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Marta CordingleySchool Shop Manager

I have been a part of the Merchiston community since 1998, eight of which were spent in Chalmers East House alongside my husband, Jason Cordingley, during his tenure as Housemaster.

It was during these years that, whilst bringing up our two daughters in the midst of a house full of boys, I became more involved in the day to day life of the school. I took on various roles, ranging from teaching Portuguese in the Juniors’ Cocktail of Languages programme - I am a qualified teacher of Languages and taught French in the state sector in Surrey and then at an Independent school in Oxfordshire, and also running cookery classes for the Junior Activity Program, Library duty, as well as running a local French Club for eight years and finally, running the second hand Uniform Shop.

It was whilst we were running the Boarding House that I saw the need for having a central shop, catering for uniform and stationery, and approached Derek Smith, our then Bursar, about the setting up of the School Shop to support the needs of the community. Whilst not the most riveting of shops (NO tuck ☹…occasionally Ricola and Peppersmith mints – good for your teeth!), I do know, by the sheer number of boys who come through the door every single day, that it is a useful one.

Ultimately, the most satisfying thing about working in education and in such a close community is getting to know people and the pleasure of working collaboratively towards an important common goal: to make the Merchiston boys feel nurtured in their environment so that they may flourish in their lives.


LANGUAGES AND TRAVEL - I speak Portuguese and French but (naively) think I should easily pick up Spanish and Italian as they are all Latin-based; however, you need to put the time in, so a few more trips to Venice and Barcelona should help!

COOKING – Especially cake-making

WOOL – As a means to learn about Scottish culture, I went along to the Weavers and Spinners Guild, who meet close to Merchiston on Saturday mornings. I was hooked. The wonderful world of wool opened up and I can now make ANYTHING out of wool.

READING – Rarely enough time to read everything on my lists, but a wonderful thing


Bagging a Munro

Inspiring moment

So many people inspire me, especially hearing from people who make a difference in the world – most recently, listening to a music teacher who spent one month volunteering in a refugee camp this year.

My Merchiston Connections: