Galashiels Academy is a non-denominational comprehensive school providing courses for pupils of all abilities from first to sixth years.
Local archives record that there was a Parish School in Galashiels as early as 1696 and in 1821 a fee-paying school was constructed by public subscription on a site near what is now Market Square.
In 1862 “Mr Fairley’s Academy” replaced this fee-paying establishment and it is this school which was the forerunner of the present Academy.
In 1870 this Academy moved to a building in Croft Street and in 1882 the local School Board took it over at a time when there were 153 pupils on the roll.
In 1910 the school moved from Croft Street to the Melrose Road site.
Side by side with the Academy there existed another school named Gala School located in Roxburgh Street. This school (founded in 1847), originally a fee-paying one too, was also handed over to the School Board in 1873. In 1894 a new building was constructed on the same site. In 1938 the Melrose Road and the Roxburgh Street establishments amalgamated to form the present Galashiels Academy.
In 1964 the Academy moved to its present location, a purpose built comprehensive school built in the grounds of New Gala House. We are lucky to have photographs spanning the building of the school 1960 - 1964. We believe they were taken by one of the Academy's Technical department teachers. (If you know who took them please let us know, and credit will be given.) The pictures can be seen here
This new building quickly became overcrowded and in 1969 an extension consisting of thirteen classrooms and 10 practical rooms was constructed in the school grounds a short distance from the main building.
In 1974 a large Games Hall was constructed on part of the Academy's playing fields area.
During the past decade, a small classroom extension has been built onto the Games Hall and surplus Technical Studies accommodation has been converted to expand our provision for pupils with Additional Educational Needs. In addition, an extensive programme of internal refurbishment has been undertaken.
"The left hand side of the shield shows, at the bottom, wavy lines to represent Gala Water.
Above this is a fox looking up at a plum tree. This is a reference to the Arms of the Burgh of Galashiels which contained two foxes looking up at a plum tree with the motto "Sour 1337 Plums". This commemorates a skirmish in 1337 against a band of Englishmen at Englishmen's Syke near Galashiels. Apparently the English were gathering wild plums when they were overcome by a group of local men who, after the victory, called themselves "the sour plums in Galashiels".
The right hand side of the shield has an open book for learning at the top and a sheep's head for the woollen industry at the bottom.
Across the centre is a blue "fess" containing crescents and a star which are taken from the Arms of Scott of Gala, since the ground on which the school is built formed part of Gala Estate owned by the Scott family. "
The above information, about the school badge, was researched by Mr Haggart of our Chemistry department, in correspondance with the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
The Latin motto translates as "Trust and Diligence."