Stewart's Melville College
|Established||1832 (Melville College)
1855 (Daniel Stewart's College)
|Type||Independent day and boarding school|
|Colours||Red, Black & Gold|
|School fees||Day: £7,449 (Nursery)-£10,548 (Senior School); Boarding: £18,291-£21,162 Per Annum (2015)|
|Junior school||1254 students (2015)|
Stewart's Melville College (SMC) is a private school situated in Edinburgh, Scotland. Classes are all boys in the 1st to 5th years and co-educational in 6th (final) year. It has a roll of about 750 pupils. About 3% of pupils board on site, and the rest are day pupils.
The school is twinned with the Mary Erskine School (MES), an all-girls private school approximately one mile (1.6 km) from Stewart's Melville College. Together the combined Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools (ESMS) have a co-educational Junior School which is split between the two campuses and caters for pupils from 3 to 12 years old. The two schools share a Principal, and most extra-curricular activities, such as performing arts, are run jointly. Both SMC and MES are managed by the Merchant Company of Edinburgh, which is also responsible for the co-educational George Watson's College.
Stewart's Melville College originated following the merger of two schools — Daniel Stewart's College and Melville College — in 1972 to become Daniel Stewart's and Melville College. After the merger Melville's bright red trim replaced the dark red and yellow trim on the black Daniel Stewart's blazer for general use and the red blazer of Melville College was adopted for those awarded colours (for sporting and other achievements).
Melville College was founded in 1832 by Rev. Robert Cunningham in George Street but soon moved to Hill Street in the centre of Edinburgh with a teaching emphasis on modern subjects, such as science, rather than classical subjects – unusual at that time. The school moved a short distance to 8 Queen Street which was purchased in 1853 and then to Melville Street in the city's West End in 1920. Originally named "The Edinburgh Institution for Languages and Mathematics", its name changed to Melville College in 1936 about the same time as the caps and blazers of the boys were changed to bright red.
Daniel Stewart's Hospital was opened in 1855 by the Merchant Company of Edinburgh. Daniel Stewart (whose wealth came from India and was Macer to the Court of the Exchequer), upon his death in 1814, left a sum of money and instructions that, once it had reached £40,000 it should be used to create a hospital for needy boys within the city. The hospital was located on the current Queensferry Road campus (designed by David Rhind). The hospital was transformed into "Daniel Stewart's College" in 1870. The school uniform from 1924 onwards was a cap with red, yellow and black stripes and a black blazer with red and yellow trim.
The school now has in its possession a medal dated 15 July 1870 presented to a John Stewart The medal was gifted to the school by a Mrs Rose Connolly of Glasgow whose birthday is coincidentally also on 15 July.
In 1974 the link with another nearby Merchant Company school, the all-girls Mary Erskine School, was formalised and The Mary Erskine and Stewart's Melville Junior School was formed. Nursery to Primary 3 are housed on the Mary Erskine campus, with Primary 4 to 7 on the Stewart's Melville campus. The sixth (final) form of both senior schools is coeducational and girls are also awarded the bright red blazers for sporting or other distinctions.
In 2013, Stewart's Melville was voted the Scottish Independent School of the year by the Sunday Times newspaper and Mary Erskine School was voted the Scottish Independent School of the year in 2012. In 2014 the combined Erskine Stewarts Melville school, with over 2,700 pupils, claimed to be the largest independent school in Europe.
In 2014, a programme of improvement work on buildings of the junior school was announced.
The school is involved in a wide variety of sports, most of which are coached by mixture of staff from general departments as well as the physical education department staff. Winter sports include Rugby Union, field hockey, and curling, whilst in summer pupils take part in athletics, cricket and tennis.
In 2016-17 the school won a treble of national sporting championships. The 1stXV winning the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Cup in December 2016 having won the Red Conference to go the entirety of the competitive season undefeated. The 1stXI hockey team taking the national crown at Glasgow Green. In April the 1stXI football team beat Dundee High School 5-1 in the SISFA Cup Final (Scottish Independent Schools Football Association).
A number of pupils have been selected to represent district and national teams. Stewart's Melville College has won the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup Under-18 rugby championships four times: in 1999 (in their first year of entering), 2006, 2011 and 2016. The Former Pupils Rugby club also play in Division 1 of the Scottish National Premier League.
There is also a school rugby club available to pupils and non-pupils of Stewart's Melville, named the Stew Mel Lions, although the majority of players within the club were pupils at the school. This club is for young teenagers keen on rugby and is held at the school's sports ground at Inverleith.
