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 S4, pupils work towards their Intermediate 2 qualification. This year all of our pupils passed this exam, with 90% of pupils achieving an A pass. This helps to provide a very secure platform for pupils to progress to study Higher and Advanced Higher where, again, exam results have been very strong. At Higher we have a 100% pass rate, with 75% of S5 pupils achieving an A pass in 2011.
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.
What our pupils say about Modern Studies
"I find it all interesting….it is a fun and important subject and I have learnt a lot." Emma (S1)
"Modern Studies prepares us for the future by informing us about issues in society and helps us understand what is happening around us." Eilidh and Rose (S2)
"I think Modern Studies is a beneficial subject as it helps you become more aware of what is happening around the world and have a better knowledge of important issues that are taking place right now." Jennifer (S4)
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 Head 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.