George Watson's College Prospectus 2019

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Our School<br />

We provide a world class education for children and young people from<br />

Preschool to Senior 6. We encourage our pupils to develop a love of real<br />

learning through an inspiring curriculum and an extensive and inclusive<br />

enrichment programme.<br />

We challenge and support our pupils to discover<br />

their own limitless potential. We nurture the<br />

knowledge, skills and confidence they will need<br />

to become engaged and successful citizens and<br />

make their own unique contribution to the world.<br />

We are proud of our heritage and passionate<br />

about our plans for the future.

Preschool<br />

We believe our children should be able to go on adventures every day.<br />

Our Preschool has been designed to create flexible, collaborative places<br />

for children to learn both in the classroom and outdoors.<br />

Each of our four Preschool classes is teacher-led and supported by a team of experienced Preschool<br />

practitioners. There will never be more than 30 children in each class with a minimum of four members<br />

of staff.<br />

The outdoor space is magical and provides children<br />

with the freedom to explore in a safe, inspiring<br />

environment. We also use the wider school with<br />

regular explorations to different parts of our<br />

campus. Our children will need fuel for these special<br />

adventures which is why we provide hot, healthy<br />

and delicious lunches for our Preschool children.<br />

We are committed to creating a clear pathway<br />

where children will have the best possible<br />

opportunity to move forward successfully into the<br />

Junior School. There are no entrance assessments<br />

for Preschool and as places are allocated on a first<br />

come, first served basis, early applications<br />

are advised.<br />

We are committed to creating a<br />

clear pathway where children will<br />

have the best possible opportunity<br />

to move forward successfully into<br />

the Junior School.

We know that children<br />

who are happy and<br />

motivated are the most<br />

successful learners.<br />

Junior School<br />

The journey of learning and discovery that starts in Preschool continues<br />

in our friendly, welcoming Junior School.<br />

The rich and varied Junior School curriculum ensures that children acquire a deep understanding of<br />

individual subjects including Maths, English, Foreign Languages, Science, History and the Creative<br />

Arts, whilst cross-curricular themes ensure that understanding is developed in interesting and<br />

rewarding contexts. By helping them to understand how they learn, we empower pupils to be happy,<br />

confident and successful in their learning.<br />

Our classrooms are all fully wi-fi enabled and iPads<br />

and other devices are introduced as natural, but<br />

not dominant, tools for their learning.<br />

In addition to the expertise of their class teacher,<br />

Junior School pupils benefit from an increasing<br />

number of specialist teachers as they progress from<br />

year to year. Where pupils need additional support<br />

with their learning, our highly experienced team will<br />

be on hand to develop a package to meet their needs.<br />

Specialist Teachers by Year<br />

Preschool<br />

Primary 1–2<br />

Primary 3–4<br />

Primary 5–7

In the early years of the Junior School (P1–P3),<br />

The health and wellbeing of our pupils is our top<br />

For everyday support, our new Wellbeing Centre<br />

to learn an extensive range of musical instruments<br />

individual year group classes are arranged in<br />

priority throughout our school. Our approach<br />

staffed by registered nurses is an important facility<br />

and benefit from many opportunities to perform<br />

clusters, giving younger pupils positive role<br />

is based on the principles of the United Nations<br />

available to all pupils, as is the Wellbeing Room<br />

either individually or in ensembles, choirs and<br />

models and enabling older pupils to develop<br />

Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and<br />

where pupils can relax if the pressures of school life<br />

orchestras. No less important are the opportunities<br />

a sense of responsibility for their younger<br />

has been recognised as amongst the more effective<br />

begin to feel a little overwhelming.<br />

to perform on the stage or the sports field. Whilst<br />

schoolmates. From P4 upwards, classes are<br />

and forward thinking of any school in the country<br />

we encourage excellence and celebrate success,<br />

organised in year groups, with P7 enjoying a<br />

by the award of the Gold Rights Respecting School<br />

Throughout pupils’ time at Watson’s their lives and<br />

our real commitment is to participation and to<br />

superb new suite of classrooms and a curriculum<br />

Award by UNICEF.<br />

learning are enriched by the many experiences<br />

making sure that all pupils have freedom to find<br />

tailored for successful progression into the<br />

beyond the classroom. Day trips and residential<br />

out what they love doing.<br />

Senior School.<br />

visits enable pupils to extend their learning and<br />

develop independence. Music lies at the very heart<br />

of the Junior School and pupils have the chance<br />

Every lesson is imaginatively<br />

planned by teachers who<br />

understand that each pupil<br />

is different.

