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Religious Studies

The Department aims to:

  • develop an understanding of Christianity and other religions and a recognition of religion as an important expression of human experience
  • help pupils (irrespective of their own personal religious conviction) to understand the place of religion in the development of our society’s history and culture
  • lead pupils to appreciate moral values such as honesty, liberty, compassion for others, and justice
  • investigate and understand the questions and answers that religions can offer about the nature and meaning of life
  • develop pupils’ own beliefs, attitudes, moral values, and behaviour through a process of search and critical evaluation


Nick Blair

Nick Blair

Head of Department

Mr Blair teaches Religious Studies throughout the School. As Leader of the Chaplaincy Team, he is one of the main points of contact for pastoral care within the community.


I to III Forms

In the Juniors, pupils develop their understanding of world religions through investigation of their respective stories, symbols, pilgrimages, ceremonies of worship, the home, scriptures, and key beliefs.

IV Form

The theme of the programme is ‘Faith in Action’, considering the practical implications of faith standpoints.

Shell & V Forms

All pupils continue to have one lesson per cycle exploring philosophical and ethical issues during interactive and dynamic classes.

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.


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 Biology

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)

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