We encourage all of our students to try new activities, push themselves and embrace all of the opportunities which a Fettes education provides.
Whether choosing from the 40 plus activities on offer, working towards their Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award, or finding ways to support local charities, our self-motivated students emerge with new-found skills and experiences.
International trips and excursions closer to home are many and varied, whether representing a sports team or choir, volunteering, or participating in a student exchanges. The benefits of these opportunities are immense, fostering independence whilst creating life-long memories.
We prepare our students to become global citizens with a responsibility to contribute to society. Their engagement in service and charity work is key to understanding the positive impact they can have in assisting others so, from volunteering to charity fundraising, all of our students are encouraged to take an active role.
At Fettes we believe in the education of the whole person and for that reason we offer an expansive activities programme, a wide range of societies, stimulating talks and lectures, as well as many exciting excursions and trips. Students can switch between activities each term to find new interests or simply focus on something they already enjoy. Whatever route they choose they emerge with newfound skills, new friends and experiences. The activities we offer reflect the interests of our pupils and our staff, which is why we are able to offer everything from bell-ringing to yoga, codebreaking to investing.
The range of societies we offer encourages pupils to develop their reasoning and debating skills in a variety of academic subjects including Classics, Debating, Law, Politics, Science and Literature. We are fortunate to regularly welcome a number of distinguished speakers to Fettes to share their knowledge and experiences with us.
We strongly believe in developing leadership abilities in our pupils through academics and sport. Our extra-curricular activities programme augments this and allows for focused leadership training. Through CCF, the DoE Award, Community Service and Societies, students take on leadership roles within these clubs gaining valuable experience and confidence.
Our vision is that every student is fully engaged in our service programme so that they can develop new skills whilst gaining confidence and self-awareness through helping others. We are committed to developing principled, caring young people who possess a sense of social responsibility and can approach life with the knowledge and confidence required to make the most of their individual ambition and potential.
Service is rewarding, life affirming and fun. It should enable our students to realise their sense of worth, their capabilities, and creativity; helping them to become more empathetic citizens. Service is not just concerned with charitable giving: it is about recognising that we are part of a wider community with a responsibility to show kindness and share our gifts with others.
This year, each boarding house has adopted one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals as a focus for their service activities throughout the year.
Public benefit is integral to many of the activities we undertake. We provide high levels of access and support to local communities, demonstrating public benefit to a wide variety of children’s groups, educational institutions and individuals alike. Focussing on long-term, regular engagement, Fettes is home to several weekly clubs. For example, the Nigel Short Chess Society and Captivate Drama clubs are accessed by over 50 children from across Edinburgh on a weekly basis for no fee.
We have strong long-term links with the Fetlor Youth Club: it's members regularly attend art sessions with Fettes staff and students, utilising the facilities at Fettes.
Educational events also increase the level of public engagement amongst local schools. Codebreaking Day, Classics Day, Careers Day and Orchestra Day are community-wide events, bringing together local children to learn new skills and develop current talents.
The School also promotes public benefit by offering use of its many sporting facilities to local groups and schools for free. The sports pitches are regularly used by Lacrosse Scotland, Grange Hockey, Scottish Hockey and the Scottish Rugby Union.
Fundraising for charity is a key part of life at Fettes. The charities we support are chosen by the students through the Charity Action Group which is led by our Upper Sixth charity prefects.
The annual Fettes College charity run is a whole-school fundraising event: members of the College and Prep School, staff and parents alike come together to run either 5k, 10k or a half-marathon. Each house chooses a charity to support and over £20,000 is raised annually.
The annual sleep out for The Rock Trust, a charity which tackles youth homelessness, is another highlight of the fundraising calendar.
Fettes charity fundraising events consistently raise more than £80,000 each year; some recent beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support and Maggie’s. Overall, more than 30 different charities have been supported by fundraising activities at Fettes.
At Fettes, a strong emphasis is placed on providing volunteer assistance in and around the Edinburgh area, as well as internationally.
The Place2Be Mentoring programme matches Fettes students with local primary school pupils as supportive, positive role models.
Each year, Fettes also participates in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative, which encourages students to champion local, grass-roots charities and enables the winning team to donate £3,000 to their chosen organisation.
Further afield, students in Lower Sixth can take part in our annual, international CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) trips. In recent years they have embarked on trips to India, Kenya and Madagascar to assist local schools and communities.
On Advent Sunday, our Scottish Islands Peaks Race Team departed for a training sessions in the Pentland Hills, continuing their training ahead of the adventure in May 2020.
It takes a particularly hardy Fettesian to join Mr Rowlands for some Stand Up Paddle Boarding on a crisp December morning, but our students showed some real determination!