Merchiston Castle School
Overview
 
Merchiston Castle School is an independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

 for boys in the village of Colinton
Colinton
Colinton is a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland situated 6 kilometres south west of the city centre. It is bordered by Dreghorn to the south and Craiglockhart to the north-east. To the north-west it extends to Lanark Road and to the south-west to the City Bypass...

 in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland. It has about 480 pupils and is open to boys between the ages of 8 and 18 as either boarders or day pupils; day pupils make up 35% of the school.
In May 1833, Charles Chalmers took a lease of Merchiston Castle
Merchiston Castle
Merchiston Castle or Merchiston Tower was probably built by Alexander Napier, the second Laird of Merchiston around 1454. It serves as the seat for Clan Napier...

 (the former home of John Napier
John Napier
John Napier of Merchiston – also signed as Neper, Nepair – named Marvellous Merchiston, was a Scottish mathematician, physicist, astronomer & astrologer, and also the 8th Laird of Merchistoun. He was the son of Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston. John Napier is most renowned as the discoverer...

, the inventor of logarithm
Logarithm
The logarithm of a number is the exponent by which another fixed value, the base, has to be raised to produce that number. For example, the logarithm of 1000 to base 10 is 3, because 1000 is 10 to the power 3: More generally, if x = by, then y is the logarithm of x to base b, and is written...

s) — which at that time stood in rural surroundings — and opened his academy, starting with some thirty boys.

Like his brother, Dr Thomas Chalmers
Thomas Chalmers
Thomas Chalmers , Scottish mathematician, political economist, divine and a leader of the Free Church of Scotland, was born at Anstruther in Fife.-Overview:...

, mathematician, physicist and theologian, Charles was also interested in Mathematics and Science so he included these subjects in the curriculum at a time when secondary education in Scotland was focussed more on the study of the classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

.

Over time, the number of pupils grew to over 200 and the Merchiston Castle became too small to accommodate the school.
Encyclopedia
Merchiston Castle School is an independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

 for boys in the village of Colinton
Colinton
Colinton is a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland situated 6 kilometres south west of the city centre. It is bordered by Dreghorn to the south and Craiglockhart to the north-east. To the north-west it extends to Lanark Road and to the south-west to the City Bypass...

 in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland. It has about 480 pupils and is open to boys between the ages of 8 and 18 as either boarders or day pupils; day pupils make up 35% of the school.

History

In May 1833, Charles Chalmers took a lease of Merchiston Castle
Merchiston Castle
Merchiston Castle or Merchiston Tower was probably built by Alexander Napier, the second Laird of Merchiston around 1454. It serves as the seat for Clan Napier...

 (the former home of John Napier
John Napier
John Napier of Merchiston – also signed as Neper, Nepair – named Marvellous Merchiston, was a Scottish mathematician, physicist, astronomer & astrologer, and also the 8th Laird of Merchistoun. He was the son of Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston. John Napier is most renowned as the discoverer...

, the inventor of logarithm
Logarithm
The logarithm of a number is the exponent by which another fixed value, the base, has to be raised to produce that number. For example, the logarithm of 1000 to base 10 is 3, because 1000 is 10 to the power 3: More generally, if x = by, then y is the logarithm of x to base b, and is written...

s) — which at that time stood in rural surroundings — and opened his academy, starting with some thirty boys.

Like his brother, Dr Thomas Chalmers
Thomas Chalmers
Thomas Chalmers , Scottish mathematician, political economist, divine and a leader of the Free Church of Scotland, was born at Anstruther in Fife.-Overview:...

, mathematician, physicist and theologian, Charles was also interested in Mathematics and Science so he included these subjects in the curriculum at a time when secondary education in Scotland was focussed more on the study of the classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

.

Over time, the number of pupils grew to over 200 and the Merchiston Castle became too small to accommodate the school. In 1930, the governors decided to move the school to Colinton House and the ruins of Colinton Castle, four miles south-west of the Edinburgh in the village of Colinton
Colinton
Colinton is a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland situated 6 kilometres south west of the city centre. It is bordered by Dreghorn to the south and Craiglockhart to the north-east. To the north-west it extends to Lanark Road and to the south-west to the City Bypass...

. The school opened its doors in Colinton later that year.

Three years later, in 1933, Merchiston celebrated its centenary, attended by the Duke and Duchess of York. Fifty years on, in 1983, at a time of further expansion and with 350 boys on the roll, their daughter, Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

, in turn visited the School and honoured its 150th anniversary with her presence.

