is a non-denominational secondary school situated in the centre of the town of Ayr
Ayr is a town and port situated on the Firth of Clyde in south-west Scotland. With a population of around 46,000, Ayr is the largest settlement in Ayrshire, of which it is the county town, and has held royal burgh status since 1205...
in South Ayrshire
South Ayrshire is one of 32 council areas of Scotland, covering the southern part of Ayrshire. It borders onto East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway....
. It is a comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...
for children from the ages of 11 to 18 from Ayr. Ayr Academy's catchment area
In human geography, a catchment area is the area and population from which a city or individual service attracts visitors or customers. For example, a school catchment area is the geographic area from which students are eligible to attend a local school...
covers Newton-on-Ayr, Whitletts and the outlying villages of Coylton, Annbank, and Mossblown. In 2007 the closure of Mainholm Academy resulted in the addition of approx 100 extra pupils attending Ayr Academy. At present, approximately 715 pupils attend the school.
The school's motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...
is Respice, Prospice
, which is Latin for "Look Backwards, Look Forwards" which would mean, idiomatically, "Learn from the past,look to the future.".
Ayr Academy prides itself in being the oldest school in Scotland.
The school has existed, in various guises, since 1233 although it did not come to be known as Ayr Academy until 1796. It moved from the Sandgate to its present location on Fort Street in 1800, with a further extension to the building added in the early 1960s. It was used as a fort until 1255. In 2009 Ayr Academy became the centre of media attention following a S3 pupil being stabbed in a technical class by another pupil who brought a knife into school. The pupil received two years imprisonment. In September 2010, the whole school was evacuated due to a dangerous chemical reaction in one of the chemistry classes. No pupils were seriously injured.
The school uses a house
The house system is a traditional feature of British schools, and schools in the Commonwealth. Historically, it was associated with established public schools, where a 'house' refers to a boarding house or dormitory of a boarding school...
system and is split into three houses: Galloway
Galloway is an area in southwestern Scotland. It usually refers to the former counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire...
headed by Business Education teacher Mr S. O'Hara, Kyle
Kyle is a former comital district of Scotland which stretched across parts of modern day East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire...
headed by Social Subjects teacher Mrs E. Andersson, and Carrick
Carrick is a former comital district of Scotland which today forms part of South Ayrshire.-History:The word Carrick comes from the Gaelic word Carraig, meaning rock or rocky place. Maybole was the historic capital of Carrick. The county was eventually combined into Ayrshire which was divided...
headed by Science teacher Mr Scott McGarvey.
The school offers a wide range of subjects including (but not restricted to):
- Modern Foreign Languages (French, Spanish)
- Modern Studies
- Religious and Moral, Personal and Social Education
- Art and Design
- Graphic Communication
- Product Design
- Business Management
- Practical Craft Skills
- Home Economics
- Physical Education
- Accounting and Finance
- Office and Information Studies
- British Sign Language
Notable former pupils
In alphabetical order
- William Beardmore, 1st Baron Invernairn
William Beardmore, 1st Baron Invernairn , known as Sir William Beardmore, Bt, between 1914 and 1921, was an Anglo-Scottish industrialist, founding the eponymous William Beardmore and Company.-Background and education:...
- Professor Sir Drummond Bone, Master of Balliol College, University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...
- Mike Denness
Mike Denness is a former Scottish cricketer who played for England, Scotland, Essex and Kent. Scotland did not have a representative international team at the time of Denness' career, so he could only play for England at Test and ODI level. Denness became the first Scotsman to captain England...
, England Cricket captain
- Karen Dunbar
Karen Dunbar is a Scottish comedienne and entertainer.-Early life:She first came to the attention of mainstream audiences in the BBC Scotland comedy series Chewin' the Fat and subsequently was given her own show by the channel, The Karen Dunbar Show.Prior to mainstream success, Karen, an out...
