New Headmaster for Belhaven Hill School as it nears its Centenary
New Head & Staff to Build on Belhaven’s All-Round Reputation
Boarding and day pupils returning to Belhaven Hill School in East Lothian in September will have a lot to be excited about. They will be welcomed by new Headmaster Olly Langton and his wife Rosie, together with an enhanced leadership team in the staff room.
Olly Langton has moved to Belhaven from Radley College in Oxfordshire where he has been a Housemaster since 2013. He graduated from Edinburgh University in 2004 with a First Class Honours degree in History, so is looking forward to returning to Scotland.
As Belhaven’s incoming Headmaster, he says: “We will cherish the characteristics which make Belhaven Scotland’s leading boarding and day prep school, while developing the school in line with a fast changing world. Rosie and I look forward very much to leading Belhaven towards its centenary and on to the next phase of its distinguished history.
“Children thrive in different environments – some in the classroom, some on the games field, some in the drama, music or art departments: others will thrive in an outdoor setting, especially if that is linked with active problem solving. This multi-dimensional approach offers a breadth of opportunities and is one that I feel will appeal to the whole Belhaven community and beyond.”
Rosie Langton taught at St Edward’s in Oxford, St Paul’s Boys in London and at Radley, and is a freelance graphic designer. She is also looking forward to becoming fully involved at Belhaven.
Olly Langton’s staff team is being strengthened by the appointment of two new Deputy Heads: John Marriott, currently Director of Studies, who becomes Deputy Head (Academic); and Katie Gale, Head of Maths, who will be Deputy Head (Pastoral).
Katie Gale, who has been teaching at Belhaven Hill since 2001, says: “With the arrival of a new Headmaster and the launch of our new Computer Science programme, there are exciting times ahead for the school. In my new role I am looking forward to helping Belhaven move into a new phase as well as ensuring that the school’s much loved values and traditions continue.”
Belhaven Hill is Scotland’s leading full boarding school, so it is delighted to have appointed Anna McGrath to the important role of Girls’ Housemistress. Anna was previously Resident House Tutor and Director of Drama at Fettes Prep School. She says she was attracted to Belhaven because “I love the feeling of family, community and home-from-home. I was also drawn by the blend of great academics and outdoor education, as well as the opportunities to do more with Drama and public speaking.”
Over the last two years the Board of Governors has been working on an ambitious plan to invest specific funds in a Computer Science programme to teach Belhaven children computational thinking, programming, e-safety and robotics. Belhaven has therefore now appointed Will Pook, an innovator in computing, to a new role as Head of Computing. Will was previously head of Computing at Chafyn Grove Prep School in Salisbury and has led digital transformation programmes there and at other prep schools.
“Belhaven recognises that the world is changing fast and that in future there won’t be many jobs without technology involved. Children need to have adaptive skills in programming and computational thinking. This means that we need to teach them in a fun, engaging way and give them the skills which are most relevant to the world they will enter as teenagers .”
These investments in Belhaven’s all-round education follow the success of the school’s Distance Learning Programme during lockdown. It continues Belhaven's tradition of offering an excellent education, as demonstrated again this year by the school’s outstanding academic results.
“We have 28 children going on to leading UK secondary schools including Ampleforth, Fettes, Glenalmond, Loretto, Marlborough, Oundle, Stowe, Strathallan and Uppingham,” says John Marriott, Deputy Head (Academic). “Overall, 16 awards and scholarships have been won between 20 of our children who put themselves forward. This is an incredible 80% success ratio.
“Out of the 16 awards and scholarships won, 2 were Academic, 5 in Sport, 3 in Art, 3 All-Rounder, 2 in Music and 1 in Drama. The awards, gained in subjects ranging from Latin through to Skiing, are real proof that Belhaven provides a broad and creative education.”
Olly Langton concludes: “The structure of the day at Belhaven is one that caters for the needs of both day and boarding pupils, encourages the formation of relationships that last for a lifetime. Whether you go home every evening or you stay for the 11 nights between our fortnightly weekends out, the days are packed with activities and opportunities in a wonderful 20-acre safe haven by the sea.”