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pupil holding up a petrie dish containing an insect

We pride ourselves as a hands-on and forward thinking department and we strive to inspire and cultivate a fascination for life sciences in boys of all ages.


We allow our pupils to explore Biology through a variety of practical and theoretical approaches. We maintain a large collection of exotic animals (a tortoise, snakes, a chameleon and various insects) to bring real-life Biology into the classroom.

In IGCSE and A level, your son will experience advance genetics techniques as well as a wide range of the usual practical work. The school grounds and the local area also lends itself well to ecological field work. We aim to provide a broad based biological education to prepare your son right up to Oxbridge Medic/ Vet level or simply to encourage a healthy, scientifically informed life.

A morning in the Biology Department

Our student-led Medical Society provides opportunities for prospective medics to collaboratively apply their scientific knowledge in a medical context. On average, 7% of our Year 13 students have applied for Medicine at university over the last three years.


Coming from a state school, science was taught very theoretically. Here at Merchiston, we do so many practicals to reinforce our knowledge. This has given me a totally different view on school in general: every day I wake up and I look forward to my lessons

Vincent B Year 11 (S4)

Through our close links with the Roslin Institute, IGCSE and A Level pupils also get to experience advanced genetics techniques as well as a wide range of the usual practical work offered within schools. Being able to use the Roslin labs has enabled the department to deliver hands on experiments on subject matter elsewhere only able to be taught theoretically.

Ms Williams Head of Science

Academic News

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Sport & Activities

There were so many achievements happening this week in sports and activities, that we had to summarise them here. A big congratulations to all the boys below who were celebrated at our recent whole school assembly.

CityZen challenge team

Congratulations to these VI pupils: Geoff S, Emmanuel C, Sam Y, Adam H, Kit N, Rohan R, Cliff Z and Richard Z who all successfully completed the Institute of Civil Engineers CityZen Challenge.

Image of Sixth Form students at Merchiston Castle School setting up outdoor lunch during an expedition to Costa Rica

An incredible account of the Half Term multi-disciplinary expedition to Costa Rica!