High School in Scotland is So Different These Days

High School in Scotland is So Different These Days

Zack recently handed in the form with his choices for second year at high school up here in Scotland. He’ll start 2nd year in May… HOW did that happen so quickly?! I keep telling him to stop growing up but he keeps doing it!

High school is a totally different landscape here in Scotland compared to when I was there, that’s for sure. No more studying all subjects for the first two years of high school – now they start to niche down at the end of first year. and then close in further towards fourth year for their National 5s which have replaced the standard grades I took when I was at school – oh jeez I am officially old! *sobs*

Highers and Advanced Highers (5th and 6th year) stay the same at least, but I must admit it’s all been a bit confusing for me, figuring out how it works for Zack and his peers.

So now he’s handed in his form, Zack’s definitely heading down the computing and design route, with music thrown in for good measure – that’s where his natural talent lies right there, most likely from his Granny, my mama!

As is the norm, English and Maths are non-negotiable, along with needing to take a language (French), a science (Chemistry and possibly Physics), and a social subject (Geography). Where Zack’s main interest focuses in though, is a combo of maths, computing, and music. I suppose it makes sense in a way – there’s a lot of math and logic to music when you think about it, but also so much freedom to create.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of looking forward to helping him with some of his subjects. I’m a bit gutted he’s decided Biology isn’t his thing – it was totally mine when I was at school, along with art! But still, I can join in to help with chemistry, music, art, and english, so it’s not all bad right? I’m looking forward to being able to pore over textbooks with him to help him find out the best way to find the information he needs – I guess you can take the nerd out of uni, but you can’t stop her from loving to study!

It turns out there are lots of fantastic resources out there now to help students (and their parents) learn what they need to for school these days. In fact Leckie and Leckie not only have a line of textbooks for National 5s, Highers, and Advanced Highers, but also for the first three years of high school and even for Primary.

leckie and leckie school textbooks

We were sent a few books which also included a study skills book which I had to mention. It covers everything from how important it is to take care of yourself and get enough sleep, to how to handle the stress that comes with exams, along with how to prepare for sitting them. They’re quite easily affordable too – I wish we’d had easier access to resources like this back when I was at school. Mind you, with the internet only just starting out back then… ugh let’s not go there! (again… yes, I’m now officially OLD *facepalm)

It’s been amazing seeing the changes in my son and his friends over the last school year – they really aren’t our babies any more. Self sufficient, craving independence, and on the verge of being teenagers… I’m damn proud of how well they’ve all transitioned into high school. Keep up the great work lads!

High School in Scotland is So Different These Days


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  1. March 29, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Education is Scotland us so much better! I saw the difference first hand as a kids.

    • Marylin
      April 2, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      I’m glad the Scottish govt handle education separately from down south that’s for sure! x

      • May 1, 2018 / 8:08 am

        HA! I agree there, Marylin. One thing in particular I really disagree with is the way they send their kids to school at age 4. I think 5 is bad enough here – I wish we emulated the Scandinavian countries – but 4, they’re still babies at that age 🙁

        • Marylin
          May 2, 2018 / 9:32 am

          Totally agree! Although I must admit that by the time both of mine were 5 I was in desperate need of some time away from them LOL! 😉 x

  2. March 29, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    I do love the Scottish education system, especially after hearing so much about the English one recently. I felt mine was great and the kids has been so far. We are about to step into the high school one, which does seem very good, but different from my day. This is an insightful post xx

    • Marylin
      April 2, 2018 / 8:01 pm

      Glad it’s been helpful lovely! I’m very glad we live north of the border where education is concerned tbh! <3 xx

  3. April 7, 2018 / 8:11 pm

    Lovely post darling! The Scottish education system seems so much clearer and brighter for children. Shame the English one doesn’t always follow that pathway. But, thats an argument I can spend days on. Thankyou for sharing such an insightful post☺️ xoxo

    • Marylin
      April 10, 2018 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you lovely! I’m definitely glad we do some things our own way up here in Scotland, education included! <3 x

  4. May 1, 2018 / 8:11 am

    YOU’RE old? It was O Grades in my day!

    Love the way you’re getting stuck into helping him in high school. I tried … But my boy hates school. Maybe if he were at one where they forced the kids to go for a mile long run between each class, it would help him – ADHD means he sits still under great sufferance 🙁

    • Marylin
      May 2, 2018 / 9:32 am

      Ahh that must be tough! *hugs* x

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