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  • Merchiston Castle School
    294 Colinton Road
    EH13 0PU
  • Head: Mr Andrew R Hunter
  • T 01313 122201
  • F 01314 416060
  • E
  • W
  • An independent school for boys aged from 7 to 18.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Edinburgh, City of
  • Pupils: 450; 300 full, up to 46 step up boarders. ; sixth formers: 140
  • Religion: Christian Inter-denominational
  • Fees: Day £14,595 - £23,505; Boarding £20,280 - £31,650 pa
  • Open days: Information morning - Saturday 3 February 2018. Merchiston Information Evening - Thursday 8 March
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review

What says..

The only boys-only boarding school left in Scotland. Traditional, warm and personal school - small enough for everyone to know everyone. Blessed with lovely grounds, with the bonus of having Edinburgh on the doorstop. Make no mistake, rugby is still big here – 66 Merchistonians have played at full international level. Parents say, ‘hockey and football are becoming more popular but rugby is still the main sport’. Parents report that the boys ‘sing and dance with great enthusiasm’ and ‘they don’t think it’s uncool to be in the choir’... 


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What the school says...

Merchiston is the only boys’ independent boarding school in Scotland, offers the English curriculum, and has a global, outward-looking dimension. We take pride in specializing in the education of boys and preparing them for the world, as we have for over 175 years, developing aspirational, and sensitive, yet gentle-men! Think about a wonderfully caring and nurturing family environment, where they will learn to like learning more.

With an ethos based on traditional values, Merchiston encourages self-reliance and independence, as well as respect for and tolerance of others. Our main objective is to motivate pupils to try their hardest and to strive to achieve the highest levels possible in all areas - firstly academic, then cultural, sporting, leadership, and simply living together as part of a community.
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What the parents say...

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Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.




What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 1998, Andrew Hunter BA PGCE, educated at Aldenham School, Elstree and Manchester University, where he read combined studies (English, theology and biblical studies). An expat, he was brought up on a Kenyan coffee farm and started his schooling at Kenton College, Nairobi.

Began his teaching career at Worksop as housemaster of Pelham House (eight years) and then on to Bradfield, again as a housemaster, for another eight years. Keen sportsman - squash, tennis and ex-county hockey player.

Married to Barbara - parents report she’s ‘immensely likeable’, ‘great, hands on’, ‘into the arts’ and ‘totally up to speed with what’s going on’. She is also an expat, from Uganda. Three grown up children.

Passionate about the arts and theatre and what the city of Edinburgh...

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Special Education Needs

Merchiston has a Learning Support Department which gives intensive 1:1 and 2:1 tuition, particularly in the Junior School. Prospective pupils go through an in depth assessment so that we can ascertain whether Merchiston would be a suitable school for them. This ensures that we know precisely the level of each pupil. The support thereafter is ongoing and adapted to that pupil's needs. Essentially, we are a mainstream school which can offer to help bright pupils requiring specific Learning Support, but who can independently access the curriculum in the Senior School up to and including GCSE and AS/A2 Level. 09-09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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