Merchiston mainly offers the English curriculum of GCSEs and A levels, although in some subjects Scottish qualifications are also available where this best suits the boys concerned.
The academic curriculum is based on the traditional liberal principles of breadth and choice. Classes are small and the overall teacher/pupil ratio is 1:9. Consequently, individual attention can be given to each pupil both inside and outside the classroom. In the GCSE year and in the Sixth Form, tutorial groups, ‘clinics’ and revision classes are often arranged in addition to the timetabled lessons.
Emphasis is also given to the acquiring of ancillary skills. For example, all pupils gain a basic understanding of ICT, a practical knowledge of foreign languages, and skills in communication, both orally and on paper. These are essential ‘life’ skills in which all boys should be confident.
At GCSE, boys are expected to study English, Mathematics and the Sciences, alongside a language and two or three other subjects. The latter may include one or more of the humanities, such as History, but we are keen to include an opportunity for a boy to follow his interest in creative arts, physical education or computing. At A level, there is an opportunity for a boy to follow his own academic interests. We try to accommodate as many combinations as possible so that we are offering whatever is best for an individual boy.
Boys are placed in a particular set according to their ability; setting is constantly under review. Please follow the link for the policy for especially able pupils.
Curriculum handbooks may be downloaded below: