Miss Elizabeth Allan, one of the school’s co-founders, officially asked Dr Rogerson (who started Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Scotland) permission to use their motto. The motto, Ready Aye Ready means Ready Always Ready. It is similar in spelling to the motto of Merchiston Castle School, which is Ready Ay Ready, meaning Ready Yes Ready. The motto has significance as a tradition at Merchiston. After the Inter-House Gala and Athletics meetings, as well as after Speech and Prize Giving, a Grade 7 boy always asks the boys of Merchiston, ‘Boys of Merchiston – are you Ready?’ The reply is always, ‘Aye Ready Merchiston.’


This phrase was coined in order to provide a catch phrase that was easy for the boys to remember. Each letter represents a word that the boys are encouraged to aspire towards.

Ringing of the Bell


The bell at Merchiston has great significance in the traditions at the school. The bell itself is a replica of the original school bell that stood in Prince Alfred Street. Today, the bell is rung at several of our functions. It is always rung in the following manner, 2-1-2. This is done in order to syllabify our motto of Rea+dy + Aye + Rea+dy.

It is rung for the start of every assembly, at the sound of which the boys rise before the staff enter the Reg Evans Hall. This is repeated again at the end of the year final Speech and Prize-Giving. Finally, at the end of the year, the Grade 7 boys have a leavers dinner where every boy is given the opportunity to ring the bell as a sign that they are Ready Aye Ready to go out into the world.

Doffing of the Cap

This is a tradition at Merchiston that has its origins in the days of knights. In those days, when knights came across others, they lifted their visors to show whether they were friendly or not.

The doffing of caps therefore is seen as a symbol of indicating one’s friendliness. Boys at Merchiston doff their caps to greet all adults.

Blue Heart

The Blue Heart Initiative was initially launched in 2014 with the formation of the 5 core areas represented by the five fingers on the hand, namely: Care, Support, Mentorship, Outreach and Foundation.

Each area has been thoughtfully identified, carefully investigated and intricately woven into the whole, in order to secure a service which will serve our family and community proudly in the years to come.
The Blue Heart Initiative will become the very heart of our school, unifying all of us as a family and enabling us to show care, kindness and consideration to all who pass through our doors. Further, it will link us through good times and bad, through the past and the future and ensure that we become all that we can be.

We invite you to join us on this exciting and potentially life changing journey.

This area is concerned with ensuring that a support system for boys and parents who have been terminally afflicted by dreaded disease is provided. Support will include, but is not limited to, emotional support, counselling for boys, auxiliary academic support, family meals and family special ‘bonding’ during times of extreme need. Matters pertaining to these family members will remain strictly confidential and the staff are acutely aware of the sensitivity of such matters.
This important facet of the school focuses on the old boys of our school, the current enrolment of boys (from Grades RR to 7) and their families including grandfathers and grandmothers. The initiative is designed to engender a stronger sense of belonging and a family-togetherness. The foundation will focus primarily on: old boys, family involvement, house identity (Rhodes, Rowe, Milner and Allan) and fellowship.
The focus of this initiative is to assist earmarked education facilities which require specific assistance. Although Merchiston supports various charities annually, focus on assisting education facilities will be limited to those most deserving and whose needs can be met by our school. The support will encompass: supplying used desks and chairs, textbooks and sporting equipment which is not being used. Teams of staff will be available to assist with teacher and management training/upgrading.
Boys in need are cared for by a number of staff who are passionate about serving our young boys. Boys who are in need – those who are unsettled, those who are dealing with family strife, those who have experienced trauma, those boarders who are experiencing bouts of homesickness, those who are lonely and seemingly without a support system and those who just need ‘a friend’ – are taken ‘under the wing’ and counseled and supported. Matters pertaining to these family members is strictly confidential and staff are acutely aware of the sensitivity of such matters.
This initiative deals with leadership by Grade 7 boys, who will form a part of the Big Friendly Boys. Boys who wish to be considered to assist with leadership, monitor duties and being a part of teaching the younger boys of the school about the history and tradition of Merchiston, will be guided and nurtured by staff members. The main focus will be on senior boys assisting our Grade 1 and Grade 2 boys during break times – this includes being visible on the playgrounds, talking to junior, getting to know them and interacting on a less formal basis.