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We get lots of phone calls and emails from parents who are thinking of sending their child to an independent school but want to know more about the independent school curriculum first. Because independent schools do not rely on state funding, they have more flexibility when it comes to what they teach. In this blog, we take a look at what Scotland’s independent school curriculum looks like and the benefits it gives your child.

Greater subject choice

As a parent, it’s natural to want to give your child every opportunity to discover what they’re interested in, and what they’re good at. Because independent schools have complete autonomy over their curriculum, they are typically able to offer a much wider range of subjects. 

As well as teaching the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and Humanities, there are a whole host of other options for your child to choose from. So, whether it’s languages, music or drama that your child is interested in, there is something for everyone.

Additional subjects on offer include:

  • Latin
  • Classics
  • Mandarin
  • Philosophy
  • Environmental Science
  • History of Art
  • Economics

Independent schools can also decide to focus on subjects that align with the school's basic philosophy. For example, specialist art schools will have a higher percentage of their curriculum focused on arts-based lessons and practice. 

Flexible qualifications

Most parents we speak to like the flexibility of qualifications on offer through Scotland’s independent schools. Most schools provide the option to take a mix of qualifications, whether that be SQAs, A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Of course, there are pros and cons for each qualification type, but the flexibility provides your child with a greater choice and the best possible foundation for future study. 

Small class sizes

One of the biggest benefits of attending at independent school is the smaller class sizes. This allows for more one-to-one teaching and additional learning opportunities. 

This also means Scotland’s independent schools attract some fantastic teaching staff capable of igniting a passion for the subjects they teach.

Extra-curricular activities

Choice and opportunity doesn’t stop in the classroom. A major contributing factor to choosing an independent school curriculum are the wide and varied extra-curricular activities on offer. As well the more common activities such as rugby, hockey, swimming and orchestra, your child can have the choice of a whole host of more unusual opportunities, including:

  • Equestrian
  • Sailing
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Opera
  • Pipe band
  • Musicals
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • Outdoor education
  • Young enterprise

Choosing the right school for your child is a difficult decision. If you’re considering the independent school curriculum route, we are on hand to help in every step of your search. Have a look at our Information for Parents , read why Glasgow-based parent, Julie Neill, decided to send her daughter to an independent school  or get in touch with us directly with any queries.