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Merchiston Castle School

Merchiston Castle School

Educating young men of integrity since 1833

‘Traditional but with a holistic approach so boys thrive wherever their talents lie.'The Good Schools Guide 2022-23

As the only boys’ independent boarding School in Scotland, Merchiston strives to ensure that all our students gain a world-class, outward-looking education. Wellbeing underpins everything we do, and our smaller school community makes for meaningful and connected conversations, allowing us to get to know your son really well and ensuring we can support and motivate him in just the right way. 

When your son leaves Merchiston, he will have achieved the highest level of personal academic success, made lifelong friendships and developed a true sense of self. He will have learnt what it means to have true integrity and character, to think of how he can help others, to understand the great privilege it was to be educated at Merchiston and strive for happiness and success in all he does.

Your son will thrive at Merchiston because he is known, understood, valued, and supported in everything he does. 

Academic Record

Our excellent exam results at GCSE, A Level and Highers and the university destinations and courses of our leavers speak for themselves. How it happens is much more important, for that is at the very heart of our success. 

We will get to know your son: his academic strengths, and areas for development; his interests, and what motivates him; how best to support him through challenges. We will talk to him, encourage and stretch him. We will identify opportunities and discuss options. Together we will make, and refine, plans until we get it right. 

Our high staff- to- pupil ratio enables us to really focus on the individual and support them throughout their educational journey by helping them unearth their talents and strive for the best version of themselves they can be. Our STEM programme is one of the most popular subject choices in later years, as are Maths & the Sciences. We are incredibly lucky to be able to offer state-of the art labs and workshops on site, fitted with innovative equipment, such as rapid prototyping 3D printers. 

We provide a stimulating, challenging, yet supportive and encouraging environment where your son can grow up surrounded by his friends within our unique house structure. Over 65 per cent of pupils board so there is never a dull moment as we provide a full boarding programme seven days a week.

Our international boarders form, in most years, around 20 per cent of our School population and come from over 25 different countries.

Merchiston offers a dedicated Sixth Form Boarding House where our Senior Pupils have the space and opportunity to prepare themselves for the next stage in their lives and grow into independent young men. 


The co-curricular programme at Merchiston delivers life skills, such as: leadership, teamwork, and mentoring through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, Combined Cadet Force, prefectship and other activities.

Music and Drama are major parts of life at Merchiston. These departments collaborate regularly, and pupils of all ages have the chance to be involved, either performing on stage or working behind the scenes. There is an orchestra and other instrumental groups, including pipe bands, and a choir and choral society, as well as opportunities for individual instrumental lessons. Merchiston also benefits from its strong links with local girls’ schools (St. George’s & Kilgraston) for drama and musical performances, as well as other cultural events and social gatherings. 

Sport for All

There is a long and successful sporting tradition at Merchiston. Your son can choose from up to 20 sports. Sport is genuinely for all here. Your son can play for fun and fitness or to compete at the highest level, nationally and internationally. Thanks to the guidance of some of the country’s leading coaches, more than 60 Merchistonians have played senior international rugby and 24 international cricket. 

We aim to instil healthy habits and a love of sport that your son will take with him into adult life. That’s why we will encourage him to try new sports until he finds the ones he loves. In so doing he will learn the many transferable values of sport we espouse here, such as teamwork and resilience.

If you son is a talented tennis or golf player, he can enrol in our Tennis or Golf Academy offering elite training alongside a tailored academic programme (with unrivalled facilities too). 


If you are interested in a Merchiston education for your son, we always recommend that you come and visit us. This will give you the opportunity to truly experience Merchiston first-hand, meet our fantastic staff and pupils and see our beautiful campus. Our Admissions Team will be more than happy to support your through the application journey and answer any questions you might have. We also hold regular information events throughout the Academic Year – you will find out more on our upcoming events by consulting our website. 

Contact our Admissions Team at to request a prospectus and arrange a visit. 


“The School provided excellent opportunities and activities for me to participate in, which catered for my interests, as well as giving me the best teaching and tuition, which led to my gaining a place at Cambridge.” - Merchistonian

“I am very happy with my son’s Merchiston journey – he has turned into a thoughtful, confident, friendly, ambitious young man, eager to make his way in the world, safe in the knowledge that he has the backing of a group of fellow Merchistonians with whom he has shared his journey. He can stand in any company and speak eloquently with wit and charm, and we are extremely proud of him.” - Parent

"In every respect - academic, sporting and pastoral - the School has exceeded our expectations and continues to do so. But above all, it is the Merchiston 'end product' that impresses us year after year; the young men that leave the School for university each year are polite, confident gentlemen, that any parent would be proud to call their sons." - Parent


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