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Alternative School


"Spartans helped me build my confidence and also build my character."

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I came to Spartans because I wasn’t attending school. In S1 I went a couple of times and maybe 4-5 times in S2. In S3 I got told that I might get in more trouble and I got a bit scared Miss Connell (House Head at Leith Academy) told me about Spartans and how it had 1:1 teaching and that it could be a good option for me, so I started coming.

I do mostly Maths, English, Cooking and PE. We also get to do stuff like rapping and making songs. My favourite thing is cooking, especially baking sweet stuff. We made cupcakes and I ate them all! The best thing is rock climbing. We went outdoors. It was good banter and good to have a whole day out in fresh air. It was scary – windy. It took me 20mins to think about going up as I didn’t want to trust anyone. I’d do it again though!

I got my Nat 3 Maths and I was really proud. Now I’m doing Nat 4 and Nat 5 in English. In Spartans there’s one teacher. I was always so far behind at school ‘cos I missed so much. Here I get 1:1 so I understand more. I help in a salon on Ferry Road for work experience and I want to do hairdressing and beauty at College.

Update November 2020!

Natalia is now on an apprenticeship with Bijou Hair and is also doing training at Vincent Bell Hairdressing in Stockbridge. She is looking forward to having staff and volunteers from the Alternative School being her models in the coming months. It's really great to see how well she is doing!

"Natalia went from strength to strength throughout S3 and 4 with us and the hard work she put into completing her qualifications paid off.  Her work experience at Bijou hair allowed her to get N4 Steps to Work and led to her current apprenticeship. Natalia didn’t have a straightforward path through her school years but she never gave up and we walked along beside her every step of the way. She is a credit to herself and Spartans.’

Emma Easton, Manager of the Alternative School.


The Alternative School is based at The Academy where we welcome pupils who find mainstream education a challenge. We also support the learner journey of young people in our community by providing youth work and education support in local schools.

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