Curriculum

What is Curriculum for Excellence?

​​Aim

Curriculum for Excellence is intended to help children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century, including skills for learning, life and work.

Purpose

Its purpose is often summed up as helping children and young people to become:

  • Successful learners
  • Confident individuals
  • Responsible citizens
  • Effective contributors.

These are referred to as the four capacities.

What is the curriculum and what does it include?

Curriculum for Excellence is designed to achieve a transformation in education in Scotland by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18. The term curriculum is understood to mean – everything that is planned for children and young people throughout their education, not just what happens in the classroom.

Curriculum for Excellence includes four contexts for learning:

  • Curriculum areas and subjects
  • Interdisciplinary learning
  • Ethos and life of the school
  • Opportunities for personal achievement.

Key elements

Curriculum areas

There are eight curriculum areas:

  • Expressive arts
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Languages (including English, Gaidhlig, Gaelic learners and modern languages)
  • Mathematics
  • Religious and moral education
  • Sciences
  • Social studies
  • Technologies.

Teachers are supported in planning for the eight curriculum areas through the use of the experiences and outcomes.

The experiences and outcomes are set out in lines of development which describe progress in learning.  Progression is indicated through curriculum levels as indicated below:

Level Stage
Early Pre-school and P1 or later for some.
First To the end of P4, but earlier or later for some.
Second To the end of P7, but earlier or later for some
Third and Fourth S1 to S3, but earlier for some.
Senior phase S4 – S6

Key Links

  • Benchmarks – The Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks set out clear statements about what learners need to know and be able to do to achieve a level across all curriculum areas.
  • Experiences and outcomes (often called Es+Os) are a set of clear and concise statements about children’s learning and progression in each curriculum area. They are used to help plan learning and to assess progress.
  • Principles and practice – ​The principles and practice documents are essential reading for practitioners as they begin, and then develop, their work with the statements of experiences and outcomes.
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