Pupils at a top independent school will be able to access International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and SQA exams in what has been hailed as a world first.

Lomond School in Helensburgh is the only campus which has approval to deliver National 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers, as well as an HNC in Business and the IB Diploma and Career-related programmes.

It has been confirmed that the offer will be available to S5 and S6 pupils from August.

Staff said current S4 pupils would be the first to embark on the new curriculum, with around two-thirds already enrolled for IB.

READ MORE: Petition in support of teacher surpasses 50,000

The courses are lauded by schools and universities around the globe and, along with academic rigour, emphasise inquiry-based learning and conceptual understanding.

Welcoming the development, Johanna Urquhart, Principal of Lomond School, said: “The IB is globally renowned for delivering exceptional education programmes that are synonymous with putting the child firmly at the centre of education.

“The process of becoming an IB World School is not an easy one.

“We set out to become an authorised IB school in January 2020, and I am extremely proud that we have managed to achieve this amidst a global pandemic.

“We have learned a lot and adapted over the past year. However, what is clear is that we must prepare our young people for the future and give our senior pupils choice and ownership over their own learning, ensuring that they can be independent and rewarded for their own creative, critical and original thinking.”

READ MORE: SQA at centre of fresh row over pupil appeals

She added: “We now feel that we have a curriculum for everyone, and as a forward-looking school, we are ecstatic that we are now authorised to deliver these courses that will prepare our pupils with the skills, qualities and world renowned qualifications needed for the future.”