b'NORTHERN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELANDkindness. This writer was certainly very well including staff and parentsjoins in the annual looked after; lemon and ginger tea appeared in5k, 10k or half marathon, some from the rowing minutes to soothe a persistent cough and cold.club electing to travel by water instead. Every Close to 50/50 split between boys and girls; com- house chooses a charity they wish to support for pletely co-ed and no lingering feeling of its historythis event and average totals raised hit 20,000.as a boys school. Good staff-pupil ratioaverage of 15 pupils per class in prep school, max 19; 20 max in senior school.No SQA exams: like many of the big EdinburghOnly school in Scotland top-rated players, prefers the English system. Followingacross the board for leadership, care the English curriculum is an attraction for many parents. Added the IB in 2006. Pupils can chooseand wellbeing; inspectors described whether they want to specialise, and do A levels,the school as having a culture of or take the broader IB syllabus. Over 40 per cent doing IB, a number of them home-grown, withkindnessexcellent results. Value added impressive across the board. CCF, community service, DofE etc. Masses of Three sciences on offer throughout, plus tradoutings, everywhere, for everything: prep trip to French, German and Spanish, as well as MandarinRome (included in the fees), choir to France, ski (available for beginners as well as for nativetrips.speakers) and Latin (optional). No particular biasphysics, chemistry, biology and geographySport: Usual suspects for traditional team games: outstanding at GCSE, maths and English almosthockey and athletics for both sexes; rugby and equally strong; results in all disciplines equallycricket for boys, and lacrosse and tennis for girls. impressive at A level. Broad curriculum, withNeedle matches with Glenalmond and Merchiston at least one modern language studied at GCSE.on the rugby eld and Strathallan in hockey. Big Strong classics and Mandarin departments. sports centre and swimming pool providing a The stunning old library has seven differentwide range of other sports. Huge playing elds spaces including a study centre with computingwith water-based Astro and athletics track. Recent suite and university-type resources. Hot chocolaterugby and cricket triumphs (including Watsonian is served at break time to encourage pupils in andcricket club young player of the year).poetry recitals take place in the evenings. The prep school has its own cosy little library withBoarding: About 75 per cent of pupils board. Two reading logs; reading time is built into the weeklyprep and eight senior school houses, all single curriculum. sex, for day and boarding pupils, with tutors attached. Each staff member is attached to a Learning support and SEN: For foreign pupils EALboarding house, whether as tutor, sports coach is on hand (although the college requires an excel- or teacher, creating a sense of community. They lent level of English: pupils who dont have goodget to know the teachers in a completely differ-working knowledge of the language are encour- ent way.aged to do an English language course before theyNewishposhco-edboardinghouse arrive). Craigleith, very modernfor the upper sixth. The Teachers in bases at dedicated times for aca- pair of curved blocks form two identical wings, demic support when needed. one for boys and one for girls, with carefully con-trolled access from a central space. Individual The arts and extracurricular: Wide range of oppor- rooms, allowing them to focus for their exams, tunities: some 25+ sports and 90+ extracurricularand the onsite tutor specialises in UCAS progress. activities. More unusual prep school clubs includeProvides a transition between the disciplines of circus skills and parkour. school and uni, with pupils being able to cook Rich music tradition with loads of bands,snacks and some meals if they want to. They have orchestras, choirs, string quartet etc etc, twocookery lessons and take responsibility for their popular concerts in spring and autumn plusown washing, ironing and cleaning their rooms carol service, all in aid of charity. Keen drama(with matron offering ironing lessons when with imaginative productions, recently Arabianneeded).Nights, Equus and Beauty and the Beast (in the prep school, with over 100 pupils involved);Ethos and heritage: William Fettes (later Sir pupils often perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. William), the son of an Edinburgh grocer, made Variety of whole-school events: ceilidhs,his fortune during the Napoleonic Wars when Burns Night suppers, black tie dinners. Everyonehe became Scotlands leading contractor for 1179'