Academic performance

Between 2006-2010, Merchiston obtained an almost 100% A-Level pass rate, with 79% at A and B grades in 2010. The GCSE pass rate was 97% in 2010. In 2008 87% of pupils achieved entry to their first choice University through UCAS
UCAS
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is the British admission service for students applying to university and college. UCAS is primarily funded by students who pay a fee when they apply and a capitation fee from universities for each student they accept..-Location:UCAS is based near...

.

Sports and games

A range of sports and activities is available at the school; particularly in rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, which over 60 Merchistonians have played at international level. The now defunct Merchistonian Football Club for former pupils of the School was a founder member of the Scottish Rugby Union
Scottish Rugby Union
The Scottish Rugby Union is the governing body of rugby union in Scotland. It is the second oldest Rugby Union, having been founded in 1873, as the Scottish Football Union.-History:...

 and was involved in the very first rugby international, supplying three players. The former 1st XV coach, Frank Hadden
Frank Hadden
Frank Hadden is a Scottish rugby union coach. He is a former head coach of Scotland and Edinburgh Rugby.Hadden replaced Matt Williams and was appointed on 15 September 2005. Hadden coached the Merchiston Castle School 1st XV after being appointed Head of Physical Education at the school in 1983...

, who was at the school from 1983-2000, was the head coach of the Scottish national team
Scotland national rugby union team
The Scotland national rugby union team represent Scotland in international rugby union. Rugby union in Scotland is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The Scotland rugby union team is currently ranked eighth in the IRB World Rankings as of 19 September 2011...

 from 2005-2009. The school has won the Scottish Schools' Rugby Cup four times, 2000-2002 and in 2008 and participates, with the Edinburgh Academy
Edinburgh Academy
The Edinburgh Academy is an independent school which was opened in 1824. The original building, in Henderson Row on the northern fringe of the New Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, is now part of the Senior School...

, in the oldest continuous rugby union fixture in the world, the first being on December 11, 1858. In addition to rugby, Merchiston pupils have received international recognition in the past few years in the following sports: cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

, track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

, fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

, skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

, cycling
Cycling
Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, or for sport. Persons engaged in cycling are cyclists or bicyclists...

, shooting
Shooting
Shooting is the act or process of firing rifles, shotguns or other projectile weapons such as bows or crossbows. Even the firing of artillery, rockets and missiles can be called shooting. A person who specializes in shooting is a marksman...

, tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

.

Facilities

Over the past twenty years structural additions have been made to the school, including a music school, technology block and library.

In January 2009 Merchiston introduced a new Sixth Form Boarding House, admitting current Sixth Form boarding pupils at the start of term. The architect aimed to challenge perceptions of traditional boarding schools by designing 126 en-suite bedrooms, with storage, shelving, trouser presses, desks and study areas with views of the grounds. There are kitchens and open plan social areas on each floor, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls to create a feeling of space and light. On the top floor of the House there is a café area where boys may come together to relax, socialise and watch television. There are also a multi-gym in the basement, seminar and study rooms, with internet and network access in each bedroom.

Progression through the School

The horizontal house system used by Merchiston keeps a year group together throughout their time at school, as opposed to the vertical system which would split them up. The names of the houses are:
  • Pringle House
  • Pringle Centre
  • Chalmers West
  • Chalmers East
  • Rogerson
  • Evans
  • Laidlaw


In the final year, boys who are appointed prefects are spread throughout the Houses, as they have responsibilities with the younger year groups.

Middle School

At the end of the Third Form (S1), boys leave Pringle and move to the Middle School where they are joined by other pupils entering the School for the first time, many from prep schools
Preparatory school (UK)
In English language usage in the former British Empire, the present-day Commonwealth, a preparatory school is an independent school preparing children up to the age of eleven or thirteen for entry into fee-paying, secondary independent schools, some of which are known as public schools...

. The Fourth Form (S2), house is called Chalmers West House, which, along with all the other Houses, is located at the heart of the Senior School. Historically, there have always been more boarders in the Senior School than in the Junior School. However, as was the case in Pringle, the day boys are integrated with the boarders by having study and recreation areas allocated to them in the residential accommodation. At the end of this year a decision is made regarding the subjects taken forward to GCSE.

The year in Chalmers West sets the pattern for most of the rest of his school career in that a boy will stay for one year in this House with the Fourth Form Housemaster before moving on again to the adjacent House, Chalmers East House for his first year of the GCSE programme, with a new Housemaster. At Merchiston this is known as his Shell year. The advantages claimed for this system are that the boys get to know each other, the Housemaster is able to construct a social and co-curricular programme tailored to the needs of the year group, and the House has spaces and furnishings considered appropriate for the boys at each stage of their development.

