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School celebrates Burns Night in true Scottish style

Legendary poet honoured by pupils at Highfield and Brookham. Haggis, Highland Games, Irn Bru and ceilidh at the heart of the festivities.


The life and times of a famed Scottish poet have been celebrated in fine style at an independent school in Liphook.

Honouring the memory of the legendary Robbie Burns, children at Highfield and Brookham revelled in a heady mix of the Highland Games, Irn-Bru, bagpipes and haggis.

The grand occasion was Burns Night, which is celebrated all over the world on the anniversary of the poet and lyricist’s birth on January 25, 1759.

Boarders at the co-ed nursery, pre-prep and prep school on the rural borders of Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex were treated to a traditional haggis dinner, with proud Scotsman and Year 6 teacher Simon Gunn piping in the haggis and making the address, before four ‘clans’ converged on the school sports hall to compete in their very own Highland Games.

Running, crab walking, wellie wanging, caber tossing and the Hercules hold tested the strength, agility and guile of the children, who donned colourful face paint in the quest to secure bragging rights for their clan.

And the Burns Night festivities, organised by Lewis Campbell, another proud Scot on the staff at Highfield and Brookham, proved the perfect pre-cursor to some traditional ceilidh dancing as the school celebrations continued into Friday.

Pre-prep children were joined by their prep school peers for a whole school ceilidh which proved a fitting finale and offered a toe-tapping tribute to ‘Rabbie’ Burns, with the Virginia Reel, the Highland Barn Dance and The Flying Scotsman the order of the day.

Suzannah Cryer, Head of Highfield and Brookham School, said: “We are proud of the diversity within our school community, not least a healthy number of patriotic Scots among the staff and pupils who pull out all the stops every year to celebrate Burns Night.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Mr Campbell, our superb catering team and the talents of Mr Gunn playing the bagpipes, our boarders had the most wonderful and entertaining evening. To end the celebrations with a whole-school ceilidh really did put the icing on a very rich cake and I was left filled with pride.”

February 2024