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Modern Studies

Modern Studies develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary political and social issues in local, national and international contexts. Through the study of this subject, pupils learn vital skills that allow them to interpret and participate in the social and political processes throughout their lives.

What we study in Modern Studies

Modern Studies draws on the social sciences of politics, sociology and economics, and therefore adopts a multi-disciplinary approach. The main aims of Modern Studies are to enable pupils to:

  • engage as active and informed members of society, and local and global citizens
  • have an appreciation of the complexity and changing nature of modern society
  • understand and respect human and legal rights and responsibilities, as well as democratic modes of government
  • understand the democratic process and how, why and to what extent people are informed about and participate in society
  • have an awareness of social and economic issues at local, Scottish, national and international levels
  • understand different views about the extent of state involvement in society
  • understand the nature and processes of conflict resolution at all levels

In S3 and S4, pupils work towards their National 5 qualification. This builds upon the success we have had at Intermediate II with a 100% pass rate, most at grade A. This helps to provide a very secure platform for pupils to progress to Higher and Advanced Higher where, again, exam results have been very strong with a substantial majority of Modern Studies pupils securing A grade passes at all levels. At Higher and Advanced Higher we have had a 100% pass rate since 2007 with most pupils achieving an A grade.

Beyond the classroom

Modern Studies runs the Politics and Citizenship Society which carries out a number of broader educational and citizenship initiatives such as organising guest speakers, such as Nicola Sturgeon, MSP; Tom Harris, MP; and senior BBC journalists Douglas Fraser and Ken MacDonald. The group also conducts whole school mock elections, and supports the school’s sponsored child through the World Vision programme.

The Modern Studies Department also arranges and takes part in a number of field trips including visits to the Scottish Parliament and other places of broad educational significance, such as Glasgow City Chambers and student conferences and the Global Citizens Conference for senior pupils.

What our pupils say about Modern Studies

“I like Modern Studies because you get to learn about the world around you and you find out something new every day.” Katie Brennan, S1

“I really enjoy Modern Studies.  It is really useful in everyday life and has helped me in many of my other subjects too.” Faith Borland, S2

“At first I wasn’t sure if I would like Modern Studies but I was wrong! Dr Cameron doesn’t only teach us but he teaches us in an interesting and efficient manner.” Ameenah Nazami, S2

“Modern Studies is a favourite subject of mine because the topics we deal with don’t always have a simple answer, nothing is black and white.” Roomana Nawaz, S4

“Taking Modern Studies helps you see what the world is based upon and taking it gives you a deeper understanding of society and helps you become a more well-rounded person.” Hiba Sultan, S5

Meet the staff

Dr Cameron (Head of Department) was brought up on the island of Bute. He studied Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University and then at Jesus College, Cambridge. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree he moved to the United States where he spent most of his 20s studying for his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Upon his return to Britain, he worked briefly as a researcher for BBC Scotland before embarking upon a teaching career. His first post was in Kent, followed by teaching posts at leading schools in Scotland before joining Craigholme as Principal Teacher of Modern Studies in 2003. Moving back to the west coast has allowed Dr Cameron to return to his native Bute, from where he commutes daily to Glasgow.

Useful links

BBC News 
Scottish Parliament 
Scottish Government
Nationals in a Nutshell