Vote: What is the most useless secondary school subject?
So glad I spent all that time learning to play the recorder
When we look back at the five years of our secondary school education the majority of memories revolve around fun lunchtimes, seeing your mates and the pain and stress of GCSEs.
But we did actually learn some stuff in school. They weren’t exactly fun but English and Maths were essential. We don’t use Pythagoras Therom everyday but being able to do basic maths has saved me many times in a restaurant dividing the bill and my phone has run out of battery.
And for all their complicated equations, the sciences were actually pretty useful to learn. And languages, I might not be fluent in French, but I can sure order a baguette if I ever go to Paris.
But what was not useful were the majority of subjects we learnt. I’m talking the ones which became optional modules at GCSE – D.T. music and classical civilisation. They’re literally optional aka not actually needed but something to fill the time. The teachers knew this and yet they still tried to tell us learning how an oxbow lake is formed or how to play an ocarina would be an essential life skill.
Which of these useless subjects is the most useless though? It’s your time to vote for the most useless secondary school subject:
Tell me please, when has knowing how an oxbow lake is formed has helped your daily life? Or the names of different types of waves? Or what about the four types of river transportation? Spoiler alert: they’ve never helped.
I used to think the urban element of geography where you have case studies about certain cities in the UK was useful, but on reflection the only people who need to know that information are city planners. Therefore the rest of us should not have been subjected to learning that useless information. Also does anyone want to even be a city planner at age 14?
Unless you’re planning on working in construction or robotics, then this has literally no use in modern day society.
It’s nothing to do with the D.T. you did in primary school where you made a bird box your mum hated but at least it was something worthwhile.
Resistant materials can safely be defined as unessential. Learning about different types of paper, timber and metal honestly sounds less interesting than watching paint drying, and quite frankly I’m being kind there.
If you’re interested in religion you don’t need religious studies because you already know everything they teach and if you’re not religious then it’s just a weekly lesson of boredom hearing the same stories over and over again that you don’t believe in.
If you sign up for food technology or home economics GCSE you think you’ve won the lottery, just cooking every week whilst your mates learn about oxbow lakes. Except it wasn’t quite like that was it?
There’s far less cooking and far more learning about additives, fibre and food labelling. Basically it’s just another biology lesson and you’ll spend two years heavily regretting your life choices.
And before GCSE the actual cooking was few and far between as you either did alternate weeks with worksheets or you only did food tech for a term, meaning you forgot how to cook for two thirds of the year.
Let’s be frank the majority of us were not Picasso and it was unfair of them to expect us to be.
All the aspiring fashionistas got a big shock when they joined textiles. It was less about runway and more about making a wall hanging.
I don’t think any actual clothes got made in textiles, but we sure all knew how to make a little patchwork cushion that everyone at home thought was hideous.
And with fast fashion nowadays there is literally no point in learning how to make clothes, not that they taught you it anyway.
The majority of the memories I’ve blocked out from school involved something to do with drama lessons. Why on earth were we subjected to performing sub par plays when acting is notoriously one of the most unstable and difficult industries to get into?
If you weren’t the loudest person in the room then those lessons were just painful and you would constantly get marked down for essentially being shy. And we all know drama students are the most insufferable students on campus. This could all have been nipped in the bud if someone on the school boards decided against role play and improv as a standard marker of children’s education.
It is quite literally called a “dead language” as in no one speaks it anymore. I appreciate if you’re going into a serious job like medicine where you need to know those Latin names it makes sense.
But doing a comprehension about Caecilius, knowing the difference between nominative and vocative cases and repeating “Rex, Regis, Regi” is not advancing anyone’s education. And most importantly does nothing to serve us outside the school gate, apart from making you look like a posh wanker when you casually mention in Fresher’s week you know some latin.
The concept of PSHE is great. A whole lesson dedicated to pupils’ physical, social and health education. Sounds brilliant.
And yet in reality you don’t actually learn anything of value. It usually consists of scaremongering stories of the dangers of alcohol, how to put a condom on a banana and lectures on bullying.
All semi-useful stuff but what would have been great is if those lessons were filled with things we really could have taken away for the real world such as how to write a CV, how the tax system works, what you need to get a mortgage etc.
If you’re not going to become a musician there is zero point in music lessons. How much time did we waste learning the recorder and ocarina? Whoever invented the ocarina needs to take a long hard look at themselves as no nice sound has ever come out of one.
And the thing with music lessons was you could buy your way to a better grade. The kids who took additional private instrument lessons were taught to read music properly so when it came to exam time they’d always do better. Also who gives music exams? Isn’t it meant to be about self expression, not how many notes are in a scale? It’s seven by the way.
Essentially story time for grownups.
Yes exercise is important, endorphins and all that. However what was not needed was to subject us all to the bleep test. It truly is an exercise reserved for hell.
P.E. was also one of those subjects that was only enjoyable for the most sporty of individuals. The teachers seemed to take a weird pleasure in subjecting the rest of us to weird forms of sport we would of course fail at – triple jump, high jump and pole vault – what’s with all the jumping?
I equally understand team sports are important for bonding, trust and team building, but they essentially laid the foundation for all the toxic sports societies at unis now. Rugby boys? Yeah you can thank year seven P.E. class for that.
And the netball. I loved it, but c’mon there is a limit to how many times girls can be expected to throw a ball back and forth to each other.
Vote for the most useless school subject:
Featured image credit via BBC