Curriculum, Education, Learning, Politics, School

What I Wish I’d Learned At School

So here we are in 2019 and I can’t help but wonder where the time has gone in the last…well…, at least the last decade. Time IS moving faster than ever isn’t it?! (Probably not scientific fact but ya know).

This summer will mark TWENTY YEARS since I did my GCSE’s and then left secondary school to venture into the big, bad world alone.

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But thinking back to my schooldays has kind of made me a bit sad as well as a bit annoyed. I’m sad and annoyed that school didn’t even somewhat prepare me in any way, shape or form for adulthood.

Sure, it wasn’t the worst experience ever, and of course I look back fondly at certain things from that time in my life. But I feel as if I could’ve learned so much more from school, if only it’d been on the curriculum and actually taught to me and my classmates.

I can’t comment much on what may or may not be on school curriculums in this day and age, as I’m 20 years over the hill now. But I can’t help but feel that what we were taught, just wasn’t enough.

I didn’t underperform at school by any means. I was in what was called the ‘top set’ for almost all of my subjects (not sure if these still even exist anymore) and passed all of my GCSE’s with grades A* to C. I had a lot of potential according to my teachers. And maybe I did/do. But as I’ve discussed in a previous post, sadly nothing really interested me enough to pursue it at university.

What I’m talking about here though is a separate issue than going to uni for further study and to hopefully build a successful career.

I’ve been watching a lot of news coverage in recent months in regards to Brexit and it’s made me realise one thing: I know absolutely NOTHING about what it really entails. To be fair, it looks as if half of Parliament don’t either…

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But seriously. I hear terms such as ‘free movement’, ‘single market’, ‘backstop’ and ‘customs union’ bandied about and it just goes right over the top of my head. I WISH I knew more about it.

Back in 2016 when we were given the choice of voting in or out, I felt as if I wasn’t informed enough to make the decision. So rather than not vote (I would NEVER do this), I took to the good ol’ world wide web to help me. I researched as much about it as I had the time to do but still found it really confusing. As stated earlier, I did fairly well at school and I don’t consider myself to be unintelligent, but nothing appeared to be in layman’s terms. The more I read, the more confused I ended up.

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But seeing some of the faces who were campaigning for ‘Team Leave’ – Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove (urgh x3) – was enough to convince me that remaining was the right way to go.

As we all know (unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last two and a half years), remain lost and now we’re all in this gigantic mess. I’m not going to wax lyrical about why the decision may be wrong or anything like that. But the fallout from the leave vote has definitely left me feeling as if Politics HAS to be taught in schools. From conversations with family and friends, I know I’m not the only one struggling to understand it all.

Of course it would have to be taught in as unbiased a way as possible. It wouldn’t be right for any teacher to stand in front of a class and say “Party X is great, whilst Party Y are terrible”. No child should be influenced in this way. But what SHOULD be taught are at least the basics. For example:

• What is a general election?

• How does a party win a general election – e.g. how seats work, the first past the post process and so on?

• What is a referendum?

• What is a hung parliament?

• Or I dunno… how about how important it is to actually bloody vote in the first place??!!

It isn’t just politics being taught that I feel strongly about. Where are the other subject areas about actual LIFE? About things that will effect each and every one of us in adulthood?

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We should be taught about the value of money, savings accounts, applying for a mortgage (if this is what you want), interest rates, credit scores, how to change a tyre, global warming, saving the planet, recycling, how to check your boobs for lumps, how to check your balls for lumps… do you see where I’m going with this?

I’ve always thought that First Aid should be taught in schools too and I’m happy to see that apparently, this will be implemented from 2020 – yay!

I’m not trying to dismiss important, fundamental subjects such as maths and English at all. But my God, weren’t we taught some utter rubbish at times?! (Prime example at the end of this post)*

There’s a lot of negative press out there in regards to ‘millennials’ and the ‘snowflake generation’ (I can’t bear either of these labels by the way), but maybe we’d be in a different boat if we’d been properly educated? And sure, maybe none of these things were taught way back in the day either but going forward, I truly believe that there is a dire need for these subjects to be on curriculums up and down the country. Anyone agree?