We offer one of the<br />

broadest ranges of<br />

curricular choices<br />

anywhere.<br />

Senior School<br />

In our Senior School pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes<br />

they need to thrive as adults and to make their own individual<br />

contribution to the world.<br />

The Senior School curriculum builds on the learning experiences of the Junior School but is equally<br />

accessible to pupils joining Watson’s at other stages. Excellent specialist teaching is offered within<br />

a structure that enables pupils to explore links between subjects and understand the fundamental<br />

concepts which underpin their learning.<br />

We prepare pupils for Scottish National<br />

Qualifications and provide an exceptional range of<br />

courses in combinations that are designed to suit<br />

the needs of the individual pupil. We operate an<br />

open presentation policy so that pupils have the<br />

freedom to choose to take the examinations that<br />

are right for them.<br />

S3 S4 S5 S6<br />

31<br />

Nat 5s<br />

offered<br />

8 Subjects<br />

(inc English,<br />

Maths & Foreign<br />

Language)<br />

32<br />

Highers<br />

offered<br />

5 Highers<br />

(usually inc<br />

English<br />

& Maths)<br />

25<br />

Advanced<br />

Highers<br />

offered<br />

Mix of Highers<br />

& Advanced<br />

Highers<br />


●●<br />

●●<br />

●●<br />

In S3 and S4, most pupils study eight subjects<br />

for National 5s from the approximately 31 that<br />

are offered. Pupils usually take English, Maths<br />

and a foreign language within their choices.<br />

In S5, pupils usually study five Higher<br />

subjects including English and Maths from the<br />

approximately 32 different courses available.<br />

In S6, pupils study a range of Higher and<br />

Advanced Higher subjects depending on their<br />

future plans. Again, a wide range of courses<br />

(including 25 at Advanced Higher) in many<br />

combinations is available.<br />

In addition to certificated courses, pupils study<br />

a core curriculum and older pupils may choose<br />

enrichment courses to further broaden their<br />

academic experience.<br />

The health and wellbeing of pupils remains a key<br />

focus in the Senior School. Working closely with<br />

parents and pupils themselves, Form Tutors,<br />

skilled and experienced pupil support staff, a<br />

school counsellor, school nurses and our network<br />

of trained peer-to-peer supporters combine to<br />

ensure that every pupil can flourish.<br />

We have a long history of helping pupils to overcome<br />

barriers to their learning and there is access to the<br />

expert support for learning that as required.<br />

In S6 pupils choose their own Personal Tutor to<br />

guide their choices as they prepare for university,<br />

college or the world of work. The majority of our<br />

pupils progress to university but we never take it<br />

for granted that university is the right destination<br />

for any pupil and we are equally pleased to support<br />

those who wish to pursue a different path that is<br />

right for them.<br />

Senior School pupils benefit from the extraordinary<br />

range of enrichment opportunities including<br />

some of the most extensive programmes of extracurricular<br />

sport and music of any school in the<br />

UK, ambitious drama productions and highly<br />

successful clubs and societies. The programme<br />

of educational visits begins with an orientation<br />

trip in the early weeks of S1. From then on, the<br />

opportunities multiply both for group visits and<br />

individual experiences supported financially or<br />

practically by the school.<br />

We encourage our pupils to<br />

make their own curricular<br />

choices and have an open<br />

presentation exams policy.

The friendships that are made<br />

and the fun had participating<br />

in the many opportunities at<br />

Watson’s has a hugely positive<br />

impact on pupils’ confidence<br />

and overall development.<br />

Beyond the Classroom<br />

At Watson’s we believe that some of the most important learning takes<br />

place outside the classroom.<br />

Pupils have every opportunity to discover exciting things about the world and to develop as individuals<br />

through a huge range of extracurricular activities and a carefully designed programme of residential trips<br />

and other opportunities for learning off the school site. The friendships that are made and the fun had<br />

participating in these activities has a hugely positive impact on pupils’ confidence and overall development.<br />

In Preschool children start their discoveries by exploring first the campus and then further afield.<br />

Junior School Residential Trips<br />


APR MAY<br />

MAR<br />

Primary 5<br />

Kingswood<br />

Primary 7<br />

London<br />

Primary 4<br />

York<br />

Primary 7<br />

Ski Trip<br />

Primary 6<br />

Meigle<br />

Our programme of residential trips begins in the Junior School with a class visit to York in P4. A camping<br />

experience follows in P5 with a focus on making new friends and team building. In P6 children visit Meigle<br />

to study life as a Jacobite and the programme culminates in P7 with a week long visit to London.<br />