The development rugby squad (consisting of fourth and fifth year students) go abroad on tour every second year. Past trips have been to South Africa, Argentina, Chile and Australia.
"Ravelston Sports Club", a large on-site sports centre opened in 2000. The sports centre is mainly used by pupils for physical education lessons and sports training (such as swimming, basketball, badminton, short tennis and table tennis) but is also open to members of the public for a monthly membership fee. Extensive rugby pitches, cricket pitches and athletics facilities are also located at the school's sports grounds in Inverleith, two miles north of the school.
Tom Fleming Centre for Performing Arts (Formerly "Performing Arts Centre")
The school's main Victorian assembly hall was converted to the "Performing Arts Centre" between 2005 and 2007. This £3.5 million project, was paid for in part by donations from the parents of the schools current pupils and former pupils. The Centre has 800 seats that fold back into the wall, providing a variety of possible configurations and was officially opened in 2007. It is also available for use by the public and is used as a venue for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Since 1965, the school has organised an outdoor education programme for the boys of SMC and the girls from MES in the third year. It is located in the north of Scotland at Carbisdale Castle, a historic castle which has been converted into a Youth Hostel. The trip consists of a number of outdoor activities that vary from year to year including hillwalking, orienteering, golf, kayaking, team-building activities, visits to nearby historic sites and environmental studies of the surrounding woodland. Carbisdale Castle has a plaque of the Stewart's Melville College badge in its foyer above the main door.
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In the first year pupils have a form tutor who is responsible for their well-being. Each form tutor will have approximately 20 students: these students will be in the same Form Class. There is an Assistant Head Teacher who has overall responsibility for the first year.
Between Second Year and Fifth Year boys, are split into house groups. There are six different houses (named after areas of Scotland):
These houses correspond with the houses of the same names at the Mary Erskine School, and are the basis for the 'ESM Challenge'. This is a series of annual events involving both the boys and girls in each house. It covers a wide variety of school societies, ranging from the House Music Competition to the Inter-house Hockey. The competition comes to a climax on Sports Day with a 4 × 100 m relay between each house. The winning house is then awarded a cup at the school's prizegiving ceremony.
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When pupils enter the sixth (final) form they are merged with the girls from the Mary Erskine School. Classes take place at both school sites, with buses operating regularly to transfer students between the two. There are approximately 140 students in a normal year group.
In sixth form students are largely independent. Students have a tutor (twinned with another at the other site) with whom they register in the morning, and who also helps them with their UCAS applications.
All members of the sixth form are prefects and are expected to help out with duties around the school sites. The maintenance of the prefect body is the responsibility of a Head Boy and a Head Girl, along with five deputy head boys and five deputy head girls.
Pupils at Stewart's Melville mainly sit Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) examinations, including (as of 2013) National 4, National 5, Higher Grade and Advanced Higher Grade levels. The English GCE Advanced Level examinations can also be sat in art and music. As is the case with many independent schools SMC has examination results well above the national average. For example, in 2013, 86% of pupils passed Higher grade exams at the A or B level and passed an average of five Higher Grade exams each. Almost all pupils go on to higher education. In 2014, popular destinations included Aberdeen (18), St Andrews (17), Glasgow (17), Strathclyde (10), Edinburgh (8), Newcastle (6) and Heriot-Watt (5).
Notable former pupils
The school maintains a Former Pupils Club, which organises social events throughout the year. There are branches throughout the UK and abroad.
Academia and Science
- Thomas David Anderson (1853–1952) - astronomer who discovered many temporary and variable stars (novae)
- Professor James Barr (1924–2006) - a radical theologian who was professor at Montreal, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford, Princeton and Vanderbilt.
- James Bertram (Carnegie secretary) (1872–1934)
- Erskine Beveridge (1851–1920) - textile manufacturer, historian and antiquary
- Professor Henry Calderwood - Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
- James Ireland Craig FRSE CBE - meteorologist (dux 1885)
- Sir William Tennant Gairdner (1824–1907) - Professor of Medicine at the University of Glasgow and President of the British Medical Association
- William Aitcheson Haswell FRS (1854–1925) - Scottish-Australian zoologist specialising in crustaceans, winner of the 1915 Clarke Medal
- Andrew John Herbertson FRGS FRMS (1865–1915) - geographer and Professor in Geography at Oxford University
- Sir James Charles Inglis (1851–1911) - British civil engineer, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and General Manager of the Great Western Railway
- Professor Tom W. B. Kibble, CBE FRS - theoretical physicist, co-discovery of the Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson.