* I’m going to leave you now with a photo of a genuine certificate I was given in secondary school at 15 years of age. Who cares if I don’t understand what Brexit means for my country, so long as I can rustle up a good full English eh?!! (Despair)

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48 thoughts on “What I Wish I’d Learned At School”

    1. Yeah politics is such a big one for me as it’s literally SO important and impacts so much of our lives! Thank you for reading 😊

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  1. oh goodness, i honestly feel like so much was left out of what I learned in school…taxes? negotiating car prices? GLOBAL WARMING? any form of banking? learned about absolutely none of it, but thank god I knew how to keep my egg baby alive! lol! great post! xx

    mich / simplymich.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVED THIS POST! Apologies for the all caps but I found myself nodding my head at every sentence haha, school really doesn’t prepare us at all for the ‘real world’ and it’s mindblowing considering how much time we actually spend in education. I think this is precisely what leads to so much uncertainty and depression after someone leaves that structure, it leaves you feeling so lost. I definitely feel like politics and other important topics should be addressed, I would have liked there to be more focus on consent and sexual health education too. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, consent/sex education etc is also another topic that just isn’t touched upon enough! Thank you for reading and I’m so glad that you liked the post ❤

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  3. I only came out if high school 3 years ago and I’m happy to say there are movements being made towards this!! I feel the exact same about a lot of these topics and that a lot more of them should be addressed in schools. In Scotland in first and second year of high school we learnt about voting, it was then an optional subject for those who wanted to take it forward and learn more about politics. Taxes and all that are still way over my head but I remember being surveyed in school on what needs to be added to the curriculum. Taxes, mortgages and all money related things were brought to light from our year group – here’s to hoping for a more informed education system in the future!

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    1. That’a great that politics was actually an option for you at school, and it’s also amazing that you were surveyed about what you’d like to see on the curriculum – such positive steps! Let’s hope that schools/education boards start putting these things into action! Thank you for reading 😊

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  4. I feel like there’s so much we need to learn at school that we didn’t. I mean while it’s great that I took a bunch of math classes, I never really use anything complex outside of school besides trying to figure out the most efficient dimensions haha. YES we need to learn about things that we actually use in our everyday lives. Thankfully, I learned some of those useful political terms from my poly sci class, hehe. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Thank you for reading! And as I’m sure you’ll agree, of course maths is important but there are so many other important topics which aren’t touched upon x

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  5. That AQA certificate made me laugh. It’s been 10 (ish) years since my GCSEs and we were taught very basic politics at school, what a constituency is and how people are elected but nothing really about day to day politics and how government runs. I did do politics at A level so my education did end up covering that for me eventually. It astounds me that no financial topics are covered though! Such a basic life skill we’d all benefit from! x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, knowing how to manage your finances properly is SUCH an important topic and it’s so scarce at school – at least in my day! Thank you for reading 😊

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  6. I only left the education system last June, and I can relate to what you have expressed in your post! I’ve had to research politics myself in an attempt to understand what’s going on, but that’s ok because I was taught how to make a fruit salad in Year 8, right?

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  7. I totally agree with you on this! There are so many important life skills we need that aren’t taught in schools yet they force us to learn algebra equations that are forgotten straight after our exams and never used again! There should definitely be more lessons about saving money etc in my opinion!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

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    1. Completely agree with there being more in the way of financial lessons, these are a must and long overdue to be added to the curriculum! Thank you for reading xx

