Academic Families works with more than 450 schools throughout the UK, and we have become experts at matching children to the right boarding school for them in order to ensure each student thrives.
We're delighted to present one of our partner schools:
St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“Our mission is to open our doors to outstanding young instrumentalists and choristers from Scotland and beyond – regardless of their means or circumstances – allowing them to flourish and excel, musically and academically, in a safe, supportive and inspiring environment.”
As a specialist music school, the key focus at St Mary’s is music at an academic level, with all students studying music and sitting exams in the subject. Pupils study towards the Cambridge iGCSE music exam, followed by the Scottish Advanced Higher music qualification and finally the Cambridge Pre-U in music in their final year. With music as the only exception, all other subjects are studied within the Scottish curriculum of Highers and Advanced Highers. Pupils study music alongside a range of other subjects including english, mathematics, modern languages, sciences and humanities. The school produces impressive exam results, with 93% of candidates achieving grades of B or above in their National 5 exams in 2021. In the same year, 97% of Higher exam students scored a B or above, with 88% of results within the A* – A range. In Advanced Higher exams, 85% of results were A* – A and 96% of pupils achieved scores of B or above. In 2021, the school saw a 100% pass rate in all exams and subjects.
Most pupils at St Mary’s Music School go on to study music at conservatoires, academies, music colleges or at university. These include Cambridge University, the Royal College of Music in London, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
The school offers students regular opportunities to perform. Large school-wide concerts at an external venue occur at least three times a year, as well as a range of other performance opportunities during the year such as jazz concerts, recitals, competitions, and smaller concerts for invited guests. Senior students have previously been invited to perform at venues across Edinburgh including the Scottish Parliament, St Cecilia’s Hall and the French Consulate. Furthermore, with the school’s location in Edinburgh, a cultural hotspot, St Mary’s Music School offers pupils the chance to attend a concert, opera or ballet performance in Edinburgh every week. Students are given the opportunity to attend concerts performed by professional orchestras and ensembles such as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Ensemble and the Edinburgh Quartet.
St Mary’s also offers occasional academic outings to educational and cultural sites in Edinburgh, including the Botanic Gardens, art galleries and museums.
St Mary’s Music School welcomes aspiring musicians from all over the world into their community. Due to its status as a world-class specialist music school, admission is based almost entirely on musical skill, however, will also consider English competency level. St Mary’s believes that any young talented musician should have access to this calibre of musical education, so there are a number of bursaries and scholarships available. Once accepted, students will also be offered lessons in English as a second language so that those who are not fluent can improve and make the most of the extraordinary education offered at St Mary’s Music School.
More than a third of pupils at St Mary’s Music School are boarders, and the boarding community at the school is friendly and welcoming. Permanent and part-time staff work hard to cater to the needs of every student and are always available if a child has a problem or needs help with academic work. Boarders have full access to all facilities after school and at the weekend, including the school’s music practice rooms and access to a local leisure centre where they can visit the gym or pool. Other evening or weekend activities include baking, movie nights, games and themed evenings, as well as regular trips into Edinburgh city centre to see concerts, an opera or a ballet.
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