mary erskine school

(23 Posts)
Leedsvisitor Wed 20-Mar-13 15:11:52

Haven't been impressed by the music at the junior school so far - very ordinary. Will wait to see what happens at seniors.

HibernatingHamster Fri 01-Mar-13 21:38:06

One person's reasons won't be the same as another's. My kids started at Mary Erskine in S1 so very different from your situation. A few random things that influenced us for and against various schools:

- choice of subjects (e.g. as incomers at Heriot's they weren't allowed to do other languages than French for the first two years)

- girls/boys/mixed - I like girls schools personally, but obviously some prefer mixed. At the GW open day they had a mock class going on, with the girls wearing lots of make-up and fluttering their eyelashes at the boys. hmm And there were signs in some classrooms saying things like "Boys, it's OK to sit quietly in class." or "Girls - it's OK to answer questions." I didn't like that this needed spelling out!

- facilities, e.g. travelling for sports, spaces to play at breaktime, lockers (no lockers at some schools, they have to carry their stuff all day)

- location/transport links

- if you have kids with particular passions like art (GW is good) or music (MES/SMC) that can influence you, but not if your kids are 2 and 4 I guess

VibrantMummy Mon 25-Feb-13 22:16:56

This is an old thread, but we are returning to Edinburgh from London this summer with our 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son. My daughter got into George Watson's P1 and was offered a place in pre-school (nursery) at Mary Erskine's as they felt she would benefit by being in the year below. I am trying to decide which school would be best for her and my son (Stewart Melville) and where is best to purchase a property (house) near one of the schools. Any tips for us would be appreciated! Which school is your preferred choice and why?

Eman83 Tue 18-Dec-12 14:47:06

I have my sons name down for heriots but he is at the nursery in Edinburgh academy. Don't know if I should keep him there

tribal Mon 17-Dec-12 19:19:18

Eman83 we also applied to George Watsons (got a place) but dd wasn't as keen, and Heriots (didn't get a place) and was our 3rd choice.

Eman83 Sun 16-Dec-12 15:28:05

Where else did you apply tribal?

tribal Sat 15-Dec-12 23:23:33

Applications for bursary actually have to be in before the entrance exam, around oct or nov I think, at about the same time as applying to the school. The entrance exam is in Jan and when the results come out in feb we got a letter about the bursary inserted into the school pack.

When we applied we weren't sure if we would get the bursary or not (I had my fingers crossed though as we met the criteria). But we were so keen on dd NOT going to our state option we would have found the money, or robbed a bank in order to send her there. We also applied somewhere else and got a place but dd wasn't keen.

GrooveeCar Thu 13-Dec-12 16:13:58

My friend decided to move her eldest her last moment and they got a place and were shown round last minute too but she has put the other children in at the right moments.

thesmarttart Thu 13-Dec-12 14:53:04

thanks hamster thats a good point about after school activities

HibernatingHamster Thu 13-Dec-12 11:43:44

One thing I will say against the school shock from my point of view is logistics of travel. We use the school buses (we're not that far away but by public transport it takes ages as the kids have to go through town, and then it's a bit of a walk from the bus stop to MES). Mostly if they do an after school activity I pick them up as they miss the school bus and it's a trek home, but sometimes they have to get the public bus.

So, if you're relying on school buses you might want to consider what you will do about transport in this situation - I know of some kids who can't do anything after school because of having to get the bus, which is a shame.

Also, they have quite long school days (finish at 4.05 3 days a week) compared to many other secondaries which finish at 3.30. No Friday afternoons off either of course.

thesmarttart Thu 13-Dec-12 10:08:05

tribal, did you do the entrance exaam first and if they accepted you did you apply for a bursary or did you have to sit a abursary exam

thesmarttart Thu 13-Dec-12 10:06:39

hi hamster

our catchment is newbattle high in midlothian

barntonbabe Wed 12-Dec-12 10:45:15

You'll probably have guessed from my name that our catchment senior school is Royal High, which I don't have any strong views about either way. But we weren't very impressed with our local primary and it was just our personal preference to send our children elsewhere.

HibernatingHamster Wed 12-Dec-12 08:53:59

Catchment not great here either - wonder which ones you're all in...

tribal Tue 11-Dec-12 21:50:38

Yes, exactly the same reason as us, our catchment, well, just wasn't an option for us! We get a bursary. They have approx 10% kids on a bursary between the 2 schools, with varying amounts depending on income. We started on about 50% but has now decreased as my income has gone up. You have missed the open day (september) but I am sure they would be happy to show you round at any time. The entrance exams are held in Jan, so if you are looking for a place for next year you need to be quick.

thesmarttart Tue 11-Dec-12 11:21:14

thanks tribal, i had no specific questions, just wondered as we have 3 girls and thought we might take a look for secondary as our catchment secondary is not great, we would need a bursary of sorts though.

tribal Mon 10-Dec-12 21:40:06

I have a dd at the senior school. She has been there since s1. She was worried about settling in but the other girls were very friendly and welcoming and the teachers are very encouraging too.

Mary Erskine this year got the best exam results for schools in the whole of Scotland (standard grade, Int 2, Higher & Advanced Higher). The girls do really get pushed to perform academically (and that is why they get the results!), homework+++ but there is also a very large range of extra curricular activities, sports and music in particular but lots of others. DD is in a lunchtime scrabble club.

On the whole we have been happy with the school. Have had a couple of minor disagreements but they are nothing in the grand scheme of things. DD has done far better than she would have done at our local state school. Pastoral care is also very good along with careers guidance etc.

Do you have any specific questions?

thesmarttart Mon 10-Dec-12 18:27:28

thanks barnton and hibernating,

barntonbabe Mon 10-Dec-12 13:10:51

I've got 1 at the JS and 1 at MES. Can't really fault either school.

Am really impressed with the teaching, but on top of that, as Hamster says, they have the chance to get involved with so many other things.

HibernatingHamster Mon 10-Dec-12 12:35:21

I have 2 DDs at the senior school. What do you want to know?

They love it, but it's the only senior school they've been to so it's hard to compare I guess... Lessons seem well organised, lots of other things going on - one takes full advantage of this, the other a bit less so but she still does 3 clubs. I do get occasional grumbles from them, but it's usually along the lines of "X was cheating in games and the teacher didn't notice," or "Y broke my ruler".

They weren't at the junior school incidentally, but haven't had any problems fitting in.

thesmarttart Sat 08-Dec-12 18:30:53

oops meant the senior school

Sallygoround Fri 07-Dec-12 23:03:53

Do you mean the Senior school? I have a daughter in the junior school if that's any use, but only have a limited knowledge of the seniors.

thesmarttart Fri 07-Dec-12 15:27:08

just wondering if anyone has sent their daughters there or know someone who has and if so how do you find the school.

thank you

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