Curriculum for Excellence
"Curriculum for Excellence aims to achieve a transformation in education in Scotland by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18.
The curriculum includes the totality of experiences which are planned for children and young people through their education, wherever they are being educated."
The Four Capacities
The 3-18 curriculum aims to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland develop the attributes, knowledge and skills they will need to flourish in life, learning and work.
The knowledge, skills and attributes learners will develop will allow them to demonstrate four key capacities – to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
Developing skills and attributes
It aims to develop four capacities, helping children to become:
- Successful learners
- Confident individuals
- Responsible citizens
- Effective contributors
Broad General Education
'Every child and young person is entitled to experience a broad general education.'
All children and young people in Scotland have an entitlement to a curriculum which will support them in developing their values and beliefs and enable them to:
achieve the highest possible levels of literacy and numeracy and cognitive skills
- develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work
- develop knowledge and understanding of society, the world and Scotland's place in it
- experience challenge and success so that they can develop well-informed views and act responsibly.
They should be encouraged to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle and be equipped with the skills needed for planning their future lives and careers.
The period of education from pre-school to the end of S3 has the particular purpose of providing each young person in Scotland with this broad general education.
The curriculum areas are the organisers for ensuring that learning takes place across a broad range of contexts, and offer a way of grouping experiences and outcomes under recognisable headings.
The eight curriculum areas are:
- Expressive arts
- Health and wellbeing
- Religious and moral education
- Social studies
"The curriculum should include space for learning beyond subject boundaries, so that children and young people can make connections between different areas of learning."
"Curriculum for Excellence defines five levels of learning.
The first four levels are described in the experiences and outcomes, with progression to qualifications described under a fifth level, the senior phase."
|Early||Pre-school, Primary1, or later for some|
|First||To the end of P4, but earlier for some or later for some|
|Second||To the end of P7, but earlier for some or later for some|
S1-S3, but earlier for some
The fourth level broadly equates to Scottish Credit
|Senior Phase||S4-S6, and college or other means of study|
Current National Qualifications Framework
National Qualifications (NQs) are for students in secondary schools and are also offered in colleges of further education.
|Standard Grades||National Courses/Units|
|Standard Grade - Credit||Intermediate 2|
|Standard Grade - General||Intermediate 1|
|Standard Grade - Foundation||Access 3|
What is changing?
- National 4 and 5 qualifications – to replace Standard Grade and Intermediate qualifications in the current system from 2013/14
- Formal recognition of Literacy and Numeracy through the new qualifications system – as Units within English and Mathematics courses and as a stand-alone option.
The current qualifications at Access, Higher and Advanced Higher level will remain but they will be reviewed to ensure that they reflect the ideas behind Curriculum for Excellence.
When will these changes happen?
The National 4 & 5 qualifications and Literacy and Numeracy Units will be introduced in 2013/2014.
This means that children who were in Primary 7 in the 2009/10 school year will be the first ones to take the new national qualifications.
2009/10 and 2010/11 - new curriculum introduced
2012 - publication of new qualifications at levels 4 & 5 (National 4 &National 5) and revised qualifications at levels 1-3 and 6 (Access and Higher)
2012/13 - last Standard Grades and publication of revised qualifications level 7 (Advanced Higher)
2013/14 - first new and revised qualifications at levels 1 to 5 (Access and National 4 and 5); 'dual run' with existing National Courses for Access, Intermediates
2014/15 - first revised qualifications at level 6 (Higher); 'dual run' with existing National Courses for Access, Intermediates and Highers
2015/16 - first revised qualifications at level 7 (Advanced Higher)