<br />

Extra-curricular Activites Available Across the School<br />

67 Clubs<br />

24 Sports 35 Music Ensembles

Our unique S3 Projects programme<br />

sees small groups of pupils set off<br />

on a two week trip to destinations<br />

across Scotland engaging in a wide<br />

variety of activities.<br />

Trip Destinations<br />

Canada<br />

USA<br />

UK<br />

France<br />

Belgium<br />

Spain<br />

Germany<br />

Italy<br />

Switzerland<br />

Japan<br />

China<br />

Taiwan<br />

Malawi<br />

South Africa<br />

The Senior School offers enrichment opportunities<br />

which include a Global Education Fortnight for S1<br />

and S2 pupils, language trips in S2 and S3 Projects.<br />

A huge range of cultural and language exchanges<br />

also begins in S3, along with opportunities to<br />

tour with sports teams. Older pupils can apply<br />

for generous financial awards from the school to<br />

help fund their own adventurous plans and there<br />

are exciting opportunities for leavers in Australia,<br />

Malawi, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States.<br />

Our unique S3 Projects programme sees small<br />

groups pupils set off on a two week trip to<br />

destinations across Scotland engaging in a wide<br />

variety of activities. This 50-year-old tradition<br />

remains a key part of a Watson’s education.

Our Facilities<br />

Preschool<br />

Junior School<br />

All our educational and sporting facilities are located on our single, easily<br />

accessible campus where all our pupils learn, play and grow together.<br />

They enjoy the freedom of the beautiful green spaces that wrap around the campus whether that means<br />

exploring in a lesson, playing with friends or eating a snack on the grass.<br />

We believe our children should be able to go<br />

on adventures every day and our stunning<br />

Preschool classrooms are flexible, collaborative<br />

places to learn with outdoor spaces that promote<br />

exploration and discovery.<br />

Our Junior School provides a range of facilities<br />

to support the learning and development of each<br />

pupil. It is a safe, comfortable yet vibrant place with<br />

indoor and outdoor spaces that encourage both<br />

independence and constructive play. The library<br />

and informal learning spaces in the John Martin<br />

Building support pupils in acquiring good habits<br />

for study and collaboration with others.<br />

All our educational and sporting<br />

facilities are located on our<br />

single, easily accessible campus.

Senior School<br />

Sports Facilities<br />

The Arts, Design and Technology<br />

In the Senior School bright and spacious classrooms<br />

Our Centre for Sport boasts four sports halls,<br />

Creativity is a crucial component of our pupils’<br />

An attractive exhibition gallery lies at the centre<br />

are complemented by well equipped laboratories<br />

a fitness suite with cardio and resistance training<br />

education and purpose-built facilities support their<br />

of our Art School which also has dedicated areas<br />

and a variety of other specialist learning areas,<br />

equipment and a 23.5 metre swimming pool.<br />

enjoyment and achievement in music, art, design<br />

for pottery, sculpture, textiles, painting and<br />

well resourced libraries and informal spaces.<br />

Outside, the famous Myreside Grandstand pitch<br />

and technology.<br />

photography.<br />

sits at the centre of a range of other excellent<br />

Our Senior School Assembly Hall is one of<br />

grass pitches, astroturf pitches, tennis courts and<br />

The Music School with its distinctive roof is a<br />

Our Design, Technology and Engineering<br />

Edinburgh’s finest performance venues with a<br />

cricket nets. The Myreside Pavilion provides social<br />

wonderful venue for all kinds of music learning<br />

Department has excellent facilities where pupils<br />

heritage that includes hosting some of the world’s<br />

facilities for the school and wider community and<br />

and performance, whilst the Drama Department<br />

can develop skills using a wide range of specialist<br />

greatest musicians. However, it is mainly the place<br />

houses some excellent squash courts. The nearby<br />

provides specialist performance studios and is the<br />

equipment ranging from a chip forge to the latest<br />

where our community meets each week, where<br />

boathouse is the home of our Boat Club.<br />

focus for drama in the Senior School. The Junior<br />

in computer-aided fabrication technology. The<br />

we share ideas, music and drama and where we<br />

School benefits from performance spaces and<br />

emphasis here as elsewhere is to liberate the<br />

celebrate the many achievements of our pupils.<br />

dedicated music rooms at the very heart of the new<br />

creativity of the individual to identify innovative<br />

John Martin Building.<br />

design solutions.<br />

Our Centre for Sport boasts<br />

four sports halls, a fitness suite<br />

with cardio and resistance<br />

training equipment and a<br />

23.5 metre swimming pool.

