Social Studies

Social studies include experiences and outcomes in history, geography, social, political, economic and business contexts.

It is important for young people to understand the place where they live and the heritage of their family and community. Through social studies, children and young people develop their understanding of the world by learning about other people and their values, in different times, places and circumstances. They also develop their understanding of their environment and of how it has been shaped.

As they mature, children and young people’s experiences will be broadened using Scottish, British, European and wider contexts for learning, while maintaining a focus on the historical, social, geographic, economic and political changes that have shaped Scotland. Children and young people learn about human achievements and about how to make sense of changes in society, conflicts and environmental issues. With greater understanding comes the opportunity and ability to influence events by exercising informed and responsible citizenship.

Children and young people as they participate in experiences and outcomes in social studies will:

  • develop their understanding of the history, heritage and culture of Scotland, and an appreciation of their local and national heritage within the world
  • broaden their understanding of the world by learning about human activities and achievements in the past and present by exploring and evaluating different types of sources and evidence
  • learn how to locate, explore and link periods, people and events in time and place 
  • develop their understanding of their own values, beliefs and cultures and those of others 
  • develop an understanding of the principles of democracy and citizenship through experience of critical and independent thinking 
  • establish firm foundations for lifelong learning and for further specialised study and careers.

All of these are taught through topic work e.g. Mary Queen of Scots, Clyde Coastal Towns, Children’s Rights. Teachers use Social Studies topics to build inter-disciplinary links across subjects and to make learning more relevant for pupils.

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