Dollar Academy’s Bicentenary Year

In June 2018 we began a year-long programme of events to celebrate the school’s Bicentenary. It is fitting that in this year the school was named Sunday Times Scottish Independent Secondary School of the Year 2018.

Here’s what happened…

Dollar Creates: The year started with a two-week art exhibition, featuring exceptional pieces from both current and former pupils, at the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling.

Les Miserables: A rousing, accomplished performance of the epic ‘Les Miserables’ from the Senior School, which deservedly achieved standing ovations after each performance.

Sports Weekend 2018: The Bicentenary Year was officially launched at Sports Day 2018 with a special programme of sports events featuring pupils of all ages.

The Bicentenary Ball: Dollar welcomed parents, former pupils and friends of the school to a black-tie ball in the marquee.

200 Pipers and Family Day: A unique Pipe Band display and afternoon of family activities took place on the Sunday.

Full School Outdoor Assembly: An open air assembly for all pupils and staff, featuring a performance from the full pipe band on the Playfair roof. (Chris Cairns photo)

‘13’ The Musical: Form I, II and III pupils delivered sell-out performances at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe.

Festival of Rugby and Hockey: A special day of rugby and hockey to open the sports season.

50th Whole School Sponsored Walk: Pupils across the whole school donned their walking boots to raise an incredible £60,000 for charity. We also welcomed back the former pupils who organised the first school Sponsored Walk 50 years ago.

Remembrance Day Commemorations: Staff and pupils remembered the 100th anniversary of WW1 through a poignant outdoor Assembly featuring readings and music. Pupils from across the school helped to create a stunning ceramic poppy display which cascaded down the side of the West Approach from the War Memorial.

Christmas Concert: More than 300 singers and musicians from across the school took part in this fantastic festive performance at The Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

Bicentenary Art Exhibition and Fashion Show: A sell-out success showcasing the work of our talented pupils.

Service of Thanksgiving: Hundreds of current and former pupils, staff and parents attended this moving service in the St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. 250 choristers and instrumentalists, from Prep 4 to Form VI, filled the stillness of the cathedral with a rich programme of music, including a specially commissioned piece by Euan Stevenson (FP). This was complemented by poetry, drama and readings including an original reflection on founder John McNabb’s life and legacy – The Captain Comes Home – written by Deputy Rector Geoff Daniel.

Cross Country Championships: A record 573 runners braved the mud and the hills to take part in the 2019 Senior Cross Country race.

Bicentenary Prep School Art Exhibition: Inspired by the ‘Dollar Creates’ exhibition which launched our Bicentenary celebrations, the artistic talents of our younger pupils were given centre stage when we turned the Prep School into a living and breathing art gallery.

1819 Themed Lessons Day: Pupils from Prep 1 to Form III experienced what school would have been like for children 200 years ago…an eye-opening experience for all involved!

Prep and Junior School Musical: The Prep and Junior School pupils brought the magical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ to the Dollar Academy stage.

Bicentenary Bursary Fund: From the start, Dollar has been inclusive: admitting both boys and girls and charging some children lower fees or none. We have marked our 200th anniversary with a Bicentenary Bursary Fund aimed at welcoming more children who would benefit from a Dollar education, but who are unable to pay the fees.

Closing Sports Weekend: Our Bicentenary celebrations ended at Sports Weekend 2019.

The Bicentenary celebrations have brought together all facets of the school community, past and present, to celebrate 200 years of Dollar Academy. Here’s to the next 200!

View our Bicentenary video here.