Subjects and Exam Results

1st in The Sunday Times Scottish Independent Secondary Schools League Table 2016.

The Mary Erskine School follows the Scottish curriculum and all girls begin by studying a broad curriculum in S1 and S2. As they move through the school they gradually narrow their focus in preparation for their public examinations and to reflect their personal preferences and aptitude.

Teachers and guidance staff are on hand to offer support and advice to girls and their parents at every stage.

S1: compulsory subjects for all
The girls study the following subjects:
English, Mathematics, Drama, Geography, French, German, Latin, History, ICT, Personal and Social Education (PSE), Physical Education (PE), Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS), Science, Art, Music, Product Design, Coding and Home Economics. All girls also take games.

S2: developing skills
Science is replaced by Biology, Chemistry and Physics and all girls continue with either French or German and choose three from French, German, Latin, Spanish or Drama. Those who receive Support for Learning will choose two rather than three of these subjects.

S3 & S4: examination subjects (National 5)
Most girls take eight examination subjects. Their choice must include English, Mathematics, at least one language, a science and a social subject (Business Management, Geography, History or Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS). The other three subjects can be additional modern languages, additional sciences and social subjects as well as Product Design, Business Management, Health and Food Technology, Art, Music, Drama, Latin and PE.

S5: Higher level subjects
Girls choose five examination subjects including English. These are usually at Higher although some subjects are available at National 5, the examination level below Higher. PSE, Enrichment and PE are part of the curriculum for all girls. If you would like to discuss which subjects are available at S5, please call us on +44(0)131 347 5700 or email us at

S6: a pre-University year
The girls join the co-educational Sixth Form for a pre-University year. Find out more about the co-educational Sixth Form.

Exam Results 

We are very proud of our exam results at The Mary Erskine School and indeed across the ESMS family of schools and believe they demonstrate the commitment and hard work of both our teachers and our students.

The Mary Erskine School is currently 1st in The Sunday Times Scottish Independent Secondary Schools League Table 2016.

Qualification Pass Rate 'A' Rate
S4 National 5 97.8% 80.3%
S5 Higher 96.6% 68.2%
S6 Advanced Higher 96.2% 62.4%

To place these results in context, the national pass rate at National 5 was 79.8%, at Higher 76.7% and at Advanced Higher 80.9%.  At ESMS, our success at Advanced Higher has broadened the range of courses and of top-performing Higher Education institutions in the UK available to our students.   

The performance of the girls is testament to the fact that they are excited and intellectually stimulated by what they learn at school and they can use these results as a passport to the next stage of their lives.