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Fettes College
Carrington Road, EH4 1QX, UK Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 332 2281

Headmaster's Welcome

I am proud to be Headmaster of this prestigious school, with its 135 year tradition of excellence in academics, sport and cultural activities. Our aims are to: Deliver a broad education in a caring, family-oriented community. Promote excellence and high standards in all areas of school life. Foster high and realistic expectations of our students in relation to their talents and abilities. Ensure that all our students leave Fettes as well-educated, interesting, independent minded, confident and civilised individuals who are equipped to play full and constructive roles in society. Why not visit Fettes? - we look forward to meeting you and showing you all that we do. 

Everyone has a talent for something

Why Choose Fettes College?

Our location:

Fettes College is just 1 mile from the centre of Edinburgh yet set in 100 acres of private parkland. Although close to a wealth of much-visited theatres, art galleries and concert halls in Edinburgh, we have easy access to the splendours of the Scottish countryside. We are also only 20 minutes away from Edinburgh International Airport and Waverley train station.

Our community:

At Fettes we blend traditional and progressive values and live in a friendly, family atmosphere with pastoral care our top priority. Our 135 year old house system fosters responsibility, friendship and a sense of security whilst we also promote self-reliance, independence, and respect for others. There is a strong focus on promoting personal development too.

The quality of our teaching: 

At Fettes we have highly qualified and committed staff with a generous 1:8 teacher to pupils ratio. We have modern teaching facilities throughout the campus with ICT skills developed using state-of-the-art and campus wide wireless network.

Our academic excellence:

At Fettes we are proud to have achieved the top A Level results in Scotland for the last decade with more entrants to Oxford and Cambridge Universities than any other Scottish School in this period. Popular Scottish universities are St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and popular English universities being Durham, Bath, Bristol and UCL. In addition to this recent Fettes graduates have won prestigious Morehead Scholarships to study at the University of North Carolina

Our success in sport:

Success at sport has long been a major achievement at Fettes College. Current Fettesians are members of many national and regional squads and we continue to have a proud rugby tradition, supplying many players for Scotland. Our Girls' hockey and lacrosse teams are amongst the strongest in Scotland and we have an excellent fencing team under the guidance of former national coach

Our excellence in art, drama and music:

The arts play a huge part in life at Fettes with plays and other drama productions twice a term, termly public concerts at venues around Edinburgh by our Concert Choir and regular exhibitions by our art students in the Fettes Gallery. Our track record within A Level Art is unrivalled by other Scottish Independent schools and the variety of musical instruments that can be learnt and opportunities to perform are excellent. 

Our outdoor pursuits:

At Fettes there is a wealth of extracurricular activities to suit all tastes which includes outdoor pursuits such as climbing, skiing, canoeing, kayaking and biking.  Other activities include sailing, sub aqua, climbing wall and dry slope skiing. Most activities take place within Scotland but recent expeditions have included Baffin Island, Canada and British Columbia.

Social and cultural life:

Although our academic excellence is unrivalled, we also ensure that all pupils enjoy a relaxed yet fulfilling social life. The boarding house system produces long-lasting friendships and a strong sense of belonging.  There are weekly opportunities to participate in the life of Edinburgh as well as weekend programmes which include ceilidhs, dances, dinners, quizzes and cinema trips. Many overseas visits to world-wide destinations also take place throughout the year.

Our diverse student body:

Fettes is fully co-educational, with 60% boys and 40% girls ranging from 13 to 18 years old. Our international pupils represent over 35 countries worldwide but with the majority of our pupils resident in Scotland (over 60%).

A Life-long education:

At Fettes we want to ensure that we give our students the very best start in life and maximise their opportunities for when they leave Fettes. We have excellent personal university and career planning available to all students including interview techniques for Oxbridge. Once students leave Fettes College they will also have access to the global Old Fettesian network.


Academic achievement is given high priority at Fettes College but we are not a hot-house. The curriculum is designed to ensure that our pupils leave with a well-rounded view of life and are fully prepared for entry into Universities and Colleges across the world. Pupils are presented for the GCSE in the Fifth Form, and for AS and A Levels and the International Baccalaureate in the Sixth Form. Candidates seeking entry to Oxford or Cambridge receive appropriate preparation.

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English as a Foreign Language
  • Government and Politics
  • Geography
  • History
  • History of Art
  • ICT
  • Library
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Middle School

    Third Form (ages 13-14)

    The Third Form curriculum is kept very broad, so that students are in the best position to make informed choices for GCSE at the end of the year.  All Third Formers study English, Mathematics, Geography, History, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Business & ICT, Art, Music, Drama and Physical Education.  ICT skills are also developed across key subjects through the permeation programme.  All subjects are setted. Students choose two languages from French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Classical Greek. Students requiring EFL or Support for Learning just choose one language. Students all choose either Latin or two of additional Art, Classical Civilisation, Drama, Music and PE.  Further details and advice on GCSE options are given in the Spring Term.

    Fourth and Fifth Forms (ages 14-16)

    GCSE Courses

    From September 2007 all students take English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and ICT. Students then choose four subjects from the following list: Art & Design, Business Studies, Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Drama, Geography, German, History, Mandarin, Music, PE and Spanish.

    Students must choose at least one modern foreign language.

    The ICT course is the iAM qualification where students do a series of online pieces of work, submit five short pieces of course work and take an online exam. It is a one year course.

    Sixth Form

    Fettes offers a very broad range of subjects in the Sixth Form.  Students choose to take either A Levels or the International Baccalaureate.

    A Levels

    Students choose a core of 4 AS Levels from columns A-E in the Lower Sixth Form, usually supplemented by a fifth subject, which may be another AS Level from columns A to E or a subject from column F. In the Upper Sixth Form, students focus on three (sometimes four) A Level subjects.

    A B C D E F
    Bus. Studies French Geography Biology Art AS General Studies
    Chemistry Geography History Classical - English Beg. Mandarin
    Drama History Mathematics Civilisation Further Maths Higher English
    Economics Physics English German E.F.L.
    History of Art Govt & Politics P.E.
    Latin Greek Spanish

    Music is available outside the columns.

    International Baccalaureate

    Students have to study six subjects for two years, one drawn from each group:

    Group 1 (first language) English
    Group 2 (second language) French, German, Spanish, Latin, Greek
    Group 3 (individuals and societies) History, Geography, Business and Management, Economics
    Group 4 (experimental sciences) Physics, Chemistry, Biology
    Group 5 (mathematics) Mathematics
    Group 6 (the arts) Visual Arts, Music, Theatre Arts

    Students can substitute a second subject from groups 1-5 rather than take a subject from group 6. In addition, students have to study a theory of knowledge course, produce an extended essay on a subject of their choice and undertake a programme of creativity, action and service.

    Students choose three higher level subjects and three standard level courses.

    Further information regarding the IB is available here or from Mrs Harriet Marshall.


    At Fettes we believe in the education of the whole person. The hopes and aspirations of individual pupils and the talents and interests that they have are of central importance. We aim to provide the breadth and scope of education that will allow individual skills to flourish within a happy, purposeful environment which actively supports teamwork and co-operation.

    The spiritual, cultural and sporting aspects of life are strongly encouraged and pupils are given every opportunity to take on responsibility and to develop qualities of leadership.

  • Activities
  • After Fettes
  • Chapel
  • Combined Cadet Force
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Outdoor Pursuits
  • Piping & Drumming
  • Social life
  • Societies

  • primary schools in Edinburgh, secondary schools in Edinburgh, schools in Edinburgh

    Editorial office:
    tel. + 48 (094)