The Edinburgh Academy Senior School

Edinburgh, City of, United Kingdom

Location: Edinburgh, City of, United Kingdom
Type: Mainstream School
Phase: Secondary with sixth form
Funding status: Independent
Gender: Mixed
Age range: 11 - 18 years

About The Edinburgh Academy Senior School


The Edinburgh Academy


The Edinburgh Academy is an academically selective, independent, co-educational day school for pupils aged 5-18 years with a reputation for being caring and friendly. It aims to provide co-educational excellence with a first-class all-round education to those of intellectual promise and academic potential, regardless of background, race or creed. The Edinburgh Academy aims to be forward-looking and progressive but also greatly values its long held traditions. 

Although the School is not academically exclusive, the ability range of pupils is well above the national average. Great emphasis is placed on the pursuit of co-curricular interests alongside academic studies for all our pupils. The School has a strong reputation for individual attention and excellence in its pastoral care and co-curricular provision. 

The School is oversubscribed at all entry points and this creates a competitive pressure on admissions places at the School. 

School Background

The Edinburgh Academy is a fully co-educational school. The School consists of a Senior School containing approximately 590 pupils and a Junior School containing approximately 390 pupils, and we have a Nursery department of around 100 pupils. The School is a member of HMC. The Edinburgh Academy moved to full co-education across the whole school in 2008. Previously girls were only admitted in the Sixth Form (S5 and S6).

The Junior and Senior Schools are on separate sites, both of which have spacious grounds and sports facilities including extensive playing fields, an all-weather sports area, and a large Sports Hall and Centre. 

The School’s Place in Edinburgh

The School was founded in 1824 and has been regarded as a leading educational establishment within the City of Edinburgh and across Scotland ever since. Original Directors included the leading literary names of their age such as Sir Walter Scott. Robert Louis Stevenson and James Clerk Maxwell were also pupils at the School. More recent Former Pupils (Academicals or ‘Accies’) include: Nicky Campbell - radio and TV broadcaster; Guy Berryman - bass guitarist with Coldplay; Will Whitehorn – past President of Virgin Galactic - Space Tourism Company; Mike Blair - Scottish rugby; Dragon’s Den star, James Ingham.

The Senior School occupies a site in Henderson Row, less than a mile from Princes Street and at the northern limits of the Georgian ‘New Town’, of which it was designed to be a part. The buildings include an iconic school hall and the James Clerk Maxwell Science Centre, which was completed in November 2006. The playing fields are about half a mile from the main buildings – Raeburn Place (8 ½ acres) (shared with the Academicals - Former Pupils), New Field in Inverleith Place (20 acres) and a further five acres at the Junior School and Nursery, also at Inverleith, with a 400 metre grass running track. 

An investment programme in facilities of over £15m has in the last 5 years seen a new Junior School library and classroom block, 2 floodlight all weather pitches, a Performing Arts Centre at Senior School and new sports pavilions. A bespoke climbing wall facility was officially opened in 2015. The School has further ambitious plans beyond this current phase of development, which will see a wholescale redevelopment on our Senior School site over the coming decade.

The Edinburgh Academy is a highly regarded school within the local community, across Edinburgh and beyond. Staff and pupils take great pride in this reputation, and the commitment from all is evident in the continuing success and progress of the School. 

The Edinburgh Academy is committed to sharing its facilities with the local community and has established a series of projects that provides the use of its estates and premises for the public good. 

Further details about the School and its resources can be found on the School website - 

Classes and Assembly

7ths (S6) and 6ths (S5) classes are organised by tutor groups studying either Highers, Advanced Highers or GCE A-level. Across the Senior School no teaching group consists of more than 24 pupils and many are substantially smaller. 

A School Assembly is held at 8.50am each morning, and is attended by the whole school. School Services for the whole school are held on several occasions during the session.

Exam Results

The Edinburgh Academy uses both English and Scottish examination boards. Nearly all subjects now present SQA National 5 and Advanced Higher examinations. Each year, a significant number of our 7ths (S6) have conditional places at very competitively sought universities on the basis of their Advanced Higher/A-level and Higher results.

Yearly academic results can be found on the School website.

Games and Activities

At the Edinburgh Academy, sport offers opportunities at all levels. The PE curriculum is varied, encompassing a wide variety of team games and individual sports. The School runs teams in a large number of major and minor sports and encourages pupils to represent the School at one or more sports at any age group. 

In Music, there are about 20 performing groups including orchestras, choirs, wind bands, a big band and several chamber groups. 

In Drama, there are usually three or four main productions each year. There is a fully active LAMDA qualification schedule in acting, reading for performance, mime, public speaking and Musical Theatre in place. This occurs at break time and lunchtimes. In addition, the Drama and Music department liaise to produce an annual musical, with potential to increase this.

All pupils currently join the CCF or The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in 4ths (S3). 

All members of staff are expected to play a full part in supporting the co-curricular life of the School. 


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Address: 42 Henderson Row, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH3 5BL, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 131 556 4603