18 June 2007
From September, Loretto School, Musselburgh, will be the first school in Scotland to offer Cambridge International General Certificate of Education (IGCSE) Sciences. The school, Scotland's oldest independent boarding school, has chosen to deliver Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry, Biology and Physics, following changes in the syllabus of mainstream GCSE Sciences.
Qualifications from the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) will be offered by the School from September 2007, with first examinations in 2009.
James Torrance, Head of Science, explains why the change is being made: "This year's wide-ranging rewriting of mainstream GCSE Science syllabuses has focused on making Science more accessible, with less actual scientific content. Unfortunately the result has been that the new syllabuses are less interesting and challenging to our keen scientists.
"Cambridge IGCSE is both accessible and scientifically rigorous, which we think will make it a much more interesting and challenging course for our students."
The school, most of whose pupils take all three Sciences at GCSE level, believe that Cambridge IGCSE Sciences' content-based approach will produce both successful and motivated students.
James Torrance, adds: "The Sciences at Loretto are both strong and popular, and, of courses currently available, the Cambridge IGCSE offers the most interesting and challenging content.
"At Loretto, we want our pupils to love Science and to have the best possible academic grounding in the separate disciplines. We think Cambridge IGCSE should help us to achieve both aims."
Peter Monteath, CIE's Schools Manager, said: "Loretto School joins more than 200 schools in the UK now offering Cambridge IGCSEs, and more than 2,000 worldwide."