Badington House School

Top Scottish Independent School GCSE/A level- Sunday Times Parent Power 2012

Published Monday 26th of November 2012 11:27:32 AM

Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, has been listed as the Top Scottish Independent School GCSE/A level by Sunday Times Parent Power 2012*. The School is absolutely delighted to be given this title.
Merchiston's academic results this year were, once again, very impressive:
* Highest number of A and A* awards in Scotland at A level
* 100% pass rate at A level
* 32% of pupils achieved a clean sweep of A* and A grades at A level
* 56% gained A level grades A*/A
* 20% of pupils achieved a clean sweep of A* and A grades at GCSE
* 67% A*/A pass rate at GCSE
The Headmaster is very pleased with this news and writes:
"I am delighted that the boys and staff have been recognized for their hard work and effort in being given this superb title. For some pupils, the Merchiston journey stretches from the age of 8 to 18; others join us at later points in their schooling. It is important to remember that every pupil has the equivalent of his 'Oxford' or 'Cambridge' within him. What really matters is that a mood of celebration and a sense of triumph are shared equally among the achievements of the able boys and the great success of those who have found the academic path more challenging. We are very pleased that once again, Merchiston's real academic strength has been underlined at every level, and its position within Scotland and the United Kingdom as a leading academic school.
It is truly is remarkable that this news comes in a week where our U18 and U18 rugby teams have progressed to the finals of the Scottish Schools' Cup! The Merchiston community is greatly looking forward to these matches which will be played at Murrayfield on Thursday 29 November.'

Merchiston is unique in Scotland (and, indeed, north of the Home Counties) as a boys' boarding school with day pupils within it. The School has strong and effective approaches to develop each boy's personal achievements and boast an impressive record of helping boys excel far beyond their expected results at GCSE and A level. Pupils' applications to the most prestigious colleges, within the UK and abroad, continue to meet with success.

James Dixon, Deputy Head Academic, comments:
'In common with several Scottish schools, we use the GCSE and A level system of examinations. Merchiston's academic departments promote an atmosphere of intellectual rigour and they enhance our pupils' performance by implementing teaching strategies explicitly designed to nurture the needs of boys. It is remarkable that the boys are able so often to exceed expectations at GCSE, and then to raise their performance still further at A level. I am convinced that the shared commitment of the boys to their collective success is a major factor in their achievement and each boy is helped by their tutor to set their own personal target and to work towards it.'

Merchiston's sporting programme plays an extremely important role in School life and the team of staff works hard to achieve excellence within a sport for all philosophy offering training and competition in over twenty sports. At present, the School has internationalists in: rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, shooting, table tennis and modern pentathlon.

The School say their 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. The modern way of life at Merchiston is busy and exacting and staff seek to maintain the delicate balance of priorities within and outwith the classroom. However, whilst revelling in the excellence of the sporting, musical and numerous other activities, Andrew Hunter continues to emphasise the primacy of academic work, which is at the heart of the total curriculum.

Pastoral care underpins all aspects of Merchiston, for if the boys are not looked after, they cannot perform. Essentially, whilst concentrating on the academic platform of each boy alongside the importance of co-curricular activities, Merchiston focuses on developing boys who have a sense of values.
'A balanced curriculum, excellent pastoral care and a high A-level pass rate make Merchiston one of the UK's leading independent schools.'
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