oor Wullie’ campaign to raise funds for the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital.
There is a continued emphasis from the School and the Board of Governors to use bursaries to enable access to pupils from a wide range of backgrounds and to maintain the social mix and diversity of the School. Bursary support is available from Form 4 and includes 100% awards. This has enabled some children to attend the School who would not otherwise have been able to do so, and is accompanied by appropriate guidance when such pupils are looking at senior school places. Recent years have seen the beneficiaries of the bursary scheme move on to fully assisted places at major public schools in both Scotland and England. Some recent examples include:
The total number of means tested bursaries awarded was 14 (2018: 14), with an annual value of £178,028 (2018: £163,908). Three pupils received 100% bursaries during the year (2018: 3) and a further three pupils received bursaries of 90% or above (2018: 4). The School continues its ongoing support for this purpose, and the value of the designated Bursary Fund at 31 July 2019 was £1,019,583 (2018: £1,028,359).
Our future plans reflect our commitment to an excellent all-round education for pupils within a flexible boarding and day environment delivered by a motivated and professional staff.
It is the view of the Board that the current pupil roll of around 300 allows the breadth of curriculum to be sustained against a solid financial background. The strategy for intake at the Pre-Prep and Upper School levels will be structured around that level, with appropriately sized classes.
Key initiatives for the year ahead include: the reorganisation of the academic structure and improvement planning; further initiatives for staff development and training; exploring how to make better use of the School library; and the first USA exchange visits to and from St Paul’s. The year will see celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Pre-Prep, and we will also be commemorating the 80th anniversary of the evacuation of the School to Lawers in Perthshire at the start of the Second World War. 2019 will also see the commencement of planning for the 150th anniversary of the founding of Cargilfield which will take place in 2023.
In the meantime, the School will continue its programme of development and improvements to the physical infrastructure of the School, with further investments to be made in the boarding wings, sports facilities and IT infrastructure. All such activities will be reviewed and prioritised by the Board as part of a rolling three-year financial plan which will ensure that Cargilfield enters its second sesquicentenary in a strong financial position and as relevant and progressive as it was at its foundation in 1873.
See the school accounts at the bottom of this page.
After University in Leicester, David started his career at the Bristol Evening Post. He then worked for the BBC for more than 15 years in television and radio news and current affairs. He left in 1998 to work in Corporate Communications and in 2004 he joined Cairn Energy PLC and is currently their Director Group Corporate Affairs, with responsibility for Investor Relations and Communications. He is also a board member of the Winning Scotland Foundation. David has three children all of whom attended Cargilfield. He has stood on most touchlines for whatever sport, watching all three play games at prep and senior schools across the UK. He joined the Board in 2011.
Rachel is a director of the TBC Pub Company which owns and runs The Bridge Inn at Ratho, and The Ship Inn and The 19th Hole in Elie. She was brought up near Kelso and educated at Queen Mary’s in Helmsley and then at Haileybury College before going to York University to study music. She has three children all of whom went to Cargilfield from nursery, and then went onto Rugby School. She was Chair of Friends of Cargilfield for a number of years and her brothers, father and grandfather are all past pupils, making Cargilfield truly run through her veins. In her spare time Rachel sings for The Scottish Chamber Choir, occasionally plays for The Scottish Sinfonia, and looks after her small-holding producing meat, vegetables and eggs for her pubs. Rachel joined the Board in 2017, and takes a particular interest in marketing and contact with Old Cargundians.
Caroline has three children, all of whom have been to Cargilfield. The elder two went on to Wycombe Abbey and Harrow, while the youngest has recently joined Fettes. After graduating in Modern History from Cambridge, Caroline began a career in investment banking specialising in the oil and gas sector. Moving to Edinburgh in the early 1990s, she became co-head of Deutsche Bank’s top rated equities team. Since 2016, work has been focused on governance and the energy transition, and as of January 2020, at Baillie Gifford. Beyond work and washing-up, Caroline is generally to be found outside – either on a bike or in the hills. She joined the Cargilfield Board in 2013, and her main responsibilities concern the school’s finances and planning.
