Public Benefit

Be Benevolent

Belhaven Hill School takes a broad view of its role as an educational charity and endeavours to act in accordance with the values that it represents. The school aims to enhance the education provided to its pupils and those of other institutions by showing them the many facets of charitable work and the ways in which individuals can contribute to society.  

Be Open

Belhaven is non-selective academically. The school has an experienced team of Learning Support staff, who help with a range of issues. The Board of Governors is committed to ensuring that a Belhaven education can be enjoyed by children from diverse backgrounds and homes, both locally and further afield. In an effort to make the school accessible to all families, a generous proportion of school revenues is allocated to the provision of means-tested bursaries. In addition, the school has recently established an annual ‘Eagle Fund’, administered by the Headmaster, to assist children who are in receipt of a bursary with additional expenses associated with attending the school. In the academic year 2018-2019, the School is introducing a scheme to provide six children, attending local primary schools, who could not otherwise afford them, with free music lessons in the School’s music block, taught by staff employed by the School.  For details of the scheme and how to apply for lessons, please contact the School.
If you would be interested in applying for bursarial support, or wish to learn more about our approach to making awards, please click here.  The Headmaster is always available to talk to individual families about their circumstances.

Be Part of the Community

For a small school, we make a big contribution …

Be Responsible (Conservation and the environment)

Pupils are encouraged to value and look after the local environment. Over the past few years the school has acquired a national reputation for a programme which not only educates both its own pupils and those from other local schools about conservation and environmental issues, but which also has a substantial practical impact. Belhaven is proud that its Conservation Club was winner of the RSPB’s Nature of  Scotland Award in 2015 and Runner Up in 2016 in the ‘Conservation & the Environment’ section of the Scottish Rural Awards for ‘creating, innovating and succeeding in enhancing the countryside’. The judges commented that:  
“The Belhaven Hill School Conservation Club should be replicated UK-wide, simply for the impact that it has. Aside from inspiring its young members, it has planted 3,500 trees, built over 100 bird boxes and cleared seven local beaches of marine litter.”
Tree planting - the School has worked on various tree planting projects creating woodland and hedges over the past few years. Working with charities such as the Woodland Trust, Tweed Forum and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the school has planted nearly 3,500 in the local community.  
“It’s fantastic that groups such as Belhaven Hill School are working so hard to improve their local environment. Planting trees is a great way to demonstrate the importance of conservation.” Carol Evans, Director of the Woodland Trust Scotland
“I was delighted that children from Belhaven Hill School wanted to help plant trees on one of our Eddleston Water Project sites. This project aims to restore natural habitats in the area to improve the River valley for wildlife and help reduce the risk of flooding in Eddleston and Peebles. A big part of that is the strategic planting of native tree species. We hope to raise the ecological status of the river system and help buffer against the effects of climate change. It is now more important than ever to engage the younger generation in these issues.” Emily Iles, Tweed Forum Project Officer
“I take my hat off to Belhaven Hill School for taking the classroom out to the countryside.  The smiles on the youngsters’ faces spoke volumes!  This was a wonderfully practical opportunity to help tomorrow’s stewards of the countryside understand the importance of habitat management…Nothing can beat the hands-on experience of planting a new hedge.” Hugo Straker, Scottish Game Fair Director, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust
Beach clearances - the School has assisted marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage in organising and running beach clean and environmental education events attended by members of the local community to help clear seven local beaches of marine litter.
"Belhaven Hill School plays a unique role within the Dunbar community. The fact that 40 young students came down to the beach on Friday brimming with enthusiasm, knowledge and a willingness to roll their sleeves up to help our battle against the marine litter crisis sends out such a fantastic message!” Dom Ferris, Surfers Against Sewage's Campaigns and Education Manager
In addition to tree planting and beach cleans, the School also produces bird boxes from scrap material such as pallets. Around thirty bird boxes have been given to primary schools and nurseries in the local area to promote outdoor education and environmentally responsible living.
If you have a conservation or environmental project which would benefit from Belhaven’s support, or would welcome pupil volunteers, please contact the Headmaster.

Be Supportive

Belhaven Hill is proud to source supplies for its kitchens from local suppliers, and use local companies and support services where possible.  
Local companies used include:

  • Andersons Butchers    
  • Coast2Coast Surf School
  • Dick Litherland
  • Dunbar News
  • Fox Lake
  • Lothian Printers
  • Lyntoun Taxis
  • The Crunchie Carrot
  • Umbertos, Dunbar
  • Seacliff Stables
  • Turnbulls Hardware


Be Welcoming

Belhaven is delighted to open the school to third parties and to support a range of local people and charities:

  • Contact the Elderly (summer tea party for local people hosted by the pupils at Belhaven)
  • a School Fete will be held in September to benefit Unicef and a local charity
  • Haemophilia Society and the Langalanga Scholarship Fund)
  • Scotland's Garden Scheme (proportion of funds raised go to East Lothian Special Needs Playscheme)
  • West Barns Primary School attended a talk given by James Ketchell, a British adventurer
  • West Barns Primary School attended a performance of Jason and the Argonauts by Theatre in Schools 

Belhaven organises events for other schools and teachers, including:

