S6 General Studies Course

Session 2008-09 saw the introduction of a new General Studies programme for our senior pupils (about 150 16-17 year olds) in which the overarching aims are to enable them to be stretched intellectually and to be able to see the world from a wide range of perspectives.


The programme takes the form of a series of lectures on Monday afternoons during term time at which guest lecturers come to speak on a topic of their choice for about half an hour and then take questions afterwards.

Speakers who choose to participate in the programme lunch with us and then speak on some aspect of their life and work which is a real value to pupils.


General Studies Lecture Series 2011-12

  • Monday 07 November - Lord Sutherland
  • Monday 28 November - Sheriff William Holligan
  • Monday 05 December - Jyoti Bhardwaj (Napier)
  • Monday 16 January - Professor Wendy Loretto
  • Monday 06 February - Dana Linnet
  • Monday 20 February - Professor Mayank Dutia
  • Monday 27 February - Margo McDonald
  • Monday 19 March - Professor Igor Rudan

Monday 07 November

Lord Sutherland

On Monday 7 March, S6 were pleased to welcome Lord Sutherland of Houndwood to speak about the role of the House of Lords in parliamentary activity. After his talk he answered some questions from S6 about the House of Lords and his views on recent important political issues. Lord Sutherland was knighted and created a life peer in 2001.

Lord Sutherland
He is also an eminent philosopher of religion and has received an MA in both Religion from Aberdeen University and an MA in Philosophy of Religion from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Lord Sutherland’s political interests include care of the elderly and education; he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was an active contributor to the recent parliamentary discussions about faith schools.


Monday 28 November

Sheriff William Holligan

On Monday 28 November, S6 welcomed Sheriff William Holligan to speak to them as part of their General Studies programme, which involves speakers from a variety of backgrounds giving talks. Sheriff Holligan graduated from Edinburgh University Law School in 1979 and practised as a solicitor in both Scotland and Australia before being appointed as a Sheriff in 2001.

Sheriff Holligan
He is currently based in Edinburgh Sheriff Court and gave an interesting and entertaining talk about “a day in the life of a Sheriff”, which included lots of anecdotes about the unusual things which can happen in courtrooms! Sixth year then had an opportunity to ask some questions, which was especially useful for those hoping to study law or currently studying Advanced Higher Modern Studies.


Monday 05 December

Jyoti Bhardwaj

On Monday 05 December, S6 were pleased to welcome Jyoti Bhardwaj to speak about the role of Information Systems in business. As a part of the General Studies programme, speakers from various backgrounds come to school to talk to and take questions from S6 pupils.Jyoti Bhardwaj is a lecturer and Teaching Fellow in the School of Computing in Edinburgh Napier University. She is the programme leader for the Information Systems and Business Information Systems degrees.
Jyoti Bhardwaj
On Monday afternoon, Ms Bhardwaj joined some S5 and S6 pupils for lunch and at tour of the school before delivering an interesting talk about Business in the "postmodern world" and how information has replaced the fossil fuels as the vital resource in the modern world. She also discussed the importance of the World Trade Organisation in breaking down barriers and allowing free trade. This talk was particularly interesting to those interested in IT as she stressed how vital IT is in the world of business. S6 were joined by pupils from the S5 Higher IS class.


Monday 16 January

Professor Wendy Loretto

On Monday 16th January, S6 welcomed Professor Wendy Loretto to speak to them as part of their General Studies programme. This involves speakers from a variety of backgrounds giving talks to the senior pupils.
Professor Wendy Loretto
Professor Loretto is professor of Organisational Behaviour at Edinburgh University and delivered an interesting talk on the differences and similarities between school and university life. In terms of the more independent style of learning, she gave a thought-provoking account of her own experiences and that of students she has previously taught. Sixth year then had an opportunity to ask some questions.

Monday 06 February

Dana Linnet

On Monday 6th February Dana Linnet, the US Consul in Scotland, came to speak to the S6 year group as part of the General Studies Lecture Series. Dana LinnetShe talked about “young people as leaders in the world today” and referred to events in the wider world and the role of young people in today’s crises. She urged the pupils that they have power to shape things. Ms Linnet also gave an opportunity for interested pupils to find out more about Study in America and exchanges.

Monday 20 February

Professor Mayank Dutia

On Monday 20th February, Professor Mayank Dutia of Edinburgh University came to speak to the S6 year group as part of the general studies programme.
Professor Mayank DutiaProfessor Dutia spoke to the pupils about sustainability, which is an area of great interest to him. The pupils responded with insightful questions and it was agreed that they were left with much to reflect on regarding their own roles and responsibilities towards the environment.

Monday 19 March

Professor Igor Rudan

On Monday 19th March Professor Igor Rudan, the Chair in International Heath and Molecular Medicine, came to speak to the S6 year group as part of the General Studies Lecture Series.

Prof RudanHe talked about the potential of technology in the future of Medicine and the rise in non-hypothesis led science. It was a stimulating talk that grasped the interest of both students with a special interest in science as well as those without!

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