In a small school the Headmaster can have a close understanding of the abilities and qualities of each child. The boys sleep in warm attractive dormitories in the main building, and the girls in the new, purpose-built girls' house.
Whilst the whole staff plays a part in pastoral care, the boys' Housemaster and the girls' Housemistress are largely responsible, together with the Matrons and the Headmaster, for the day to day wellbeing of the children.
For meals, staff and children eat together and a perennial complaint of leavers is that the food at their new school is 'nothing like as good as it was at Belhaven'!
Whilst a number of day children is an integral and welcome feature of the younger age groups, the large majority of children are boarders. Boarding may not suit everyone but we believe that increasingly as a child grows older he or she gains the fullest benefit from the school by being a boarder.
Boarders generally stay at the school one weekend in two and go out on the other weekends. During "in weekends" there is a full programme of lessons, games and activities on the Saturday. Day children in Form 5 are excused attendance but others are free to go late afternoon after all school commitments are met.
There is a structured programme on Sunday mornings that includes a Chapel Service in the school taken by the Headmaster or visiting preachers (normally the Heads of Senior Public Schools), while twice a term the school joins with the congregation at two local churches. On Sunday afternoons there is a full range of activities and outings.
Children may be allowed out at the Headmaster's discretion between 2 pm and 6 pm to pursue an activity such as riding or sailing or for a special family occasion.
Weekends out and half terms start at 1 pm on the Friday and children return either on the Sunday evening or on the Monday morning by 8.25 am. To assist parents who live comparatively far away, school mini-buses convey children to places such as Perth, Brechin and Dumfries at the beginning and end of a weekend out.
At Belhaven we believe in giving children the opportunity to develop a broad range of hobbies and interests. Many of these activities take place in the lunch hour, during breaks, after school and on weekends.