Kids Talk

Ewen, Alasdair and Kate, S6, talk to Julia Belgutay about how they would re-design their curriculum

Kate: I think more business skills would be good, because that's where most of the jobs are. I'm thinking about it now because I'm applying to uni.

Ewen: We went on a trip to China two years ago and we went to a market in Beijing. They gave you a price and you had to haggle. We had no idea how to do that because we had never come across it before. These are things that might not come up in British society, but they do come up if you leave the country.

Alasdair: It would be good to learn a bit more about other countries.

Kate: We do far too much English. I hate English.

Ewen: It's not so much having to take English for me, it's the way Higher English was structured. I don't think I'm ever going to need to know Death of a Salesman as I knew it for my English Higher exam. If we learned how to go through a text and gain information from it, that's useful, because you can apply that to anything. But learning specifically about Death of a Salesman won't help you.

Kate: You just learned what your teacher told you was important. I didn't really learn much in Higher English. It's just all about the grades.

Alasdair: Sixth year is a lot more independent than earlier years.

Ewen: I think life skills should probably come up in sixth year.

Kate: We started cooking, actually.

Alasdair: I'm a pretty good cook. Not to boast, but ...

Kate: We should do cleaning. And learn to manage finance.

Ewen: Not so much learning to be an accountant, but learning the basics of understanding your own accounts and finances, 'cos plenty of people don't quite understand. I can't say I understand them. If you are in sixth year, you're going to need to start learning what living by yourself is going to entail, how to cope with it all.

Kate: Especially student finance.

Alasdair: I agree with Ewen and Kate about the finance - more about the insurance side of things. Say you were driving and you scraped someone else's car, you don't really have any experience with how to deal with insurance companies, or how to do it privately, and no one really knows the best option of how to do that, so something like that would be good.

Kate: I think some stuff, like housework stuff, you just have to learn at home.

Alasdair: Schools can't do everything for you. You have to learn some things on your own.

Ewen: Yeah, but you have to make sure you learn them. I suppose they should be teaching you that you are going to be responsible for that once you leave school.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you