In Chalmers West and Chalmers East, dormitories are sub-divided into semi-private areas for 3-4 beds. After Chalmers East comes Rogerson (Fifth Form). This is the year in which the pupils take their first public exams: the GCSEs. Here, the boys are provided with individual bedrooms and the opportunity to manage their own time.

Senior School (Sixth Form)

Following Rogerson, pupils will enter the Sixth Form. In the last two years in the Sixth Form, individual study bedrooms with en suite facilities are provided for each boarding pupil in Laidlaw House. Day boys have their own base in Evans House, an area within the School for both Lower and Upper Sixth Form day boys. The House offers boys an individual study space with desk, wardrobe, and bed, providing flexible options for study and prep. The House has a day room and kitchen, and Sixth Formers can access the facilities within both Evans and Laidlaw.

In the final year, elected Heads of Houses or Prefects, who are boarding and live with the younger boys, are provided with recently-upgraded individual study bedrooms.

Each Boarding House has common rooms, games rooms and kitchens. Quiet times are provided, but students are expected to take responsibility for managing their time and organising their studies. Each pupil has an Academic Tutor who works with the Housemaster. As well as spending his leisure hours in and around the House, a pupil does his homework here each evening under supervised conditions until the end of the Fifth Form. Day boys also make use of this provision.

Lower Sixth Form and Upper Sixth Form non-prefect students come under the supervision of the Head of Sixth Form, with responsibility for academic work and the organisation of free time transferred to the student. School uniform is no longer worn, rather a suit with the Sixth Form tie. The students have opportunities for overnight leave, general leave outs and in the Upper Sixth, late leaves.

Links to other schools

Although Merchiston is an all boys school, there is a wide range of curricular, co-curricular and social links with girls’ schools, in particular St George’s School for Girls
St. George's School, Edinburgh
St. George's School is an all-girls independent school situated in Ravelston, Edinburgh, Scotland.The curriculum is based on the Scottish education system but also uses aspects of the English education system, for example A-Levels are available in sixth form....

, in Edinburgh, and Kilgraston School
Kilgraston School
Kilgraston School is a British independent school, founded in 1930. It is a Roman Catholic boarding and day school for girls aged 2½–18 and day boys aged 2½–9. Currently more than 340 pupils attend Kilgraston, of which 158 live at Kilgraston for either week-nights or for entire half terms...

, in Perthshire
Perthshire
Perthshire, officially the County of Perth , is a registration county in central Scotland. It extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south...

. Links are being developed with Queen Margaret's School, York
Queen Margaret's School, York
Queen Margaret's, York is an independent day and boarding school for girls age 11–18 in Escrick Park near York. The school was named after Queen Margaret the Queen of Scotland from c.1070–1093.-History:...

.

These links include inter-departmental initiatives, such as Modern Language events, careers conventions and fun days for the Junior School. Joint drama and music productions are undertaken and there are many social functions, from Burns Supper
Burns supper
A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day or Burns Night , although they may in principle be held at any time of the...

s and Scottish Country Dancing
Scottish country dance
A Scottish country dance is a form of social dance involving groups of mixed couples of dancers tracing progressive patterns according to a predetermined choreography...

 to disco
Disco
Disco is a genre of dance music. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic, and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and...

s.

Notable former pupils (Merchistonians)

  • Pierre Bertrand - CEO of DATALP in France
  • Sir Donald Acheson
    Donald Acheson
    Sir Donald Acheson KBE was a British physician and epidemiologist who served as Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom from 1983–91...

     - Chief Medical Officer to the Government from 1984-1991
  • Air Marshal Sir John Baird - Surgeon General UK Armed Forces 1997-2000
  • Sir Peter Burt - Governor & Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland
    Bank of Scotland
    The Bank of Scotland plc is a commercial and clearing bank based in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a history dating to the 17th century, it is the second oldest surviving bank in what is now the United Kingdom, and is the only commercial institution created by the Parliament of Scotland to...

     from 1996 to 2001, Former Chairman of ITV
    ITV
    ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

  • John James Cowperthwaite
    John James Cowperthwaite
    Sir John James Cowperthwaite KBE CMG , was a British civil servant and the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1961 to 1971...