- Sir Peter Redford Scott Lang - Regius Professor of Mathematics at St Andrews University.
- John Smith FRSE, PRCSEd, (1825–1910) - dentist who founded the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh and was Surgeon Dentist to Queen Victoria.
- Sir Fraser Stoddart FRS FRSE FRSC - chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016, Professor of chemistry at Northwestern University, USA (supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology), awarded Albert Einstein World Award of Science.
- Sir John Thomson-Walker, OBE, DL, FRCS, (1871–1937) - Hunterian Professor of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and leading surgeon in the field of urology
- Ramsay Traquair FRSE FRS (1840–1912) - naturalist and palaeontologist, leading expert on fossil fish, awarded the Royal Medal by the Royal Society and the Lyell Medal
Media and Arts
- Ian Stuart Black (1915–1997) - novelist, playwright and screenwriter
- Michael Boyd (director) - Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- Tom Fleming CVO, OBE, FRSAMD - actor and television commentator.
- Sir William Russell Flint (1880–1969) - watercolour painter and president of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours
- Stuart Henry - popular radio disc jockey of the 1960s and 70's.
- Kheredine Idessane - sports broadcaster.
- Philip Kerr - writer.
Law and Politics
- Lord Brailsford (S. Neil Brailsford) - Senator of the College of Justice and Supreme Courts Judge
- Sir William Young Darling MC, CBE, DL (1885–1962) - Member of Parliament for South Edinburgh and Lord Provost of Edinburgh
- Sir Andrew Henderson Leith Fraser KCSI Lieutenant Governor of Bengal between 1903 and 1908
- Sir James Gibson, 1st Baronet (1849–1912) Lord Provost of Edinburgh and Member of Parliament for Edinburgh East
- Adam Gifford, Lord Gifford FRSE (1820–1887) - Scottish Advocate and Judge
- Robert McIntyre - politician, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the SNP's first elected Member of Parliament.
- J P Mackintosh, academic and British Labour politician of the 1960s and 70s. Leading advocate of Scottish devolution.
- Sir Thomas Brash Morison - Liberal Member of Parliament for Inverness, Solicitor General for Scotland, Privy Counsellor and Lord Advocate
- Sir George Touche 1st Baronet (1861–1935) - Conservative Member of Parliament and founder of one of the firms that created Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
- Sir James Wilson (1849–1929) New Zealand Politician
- Paul Wheelhouse - SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for South Scotland, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy in the Scottish Government
- Finlay Calder - international rugby player and British and Irish Lions captain who played 34 times for Scotland.
- Jim Calder - Scottish and British Lions Rugby Player who played 27 times for Scotland
- David Florence - Olympic canoeing silver medallist and world champion.
- Dario Franchitti, professional racing-car driver who won the Indianapolis 500 race three times.
- William Laidlaw (cricketer) (1912–1992) - international cricketer for Scotland and Durham
- John Lisle Hall MacFarlane (1851–1874) - international rugby player and surgeon. He played for Scotland in the first international rugby match in 1871.
- Donald MacGregor - Olympic marathon runner.
- Finlay Mickel - Olympic skier, his result at the 2005 World Championships was the best result by a British man in the history of the skiing World Championships,.
- Doddie Weir - Scottish and British Lions international rugby player who played 61 times for Scotland.
- David Wilkie MBE - only person to have been swimming champion at British, American, Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic levels at the same time
- Euan Henderson - first player born after 2000 to make a competitive appearance for Heart of Midlothian FC
- John Alexander Cruickshank VC, recipient of the Victoria Cross in the Second World War.
- Darren George Dickson - MC Military Cross recipient Iraq War
- The Right Reverend James A. Whyte, LLD, (1920–2005) leading theologian, Professor at St. Andrews University and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
- The Right Reverend Ronnie Selby Wright CVO TD JP FRSE FSAScot (1908–1995) chaplain to the Queen, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
- Sir Ivison Macadam KCVO, CBE, FRSE (1894–1974), Director General of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and founding president of the National Union of Students
- Sir Robert Hogg Matthew OBE, FRIBA (1906–1975), acclaimed architect and a leading proponent of modernism
- Tom Purves, Chief Executive Officer Rolls-Royce
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- Mrs Rose Connolly.
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- The Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools Website
- Profile on the ISC website
- The Stewart's Melville RFC Website
- Stewart's Melville College page on Scottish Schools Online