“Some people believe that increasing assessment increases standards, but we’ve moved away from that,” said Barry Smedley, the school’s deputy head. “It used to be that only students who did well on exams were thought of as the smart ones. But we’ve learned that there are different kinds of smart, different kinds of intelligence.”
"/.../ we decided it would be better to spend less time jumping through hoops, making the syllabus more flexible and more interdisciplinary.”
The changes mean a slightly longer school week, and more time for music, drama, sports and community service: precisely the areas that have been squeezed in England by the need to prepare students for so many exams.
Using the Scottish expression for “outside,” Mr. Moulsdale said, “A lot of the learning here happens outwith the classroom.” Students are encouraged to write, but also to make things, give oral presentations and staging performances. “We’re trying to develop higher-order thinking skills, not just to regurgitate facts,” Mr. Moulsdale said.
With her students “constantly actively thinking,” Ms. Macleod said she found teaching the curriculum “more enjoyable.”
Take that, people who constantly compare our own country with that of the "Western" world.
PS - Have you read Carl Honore's In Praise of Slow? It's nice.