Scottish Studies is an exciting new concept within the Scottish education system. It is an award that helps students expand their understanding of Scotland in a context of their own choice allowing them to follow one of the main tenants of Curriculum for Excellence – personalisation and choice. I was initially skeptical about the concept, despite my degree being in Scottish Studies. I saw it as a gimmick and political statement by the current government imposing their doxology on education system but I have done a complete u-turn on this one and I am now actively involved in promoting the subject both in my current school and working with the SQA to help other schools deliver it.
I am by no means saying I have the perfect method of delivery and a recent networking event has given me several ideas about how to modify my approach and make the award accessible to more pupils in future years.
Scottish Studies involves using 3 units already taught through subjects in the school in a Scottish context and the completion of one additional unit called Scotland in Focus. Potentially most pupils could get the Scottish Studies award if someone is willing to take responsibility for its promotion and delivery in their school. It is currently available at N3, N4 and N5 levels and there is funding in place for the development of Higher. Currently there are 50 schools in Scotland who are delivering this award but I hope that numbers will rocket in the next few years. This is a chance for our pupils to go into the world with a knowledge, understanding and awareness of their country and their identity and surely that is what CfE is all about.