MOTTO: TO BE HONEST AND HAVE INTEGRITY
——MCS Chalmers House——
Chalmers West House and Chalmers East House
Named after Charles Chalmers, Headmaster of Merchiston 1833 to 1850.
Charles Chalmers, like his famous brother Dr Thomas Chalmers, was a brilliant thinker in Mathematics and Science. In 1828, after a failed career in publishing, he started to coach University students in a house in Park Place, a site now occupied by Edinburgh University's McEwan Hall. Charles found teaching extremely rewarding and in 1833 founded the School within the walls of Merchiston Castle, which stood then in open countryside on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Chalmers West and Chalmers East Houses opened in the Autumn Term of 1930. This followed the move to Colinton from the old Castle in Bruntsfield and provided a well-equipped, heated boarding house with running hot water for showers and a large day room to relax in. Such luxury had never been available before to the pupils and staff.
Introduction - Friendships, mixing, managing school and social life.
Chalmers is physically the largest of the three boarding Houses and offers accommodation for male students from Year 7 to Year 13. It is split into Chalmers East with boys from Years 7-9 and Chalmers West with boys from Years 10-13. There are recreation areas on alternate floors and each common area is equipped with a microwave, dishwasher, washer/drier, sink, fridge and TV. Alongside this is soft seating and table and chairs where students can eat snacks together if they wish. Students in Chalmers have rooms with three beds and private en-suite shower and toilets.
We aim to provide top class support for our students with highly qualified teaching staff, a 24 hour medical team and a dedicated and friendly support staff offering laundry three days a week and daily cleaning. Over the first two years we have taken the time to match our provision to the needs of our Chalmers students and to the expectations of our parents. What we have now is a well-balanced and measured approach to boarding education which will add huge value to any student's education.
The day to day running of the house involves a rigorous routine that blends a need for relaxation and time to build friendships alongside a more regimented attitude toward study. Every evening we collect in student laptops for safe keeping in the study rooms on floors 3 and 4, so our day starts with collection of those laptops at 07:15 each day. The laptops are collected by every student under the supervision of the house parents and this also gives us a chance to deliver messages to students and check on things like uniform and general well-being. Students attend breakfast immediately after, returning to the house if required to collect their learning materials for the day which starts with tutor time at 08:00. Our school day runs through until 18:00 for students engaging in CCAs and our evening programme begins at that time. Dinner is served with staff supervision in the school Dining Hall and the students have a brief time after this to socialise, use the school sports facilities, again under supervision, or engage in their own hobbies such as Lego. At 18:45 it is “Prep Time” this takes place in their own rooms and is supervised by houseparents and visiting teachers. After working in silence for over an hour the students are given time to relax whilst enjoying a snack provided by school. Between 20:30-21:00, many students chose to make calls home using the school provided mobile phones or the landlines installed on each floor. Students get ready for the next school day and begin to wash and prepare themselves for bed at 21:00 with lights out at 21:45. All electronic devices must be handed in before 21:00.
As part of the education we offer in Chalmers we have a well-established system for rewarding positive behaviour and addressing poor behavioural choices with our Chalmers Code of Conduct. We closely monitor our boys and reward students who contribute to the house or the school, being friendly and respectful and following house routine will provide an opportunity for students to be Chalmers Stars of the Week who are awarded with a special reward and tasty snacks for being top scorers every week. Similarly, we have our Code of Conduct displayed in several areas of the house so we can reference what the house expectations are if we need to challenge students to support their personal growth. The Code of Conduct follows that of the school and the other boarding houses; AY Ready - being prepared for school and studies, AY Respectful - treating every member for the community and all areas of the school with respect and AY Safe - maintaining self-discipline so that everyone is happy and free from harm.