Local Talk

Help with School choice in Edinburgh

(11 Posts)
Scienceattack Sun 03-Feb-13 01:22:11

Hi ladies your suggestions would be very much appreciated on this topic. We live outside Edinburgh and have been thinking of sending DS to one of Edinburgh schools for further education as our local secondary is not that gr8. DS has done his own bit and after entrance exams has offers both from Stuart Mellville College & George Heriott's for P7 place. We are not much familiar with These schools' and their performance, history, reputation & record of sending their pupils to their first choice University so would like to pick brains of u experienced people out there. DS very much loves extracurricular activities too though not a very extrovert person! We'll have to make our minds soon about accepting place at any one of these schools. Location wise commute would probably be easier for Stuart Mellville College as they send the buses but opinions & personal experiences on all fronts would be very helpful.
Thnx

Eman83 Sun 03-Feb-13 19:49:23

Heriots is amazing! I have heard through the grapevine it is so hard to get a place there. Two after school activity choice is amazing. I find out this year if my ds has a place starting preschool 2014! And fingers crossed I get a place smile

Stuart Melville is also very good however it's single sexed for classes then from my understanding they mix some.

Sallygoround Sun 03-Feb-13 20:04:17

My ds started at SMC in P6 and although he wasn't keen initially he settled in amazingly well and is really enjoying his time at the school. He has done a variety of extracurricular stuff, hockey, warhammer club, guitar ensembles, and the p7 drama production. Although not a natural team sports player (quite slight of stature and a bit introvert) he has actually come to enjoy rugby and does extra sessions after school.

Although they do separate from the girls at Senior school they do see the girls (who they know from the Junior School) for drama and music things, outdoor ed and social mixers. And one huge benefit of the single sex thing - lessons seem to be very boy - orientated. English has showed him a whole world of sci fi he wouldn't have ventured into alone, RMPS is his favourite, lots of discussions about war - the morals and ethics of, how does god fit in. Amazing stuff!

Scienceattack Tue 05-Feb-13 15:09:53

Thanks Eman83 and Sallygoround for your thoughts........Yes I too have heard only recently after getting a place for DS that it is thought of difficult to get a place for P7 in Heriots.............so I think should give some credit to dear DS ;-) But that is our main dilemma that should we go by history and name or should we choose convenience? As I stated earlier we live outside Edinburgh and to reach Heriots DS would have to track through trains and buses whereas the transport is available from SMC to take n drop my DS everyday next to home. Before making that choice my DH and I wanted to hear thoughts from mums who would have either direct experience of both schools or who would have heard things about both schools from their friends with children...........

Thanks Sallyground for pointing out the benefits of single sex education because that is one issue where I was thinking which way to go? Some friends suggested co-eds are better than single sex but when heard the pitch from SMC principal it was along the same lines..........
Also good to hear that your DS settled in well...my DS is also of slight stature.....though enthusiastic about sports but bit shy and takes time to make friends. Did your DS started 2 yrs ago and hasn't yet moved to senior school...........or u r telling from experience that they do thing together like co-eds for certain activities? Sorry to bother you but u mentioned ur DS wasn't too keen initially ..so what were your reasons for choosing SMC? Was it that your DS got selected or u chose it over something else preferentially?

Another Q does anyone has a better idea about the academic performance of the SMC? I can't seem to find any info of their standings or school leavers-Univ joining records?
Anymore thoughts in any other area would be very welcome.

Sallygoround Tue 05-Feb-13 21:55:11

Ds started in p6 and is now in s1. Drama productions are done with the girls at MES, they see them at music events and so on. There's been a dance and they're having a joint outing near Easter I think.

We chose SMC over Watsons mainly from a logistical point of view. We were further out of town and the school coach service and the school being on the right side of town counted for a lot. Ultimately we were sold (as a lot of parents seem to be) on the general enthusiasm the teachers and head teachers have for teaching and the children. I think one of them said at one point, something like "we want happy confident children, if you get that right the results follow". It all sounds a bit happy clappy, but ultimately what we wanted most was a school where children were happy first, not hothoused.

Ds wasn't keen at first, mainly because of the upheaval. He liked his little local school ( less kids in the entire school than p6 at SMC!) and was nervous about starting again and making new friends. Also the shorts were a hard sell!

I hope this is of some use. Has your ds done tours of both? I think ( from when we looked round schools) that we knew which one 'felt' right.

Scienceattack Wed 06-Feb-13 00:53:13

Thanks Sallygoround. Ur thoughts seem to ring the right bell. We too were happy with head teachers description of "this system let boys be boys and grow happy & not awkward" which at the teen stage they can b when same age girls tend to shine more…

Our DS was also not keen to move away fom his current school before the whole procedure started but let's hope slowly he'll take it in & get ready for the move!
We have been to both schools and kind of liked them both. I got a feel for Heriot's but as u said in ur case… for us also logistically SMC would suit better whereas choosing Heriot's would mean a big commitment of someone dropping n picking long distance DS for at least next 2yrs everyday. Difficult! So before deciding otherwise just wanted to make sure we were doing right for him & providing a happy school ;-)
Lets hope for the best.

Scienceattack Wed 06-Feb-13 00:55:32

I know for us too shorts would indeed b hard to sell ;-)

tribal Wed 06-Feb-13 22:20:02

Exam results and school leaver destinations are pretty much the same with these two schools, one year one might be better and the next the situation is reversed. I agree with the above post about the feel of the school. We visited heriots and dd really hated it, couldn't put a finger on why it just wasn't right for her. Didn't look at SMC but looked at ME which she just loved. She is very keen on music and the SMC/ME music departments are very highly thought of so we were persuaded. We also put off by the time spent travelling to games fron Heriots.

Scienceattack Thu 07-Feb-13 16:08:27

Thnx Tribal for sharing ur thoughts. Good to know more of less same outcome.....academically. DS already plays some of his games at SMC so may be that would be helpful for starters.........for us from our current location time spent travelling to Heriots might be tipping it in favour of SMC ;-) as DS was OK for both school....not any clear favourite!

Sallygoround Fri 08-Feb-13 21:25:03

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions

Scienceattack Fri 08-Feb-13 22:18:42

Thanks Sallygoround. Shall do that if something more comes to mind ;-)

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