Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

The Belhaven Award

The Belhaven Award

Launching 'The Belhaven Award' for Life Skills

Headmaster, Mr Langton, says: “Belhaven aims to provide a genuinely all-round education. The school offers a holistic, all-embracing education with a strong focus on academics, as well as lots of sport and activities.

“Learning life skills are an important part of any good education so we have just launched the Belhaven Award in our Centenary year. The award aims to create a structured approach to learning some of those valuable skills. Bronze, Silver and Gold levels reward the completion of tasks related to the school’s core values: Courtesy, Courage and Creativity – these will provide lots of opportunities for fun, as well as helping to develop the skills needed to thrive and lead in the 21st century.

“The award is the creation of houseparents Jack White and Anna McGrath and boarding and day pupils will also be supported by their Form teachers, Tutors and boarding assistants in achieving their goals. The creation of opportunities to discuss progress in clearly defined areas will help to forge an even better understanding of what each child needs to build his or her self-confidence.

“The Belhaven Award lets the children choose challenges from a list of options. These encourage them to push themselves outside their comfort zone, allowing for their age and within a pastorally supportive environment. Encouraging them to ‘have a go’ is fundamental to our ethos as a school and to their development as confident individuals who feel ready to have a positive impact on the world around them.

“The life skills encouraged by the Belhaven Award are varied, from ironing and letter-writing, to web design and cooking. Activities that qualify for Being Courteous cover doing 1 to 3 hours of community service like litter picking, supporting staff and reading to younger pupils; options for Being Courageous include completing a 10km to 25km walk (or 10km run), cycling 10km to 40km, doing a first aid course and public speaking; and activities for Being Creative include writing a story, poem or book review, taking photos, reviewing an art gallery, concert or play, learning famous quotes and how to tie knots.  

“This Award takes advantage of two ​of Belhaven's greatest assets: time, and space – an around the clock pastoral care team set in our inspiring location by the East Lothian coast means that the opportunities for exploration and development are endless."

Parents in a recent survey commented on the school’s all-round education: “It is a school that offers a wide range of activities of all kinds to the children, educating them to open their eyes to the world, helping them to become curious individuals…” “…Being a small school with small class sizes enables an individual focus on each child which isn’t possible in larger schools and really enables each pupil to excel.”

A review of Belhaven from The Good Schools Guide summarises the school as… “The antithesis of a hothouse education, Belhaven provides a nurturing environment for kids to flourish. An all-round approach to education with an innovative new programme in digital education combined with good old fashioned outdoorsy fun (think rosy-cheeked children wild swimming on the beach or drinking hot chocolate in their dens). Biggest prep school music department in the UK and an everyone-must-give-it-a go approach to sport. Hard to fault.” You can read the full Good Schools Guide Review on Belhaven’s website

See our Belhaven Award Challenges:

Bronze Award

 Bronze Award 

7 challenges in each category must be completed to gain the award.

The challenge in bold must be completed.

Be Courteous

  • Change a sheet, pillow case and duvet in under 3 mins
  • Polish black shoes – traditional method
  • Handwrite a formal thank you letter
  • Wash a car for somebody
  • Help to lay and clear the dining table at home
  • 1 hour of chores at home, or in the boarding house
  • 1 hour of Community Service (e.g. litter pick)
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘courtesy’

Be Courageous

  • Sleep overnight in a tent or under a tarp
  • Light a campfire or BBQ
  • Practise a musical instrument 3 times a week for a full term
  • Perform a poem to a group of 10 or more
  • Cycle to East Linton (or any other 10km route)
  • Learn five yoga stretches and record a video of you doing them
  • Prepare and cook a main course taking photos of each step
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘courage’

Be Creative

  • Identify and name five different types of birds
  • Learn how to tie three knots
  • Change a lightbulb
  • Sew on a button or name tape
  • Learn three card games
  • Write a poem, or story outside of the classroom
  • Draw / Paint a picture of Belhaven Hill School
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘creativity’

To gain the Bronze Award you must arrange a meeting with Mr Brown, Miss Illingworth, Mrs McGrath, or Mr White. In the meeting you will discuss the award, showing photographs and evidence of how you completed each task (using your ‘Belhaven Award’ page on OneNote.)

Silver Award

Silver Award 

 7 challenges in each category must be completed to gain the award.

The challenge in bold must be completed.

Be Courteous

  • Learn to tie a tie
  • Iron a shirt and trousers
  • Learn how to use a washing machine
  • Help grow something in the walled garden, or help weeding
  • Support staff in clearing the changing rooms on three occasions
  • Handwrite a letter to one of your heroes
  • 2 hours more of Community Service (e.g. litter pick)
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘courtesy’

Be Courageous

  • Practise a musical instrument 4-5 times a week for a full term
  • Perform a piece of drama to a group of ten or more
  • Fix a puncture on a bicycle
  • Cycle to North Berwick (or any other 20km route)
  • Complete a 15km walk, or 10km run
  • Bake a cake
  • Public speaking for 3+ minutes
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘courage’

Be Creative

  • Identify and name five different types of trees
  • Write or present a book review
  • Make a movie with photos, or video footage
  • Learn how to tie six knots
  • Learn two card tricks and perform them
  • Learn to play chess and draughts
  • Learn three Latin phrases, or famous quotes and their meaning
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘creativity’

To gain the Silver Award you must arrange a meeting with Mrs McGrath, or Mr White. In the meeting you will discuss the award, showing photographs and evidence of how you completed each task (using your ‘Belhaven Award’ page on OneNote.)

Gold Award

 Gold Award

7 challenges in each category must be completed to gain the award.

The challenge in bold must be completed. 

Be Courteous

  • Bake a cake, or similar as a gift to somebody
  • Read a story or run an activity for Pre-Prep
  • Raise money for charity – plan and take part in the event
  • Support staff in clearing the changing rooms for a week
  • Organise a sporting/musical/fun competition
  • Cook a three-course meal for 2 or more guests
  • 3 hours more of Community Service (e.g. litter pick)
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘courtesy’

Be Courageous

  • Practise a musical instrument 6 times a week for a full term
  • Perform in a play, or drama sharing to a live audience
  • Learn how to change a car tyre
  • Cycle to North Berwick and back (or any other 40km route)
  • Complete a 25km walk, or climb three Munros
  • Swim under the Bridge to Nowhere between Nov – Feb
  • Learn basic first aid and demonstrate that knowledge to the school nurse.
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘courage’

Be Creative

  • Identify and name three constellations
  • Visit an art gallery, concert or play and review it
  • Design a website
  • Go on a wildlife / cultural walk, taking interesting photos and document this as part of the award presentation
  • Learn 5 reels dances
  • Public speaking for 7+ minutes
  • Write a CV
  • Do another activity that demonstrates ‘creativity’

Platinum Award may be given in exceptional circumstances to somebody who goes above and beyond in each of these categories and challenges themselves further.