Respice prospice (look to the future, learn from the past) is the motto of Ayr Academy.
Ayr Academy developed continuously from the Sang Schule of 1233. The’ Academy’ was to allow local access to a high standard of education, previously expensive and requiring travel to Glasgow or Edinburgh. In 1798 a royal charter was granted to establish an ‘Academy at Air’. In 1796 the Academy opened in the Sandgate, until moving to the present site on Fort Street in 1800.
Following the Education Act of 1872 the Academy accepted girls to the school (although they had a separate entrance). From 1947, when the school leaving age was raised to 15, other High schools opened in Ayr such as Belmont (1960), Mainholm, (1965), Kyle, (1979) and the new Queen Margaret school (1975).