Here's a list of subjects we think should ACTUALLY be taught in secondary schools

By Lovin' Media

November 4, 2021 at 9:01am


Irish secondary school experience may vary across the country, but I'm sure we can all agree that our education didn't exactly cover everything it should have.

There's certainly a few essential life skills that schools don't teach you, that would've been helpful to learn as a teenager rather than suddenly being plunged into adulthood and figuring it all out alone.

If schools offered a wider range of classes and subjects from the very beginning of your education, the adult world may become less of a minefield for the next generation.

I'm not saying these should become Leaving Cert subjects – if anything, they could be introduced to the classroom as a positive, non-examinable break from their regular subjects.

These are some of the things that we could have all benefitted from learning about in secondary school.

1. Personal finance

Leaving school and suddenly being in charge of bills and your own money is stressful.

Teens should have a chance to learn about credit cards (and the dangers of them), savings tips and interest rates, smart ways to invest your money, taxes and how to manage debt.

Budgets can be extremely stressful when you've never had to use them in a real-life situation.

2. Relationship values


Learning about how to spot manipulative and abusive behaviour, the importance of sexual consent and understanding sexuality in general would really help people improve their relationships for life.

Giving young people the space to talk honestly and openly about their different experiences and feelings would help to create a safer environment for us all.

Communications skills should be key here.

3. Mindfulness

The stress of being a teenager should not be underestimated.

Especially after a year doing school from home. Then back. Then from home. Then worrying whether the Leaving Cert will actually happen or not... it was a lot.

Mindfulness can develop skills for concentration and impulse control. It can help young people (people of any age, tbh) to better manage their worrying thoughts and discover how the brain and mind really works.

Simple mediation, breathing skills and finding how to 'be in the moment' will stay with you for life.

4. Survival skills


More of a fun active one, and hopefully something students never have to use but still, it's better to be prepared.

Think simple mechanics skills, first aid, shelter and fire building, food foraging and self-defence.

By being pro-active and taking control of your ability to handle a dangerous situation, survival skills can be a brilliant confidence builder.

5. Mental health

Schools are putting a big emphasis lately on physical fitness, and that's amazing, but mental health is equally as important. Especially for young people!

Stress management skills, symptoms of depression and addiction, and just learning how to have frank and open conversations about how our mental state is could only be a good thing.

Young people are at a greater risk of suicide, so encouraging teens from a young age to talk about their feelings and concerns would be a big step.

6. Sustainable living

In an era of scary climate change and fast fashion, learning how to live sustainably is more important than ever.


Educating youth about climate change stats and causes, how to enjoy an eco-friendly lifestyle by eating local, seasonal food and eco-friendly products can go a long way.

7. Human rights

Young people living in such a privileged country as Ireland may often take for granted the very basic human rights that so many other across the world don't have.

Learning about refugee rights, conflict solving situations, and looking at examples of case studies will help teens to develop empathy and a desire to help bring about change for good.


8. Applied maths

"When will we actually ever use this?" is something every single student has said in maths class. I think however, a lot of people don't understand how creative and fun math skills can be.

Learning how to use maths in an invention you've created, such as having to calculate the correct angle or speed that a cog in a clock needs to turn, or having a whole class on the possibility of making your own time machine would enhance student's critical thinking skills and give them a new appreciation for maths.

9. Sociology & anthropology


What does exactly make us human, and how and why are all so different?

Learning about different cultures, race and gender theories, social classes and how politics and society mix is really interesting for young people to study, and will broaden their minds to hopefully start constantly questioning the world around them.

10. Nutrition

Part of this is covered in home economics, but a separate class that focuses purely on nutrition would be so beneficial.

Students would learn the basics of healthy eating, how to cook on a budget, awareness and understanding of eating disorders and general food knowledge and skills.

Have you any suggestions of what subjects the youth of Ireland should be taught as they grow up? Let us know in the comments.

Header image via Shutterstock 

READ NEXT: Cork Science Festival kicks off this weekend, with something for science lovers of all ages