Education and Learning at The Mary Erskine School

Our educational philosophy at The Mary Erskine School is to encourage pupils to discover and develop their natural talents while also instilling the belief that with hard work and commitment they will fulfil their potential.

A broad curriculum

The Mary Erskine School follows the Scottish curriculum which is respected throughout the UK and internationally.  We offer a wide range of subjects and all pupils are encouraged to maintain a broad range of subjects right up to National 5. If you would like to read more about the subjects we offer in each year group, click here to view them on our main school website.

We keep our timetabling flexible so that we can offer a wide range of subject combinations, enabling pupils to continue with the subjects that they enjoy. As they move up through the school they start to specialise focusing on the areas which reflect their personal skills and passions.

A traditional curriculum with innovative teaching methods

Our teachers at The Mary Erskine School are passionate about the subjects they teach and instil in pupils a lifelong love of learning. We have a traditional curriculum that provides children with a rounded education and the core knowledge, skills, experience and vocabulary they will need to excel in life and navigate the world in which they live. A culture of innovation runs through the school inspiring teachers and pupils to think differently and creatively.

A diamond model that tailors teaching styles to suit girls

There are a number of subtle differences in the preferred learning styles and support needs of girls which can have a direct impact on educational outcomes. At ESMS, children are taught together in the Junior School to help them develop positive relationships with the opposite sex. Girls then move into a single sex learning environment for the early years of secondary school allowing them to find their voices, ignore stereotypes and become confident young women. They are encouraged to be ambitious and taught leadership skills preparing them to take their place in society as strong leaders and role-models for other women. Mary Erskine pupils continue to take part in co-educational extra-curricular activities throughout these years and at Sixth Form they return to a co-educational learning environment to prepare them for life beyond school.

Our outcomes speak for themselves with strong results every year across the curriculum and a large number of girls choosing STEM subjects. This year just under two thirds of our Mary Erskine pupils are taking maths at Higher and numbers taking biology, chemistry and physics matched those of Stewart’s Melville College.

Our results

Our exam results reflect the commitment and hard work of our teachers and our students.

2021 exam results

ESMS students go on to study in universities all over the UK and across the world. Recent pupils' destinations include St Andrews, Glasgow, University College London, London School of Economics, Cambridge and Harvard.

Pupils are also encouraged to embrace opportunities to excel beyond the curriculum. We provide an extensive programme of trips and learning activities outside the classroom, guest speakers and opportunities to enter national and international competitions. This has this included performing in the Edinburgh Tattoo, foreign language work experience, the European Youth Parliament debating competition, trips to NASA and CERN and a talk by political scientist Sir John Curtice.