Alison Scott

About me

Music Teacher at West Lothian Council.

Left school

June 2010

Senior Phase

In S5/6 I achieved Higher (SCQF level 6) Music, English, RMPS, Modern Studies and French and Advanced Higher (SCQF level 7) Music, English and Modern Studies.

Choosing my Destination

Open days are good to get a feel for the place you might want to study. Talking to teachers, family and researching different options online all helped.

Extra Curricular & Work Experience

I spent most of my free time in the music department which was a really important part of my school life and gave me a sense of belonging. I did choir, orchestra, samba band and jazz band. I went to Malta with the music department twice. I received instrumental lessons in voice, piano, clarinet and later flute. I was involved in school shows and pantomimes, which particularly pushed me out with my comfort zone. I joined NYCoS Area Choir in S5 which then led to me touring with the National choir to USA and Eastern Europe. I also went to the creative writing club in S6 and was involved in setting up and running the school magazine. I did an internship with the Macrobert where I worked with Keith Bruce from The Herald and wrote a weekly column for The Stirling Observer. These experiences were invaluable - they developed my confidence, social skills, and leadership skills. They also helped me to explore my options for when I left school. They gave me an insight into different careers, what I liked and didn’t like and where my skills would be best utilised. It’s important to get involved - these experiences were some of the best memories I have of being at school. 

Skills I've developed

Getting involved in extra curricular activities is one of the best ways to develop a wide variety of skills. Working with others on the school magazine helped to develop communication skills that I now use when working with colleagues and pupils. Being part of groups like choir and orchestra showed me the importance of collaborating with others. This is something I now do as the person leading choirs and other music groups. When I was in S6 I discovered a love for writing which brought out an entirely surprising creative side of myself. By trying the thing I didn’t think I was any good at, I developed my own creativity, confidence and curiosity that I now use in my role as a teacher. 

My Advice

Do what you love. Get involved in all the opportunities you possibly can, and make connections with as many different people from as many different walks of life as you can. You never know when or where that connection might come in handy. Keep your options open - there are so many more possibilities than you even know right now. 

I initially went to university to study English literature. After a year, I decided it wasn’t for me. So I moved city and subject and ended up at Edinburgh University studying music. I then went on to do a PGDE at Moray house in secondary music education. I have discovered that ‘false starts’ are more common than you might think. It’s never too late to change paths! Since working as a teacher I have gone back and completed courses with the Open University and Oxford University Distance Learning in literature and creative writing. I am now provisionally registered as dual qualified in English. You can never have too many strings to your bow!