Fees and Financial<br />

Assistance<br />

Fees for Session <strong>2019</strong>/20<br />

Preschool<br />

Primary 1, Primary 2<br />

Primary 3 to Primary 7<br />

Senior School<br />

£8,922 (£2,974 per term)<br />

£8,490 (£2,830 per term)<br />

£10,233 (£3,411 per term)<br />

£13,170 (£4,390 per term)<br />

Fees are reviewed in June each year. Please check our website for latest fee information.<br />

Financial Assistance<br />

We are proud that our community includes nearly<br />

200 pupils who benefit from a Foundation Place<br />

funded by the <strong>George</strong> Watson’s Family Foundation.<br />

The Foundation Places programme provides<br />

financial assistance up to 100% of the cost of<br />

fees for pupils from Primary 6 to Senior 6. The<br />

level of support available depends on household<br />

income. Support can also be provided for uniforms,<br />

electronic devices for study, books, curricular trips<br />

and lunches.<br />

We are keen to enable children from all<br />

backgrounds to benefit from Foundation Places,<br />

not least children from families where there is no<br />

tradition of attending an independent school. If<br />

you would like an informal chat about applying<br />

for a Foundation Place please call Jenny McGill,<br />

the Admissions Registrar on 0131 446 6005.<br />

Scholarships<br />

We offer a small number of scholarships to<br />

Senior 1 applicants who have performed<br />

particularly well in the Entrance Assessment.<br />

Applicants for entry to Senior School who are<br />

musically talented can apply for the Ferguson and<br />

Bruce Music Scholarships which provide annual<br />

music tuition fees for two instruments or for<br />

voice and an instrument. These scholarships are<br />

available irrespective of household income.

Making an Application<br />

Our main entry points are Preschool, Primary 1, Primary 6, Primary 7<br />

and Senior 1 but we are pleased to consider pupils for a limited number<br />

of places in other years. Once we have received an application we will<br />

invite applicants in for an assessment.<br />

The entrance assessment provides a valuable opportunity for both the school and parents to ensure that your<br />

child is placed in an environment which is suited to their own set of abilities and needs.<br />

The assessment is not an exam, it is an assessment of your child’s true capabilities based on their education<br />

to date. The assessments are age and stage appropriate and differ depending on the year group applying to.<br />

Each application is carefully considered on an individual basis.<br />

<br />

Visit our<br />

Open Morning<br />

on Saturday<br />

5 October<br />

<strong>2019</strong><br />

Submit your<br />

application by<br />

Friday<br />

15 November<br />

<strong>2019</strong><br />

<br />

<br />

Primary 2<br />

to<br />

Primary 7<br />

Entrance<br />

Assessments<br />

Primary 1<br />

and Senior<br />

School<br />

Entrance<br />

Assessments<br />

<br />

<br />

Junior School<br />

Offers made<br />

Senior School<br />

offers made<br />

<br />

<br />


<br />

Acceptance<br />


General Information<br />

Travel<br />

Wraparound Care<br />

Catering<br />

Visit Us<br />

We are a city school with great access to public<br />

bus and rail links. We also provide school buses<br />

from Peebles, Midlothian, East Lothian, West<br />

Lothian and Haymarket Station.<br />

We provide Breakfast Club and Afterschool Club<br />

(7.45am–6pm) from Preschool to Primary 7<br />

and also offer holiday clubs for these year groups.<br />

We provide a flexible package of care, allowing<br />

parents to opt for the care sessions that suit their<br />

individual needs. Sports and drama camps are also<br />

available during the holiday periods.<br />

Our catering provides our pupils with the fuel<br />

needed for a busy day at school. Pupils are offered<br />

a range of healthy food choices with a commitment<br />

that 90% is sourced from local suppliers. Payment is<br />

made through a cashless payment system providing<br />

parents with quick and easy tracking and top ups of<br />

their children’s lunches.<br />

We would encourage you to visit our school and<br />

take the opportunity to learn more about what we<br />

offer and how your child will benefit from joining<br />

Watson’s. Booking a tour is easy, visit our website<br />

and complete the book a tour form. A member<br />

of our Admissions Team will get back to you to<br />

confirm your visit.<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/joinus admissions@gwc.org.uk 0131 446 6005

www.gwc.org.uk/joinus<br />

<strong>George</strong> Watson’s <strong>College</strong>, Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5EG<br />

An Edinburgh Merchant Company School, Registered Charity SC009747

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