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Mary Erskine School
Ravelston, EH4 3NT, UK Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 347 5700

The Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools are unique amongst Scottish independent schools in that we provide what we believe to be the most effective combination of educational opportunities for boys and girls aged between 3 and 18.
AboutThis includes a fully coeducational Junior School for children between the ages of 3 and 12, single sex but very closely twinned secondary schools between the ages of 12 and 17 and a fully coeducational pre-university Sixth Form which provides the ideal bridge between school and university.

The Junior School

The Junior School occupies its own, self-contained sites both at Ravelston, the home of the Mary Erskine School,  and a short distance down Ravelston Dykes at Queensferry Road, where the landmark David Rhind Stewart’s Melville College has stood proudly since 1851.  Junior School children spend the ages of 3 to 7 at Ravelston before moving down to Queensferry Road for the final 4 years of their Junior School education.

The Mary Erskine School & Stewart’s Melville College

Although the senior school girls and boys attend single-sex senior schools from S1 to S5 the extra curricular activities are so closely twinned that pupils are able to enjoy all the advantages of co-education in a social sense whilst still benefiting from what our examination results demonstrate to be the best possible educational and academic environment.

AboutThe girls and boys are part of the same guidance structure and many of the activities in which they participate, from inter-house competitions to outdoor education adventures, from sporting opportunities to overseas travel, from musical and dramatic performances to membership of the CCF (Combined Cadet Force), involve girls and boys working, growing up and learning together in an environment which encourages mutual trust and close friendship.

The Erskine Stewart’s Melville schools are fortunate in that we can provide a beautiful, natural environment at Ravelston, outstanding buildings and facilities at Queensferry Road and extensive playing fields, all within two miles of the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland’s historic and very beautiful capital city.


The Mary Erskine School, Stewart’s Melville College and The Mary Erskine & Stewart’s Melville Junior School believe that girls and boys can only fulfil their academic potential if they are committed to realising their personal potential by developing very high expectations and a commitment to excellence in everything they do.

The Mary Erskine School, Stewart’s Melville College and The Mary Erskine & Stewart’s Melville Junior School are governed by the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Governing Council and are under the overall control of the Principal, Mr David Gray, who ensures that all 3 schools share very high expectations, instilling in each girl and boy a love of learning and a commitment to excellence.

AboutWe emphasise the importance of self-respect and pride and work very hard to develop every aspect of each child’s personality during their time in our schools so that they can grow up to play a very positive and caring role in whatever direction life takes them.

Academic Success

The schools are proud of their academic success, the evidence for which can be seen in three outstanding national inspection reports which have been published since 2004, but have a much greater sense of pride in the manner in which the girls and boys mature into committed, caring, hard working and friendly young people, whose respect for themselves and for others ensures that they will make a positive personal and professional contribution to the society in which they will live.



Junior SchoolWe are confident that you and your family will enjoy it and that you will then want to come for a visit to meet our children and to experience at first-hand what the Junior School stands for as well as to look round our magnificent facilities for girls and boys from Pre-school (age 3) to Primary 7 (age 11).

Philosophy and ethos

However, far more important than the physical environment are the philosophy and ethos which lie at the heart of the school.

We believe in the crucial importance of the development of every boy and girl as a unique child and we believe that the time spent in the Junior School will have a significant impact on the rest of their lives.

Vital role

Junior SchoolWe believe that our school plays a vital role helping to ensure that the boys and girls for whose education we are privileged to take responsibility grow into responsible, confident, friendly and caring adults whose lives will be enriched by their experience in school and who will in return enrich the lives of all with whom they come into contact both as children and adults.

Learning & Teaching
Partnership with Parents
E-Plus - After-school and Holiday Care
Clubs & Hobbies


The Erskine Stewart’s Melville Sixth Form operates as a distinct, but not separate, body within The Mary Erskine School and Stewart’s Melville College and draws on the best traditions of both institutions in order to fashion the foundations of a new concept in mixed Sixth Form education.

Sixth FormTwin Sixth Form Centres

The twin Sixth Form Centres provide a working and social environment conducive to conscientious, independent work and happy, positive social behaviour. The aim is to create a totally integrated Sixth Form with its own identity and individual approach, a distinct community of “students” (rather than “pupils”) in which personal excellence is fostered and where everyone, whatever their particular strengths or weaknesses, is encouraged to reach beyond their present capabilities and fulfil their true potential.  


We believe that the best way of achieving this, and of preparing students for university and their future careers, is through co-education in their final year of school, in an integrated unit and as a shared experience.

Sixth FormA Pre-University Year

The ESM Sixth Form aims to be a genuine “pre-University” year, rather than a “post-Higher” one and every student is encouraged to undertake wide-ranging, personal research and accept a larger degree of responsibility for their own work and time management.  

Transition From School To University

Students will be helped to make the transition from school to university by removing them from the rather “spoon-fed” approach of Higher to a new Sixth Form college experience where they are inspired and directed into more independent, creative modes of thinking, writing and behaving.

Although this entails greater freedoms for the students, it also implies greater responsibility for their own academic and personal progress. Advice, guidance and instruction are all still necessary and available, but the teachers’ methods of delivering these are more discreet and enabling rather than instructional, except when necessity proves otherwise. 

Sixth FormExciting Environment

In the ESM Sixth Form it is expected that the work will be challenging and exciting; it will not be considered embarrassing to be intellectually ambitious; debate and opinions will be loudly and confidently voiced; students will be asked to repay trust with a sense of responsibility and reliability; and there will be a genuine dialogue and discourse between tutor and student.

In this exciting environment the girls, boys and staff should all spark each other into academic life and create a true force for excellence.

Extra Curricular
Academic Results & Leavers' Destinations


Stewart's Melville College and The Mary Erskine School are able to boast a first class boarding provision.

BoardingBoarding in our schools is especially attractive to those who live too far away for comfortable daily travel and to expatriate Scots who work overseas but endorse all the benefits of a Scottish education for their children once they reach Senior Primary or Secondary level.

The schools have a boys' and a girls' Boarding House which provide a comfortable, modern living and learning environment,  Dean Park House for boys and Erskine House for girls.

Homely Atmosphere

Boys and girls have spacious bedroom accommodation. There is a genuinely homely atmosphere in the Houses, each of which can accommodate up to twenty five children. Each House has its own spacious communal accommodation but some facilities, such as the fully equipped computer lab and dining room, are shared and situated in Dean Park House.

How are they run?

The Houses are managed by enthusiastic staff who run their Houses along the lines of an extended family and together they form a close knit interdependent community in which care of each other and responsibility for others are as vital as the opportunities to participate in academic, cultural and sporting activities encouraged in individuals.

BoardingAs a working environment the Houses provide a first class vehicle on the road to achievement with regular evening prep times, a structured timetable and resident and non-resident boarding staff available for guidance and advice.

Boarders up to S4 attend church with boarding staff on Sunday and the older girls and boys in the Houses may choose to join them. For children who live just too far away to travel to school each day, weekly boarding is an option, enabling them to have all the benefits of a full school week conducted in a homely atmosphere and of the home environment at weekends.

Boarding Tasters

We strongly recommend that parents and children visit the school before they apply for a place. Prospective boarders are welcome to stay overnight, for a weekend or longer, during termtime, subject to availability. The House may be full so please contact us well in advance. If all this sounds too good to be true do come and see us and judge for yourself. You will be made most welcome.

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