, Scottish comedienne and entertainer
- John M. Farquhar
John McCreath Farquhar was a United States Representative from New York and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.-Biography:...
(1832–1918), member of the United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...
and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her...
- Fiona Hyslop
Fiona Hyslop is the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs and Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for Linlithgow.-Family life and background:...
, Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a social-democratic political party in Scotland which campaigns for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom....
politician, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning is a position in the Scottish Government cabinet responsible for the Education department...
and Member of the Scottish Parliament
Member of the Scottish Parliament is the title given to any one of the 129 individuals elected to serve in the Scottish Parliament.-Methods of Election:MSPs are elected in one of two ways:...
- Sir John Latta, 1st Baronet
Sir John Latta, 1st Baronet was a Scottish shipping magnate.Latta was born in Old Cumnock, Ayrshire, and was educated at Ayr Academy. He entered the family business, Lawther, Latta & Co Ltd, which owned the Nitrate Producers' Steamship Co Ltd, and later became chairman. In 1896, he married Mary...
(1867–1946), Scottish shipping magnate
- Sir David Murray, (born 1951) Scottish entrepreneur, businessman and former chairman of Rangers F.C.
Rangers Football Club are an association football club based in Glasgow, Scotland, who play in the Scottish Premier League. The club are nicknamed the Gers, Teddy Bears and the Light Blues, and the fans are known to each other as bluenoses...
- Iain McLauchlan, Scottish Rugby Union
The Scottish Rugby Union is the governing body of rugby union in Scotland. It is the second oldest Rugby Union, having been founded in 1873, as the Scottish Football Union.-History:...
captain, who also played for the British Lions.
- Tom Morris Jnr (1851–1875), Four time Open Golf Championship winner.
- Margaret Morton
Margaret Morton is a Scottish curler and Olympic champion. She received a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. with team mates Rhona Martin , Deborah Knox, Fiona MacDonald and Janice Rankin.-References:...
(1968- ), Olympic Gold medallist (curling) Salt Lake City winter olympics (2002)
- William Ross, Baron Ross of Marnock
William 'Willie' Ross, Baron Ross of Marnock MBE was the longest serving Secretary of State for Scotland, holding office from 1964 to 1970 and again from 1974 to 1976, throughout the Prime Ministership of Harold Wilson....
, Secretary of State for Scotland
The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...
1964–1970 and 1974–1976.
- Walter Perry, Baron Perry of Walton
Walter Laing MacDonald Perry, Baron Perry of Walton FRS FRCP FRSE was a distinguished academic. He was the first Vice Chancellor of the Open University....
, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...
- William John Macquorn Rankine
William John Macquorn Rankine was a Scottish civil engineer, physicist and mathematician. He was a founding contributor, with Rudolf Clausius and William Thomson , to the science of thermodynamics....
(1820–1872), Scottish engineer and physicist, one of the founding fathers of the field of thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is a physical science that studies the effects on material bodies, and on radiation in regions of space, of transfer of heat and of work done on or by the bodies or radiation...
- Alan Reid, Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...
for Argyll and Bute
Argyll and Bute is a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was created for the 1983 general election, merging most of Argyll with some of Bute and Northern Ayrshire...
- Ian Ure
John Francombe "Ian" Ure is a Scottish former footballer. Ure began his career in his native Scotland with Dundee, before moving to England to play for Arsenal and Manchester United. After eight years in England, Ure returned to Scotland with St. Mirren; however, after two years with St...
, Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...
- Stanley Wotherington (1899-1973) Founding member of the football team, Accrington Stanley
- Moira Anderson
Moira Anderson, OBE is a Scottish singer.- Life and career :Following an education at Lenzie Academy, Anderson quickly established herself at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow before getting her big break in the media after a successful audition at the BBC.She landed her...
, Scottish singer
- David Kerr, Renowned Journalist attributed with such deeds as saving the Doon River and the Wigtown Book Festival Blog