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A Curriculum for Excellence

What is a school curriculum?

A school curriculum describes what children and young people do in school. In pre-school classes the curriculum promotes children’s emotional, personal and social development as well as encouraging intellectual, physical and creative skills through play activities and learning by example. The primary school curriculum includes the areas which develop children’s basic skills such as mathematics, language, expressive arts, environmental studies, religious/moral education and personal and social development. Then, in secondary schools, the curriculum involves the subject areas, such as geography, history, languages, etc, and the courses which lead to assessment and qualifications.

This is the way education has been defined for many years, with little variation. As times change education needs to change too, to prepare children and young people for future life and work.

Beth looking at the Yellow Food Colouring.

What is happening now?

  • The new Curriculum for Excellence is well under way and is challenging, enjoyable and relevant. Opportunities for choice are being considered to allow a range of choices from play activities, through to programmes which allow greater depth of study.
    Educators and schools are looking at what they are doing now and how that fits in with the four purposes. 
    New ‘Skills for work’ courses are being developed and introduced.

Purposes of the curriculum 3-18

  • To enable all young people to become:

successful learners

  • with:
    * enthusiasm and motivation for learning

    * determination to reach high standards of achievement
    * openness to new thinking and ideas
  • and able to:
    * use literacy, communication and numeracy skills

    * use technology for learning
    * think creatively and independently
    * learn independently and as part of a group
    * make reasoned evaluations
    * link and apply different kinds of learning in new situations.

    Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Primary 4-7 and French pupils at Scottish Parliament

confident individuals

  • with:
    * self-respect
    * a sense of physical, mental and emotional well-being
    * secure values and beliefs
    * ambition
  • and able to:
    * relate to others and manage themselves

    * pursue a healthy and active lifestyle
    * be self-aware
    * develop and communicate their own beliefs and view of the world
    * live as independently as they can
    * assess risk and make informed decisions
    * achieve success in different areas of activity.

responsible citizens

  • with:
    * respect for others

    * commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life
  • and able to:
    * develop knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it

    * understand different beliefs and cultures
    * make informed choices and decisions
    * evaluate environmental, scientific and technological issues
    * develop informed, ethical views of complex issues.

    Great team work!

effective contributors

  • with:
    * an enterprising attitude

    * resilience
    * self-reliance
  • and able to:
    * communicate in different ways and in different settings

    * work in partnership and in teams
    * take the initiative and lead
    * apply critical thinking in new contexts
    * create and develop
    * solve problems.

When will the changes take place?

Implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence has already started but will be phased in over a number of years. There will be training and support for teachers as the curriculum develops.


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