Modern Studies follows a multidisciplinary approach to develop candidates’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary political and social issues in local, Scottish, United Kingdom and international contexts. Candidates develop the skills to interpret and participate in the social and political processes they will encounter in their lives.
Building on their experience in S1 and S2 pupils will continue to develop the skills to use a limited range of sources of information to detect and explain bias and exaggeration, make and justify decisions and draw and support conclusions.
In S3 they will develop their knowledge and understanding of:
· Pressure Groups (building on their understanding of the democratic process and how organisations can influence political decision making)
· China as a World Power (Political Issue, Social and Economic Issues and its International Influence)
· Crime and the Law (Types and Causes of Crime, Impact of Crime, Responses to Crime and the Criminal Justice System)
This will build the skills and knowledge necessary for National 4 and National 5 Modern Studies in S4.
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In S4 we will continue to enable pupils to develop:
· a range of research and information-handling skills including: evaluating information/ evidence in order to support and oppose a view; making decisions and drawing conclusions; constructing detailed arguments; communicating views, opinions, decisions and conclusions based on evidence
· detailed understanding of the democratic process
· detailed understanding of social and economic issues at local, Scottish, national and international levels
· ways of addressing needs and inequalities
· an understanding of different views about the extent of state involvement in society
· an understanding of the nature and processes of conflict resolution
· an understanding of human and legal rights and responsibilities and their application in different societies
This will be done through completing the following units:
· Terrorism (World Issue) – Pupils will focus on its causes and consequences, and attempts at resolution
· Democracy in Scotland – pupils will develop knowledge and understanding of the main institutions and organisations which make up political life in Scotland. They will develop knowledge and understanding of the ways in which society is informed about, able to participate in and influence the political system. They will develop an understanding of their rights and responsibilities in contemporary democratic political society.
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Higher Modern Studies
The course uses a multidisciplinary approach to develop candidates’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary political and social issues in local, Scottish, United Kingdom (UK) and international contexts. Candidates develop the skills to interpret and participate in the social and political processes they encounter in their lives.
Candidates develop a range of research, analytical and evaluating skills, and an understanding of:
· the democratic process and complex political issues
· complex social and economic issues at local, Scottish, national and international levels, and ways of addressing needs and inequalities
· different views about the extent of state involvement in society
· the nature and processes of conflict resolution
· the importance of human and legal rights and responsibilities, and their application in different societies
At St Modan’s we look at these issues through our topics:
· Democracy in Scotland and the UK – this involves looking at the possible alternatives for the governance of Scotland and the implications of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). We also look at the effectiveness of parliamentary representatives in holding government to account and ways in which citizens can influence government decision-making, including pressure groups. Finally we look at the strengths and weaknesses of different electoral systems used in elections within the UK and factors which influence voting behaviour including class, age and media
· Social Inequality in the UK – looking at the reasons why income and wealth, and health inequality exists. The effect of inequality on a group or groups in society and the extent to which the state should be responsible and the effectiveness of the various measures taken to tackle inequalities.
· World Powers (USA) – we study the USA as a world power. Focusing on the political and socio-economic issues they face in the USA. We look at extent to which the political system allows democratic participation and how different political institutions can dominate government decision-making. We also address the huge socio-economic inequality that exists in the USA and its impact, as well as, the effectiveness of government responses to socio-economic inequality. Finally we have to understand the importance and extent of the USA’s international influence.
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