Educating boys for almost 190 years 

Merchiston Castle School was founded in the centre of Edinburgh in 1828 by Mr Charles Chalmers. In 1833 the School moved to its second location, the old Merchiston Tower (now part of Napier University) with a total of 30 boys and the School started under the name of Merchiston Castle Academy. In 1930, the school moved to its current location, a 100 acre campus situated on the southern edge of Edinburgh, in the conservation village of Colinton; the buildings are surrounded by beautiful parkland which includes extensive playing fields.   

In the Scottish private sector, boarding schools traditionally cater for pupils beyond the English norm of 13-18 and so Merchiston is an all-through 7-18 school. The 7-10 year olds have their own primary classroom teachers, although, in the case of the 10 year olds, Senior School Teachers augment the teaching. Therefore, it can be anticipated that teachers applying for any post within Merchiston will be expected to teach pupils from as young as age 10 to the rigour of the public examination year groups in the Fifth and Sixth Forms. We believe that this is a way of stretching boys.   

Our Tradition 

In today’s school, traditional Scottish elements, such as the wearing of the kilt for formal occasions, are very prominent, and the Pipe Band features frequently in School life. Rugby is played enthusiastically throughout the School, and indeed the annual fixture against The Edinburgh Academy, which has now been played continuously for over 150 years, is the longest established inter-club match in existence anywhere in the world. 

Our Ethos 

The School’s motto ‘Ready ay Ready’ features in the chorus of the School Song, which was last revised in the 1950s, but is much older in origin. This refrain is still sung enthusiastically by the School on frequent occasions. The School’s ethos is based on people and relationships, and particular importance is attached to the development of personal character and moral values in the pupils. The atmosphere, although in some respects formal, is also one of pleasant and relaxed collaboration between pupils and staff.