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New Nation


Our nation system was introduced in 1912 by rector, Dr. William J. Watson and it has remained unchanged since… until today!  

On joining the school every pupil became a member one of four school houses, known as nations, named after the early peoples of the Scotland: Angles, Britons, Picts and Scots.  

Originally a character-building exercise, the annual games and nation teams were intended to foster a team spirit and encourage physical activity among all pupils. The nations originally competed against each other in athletics, cricket and rugby, the champion nation being awarded the school shield for the year.  

Today the nations compete for the Crichton Cup. This was first presented as a trophy for the inter-nation swimming race in 1914 by J. D. Crichton, whose sons were at the school. In 1920 it was transferred to the nation championship in scholarship and athletics combined. This has further evolved over time to include other extracurricular interests, such as drama and music, even Bee keeping. 

Today is a pretty momentous day. We are marking the start of a fifth nation- the Gaels. So what do we know about them, or even the existing nations and their Celtic origins? 

Angles – one of the main Germanic tribes to settle in Britain. Their lands stretched from East Anglia in the south, stretching as far north as Scotland, including the lands around Edinburgh and the Lothians.   

Nation colour – Green  

Britons– The earliest evidence of the Britons dates back to the Iron Age. During the Roman era the Britons lived throughout Britain and that included southern Scotland, bordering Pictland in the north. Much of their territory was gradually taken over by the Angles and the Gaels.  

Nation colour – Red 

Picts– the painted people. It is thought that they painted themselves before battle to appear more fearsome. The Romans never ruled over the Picts. Scotland was known as Pictland until it was invaded by another Celtic nation… the Scots. 

Nation colour – Yellow 

Scots– the Scots were an Irish tribe who brought both their name, and their religion to Scotland. The Scoti or Scots, crossed from Ireland to Argyll in Scotland in about the 5th Century AD and set up their own kingdom. 

Nation colour – Blue 

Gaels – the Gaels are said to have travelled across much of mainland Europe and sailed to Ireland then Scotland from Galicia in northern Spain. They are credited with the creation of the language which is used in Ireland and spread to Scotland- Gaelic. They had their own style of dress, which became the modern belted plaid, or kilt in Scotland. 

Nation Colour – TBC from competition 

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