  • Music exams (pupils from the local area use the music school and instruments to sit their exams)
  • Cross Country Championships (Belhaven Hill hosts an annual day of races for schools from all over Scotland - although the competition in 2018 was cancelled because of the snow)
  • Dunbar and North Berwick Rugby Clubs (Belhaven Hill hosts matches)
  • CEOPs training (Belhaven has hosted a training and information session for local schools)
  • Pumpkin Patch Nursery (senior Belhaven Hill pupils assist at the nursery sports day)
  • The School's Head of Classics assisted Dunbar Primary School's Roman Day
  • Inter School football matches with local schools
  • One of the staff drives the School minibus for the local Brownie pack’s outing
  • Local schools are invited to join the School’s Iron Will Contest and a local Race for Life
  • Over the past year the School has hosted a pupil from Dunbar Grammar School to help her gain the necessary experience for her Duke of Edinburgh award 

If you run an organisation which might benefit from help from Belhaven Hill, its staff, or pupils, please contact the Headmaster.
Each year the school welcomes students from the UK and abroad. Most of the ‘gap students’ join the pastoral team at Belhaven and take a full part in school life, gaining valuable work experience before returning to their studies. In recent years, the school has been delighted to include a specialist ‘Gap’ placement for a music student to work closely with the Director of Music in his department and in producing school productions and concerts.
In the Autumn Term 2017, the School hosted a young Spanish student as part of his University course to become a teacher. He shadowed teachers and took part in everyday School life.
If you are interested in applying for a ‘Gap’ placement at Belhaven, please email the Headmaster with a copy of your CV.
The school gives access (either free or for a minimal charge) to its buildings and sports facilities to a range of organisations, including:

  • The Rotary Club (bridge nights)
  • Dunbar Choral Society (weekly use of the music school)
  • Pumpkin Patch Nursery (regular use of the nature trail in the grounds)
  • Dunbar Tennis Club
  • East Lothian Tennis Club
  • Borders Cricket Club (use of School gym for training)
  • West Barns Primary School (use of school mini buses and drivers for events)
  • Scotland’s Gardens Scheme (the school opens its gardens biannually in aid of this charity)Belhaven Hill School hosted part of the East Lothian Tennis Tournament in July 2017 when the usual courts were unplayable owing to the wet weather

Please contact the Headmaster if you are interested in access to any of our facilities.
The school is happy to let educational groups and other institutions rent or make use of its buildings, facilities and grounds during holiday periods. For instance, this year, a local hockey coach held a training camp at Belhaven during school holidays, which was attended by local children.  In the recent past the following organisations have enjoyed staying at Belhaven:

  • Free Church of Scotland
  • Northern Ireland Scripture Union
  • Lambrooke School 

If you run an organisation which might be interested in using Belhaven’s facilities, or renting the school buildings during the holidays, please contact the Headmaster.

Be Generous

Each year the school undertakes a number of charitable fundraising activities. In most cases, it is the children themselves who lead the fundraising or who volunteer in support of a cause, though Staff have championed projects too. 
The children have formed a Charity Group under the leadership of a member of staff and they have been busy organising events and activities over the academic year to raise money for chosen charities;

  • Halloween Games at break - £61.60 for ECHC, SPCA and Cancer Research UK
  • Smarties boxes filled with 20p coins - £539 for ECHC, SPCA and Cancer Research UK
  • Food Bank collection - 158kgs of food, drinks and toiletries given to East Lothian Foodbank
  • Bake Sale - £132 for Jo Walters Trust
  • Skipping challenge - £2,119 (80% for British Heart Foundation, 20% for fitness equipment for school)
  • Second Hand Book Sale - £90.50 for ECHC, SPCA and Cancer Research UK
  • Fancy Dress Day - £131 for NSPCC
  • Sale of Lollies and friendship bracelets - £75.50 for Cancer Research UK
  • Photo competition and Postcard Sale 2017 - £130 for ECHC, SPCA and Cancer Research UK
  • Photo competition and Postcard Sale 2018 - to raise money for SPCA and Kivuli Trust 

In addition to the activities of the Charity Group, the School Community has also been active in supporting other charities.

  • RNLI: Laura Graham and Jane Haddon published two children’s books, sold in bookshops and at school events, which raised money for the RNLI in Dunbar.
  • Movember: Teacher William Townshend was sponsored to grow moustaches to aid men’s health research
  • Scottish Love in Action: the school has a long standing link raising money from the Carol Service each year to support a child’s schooling in India
  • Poppy Appeal: one year group visits the Lady Haig Poppy Factory and helps make poppies for sale by the charity. The school makes an annual donation to the Poppy Appeal
  • Shoe Box Appeal: children can opt to fill a shoebox as part of Operation Christmas Child
  • Purple Pinkie Day: children wear purple clothes or accessories to raise awareness of the End Polio Now campaign and the school makes an annual donation.
  • Comic Relief: Red Nose supported biannually
  • Race for Life: senior girls raise money biannually for Cancer Research 

The School set up the PTFA in 2015 to engage with the School’s wider community and the group is now not only assisting new pupils and parents as they start at Belhaven, and organising events for Old Belhavians, but it has organised several successful events at Belhaven over the past year.  For instance the PTFA organised a Race Night in May 2018 and donated £500 to The Teapot Trust.  A significant proportion of funds raised by the PTFA at future events will also be donated to local charities nominated by the School, the pupils or the PTFA.
Please contact the Headmaster if you would like to nominate a particular charity for Belhaven Hill support or voluntary work.
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