The primary curriculum in Scotland’s schools is important in raising children with an insatiable thirst for learning.
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Here, the country’s top independent schools show how they nurture young minds and spark a curiosity that will fuel their pupils’ education even beyond the classroom.
Albyn School educates for life
Choosing the right education for your child is one of the most important decisions that you will make as a parent.
Albyn School offers children aged 2-18 an excellent start in their educational journey. It strives to cultivate a love of learning at a young age, putting pupils on a positive trajectory for a lifetime of intellectual curiosity.
“We are committed to instilling a positive attitude towards education. It is important to us that our pupils combine curiosity and a love of learning with exploration and involvement beyond the classroom,” shared headmaster Stefan Horsman.
Albyn School is educating for life. It helps all pupils become self-aware, ambitious and outward-looking so they can contribute to the world as global citizens. It also supports them to develop six key qualities: curiosity, resilience, confidence, endeavour, empathy and teamwork.
The school is continually developing its teaching facilities too. The Wood Foundation Engineering Centre was built in 2016 to meet the increasing interest in engineering and design and six brand new soundproofed music rehearsal rooms and a state-of-the-art recording studio will open their doors in October 2023 to benefit the school’s aspiring musicians.
Albyn School also caters to sport enthusiasts. Whether your child likes netball, hockey, cricket or football, PE teachers will empower them to form positive attitudes and develop their physical abilities.
The wide range of subjects available, the flexibility to make timetables fit and the 100+ co-curricular activities on offer all enable Albyn’s young people to realise their aspirations.
Explore everything Albyn School has to offer at its next Open Day on Friday September 15.
Lathallan School provides immersive learning experiences
Lathallan School focuses on small class sizes and diverse learning environments
With an average class size of 12 and just 78 pupils in the junior school, it’s safe to say that at Lathallan School, personalised attention for every pupil comes as standard.
Teachers can truly get to know each student individually, identifying their talents and interests, and then nurturing those passions to help them thrive. Specialist teaching in various subjects like art, modern languages, music, science, technology and sport helps to reinforce natural talents.
Digital learning journals play a crucial role in showcasing student progress, highlighting achievements and encouraging self-reflection.
The small class sizes also allow Lathallan School to provide immersive learning experiences for students, including learning outside the classroom – for which, Lathallan has been awarded the Silver LOtC award.
This has included inspiring visits to Dundee’s Caird Hall, Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre and the Scottish Parliament, all of which provide real-world context. And of course, Lathallan’s 60-acre grounds mean pupils spend a lot of time learning in the fresh air, immersed in nature.
The learning and fun extends well beyond classes with a range of lunchtime and after-school clubs providing activities like eco club, running, song and dance, pipes and drums, and fly fishing.
On-campus events and challenges further enrich the students’ educational journey, from annual sports days and swimming galas to music assemblies and inter-house debates.
Pamela Hossick, head of Lathallan junior school, said: “In order to thrive, our young people need a holistic well-rounded education that will allow them to empathize and engage with the issues of tomorrow.”
Attend an Open Day at Lathallan on October 5 or 26. Email email@example.com, call 01561 362220 or visit Lathallan’s website.
ISA offers a holistic education for young learners
International School Aberdeen (ISA) welcomes children from age 3 to 18 where they are empowered to learn in their own way. As Scotland’s first international school, ISA is proud of its global outlook and firm roots in Aberdeen, with almost half of its 550-student population coming from the local area.
ISA’s preschool and elementary school facilities, with extensive outdoor learning spaces, offer children purposeful and creative environments to support a love of learning from a young age. By providing a range of options in a safe setting, young people are nurtured in a highly inclusive environment that offers the best head start for lifelong learning.
The school motto is “Every child. Every opportunity” which forms part of a genuine desire to offer a child centred approach focused not on what children learn, but how they learn. By engaging with young people and giving them a sense of control over their own learning, their brains will adapt to produce powerful results.
In fact, ISA students are among the top performing in the world. The ISA school community celebrated full marks in this year’s exams with students receiving a 100% pass rate in the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma, beating global grade point averages with an average score of 31 compared with the worldwide average of 29.
Visit ISA’s website to find details for the next campus Open Day on Friday, October 6th, 2023.
St Margaret’s inspires a lifelong love of learning
St Margaret’s promotes learning through planned and spontaneous play to encourage imagination, creativity and exploration. Outdoor learning in its safe, grassed playground is a vital part of the nursery day, and initiatives such as ‘Wee Green Spaces’ develop awareness of the environment and encourage the development of independence, resilience and problem solving.
In its all-through school, St Margaret’s has the resources to complement the care and support provided by early years practitioners and nursery teachers with the input of specialist music, PE and dance teachers. Indeed, highlights of the nursery calendar include performances for parents and our annual whole school sports day.
Whether or not children enter the junior school from its own nursery or elsewhere, well planned transition activities ensure that girls thrive in their first year of primary education.
In the St Margaret’s junior school, girls are well known and benefit from individual attention. The smaller size of classes enables teachers to quickly develop an understanding of each pupil’s strengths, interests and learning styles. Well supported by their class teachers, girls in 1-4 Junior also benefit from specialist teaching in music, drama, PE and French.
The junior school places great emphasis on cross-curricular learning, making use of its own outdoor space as well as the rich cultural, technological and community resources which are on its doorstep.
Robert Gordon’s offers the very best start in a child’s education
Renowned for its stimulating environment and high academic achievements, Robert Gordon’s College is also recognised for its ethos of being a caring, inclusive and respectful community where children are encouraged to discover and explore a broad range of subjects and co-curricular programmes to help them find their niche and build a lifelong love for learning.
Nursery is a key entry point into the 3 to 18 curriculum on offer at Robert Gordon’s College. It is an integral part of the junior school which offers excellent preparation for children as they transition through their school education.
Mrs Sarah Webb, head of nursery and junior school highlights: “Getting the best start for every child is really important to us. We encourage children to explore what they are passionate about, in a stimulating and inspiring atmosphere where your child will be motivated, value hard work and strive to achieve their best. We aim to spark a love of learning, to challenge and stretch pupils to be intellectually curious.”
Mr Robin Macpherson, head of college, shares: “We’ve always known that giving children a strong start in their education is vitally important, but COVID has thrown that into sharper relief. We also have the freedom to do things differently as an independent school, which means that we’ve crafted a curriculum for our youngest pupils that combines the best of both traditional and progressive approaches. That means our children quickly become confident, curious and resilient. They are supported emotionally and socially, and given just the right amount of stretch academically. It’s a powerful combination.
“Robert Gordon’s College is a special place with its foundations in a strong, caring community. There is no better place to be!”
Register for the next Open Morning on Saturday September 16 2023.
Read more: Find the perfect school for your child.