University of Edinburgh

Language and Accessibility Issues in Curriculum and Assessment plus workshops in Art & Design, Modern Languages, Environmental Studies

Presented in November 2005

Teaching social subjects to pupils at Secondary level

Milissa Millan, St Vincent's School for the Deaf

Secondary education.


  • Science
  • English
  • Job Skills
  • Maths
  • Social subjects
  • RMP
  • Art
  • IT
  • PSE
  • PE
  • Enterprise
  • Home economics


College Links
Wprl experience placements

Social subjects 5-14

  • Choice of topics important
  • Based on glasgow 5-14 Social subjects Management Guidelines but adapted;
  • Builds on prior learning at primary;
  • Age group appropriate.


People & place
People in society
People in the past

Social subjects access 1-3.

Access made up of a cluster of 3 integrated units.

Deciding Contrasting Organising & presenting
Media Glasgow Europe
Road to War Gender & race Developing world

Adapting & developing resources:

SQA materials

Adapted materials

Modern Studies - Intermediate 1/2

One question to be answered from each section.

  • Political issues in the United Kingdom
  • Social issues in the United Kingdom
  • International issues

Barriers to learning 'politics'

  • Dissilution with politics/voting
  • Complex layout
  • Lack of incidental learning
  • Subject specific language
  • Difficult concepts
  • Little background knowledge
  • Lack of interest - 'boring'

Adapting & developing resources

SQA materials;

the Scottish Parliament Education service

Adapted materials


  • Folder with polypockets and dividers
  • what will you learn?
  • Choose to sign or write answers or assessment
  • Various learning strageties
  • Graphs, tables, visual aids to reduce language
  • Responsibility for own learning
  • Adapted summary sheets
  • Choice of topics.


  • Allow for views of pupils
  • Vary teaching strategies
  • Start teaching 'politics' and citizenship from young age
  • Mock elections
  • Need for constant update of materials
  • Topic choice - appropriate?
  • Become familiar with exam/past paper from early age