Elaine was Warden at Glenalmond College before retiring in August 2019. She read English at Edinburgh University and completed her PGCE at Moray House. Her first teaching appointment was at Viewforth High School in Kirkcaldy, after which she spent 14 years at Dollar Academy. Throughout her time at Dollar she was a Housemistress and Principal teacher of Guidance. During this time she completed Post Graduate Certificates in Counselling and in Guidance and Pupil Support. She joined Loretto School in 2001 as a Housemistress and became a member of Loretto SMT in 2006. She held the positions of Assistant Head Pastoral Care, Director of Compliance, Inspections and Child Protection, Deputy Head and Acting Head. She joined the Board in 2015.
Sally has two children both of whom attended Cargilfield before going on to Glenalmond College where they are still pupils. She chaired the Friends of Cargilfield for almost three years and has always been a keen supporter of the school. Sally worked as a solicitor in Edinburgh working in commercial/civil litigation and latterly criminal cases before ‘retiring’ to bring up her children. She then became involved in supporting several charities and is now employed part-time advising a Family Trust. Whilst her days as a keen sportswoman are long behind her she enjoys country sports, entertaining and skiing badly.
Morwenna Nyirenda (Wood) qualified as a doctor from University College London in 1991 and prior to that did PPE at Balliol College, Oxford, and worked as a teacher in Nigeria with Voluntary Services Overseas. She worked in London, Oxford and Nottingham before moving to Scotland in 1997. She has been a Consultant Nephrologist since 2002 and Director of Medical Education in NHS Fife since 2008. She has honorary status as Professor with University of St Andrews and as Senior Lecturer with University of Edinburgh.
She has three daughters who have all been at Cargilfield from Nursery onwards. Zengani, Lunjika and Chidaro are now all at Rugby School. Morwenna loves to be outside when she can and her hobbies include walking and gardening. She joined the Board in 2015, and leads the Board on medical and welfare issues.
Susan was brought up in Southern Ireland and Scotland where she attended St Margaret’s School, Newington. She studied Law in Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh to work as a lawyer for 28 years, latterly as a Partner and Head of Banking for Morton Fraser LLP. Whilst maintaining her practising certificate with the Law Society for Scotland she changed the focus of her career on October 2015 and took over as Chief Executive of Cairn Mhor Childcare Partnership Limited, a company based in Fife, a position Susan held until March 2019. Cairn Mhor operates 3 children’s residential homes in Leven, Freuchie and Falkland looking after 11 children placed in care by the Local Authorities. This position combined Susan’s interest in the law around young people and running a business providing support and nurture for children who have all had very challenging starts to their lives. She has 3 girls who all attended Cargilfield, as did her husband Mike Younger. Susan joined the Board in 2016 and leads on legal matters.
Following school at University College School, Hampstead, Andrew read Classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He began his career at Brentwood School before joining Harrow School in 1987, where he taught for three decades. He was House Master of The Head Master’s before his appointment to Harrow’s Senior Management Team in September 2012. As Senior Tutor, he oversaw safeguarding and child protection as well as other areas of pastoral care and pupil welfare. Andrew takes a keen interest in all forms of sport. He is a published playwright with a love of musical theatre and continues to use his tenor voice wherever possible (most recently with Chelmsford Cathedral Choir). Andrew joined the Board in 2018. He is a member of the Education and Welfare Committee.
Brian has two children who spent a combined 14 years at Cargilfield. He is an avid Cargilfield sports fan who has tagged along on eight sports tours involving rugby, hockey and netball and stood pitch-side for countless matches. Brian hails from Canada and has been living in the UK with his family since 2012. After graduating in Astronomy from Columbia University, Brian entered the quantitative trading world in New York. After some years at Chemical Bank and Interactive Brokers, he founded Hardcastle Trading in Switzerland in 1998 where he served as CEO until 2012 and more recently as chairman. Brian spent his teenage years at a Scottish traditional boarding school in Canada and is delighted to be associated with Cargilfield.
Cargilfield School was founded in 1873 as a Charitable Trust, with the principal object of providing the best education for its pupils. The Headmaster is in charge of the day-to-day management of the School, and reports to the Board of Governors. The Board is charged with ensuring the long term stability and effectiveness of the Trust, and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the School in partnership with the Headmaster and the Senior Management Team.
