AGM 3rd June 10am via Zoom

Time flies and here we are approaching the end of the school year and what a year it’s been! A HUGE well done and thank you for your support and cooperation, especially during our transition to online tutoring. You have been fantastic!

An annual general meeting (AGM) is a mandatory yearly gathering of an organisation’s  interested stakeholders. At an AGM, the trustees of the our charity present an annual report containing information for stakeholders about the organisation’s performance and strategy.

The meeting is open to anyone who is interested.

Please confirm your attendance by email and we will send you the link to the meeting.

We hope many of you will be able to attend.

Online Summer School

Monday-Thursday 29th June- 24th July, 9:45-11:15 am and 11:45-1:15 pm, on Fridays students (on their own) will be working on a group project to present in class on Monday morning.

Maximum 6 students per class.

Teachers use resources from our books and online videos to develop grammar, vocabulary and reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Students are given a collaborative task to complete in small groups on Friday to be presented in class on Monday.

Cost: £50/week.


Covid-19 update

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, there will be no face-to-face teaching until Easter Break to protect our elderly tutors and the international community. However, we will be offering online classes instead to as many courses as possible. For more information please email:

Burns Supper 2020

We held a highly successful annual Burns Supper and Ceilidh again this year on 29th January at the Albert Halls in Stirling. And what a night it was, with over 80 participants (children and adults) from all over the world celebrating Robert Burns.

After the Address to the Haggis, piped in by Peter Gilchrist, we were treated to both meat and vegetarian haggis provided by the Sunlite Café, with neeps and tatties accompaniment cooked by our ever-willing Volunteers. Trifles, too, were prepared by our volunteers! Delicious.

Participants enjoyed the entertainment, including not only the traditional Burns speeches but also the ceilidh band, Jim Steel, John Perry and Becky Wood playing for us.

As per usual, almost everyone got up to dance the rest of the night away, led by Margaret and Duncan.

Another great event!

Stirling School of English celebrates St Andrew’s Day

On 28th November the Stirling School of English celebrated St. Andrew’s Day slightly early with a ceilidh in Stirling’s Albert Halls. It was a very successful evening with a great attendance of over 80 people from more than 20 different countries.

David Howes, the chairman of the charity, opened up the evening with a short presentation on the life of St Andrew and how he became the patron saint of Scotland. 

Then, every table worked on answering questions about Scotland. The winners got all 14 answers correct and won a quality prize – Quality Street sweets – which they kindly shared with everyone.

Following a supper of stovies prepared by the Sunlite Cafe, the attendees danced the night away with country dancing – Gay Gordons, Dashing White Sergeant, Strip the Willow and many more. These were expertly taught to us by Duncan and Margaret.

To keep revellers busy when they weren’t wheeling around the dance floor, Duncan and Jim fully engaged them in singing some traditional Scottish songs, adding the Proclaimers’ “500 Miles” to the list, as this is a firm favourite. Jeremy played some Irish music for flute and children had fun playing ‘pass the parcel’ before discovering the amazing raffle prizes kindly donated by students and tutors.

Everyone made some international friends and had a fun and happy evening with great conversations around the tables.

The next similar event will be held in the Albert Halls on 29th January at 6:30pm to celebrate Burns Night. To reserve a ticket, please email:

Summer School 2019

by Christopher Walker (head tutor)

When I was offered a teaching position for this summer with the Stirling School of English, I thought: this will be good. But what I didn’t know was how good it would be. It wasn’t good. It was amazing. In fact, it was one of the best teaching experiences I’ve had in my ten-year career as an English teacher.

And for that I need to thank everybody at the school, and most particularly the students.

Right from the beginning my students were all wonderful. More than that, even: all of the students were wonderful, but I didn’t know that until the first day-trip, which took us to the quaint town of Callander. It was there that I really got to know the rest of the school’s students, and not just those who had joined my class. They offered me food when we reached the top of the hill we were marching up, and they chatted happily to me as we marched back down.

That first week otherwise involved rather a lot of hard work – the start of school always does. But my students showed great patience with me, explaining where to find the things I needed in Stirling, and what the difference was between Raploch and Riverside, for example. They also suggested some great places I could go to at the weekend – though, sadly, I never did visit that Syrian restaurant in Glasgow. 

The other teachers were supportive too, taking on board my suggestions for their lessons and adding some of their own – I intend to steal the best of their ideas and tell my colleagues back home that I thought of them! The creche workers did a fantastic job through our Family Learning initiative and thanks to the hard work of those involved, it was yet another one of the successes we enjoyed.

The weeks went by so quickly. Students came and went – though many stayed with us for the whole four-week program – and I learnt so much about Syria, Sudan, Kurdistan, Kuwait, Brazil, Hungary, Spain… well, the list goes on. I shall miss many things about Stirling. I’ll miss the singing of the seagulls; I’ll miss the castle looking down on me as I walk to school each day; and I’ll miss my long walks by the river, the Wallace Monument sitting proudly in the distance. But more than anything I shall miss my students, those wonderful people who greeted me every single day with a smile, who kept smiling through our lessons (even when we spent a whole morning exploring conditionals!), and who still had a smile for me when we said our goodbyes at four o’clock. We explored Stirling together, as well as Edinburgh, Linlithgow, and Dunblane, and when I think about these places after I return home, I will remember most of all the time I spent with my new friends.


2019 marks the 35th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), when our school joins thousands of charities and voluntary organisations across Scotland to celebrate volunteering.

Our 54 volunteers are involved in tutoring international students, looking after students’ children, running administration and social media, raising funds, helping out at events and as trustees. 

To be a volunteer, it takes…

Generosity, a willingness to give your time to others
Understanding, because their lives might be very different from your own
Empathy, an ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they must feel
Compassion, to truly care about making someone else’s life better
Patience, because the process doesn’t always go as smoothly as it might
Dedication, to stick with the project and see it through

Our volunteers have shown these qualities and so much more, so we thank then for all they do.

”I continue to enjoy teaching at SSE and I always feel really happy when I’ve taught a class, there so this has a positive impact on my life in general.”

” Volunteering gives structure and purpose to my week and is motivating”

” The most rewarding about volunteering at Stirling School of English is friendships formed, trust and a widening of horizons.”

”The students can be so appreciative. It’s nice when you feel that they have improved with your help”

”It is interesting learning about the culture of other countries and meeting new people, especially young people”

Inspired by this year’s theme, Time to Celebrate, our volunteers celebrated by having a meal together at The Mediterranea Restaurant in Stirling on 5th June. Our students wrote thank you messages for them, too. Here’s some: 

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Our Volunteers are the backbone of our school and we are extremely grateful for their work and support.

Here’s to the Volunteers’ Week 2019! 

International Supper and Ceilidh

To celebrate another successful academic session, we held an international supper and ceilidh in the Albert Halls on 30th May.

Sixty seven students, volunteers and friends each provided a plate of food from their own country to share. And what a spread it was, savoury and sweet, as well as Scottish tablet and fudge for afters!But that was not the end.

The evening continued with musical entertainment, Scottish tunes, ending with a very powerful rendition of 500 Miles sung with gusto by all. This tune now seems to be as popular as Scotland The Brave with our students!

Finally, it was time for the dancing, when everyone learned the steps of our favourite Scottish dances and participated with enthusiasm and great joy. During school holidays, a Summer School will be running. All information is on the website.

By Tricia Atkinson