Our school values inform everything we do, including our Partnerships strategy.
We encourage our pupils to join in and play a full part in the community within the School and also beyond the school gates, locally, nationally and internationally. Equally, as a school and an educational charity we engage wholeheartedly with our community partners at home and abroad, sharing facilities, opportunities and expertise to the benefit of all. Mutual respect as well as kindness and a commitment to high standards lie at the heart of our approach.
Project 810 is a living memorial to the 810 Watsonians who gave their lives in the wars of the twentieth century but it focuses our efforts on making sure that our world will be better in the future than in the past.
Watson's Malawi Partnership
Watson’s Malawi Partnership is a registered charity which is run by an independent board comprising parents, staff, pupils and volunteers from the local community. It works alongside the Scotland Malawi Partnership to connect communities in Edinburgh and Malawi in dialogue to enable them to learn more about each other and their aspirations and needs.
Swire Chinese Language Centre Edinburgh (SCLCE)
This ground-breaking collaboration between independent and state schools has provided access to high quality Chinese language teaching for thousands of pupils in schools across Edinburgh and East Lothian. Supported by the Swire Chinese Language Foundation, SCLCE is now responsible for approximately 30% of all presentations for SQA National 5 examinations in Chinese across the country. It has also provided opportunities for pupils from a very wide range of schools to experience success in language learning and get to know Chinese language and culture, often including truly memorable visits to China.
Edinburgh Computing Science and Engineering in Schools (ECSES)
The Edinburgh Computer Science and Engineering in Schools (ECSES) programme works to provide young people with inclusive and inspiring access to computer science and engineering, allowing them progress into digital futures. In doing this, it seeks to tackle the challenges schools in Edinburgh (and elsewhere) face in recruiting and retaining teachers of Computer Science.
The Programme builds on our existing partnerships with Broomhouse Primary School, Castleview Primary School, Castlebrae High School – schools serving areas of significant socio-economic challenge. Since 2019, Computer Science teachers from George Watson’s College have worked with colleagues in these City of Edinburgh Council schools to build both knowledge and confidence of the subject and to provide pupils with direct input into their learning. These partnerships illustrated to us the enormous potential for a more ambitious collaboration. A new partnership with Leith Primary School is also being incorporated and links with Leith Academy mean that enrichment and mutual professional development opportunities for high school pupils and teachers respectively can be created. Our aims in the new programme, which will officially launch in August 2023, are to:
- Give young people access to high quality, sustainable Computer Science and Engineering teaching, with progression pathways, enhanced by industry links, to national qualifications and beyond.
- Support existing teachers to become confident and successful in teaching Computer Science and Engineering.
- Encourage and support potential future teachers of these subjects.
The Arkwright Scholarships are a prestigious UK-wide scholarship scheme which provides support for high performing pupils undertaking engineering courses in S5 and S6. We are fortunate that Watson’s pupils are often successful in securing these scholarships, but in addition the School is the largest independent school sponsor of the Arkwright Scheme in the UK. This means that every year a motivated and highly creative team of young engineers comes from state schools across southern Scotland to join their Watson’s peers in undertaking a variety of real-life engineering challenges at the School.
Community Sport hub
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and Sport Scotland, the George Watson’s College Community Sport Hub is part of a network of such hubs across Scotland and the only one to be provided by an independent school. Staff and pupils are engaged in supporting a wide range of sporting activities for individuals and groups in our local community, often in partnership with the Watsonian sports sections.
Over the past decade, pupils and staff have raised nearly £400,000 for dozens of charities near and far thanks to some incredible fundraising activities.
From fashion shows and concerts, to food bank collections, and our annual Charities’ Day, there are lots of opportunities to get involved. The Watson’s community also plays an active role in selecting the charities we support, with new charities nominated every two years in February.
But our philosophy is about much more than just fundraising. We want pupils and staff to be actively involved in understanding the issues that lie behind each charity’s mission and for the charities to become part of our community in ways that suit them and their activities.
Amongst our charitable partnerships are
Permanently Supported Partnerships (Indefinite support):
- Disasters Emergency Committee
- The Watson’s Malawi Partnership
- George Watson’s Family Foundation
- Poppy Scotland
- Edinburgh Youth Orchestra (EYO)
Strategic Partnerships (supported for at least five years) :
- Drum Riding School for the Disabled
- Lady Haig's Poppy Factory
- Social Bite
- Eric Liddell Centre
- Sporting Start
- Scottish Love in Action
- Edinburgh Food Project
- The John Muir Trust
Two-Year Partnerships for 2022-2024: