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English as an Additional Language

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About 20% of our pupils are international students from approximately 25 countries. 

We are committed to making appropriate provision of teaching and resources if English is an additional language for your son. The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department will identify his needs at the earliest opportunity and ensure that he is able to use English confidently and competently across the curriculum.

Assessing needs

The Head of EAL liaises with the Head of the Faculty of Support for Learning, the two other members of the EAL department, and other academic departments to support your son’s needs. He will be assessed by the Head of Department, who will establish what prior subject knowledge and experience he has in other subjects. 

Personalised support

Your son will receive a programme tailored to meet his needs, including small group or one-to-one support. His class/subject teachers will plan collaboratively with EAL focusing on both language and subject content. To ensure he is doing as well as he can, your son’s progress and attainment as an EAL learner will be closely monitored. We appreciate that your son’s conceptual thinking may be in advance of his ability to speak English. That is why we make certain the cognitive challenge remains appropriately high and is not reduced because the English language demand has been reduced.

School News

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Student v Merchistonian Shooting Competition

On the morning of Sunday 15 May, 8 students travelled up to Cluny clays in Fife to shoot a clays match against the Merchistonians. During the afternoon the Merchiston small-bore shooting team welcomed the Merchistonians in the Miller Range to compete in the annual competition.

Skandar and the Unicorn Thief

Today we were lucky enough to welcome A.F. Steadman, the author of 'Skandar and the Unicorn Thief', to Merchiston for a magical Monday morning.

Sakura Cherry Trees Project  Dedication Ceremony

Today we held a dedication ceremony to mark the donation of three ornamental cherry trees by the Sakura Cherry Trees Project. We were delighted to welcome Mr Tadashi Fujiwara, Japanese Consul General.

Geography Pentlands Fieldtrip

On 28 April all IGCSE Geography pupils visited the Pentland Hills where the source of the Lyne Water is located. This was in order to undertake fieldwork for their coursework which involves measuring many river variables. Shell students Teiyoon K and Adrian W tell us more...