The charitable company is governed by its Articles of Association, and publishes its report and accounts annually. The School is subject to review by the Office of the Scottish Charities regulator (OSCR), to ensure that it meets the appropriate charity tests and continues to deliver public benefit. This is a rolling process, and the School was last reviewed, and passed, in 2011.
The Board generally has a membership of around 10 with the intent of drawing together a variety of skills and experiences appropriate to the functions of the School. In addition to education and the provision of a safe environment, it is particularly important that the Board can offer leadership in legal, financial, medical and commercial matters.
The Governors are appointed by the Board. The composition reflects a mix of past and current parents, former pupils, education professionals and independents with particularly relevant expertise. Generally, members will serve a maximum of two terms of four years each. The position is unpaid.
The Chairman of the Board is Mr David Nisbet.
The Board encourages an open communications policy. Its members are in attendance at a range of school events, and meet frequently with representatives of the Friends of Cargilfield and the School staff.
While more formal issues or queries should be addressed to the Headmaster in the first instance, the Chairman of the Board can always be contacted through the school office. This can be done by post:
Clerk to the Governors,
45 Gamekeeper’s Road,
Or by email to email@example.com, for the attention of ‘Clerk to the Governors’.
The Governors have agreed the following enduring objectives to underpin the general strategic direction of the school:
Supplemented by the work of its committees, the full Board meets at least once a term. The Board’s main objective is to formulate a clear strategy and direction for the School, in partnership with the Headmaster and his Senior Management Team, while ensuring its financial stability. The members of the Board support the leadership and administration of the School both directly, and through the appointment of appropriate external advisers.
At each termly meeting, the Board takes reports from the Headmaster and the Bursar addressing the broad educational, pastoral and financial needs of the School, and always considers critical issues such as child protection, health & safety and a broad review of potential risks. The reports of the various committees described below are tabled and discussed. In addition, the Board holds a strategy meeting early in the Spring Term of each year to consider the longer term direction and management of Cargilfield.
The Finance and General Purposes Committee, assisted by the Headmaster and the Bursar, is responsible for overseeing the financial performance and outlook of the School. The committee recommends to the Board proposals on capital expenditure, fees, staff contracts and employment conditions, and the strategy for pupil and staff numbers. It is responsible for overseeing the investment of financial reserves, and for reviewing the annual accounts. In addition to its responsibility for overseeing risk assessment and mitigation, the FGP also carries the remit for ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory matters such as Charity and Company law. The FGP committee oversees the property of the School. This includes the maintenance of the existing estate, the management of the assets and new building works. Health and Safety issues are considered by an internal committee with a direct report to the full Board.
The FGP committee meets at least once a term and is supported in its work by the Company Secretary (Chiene & Tait), the Auditor (Scott-Moncrieff), financial advisers (Turcan Connell), and HR consultants (Navigator). The Chairman of the FGP is Mrs Caroline Cook.
The Education and Welfare Committee of the Board is responsible for overseeing the broad educational approach at Cargilfield, and meets twice a year. The committee comprises members of the Governing Board and the Senior Management team and provides a forum for consideration of the curriculum, teaching and learning in the school, extra-curricular activities and pastoral issues. The Chairman of the Committee is Mr Andrew McGregor.
This committee meets at least once a year and its purpose is to maximize the effectiveness of the Board. Its remit covers issues such as the structure, development and membership of the Board, as well as succession planning for the School’s Senior Management Team. The committee works closely with the FGP Committee in the assessment and mitigation of risks that could impact on Cargilfield. The Chairman of the Committee is Mrs Susan Younger.
Cargilfield Accounts 2019
We can’t welcome you to our grounds right now, but we can offer you a virtual tour and we can answer questions via email or telephone. We especially like to chat face-to-face on a video call.
We have places available for 2020 entry in most year groups.
For now, we hope that this video, presented by our Headmaster, Mr Rob Taylor, will give you a flavour of what life is like here at Cargilfield. Our website and social media channels are kept up to date and hold a wealth of information about our school.
Our Registrar, Fiona Craig is available to contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to help you.