     - Financial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1961 to 1971.
  • James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon
    James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon
    James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, PC, PC , was a prominent Irish unionist politician, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland...

    , the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland from 1921 - 1940
  • Samuel Cunningham
    Samuel Cunningham
    Samuel Cunningham PC was a Northern Irish businessman, stockbroker and politician.Cunningham was born at Fernhill House, Glencairn, Belfast, and educated at Belfast Academy and at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh...

    , businessman and Senator of the Parliament of Northern Ireland
    Parliament of Northern Ireland
    The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended...

    , 1921–1945
  • William Lovat Fraser
    William Lovat Fraser
    William Lovat Fraser was a Scottish sportsman who played both cricket and rugby union at an international level, representing Scotland in cricket and touring Argentina with the 1910 Combined British rugby union side, an early incarnation of the British and Irish Lions.-Early life:William Lovat...

    , international cricketer and rugby union footballer.
  • Louis Leisler Greig
    Louis Leisler Greig
    Group Captain Sir Louis Leisler Greig, KBE, CVO was a British naval surgeon, courtier and intimate of King George VI, and a rugby union player.-Rugby union:...

     - royal equerry and prominent member of Fascist January Group
  • Gordon Roddick - co-founder of The Body Shop
    The Body Shop
    The Body Shop International plc, known as The Body Shop, has 2,400 stores in 61 countries, and is the second largest cosmetic franchise in the world, following O Boticario, a Brazilian company...

    .
  • Lord Laidlaw - Scottish businessman, and Former member of the House of Lords
    House of Lords
    The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

    .
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor
    John Roddick Russell MacGregor, Baron MacGregor of Pulham Market, OBE PC FKC , is a politician in the United Kingdom. He was educated at Merchiston Castle School, then at the University of St Andrews and at King's College London...

     - Former UK Cabinet minister
  • Sir David Milne-Watson, 1st Baronet
    Milne-Watson Baronets
    The Milne-Watson Baronetcy, of Ashley in Longbredy in the County of Dorset, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 11 June 1937 for David Milne-Watson. He was Governor and Managing Director of the Gas Lighting & Coke Company and Vice-President of the Federation of...

    , Businessman
  • William Grant Stairs
    William Grant Stairs
    William Grant Stairs was a Canadian-British explorer, soldier, and adventurer who had a leading role in two of the most controversial expeditions in the history of the colonisation of Africa.-Education:...

     - Canadian explorer, soldier, and adventurer.
  • Charles Wyville Thomson
    Charles Wyville Thomson
    Sir Charles Wyville Thomson was a Scottish zoologist and chief scientist on the Challenger expedition.-Career:...

     - professor of zoology and chief scientist on the Challenger expedition
    Challenger expedition
    The Challenger expedition of 1872–76 was a scientific exercise that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography. The expedition was named after the mother vessel, HMS Challenger....

    .
  • James Wilson Robertson
    James Wilson Robertson
    Sir James Wilson Robertson, KT, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, Order of the Nile , KStJ was the last British Head of Nigeria.He was educated at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh and Balliol College, Oxford...

    , former Governor-General
    Governor-General
    A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

     of Nigeria
    Nigeria
    Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

    .
  • The Hon. Lord Robertson
    Ian Robertson, Lord Robertson
    Ian MacDonald Robertson was a High Court of Justiciary judge who contributed greatly to Scottish law.-Early life:Robertson was the youngest of six children, born in Edinburgh when his father was already 66...

     TD
    Territorial Decoration
    The Territorial Decoration was a medal of the United Kingdom awarded for long service in the Territorial Force and its successor, the Territorial Army...

    , a Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland, 1966-87. He was also chairman of the Merchiston Board of governors between 1970 and 1996.
  • Danny Bhoy
    Danny Bhoy
    Danny Bhoy is an Indian-Scottish comedian who has performed in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada...

     - Comedian
  • Ben Clarke, The Apprentice candidate in 2009
  • George Baillie Duncan
    George Baillie Duncan
    George Baillie Duncan was a prominent evangelical Anglican and Church of Scotland minister, and Keswick Convention speaker.George Duncan was born in India of missionary parents but brought up in Scotland. Educated at Merchiston Castle School and Edinburgh University, he studied for the ministry at...

    , evangelical minister and conference speaker
  • Sir James Marjoribanks
    James Marjoribanks
    Sir James Alexander Milne Marjoribanks KCMG was a career diplomat in the British Foreign Service and became British ambassador to the European Economic Community...

