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Merchiston Castle School
294 Colinton Road, Colinton, EH13 0PU, UK Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 312 2201


Welcome to the official website of Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, a leading Boys' Boarding and Day School in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This year has started with a record number of boys in the School (437). We are excited that the construction of the new Sixth Form Boarding House is now underway, and this will allow us to accommodate even more boys next year.  The House will provide ensuite accommodation for 126 Sixth Formers, while allowing us to improve the accommodation further down the School.  The number on the school roll is not the only number we are celebrating, however; our academic results this summer were once again first rate, with 79% of A Level grades at A or B standard.  On a sporting front, 6 new boys have joined Merchiston as members of the new Tennis Academy, another exciting development.
No website can convey the warmth of Merchiston and the welcome you would receive if you visited us, but we hope that it will give you a flavour of Merchiston and that you will visit yourself soon, whether you are a boy or parent interested in joining us, a Merchistonian, or current parent!

Andrew Hunter (Headmaster)



boy in tree

Pringle provides a homely, secure but challenging environment in which boys can develop their self-esteem, their academic, personal, social, sporting and cultural potential. We aim to encourage kindness, self-reliance and independence, together with an awareness of other people's needs, developing the skills required to live in a community and to work in a team. Each boy is expected to contribute positively to the Pringle community by supporting, including and encouraging his peers. Pringle offers all the advantages of single-sex education, combined with the best aspects of co-education, through strong links with Scotland's leading girls' schools. We believe in the importance of hard work, integrity and good manners. Pastoral care is a top priority and Pringle prepares boys for entry to the Senior School at age thirteen and for a wider role in the community.

Peter Hall (Head of Pringle)

An overview of a boy's progression through the School may be found in The Merchiston Journey (pdf file)

  Facts about Pringle
  Junior School Events
  Pupil Achievements in Pringle
  A new boy's view...
  Junior School Staff
  Visit us


outdoor expeditionMany boys join the school at age 13 each year both as dayboys and boarders; there is a strong prep school entry at this stage. Quite a number join at 16, entering the Sixth Form. Between 12 and 16% of these are from overseas, including sons of Armed Forces Personnel, ex-pats and Foreign Nationals. A distinctive feature of Merchiston is its 'horizontal' house structure.

Teaching in the Senior School follows a broad curriculum which leads to GCSE examinations at the end of the Fifth Form, and a choice of Scottish (Highers) and English (AS/A2) courses in the Sixth Form, after which almost all go on to University courses. Class sizes are small.

Virtually all boys are involved in the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer, and most are members of teams or societies which offer many exciting opportunities, some in conjunction with local girls' schools.

Many boys visit Merchiston each year on 'Taster' days, where they spend time with the year group they are considering joining.

More details of a boy's progression through Merchiston may be found in The Merchiston Journey (pdf file)

  Boarding or Day
  Pastoral Care
  Girls' School Links
  A Boy's View


sixth formers informal gatheringThe Sixth Form comprises two year groups: Lower and Upper Sixth. Boys are members either of Rogerson West (LVI) or Evans (UVI) Houses.

Members of the Sixth Form quickly recognize that, both academically and personally, they have a great deal more responsibility for themselves and their development than in previous years, whether they join as pupils who have progressed through the Merchiston system or join the school from elsewhere.

The academic programme makes immediate demands in the Lower Sixth. A balance between academic demands and other activities e.g. Young Enterprise, Rugby, Drama, Sub-aqua, etc. has to be achieved; this means taking on the responsibility of organizing personal time. Pupils are encouraged to seek advice from staff they feel comfortable and confident with within the school; each pupil is assigned a personal tutor as a first point of contact.

The Lower Sixth offers a range of activities which aim to assist develop areas such as: personal responsibility, self-confidence, communication, team work, moral outlook. Some of these are achieved through organized courses; others through opportunities, for example, to assist in junior houses with the younger boys.

Members of the Upper Sixth are members of either Evans House, or serve as prefects in junior houses. Social life revolves around the '6A Club', which all Upper Sixth use, especially in evenings; on some nights girlfriends are also invited, and various occasional social events take place here.

All the above contribute to consideration of life after school, and hopefully also contribute to making the Sixth Form an enjoyable experience.

  Boarding or Day
  New House Plans
  International Students
  Pastoral Care
  Girls' School Links
  A boy's view


main school library In addition to the traditional subjects in which pupils will need to qualify, emphasis is also given to the acquiring of ancillary skills, eg a basic understanding of computing, a practical knowledge of foreign languages and an ability to communicate, both orally and on paper.
Classes are small and the overall teacher/pupil ratio is 1:8. Consequently, individual attention can be given to each pupil both inside and outside the classroom. In the GCSE year and in the Sixth Form, tutorial groups are often arranged in addition to the timetabled lessons. A pupil is placed in a particular set according to his ability; setting is constantly under review.

  Value Added
  Spawforth Library


Details of uniform requirements may be obtained by clicking here (pdf document: please note if you do not have Acrobat Reader you may obtain it via the information page).

All items are available from the School outfitters:

Aitken & Niven,
6 Falcon Road West, Morningside, Edinburgh, EH10 4AQ
Tel: +44 (0)131 477 3922

Items can also be ordered directly from their website:

They also operate a shop within Merchiston during term. (Open 1.30 - 2.30pm Tuesday to Friday.) There is also a uniform exchange shop (Thrift Shop) in the School. For details contact Mrs M Cordingley (Tel: 0131 312 2253) who will be happy to help. All parents automatically have an account with Aitken & Niven (at the School Shop only) and also have an account at the Thrift Shop. Parents are free to set up a separate account at Aitken & Niven.

  Useful Information
  News & Events
  Girls' School Links
  Catering & Domestic

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