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  8. In lots of schools, the topics you’ve discussed are taught through PSHE and at A-Level. I taught year 11 PSHE a few years ago and we covered job skills, finances (mortgages, budgeting, savings, bank accounts) and travel and environment. I promise changes are being made (but we do still have top sets)
    Switching my teacher head on to explain why we learn certain things… GCSEs are ‘General’ – its unfortunately designed to be a baseline of skills that can be specialised into a specific career path. For example, I hardly use algebra in my daily life, but if I were an architect, a pharmacist, an engineer or a personal trainer, I’d need it. If you never learnt it as a teenager, we’d lose all these jobs. I do agree things always seem a waste of time when your career choices move away from them though.
    Sorry for the essay haha!
    Georgia

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    1. Oh no, I completely agree with you re: algebra for example – it definitely does get utilised in certain professions, so it certainly has its place. There’s just so many other things missing, it’d probably stretch the schoolday till about 7pm if we tried to fit it all in 😂 But something definitely needs to be done 🤔 It’s reassuring to hear that some of these topics are now being touched upon though! Thank you for reading ❤

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  9. MAKING A BREAKFAST??? HAHA! In all seriousness, I totally agree with this post!! I honestly still don’t have a clue about all that political stuff, now and sometimes I think one of the reasons this country is in such a state is because no one really knows what is going on half the time. And I 100% think it’s important to be taught about checking your body for possible changes! I also think there should be more information on future careers as sometimes I think that as a child you can think a job entails something completely different and end up studying it to find it’s not what you’re interested in!
    Alice Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah totally, I’ve heard of so many people studying for a degree in a certain field and then realising it’s not at all what they expected it to be! Thanks for reading ❤

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  10. Hey, making breakfast is an important skill we all need to master! Seriously though, I think you have a very valid point there 👏 you’re so right that very few of us would go for a career in politics but it affects every aspect of our lives. Thanks for sharing your thoughts x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got making a breakfast DOWN let me tell you 😉 Yeah, politics affects us in so many ways, it’s scary. Thanks for reading!

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  11. I love this post because honestly I think there is so much schools could be teaching us that they don’t suck as money management, morgaging and as you’ve mentioned here voting because there are so many important things we don’t know why the time we get out of school! X
    Kayleigh Zara 💀🥀Www.kayelghzara.com

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  12. There are so many things that I wish I learnt in school as well, and yup – definitely with you on not really knowing what’s going on with Brexit either. I’m so glad the Internet exists, because it has infinite amount of resources but definitely think politics should be taught as a compulsary subjects in schools. Especially as the voting age is 18, how are kids expected to vote when they really know what they’re voting for (unless they’ve taken the time to research for themselves, of course).
    Literally just hooted at that AQA certificate, hahaha.
    Chynna | https://chynnawebley.com/blog/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That certificate is my greatest achievement 😉 Politics most definitely needs to be on curriculums, I can’t stress it enough. Brexit is still making my head spin! Thank you for reading xx

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Whoooo, I can’t even tell you how much of this post I agree with! A lot of things in regards to politics has been a learn by myself, asking questions and searching for it online. Love this post and your use of memes.
    With Love Yossy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it certainly sounds as if you get taught a lot more about life over there than we do here in the UK! Still a lot to learn though, as you say. Thank you for reading 😊

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  14. Time is going to fast like! I swear I blinked suddenly 2019 arrived! I recently finished University and I have to agree, they really could have done a better job at preparing us for the real world – there’s so much they didn’t teach us that we have to find out/learn on our own. I learned a lot more about U.S. politics not from my history classes I was required to take but from when I was doing a series on my blog on each Amendment in the Constitution.
    YES! I really think schools should at least tell us about taxes, changing a tire – I mean these are all real life things that school did not prepare us for at all which means we have to figure them out when the need arises. I really think curriculums need to be changes/adjusted to include things that we all would actually use when we leave school.
    Sahara
    http://saharas-dreams.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, a lot of us are having to turn to the internet and do our own research. And while this doesn’t hurt, it’d be nice if it wasn’t so necessary! Thank you for reading 😊

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  15. There is so much more that could be taught in schools about real life because that is what we’re faced with when we leave school. I agree though politics is so confusing but I’m lucky my partner understands it and explains it as best he can x

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