    , career diplomat who presented Britain's successful application to join the European Community in 1967

International rugby union footballers

Merchiston has produced 63 international rugby union footballers – 56 for Scotland
Scotland national rugby union team
The Scotland national rugby union team represent Scotland in international rugby union. Rugby union in Scotland is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The Scotland rugby union team is currently ranked eighth in the IRB World Rankings as of 19 September 2011...

, 4 for Ireland
Ireland national rugby union team
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. The team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship and every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions The Ireland national rugby union...

 and 2 for England
England national rugby union team
The England national rugby union team represents England in rugby union. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship on 26 occasions, 12 times winning the Grand Slam, making them the most successful team in...

. These include Roger Baird
Roger Baird
Gavin Roger Todd Baird was a Scottish rugby union player, who won 27 caps playing on the wing for between 1981 and 1988....

, Ronnie Eriksson, Iain Fullerton, Phil Godman
Phil Godman
Phil Godman, nicknamed "Mad Phil" was born May 20, 1982 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Educated at Merchiston Castle School where he captained the rugby union side to victory in the Scottish Schools Cup. He signed a professional contract with Newcastle Falcons after leaving Merchiston...

, Duncan Hodge
Duncan Hodge
Duncan Hodge was Duncan Hodge was Duncan Hodge was (born August 18, 1974 in Dumfries, Scotland, is a Scottish former internationalist rugby union player. He gained 26 full caps for Scotland.-Playing career:Hodge was born in Dumfries and educated at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh....

, John Jeffrey
John Jeffrey
John Jeffrey is a Scottish former internationalistrugby union player. His nicknames are "The Great White Shark" and "JJ", the former because of his blond "thatch of hair"....

, Craig Joiner
Craig Joiner
Craig Joiner was born April 21, 1974 in Glasgow, Scotland. Educated at Merchiston Castle School, he won 25 caps playing on the wing for the Scottish rugby union side between 1994 and 2000....

, Jamie Mayer
Jamie Mayer
Jamie Mayer was born April 16, 1977 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Educated at Merchiston Castle School, George Watson's College and Napier University, he won 8 caps playing in the centre for the Scottish rugby union side between 1998 and 2000.-External links:*...

, William Neilson
William Neilson (Rugby player)
William "Willie" Neilson was a Scottish rugby player. He was born in Holytown, near Glasgow, Scotland.He was capped fourteen times for between 1891-97...

, Thomas Anderson
Thomas Anderson (rugby)
Thomas Anderson was a Scottish rugby football player, and cricketer.He attended Merchiston Castle School.He was capped once for in the 1882 match against at fullback...

 and Peter Walton
Peter Walton (rugby player)
Peter Walton was an English-born rugby union player who won 24 caps playing in the back-row for the Scottish rugby union side between 1994 and 1999. He was educated at Merchiston Castle School, and played club rugby for both Northampton Saints and Newcastle Falcons. He was forced to retire due to...

.

The defunct rugby club Merchistonians FC used to cater for former pupils of the school.

Notable former staff

  • Hely Hutchinson Almond
    Hely Hutchinson Almond
    Dr Hely Hutchinson Almond was a physician and a politician. He is remembered as a pioneering Scottish educator.-Biography:...

     - one of the umpires of the first rugby international between and in 1871
  • Frank Hadden
    Frank Hadden
    Frank Hadden is a Scottish rugby union coach. He is a former head coach of Scotland and Edinburgh Rugby.Hadden replaced Matt Williams and was appointed on 15 September 2005. Hadden coached the Merchiston Castle School 1st XV after being appointed Head of Physical Education at the school in 1983...

     - former head coach of the Scottish national rugby union team
    Scotland national rugby union team
    The Scotland national rugby union team represent Scotland in international rugby union. Rugby union in Scotland is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The Scotland rugby union team is currently ranked eighth in the IRB World Rankings as of 19 September 2011...

     2005-2009
  • Kenneth Houston - International rugby union player for Ireland
    Ireland national rugby union team
    The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. The team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship and every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions The Ireland national rugby union...

  • Arnold Spencer-Smith
    Arnold Spencer-Smith
    Arnold Patrick Spencer-Smith was a British clergyman and amateur photographer who joined Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914–17, as Chaplain and photographer on the Ross Sea party. The hardship of the expedition resulted in Spencer-Smith's death...

     taught here at the beginning of the twentieth century. He lost his life exploring the Antarctic
    Antarctic
    The Antarctic is the region around the Earth's South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica and the ice shelves, waters and island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence...


External links


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