>> Schools in Scotland>Merchiston Castle School
School:Merchiston Castle School
Type of School: day&boarding school for boys
Age range: 7-18
Number of students: 460
Number of boarders: 300
International Students: 20%
Teacher:pupil ratio: 1:9
Annual boarding fees: 19650-30660(GBP/Year)
Website: http://www.merchiston.co.uk

Merchiston is one of the UK’s leading boarding schools, situated 4 miles from the centre of Scotland's capital; Edinburgh; in 100 acres of beautiful parkland; 20 minutes from the central railway station or from Edinburgh Airport and just one hour's flight from London Heathrow, Paris or Amsterdam. Edinburgh’s facilities include shops, international hotels, theatres, opera houses, cinemas, art galleries, and sporting venues, and one of the world’s largest International Arts Festivals.

Academic Profile
Merchiston provides a first-rate education, offering the GCSE/IGCSEs and A Levels. Teaching is outstanding, with small classes and individual attention. The average A Level pass-rate is 100%. In 2015, the A*-B success at A Level was 78%; and 53% of successful applicants gained entry to Russell Group (top 40) UK universities. 88% of successful candidates gained places at their 1st or 2nd choice of university; 2 pupils were accepted by Oxford or Cambridge and 4 to prestigious intemational Universities. The 2015 GCSE pass rate A*-C was 98%, with 89% of papers passed at A*, A or B grade.

GCSE/IGCSE: Most students take 9 subjects at GCSE/IGCSE. Compulsory subjects are: Mathematics, English (or ESOL); at least 2 Sciences. Languages (French, German, Spanish or Chinese). Optional subjects include: Information Technology, Electronics, Design & Technology, Art & Design, History, Geography, Latin, Greek, Music, or a second Language.
A Level: Subjects include: Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology; Economics, Government & Politics, History, Geography, Information Technology, Electronics, Design & Technology, Art, Languages (French, German, Spanish and Chinese); Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics); Classical Civilisation, Latin.
Accommodation and Pastoral Care
64% of boys board full-time (80%+ in Sixth Form). Each boarding house cares for a particular age group with suitable weekend activities including socials with girls from our two sister-schools. The House structure enables boys to make good friends. Our Sixth Form House (Years 12 & 13) has 126 single rooms each with private bathroom. There are social areas, a fitness room and areas for making snacks. In Year 11, boys also have single rooms, whilst Years 9 & 10 (and our Juniors Years 4-8) sleep in warm comfortable shared rooms.  

Facilities, Sport, and Co-Curricular Activities
Merchiston has a long, successful tradition of ‘sport for all’ focusing on competition and on boys’ enjoyment of sport. We offer 20 sports, which allow each boy to find his choice of activity. Sports facilities include: indoor swimming pool, track and field arena; pitches for rugby, cricket and football; sports hall (for basketball, badminton etc); squash courts, shooting range, tennis courts. We have easy access to facilities for hockey, sailing, skiing and golf. Merchiston has two specialist sports Academies; for tennis and golf, in which pupils play at a very high level.  A 2G Astroturf is currently under construction to be opened in the Summer of 2016.
Merchiston has excellent classrooms including dedicated centres for Science, Art, Design & Technology, Information Technology and Music. There is a strong tradition of music with opportunities for instrumental classes. There is an Orchestra; a Choir and Choral Society, and other music groups. Mathematics, English, History, Geography, Economics, and Languages are also taught in specialist departments. There is a library, an Assembly Hall, and a theatre: Merchiston stages many drama productions, usually with one of our ‘sister’ schools. Other co-curricular activities include trips and outings, debating, indoor and outdoor climbing, mountain-biking, hillwalking, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and Cadet Force. Older pupils take part in Leadership courses and voluntary community service work.  A 2G Astroturf is currrntly under consrtuction to be opened in the Summer of 2016.

Student Profile
I had visited Merchiston’s Summer English programme, so I knew this was an excellent school with great facilities, and I was very keen to join the main school programme. I joined Year 11, and I am taking GCSEs this year. I study Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, ESOL, History, Geography, Music, and have classes in Personal, Social & Health Education, and PE and swimming. I will take Chinese GCSE, though I don’t need classes for this. I have had the opportunity in Music to do exciting things like learning composition, which I had not tried before. I take piano lessons, and I practice as much as I can. For sport, I have chosen to play football, and I have begun rowing (‘single sculls’.) which I love. It was difficult being in such a small boat at the start, but now it is good fun. I also like the optional Arts programme which allows us to visit Edinburgh to see plays or musicals or even go to the opera.

I have made good friends at Merchiston: nearly all my friends are from the UK. I have my own room, though I started in one of the two shared rooms in the House, which helped me improve my English, and I was looked after by my roommate at the start. I like boarding life: your friends are all around you, so you don’t have to call them on the phone to keep in contact, and boarding school makes the relationship between pupils and staff closer than in a day school in China. Merchiston is a very friendly place, and the style of education suits me well.

Merchiston Castle School
294 Colinton Road, Edinburgh
EH13 0PU
Edinburgh, Scotland
Centre of Edinburgh - 4 miles
Edinburgh International Airport - 20 minutes