At secondary school
Now you're into the swing of secondary school you're probably starting to figure out what subjects you like, and which ones you're really good at. Here's a handy outline of the main subject areas to think about:
- English: Where
you learn important skills such as reading, writing and talking and how to
analyse and interpret literature. Of course, it‘s also important to learn to
spell and punctuate correctly! Did you
know? For a long time, women were not accepted in society as authors, and
many well known female writers first published their works under a male
pseudonym so they would be “taken seriously”. George Eliot, who wrote the
classic novel Middlemarch, was actually Mary Ann Evans, while Charlotte Bronte
used the name Currer Bell, even when she wrote Jane Eyre.
- Maths: Here
you will learn about equations, shapes, spaces and numbers and how to
understand the world using the tools of mathematics. Did you know? You might have heard of Florence Nightingale, 'the
lady with the lamp', who was a famous nurse and the founder of modern nursing. But,
she was also a pioneering statistician who used her work to cut death rates
dramatically in the Crimean war!
- Modern languages: Learn
how to talk, read and write in another language; if you want to travel or work
abroad it is a great skill to have. As well as the language you’ll learn more about
the country and its culture.
you learn scientific facts, ideas and how to apply them. It usually centres on
the natural world, energy and its uses, materials and environments. You can
also specialise in specific areas such as Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Did you know? The British astronomer Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars while completing her PhD at Cambridge
University in the late 1960s.
- Social subjects: These
include Geography, History, Modern Studies, Classics and Economics. They’re great to give you a broad
understanding of the world we live in, and how people work and live. Did you know? Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland's First Minister; responsible for running the Scottish Government, and also for serving her constituency Glasgow Southside, where she is the local MSP.
- Creative subjects: This
is where you can express your creativity and learn how to apply it using a
variety of skills and techniques. These include specific subjects as Art &
Design, Drama, Craft & Design, Fashion & Textile, and Music. Did you know? Margaret Macdonald was a
famous artist who lived and worked in Glasgow with her husband, Charles Rennie
Mackintosh. They collaborated together, with Mackintosh designing buildings and
Macdonald producing their instantly recognisable interiors. Some of her most
famous work is often incorrectly credited as Mackintosh’s work, but he said of
her, "Margaret has genius, I have only talent.”
As well as the above you might also be doing Physical Education
(PE), Accounting, Administration, Computing Studies, Business Studies, Home
Economics, Social and Vocational Studies, Religious Education and Technological
Studies. Some of these subjects are necessary to develop key skills and are
linked to certain training courses and jobs.
Getting ready to
choose your subjects
Before you choose your subjects it is important to get to
know yourself, what you like and what you don’t like. And it is sometimes good
to keep your options open in case you change your mind about what you want to
do. Remember to think about:
- What do you like doing and what interests you?
- What do you like doing outside of school?
- Who can I ask for advice?
Answering some of these questions will mean you are getting to know
what you like and don’t like and what you are good at. This will help
you choose what subjects you want to do when getting to S3 and S4 and
maybe even help you decide what you want to be.
For more ideas you can start to look at our Choose your own path grid which has information on courses, subjects and jobs.