Seventeen-year-old Kate Baird tells us how she’s learning more than just a language through studying Advanced Higher French at College while she’s still at school.
“I’m currently a pupil at Balerno High School, as well as an Edinburgh College student. I’ve always known I wanted to continue my studies in French and when I discovered Higher French wasn’t an option at my school, I knew I just had to find another way to do it. When I saw it was offered as an SCP (Schools College Partnership) course at Edinburgh College it was a no brainer for me. The course was added to my school timetable which meant I could attend College part-time, as well as school. I come to College twice-a-week on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
“I’ve now progressed onto the French Advanced Higher course and I’m learning more than just a language – I’m really enjoying finding out more about French culture, as well as the French language as part of my course. College is a really different environment to school, you have a lot more freedom and responsibility for your work. There’s a mix of people who attend and you meet plenty of interesting people. None of my school friends are in my College class but I’ve met lots of others who I wouldn’t ordinarily have the chance to meet if I continued just studying at school.
“As someone who wants to go to university, College is a great stepping stone to getting there. Jumping straight from school to university would have been a big thing for me to do. Coming to College has really helped me to build my confidence and communication skills. My lecturers encourage me to speak French whenever I can to make sure I’m constantly learning and developing.
“Edinburgh College has given me an opportunity to do a course I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. What’s next for me? I have applied to study French and Business at university next year and really hope that language will be a big part of whatever I do for the rest of my life. One day, I’d like to use my qualifications to be an interpreter or translator for the United Nations. That would be pretty cool.”