Merchiston Castle School: Sixth Form

The Sixth Form takes boys through their A levels and, in most cases, on to university. Most parents find sending their sons to us for this two-year period gives students an opportunity to excel at a crucial period in their lives.

All boys are given a rich balance of responsibility and freedom. Many will be prefects, and will have duties and responsibilities in helping to run the School. Rather than wearing school uniform, dark suits symbolise their growing independence.

Boys starting with us in Lower Sixth will join a year group of around 80. Some have been here from age 8 or 9, while others joined later. We welcome boys from all over the world: at the last count we had 24 different nationalities.

Some boys find that our Sixth Form gives them that extra impetus and ‘edge’ to get the A level results they require. For others (from abroad) it may be the opportunity for them to improve their spoken English. And for some it is Merchiston’s sporting excellence in rugby, cricket or tennis that is the attraction.

We are proud that over 82% of our boys get into their university of first choice, and we have an excellent record of sending talented boys to some of the top universities in the world.

If you would like to find out more about our Sixth Form, please just get in touch. We would be delighted to welcome you to our community and give you an insight into the life and unique benefits of a Merchiston Sixth Former.

Sixth Form Houses (Boarding): Laidlaw South; Laidlaw North  (Day):  Evans

Boarding in the Sixth Form

A small number of boys choose to remain or join as day boys, but the majority of our Sixth Formers are boarders, who reside in our Sixth Form House, Laidlaw, which opened in 2009. All pupils have their own study bedroom with ensuite facilities. The House also contains a variety of communal areas for relaxation and socialising. It is split into two halves, North and South, each with its own House staff team.


Richard McCorkell BSc
Teacher of Mathematics; Housemaster of Evans
Richard is from Northern Ireland, and is a graduate of Edinburgh University. He has many sporting interests, in particular hockey and cricket. He becomes Housemaster of Evans in August 2016.
Matthew Hillier MA
Teacher of Classics, Housemaster of Laidlaw South
Mr Hillier teaches Latin throughout the School and the Epic unit for A Level Classical Civilisation. He coaches cricket and fives. He is Housemaster of Laidlaw South.
Daniel Rowlands MA
Teacher of French, Housemaster of Laidlaw North
Mr Rowlands taught at King's School Canterbury for five years before joining Merchiston. He is a rowing and rugby coach.



Full details of the Sixth Form Curriculum may be found on the Curriculum page of the Academic section of the website

Daily Routine

Breakfast 7.30 onwards
Sign in By 8.00 at breakfast
Assembly 8.15 Tues & 8.20 Thurs
Lessons 8.50-10.50
Break 10.50-11.15
Lessons 11.15-1.15
Lunch 1.15
Lessons 2.05-4.05 Mon, Wed, Fri
Games/Activities 4.20 Mon, Weds, Fri / 2.30 Tues, Thurs
Tea 5.20 onwards
‘Quiet time’ in House 7.00-9.00
VIA Club socials 9.15-10.15 Weds & Fri
Sign in for the night By 10.15
In own rooms By 11.00



Weekends are busy times for our pupils, with plenty on offer. Saturday is a normal school day with lessons taught as they would be on a Tuesday or Thursday. After lunch, most boys will have sports fixtures, either at home or away. The evenings will often see an activity such as a pizza or DVD evening, or reel clubs and ceilidhs with local girls’ schools.

On Sundays, a Service is held either in the morning or evening. Boys may choose to have ‘leave-out’ or to visit Edinburgh to meet with friends or family.

Entry requirements

Entry into the Lower Sixth Form for a two-year Sixth Form programme depends on a predicted and then achieved satisfactory GCSE or SQA National Certificate or on successfully sitting papers at an appropriate level.

Sixth Form Gallery

Please follow the link to the Photo Gallery

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