AT Campbell College in Belfast, the school journey for all pupils is one of progressive development with a key focus on nurturing skills and life experience amid an environment of high-quality learning and outdoor activities.

Set with 100 acres of woodland on the edge of Belfast, Campbell College is a warm and welcoming boys’ school that is very much based within its local community. With over 1,000 pupils aged between three and 18, including 150 boarders from 30 countries across the world, the school’s history dates to 1894 when it was founded by philanthropist Henry James Campbell.

As Bert Robinson, Head of Boarding explains, the school’s rich heritage and location provide an inspiring environment in which to learn. “We celebrate our 130th anniversary next year and we continue to follow the founder’s principles of respect, service, and leadership,” says Mr Robinson.

The Scottish Farmer: The College's Pipe band was joined by The National Youth Pipe Band of AustraliaThe College's Pipe band was joined by The National Youth Pipe Band of Australia

“We have outstanding facilities here so while the main Victoria building stands as a centrepiece of the college, we offer state-of-the-art facilities across the campus in modern buildings with classrooms that are bright and spacious classrooms, ICT suites, libraries, sports halls, and creative spaces.

“The ethos of Campbell College is very much about striving for academic excellence but also challenging our pupils to be the best they can in whatever they do now and in the future as we understand that abilities and interests differ.”

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Ivan, from Stranraer, is one of five boys from Scotland attending Campbell College and lives in the Boarding School. He is in his ninth year and, according to Bert Robinson, was a “wee, quiet boy” when he first arrived in Primary 7. His confidence has developed and he contributes to school life in a wider context, with his younger brother now a pupil, too.

“Our boarders – and Ivan will agree – really enjoy the experience and it couldn’t be further from the traditional perception of boarding schools with dormitories and very strict rules,” he says. “Boards have single rooms, some of them with en-suite facilities – it’s more like university accommodation.

The Scottish Farmer: Campbell College Campbell College

“For Ivan living in Stranraer, it’s very easy to get to Belfast on the ferry and he has become very integrated into local life, as are all our boys. We also have 40 different nationalities in the school so it’s great to see them all getting along with each other and learning about different countries and their cultures.”

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“Our pastoral care ensures that our boys live in an environment where there is a real family atmosphere and where rules are followed but in a happy and relaxed way, where respect is key and supervision is what it needs to be without being imposing.”

Meanwhile, Campbell College is a very sporty school with rugby, football, tennis, hockey, and judo among the sports available with extensive sports pitches, a swimming pool, athletics track, and tennis courts.