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Curriculum for Excellence –
Instructions for presenter
• This is a ‘pick and mix’ bank of slides
• It is NOT designed for use in one sitting!
• Pick key slides and slot them into the basic PowerPoint:
‘An Introduction’ to Curriculum for Excellence
Presenters Role
Share the what, why, how of Curriculum for Excellence
Add the local context: what YOU are doing to deliver
Offer the chance to discuss and ask questions
Ask questions if you are not clear
Refer to the website for more background
Provide a leaflet for the learners to take away
Go online to ask your own questions; it’s OK not to know
the answers: some elements are still in development
Curriculum for Excellence?
‘Curriculum’ in this context means ‘all that is planned for
learners throughout their education’:
What’s the aim?
Curriculum for Excellence: the three pillars
• Raising standards
• Improving knowledge
• Developing skills
…Bringing life to learning and learning to life
What’s the aim?
Curriculum for Excellence: the three pillars
1. Raising standards
It’s raising standards of education to meet the
increasing challenges of a changing world – preparing
our young people for the unknown. Higher standards will
be expected than at present to equip our learners for the
increasing complexity of the world.
The three pillars cont.
2. Improving knowledge
It’s bringing learning to life – building on the many
ways that teachers and lecturers already make learning
engaging. It offers experiences around real life issues,
working in groups, working outside the classroom,
working in different environments with interesting
materials and tools.
Making learning more relevant will help improve
The three pillars cont.
3. Developing skills
It’s bringing real life to learning – making learning
relevant to the world young people live in; developing
skills for learning, life and work.
Everyone will develop important skills in literacy and
numeracy that will underpin all learning. Industry and
enterprise will offer opportunities for young people to
develop skills needed for the world of work.
The three pillars cont.
Other life skills include developing critical thinking,
personal learning planning, career management, working
with others, leadership, physical coordination and
movement, enterprise and employability.
The individual’s health and wellbeing have a new
important focus.
New qualifications
The Scottish education system is world-renowned and our
qualifications are highly valued.
Highers, Advanced Highers and Access qualifications will
remain and will be updated to reflect changes to the
Other college sector qualification will be reviewed as per
existing arrangement and in line with Curriculum for
New qualifications cont.
From 2013/2014 there will be new National 4 and
National 5 qualifications.
Young people can now study for Scottish Science and
Scottish Language Baccalaureate (a stage on from
Higher/Advanced Higher).
New qualifications
Honours Degree
Ordinary Degree
Higher National Diploma
Advanced Higher
Advanced Higher
Standard Grade Credit /
Intermediate 2
Standard Grade General /
Intermediate 1
Standard Grade Foundation /
Access 3
*National 5
Access 2
Access 2
Access 1
Access 1
Next Generation of
National Qualifications
New qualifications are marked *
Others qualifications, like Highers, remain
and will be reviewed to be in keeping with
Curriculum for Excellence
*National 4
Access 3
More rigorous assessments
Ongoing assessment by the lecturer will provide a rich
picture of how much young people know, how well they are
doing and what they need to learn next to progress.
From time to time lecturers will summarise learner’s progress
through the Curriculum for Excellence levels.
A National Assessment Resource is being developed to help
lecturers achieve greater consistency and understanding in
their professional judgements. Assessment is also used as
the basis of qualifications – like the new National 4 where
there is no external exam.
Skills for learning, life and work
All our staff are responsible for 3 fundamental aspects of
learning: literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.
Literacy – reading, writing, interpreting information, spoken
language, using computers, film and new media.
Numeracy – arithmetic, numbers, calculations, finance.
Literacy and numeracy skills help learners grasp every other
subject and are vital for work and throughout life.
Skills for learning, life and work cont.
Health and wellbeing is about nurturing mental, emotional,
social and physical skills to develop self-esteem and positive
A strengthened focus on health and wellbeing aims to help
young people establish and sustain a healthy lifestyle and
fulfil their potential.
It covers topics from nutrition to exercise, healthy eating to
drink/drug awareness, anti-bullying to buddy schemes.
Learner focus
Staff will ensure that learners can learn in ways that work for
them, at the right pace for them and with enough challenge
to stretch them.
They will consider what each learner already knows and
what they need to know to make learning personal,
interesting and relevant to them, for example – where and
how they live and what their ambitions are.
The combination of deep and broad knowledge, skills and
work experience will give learners greater choice to make
their learning fit their abilities, interests and ambitions.
Active learning
Active learning doesn’t mean all lessons are outdoors or
involve running around.
It means encouraging learners to ask questions, seek
answers for themselves, work together and discuss ideas,
challenge and come up with their own solutions.
It’s proactive learning; taking responsibility for learning;
taking an active interest.
What young people do at school and college prepares
them for what they do next in life, so we want to make that
experience as useful as possible.
Staff work together to ensure smooth progress from one
year to another. This is particularly important at transition
times – nursery to primary, primary to secondary, college
and beyond. These stages are carefully planned to
support children and young people right through from 3 to
18 and beyond.
Making connections
Curriculum for Excellence encourages making connections,
not just across the curriculum but with industry, news and
popular culture to sustain young people’s learning beyond
the school.
Professionals work together, seeing the young person as a
whole. That might bring together teachers, lecturers and
support staff in planning what’s best for the young person.
Broad and deep education
All children will start off their education by studying a wide
range of subjects as part of their broad general education 3 15. They will then enter a Senior Phase where they can gain
qualifications and skills necessary for their future.
In the Senior Phase young people will build a portfolio of
subjects that balance and complement each other.
Underpinning all learning, all our young people will further
develop their levels of skill and knowledge in literacy,
numeracy, health and wellbeing.
Support for learning
Staff will be responsible for identifying the personal support a
young person needs on a day to day basis. They work with
other professionals – like speech therapists, health and
social workers to plan that support.
Young people may have specific support needs, for example
during periods of change – moving from nursery to primary,
primary to secondary and on to college or work.
Senior phase
From 15-18, young people have a range of options – stay on
at school and gain more skills and/or qualifications; take
some classes out of school at college; go on to college or
university; undertake learning, training or an apprenticeship
at work or in the community; or try volunteering.
National initiatives like 16+ Learning Choices, More Choices
More Chances and Determined to Succeed deliver
connections to learning through employers, youth workers,
training providers, volunteering, colleges and community
learning including Youth Achievement awards.
Our aim for young people
We aim to provide a good education so that they are
equipped for life and all it might throw at them. We call this
developing ‘the 4 capacities’:
1. Successful learners
Motivated to reach their potential, determined to succeed,
learning how to learn as well as gaining knowledge – skills
for learning, life and work.
2. Confident individuals
Able to ask questions, explain ideas, challenge, stand up for
themselves, relate well to others, take the initiative, lead.
Our aim for young people cont.
3. Effective contributors
Group projects and workplace experience help young
people learn the skills of team working and encourage
creative thinking, discussion of ideas, problem solving and
4. Responsible citizens
As they go on to study, work or bring up their own family, our
children will know how to respect themselves and others and
will be able to understand the world we live in and how they
can participate responsibly and fully in shaping it.
Trusting professionals
Curriculum for Excellence marks a shift from prescriptive
guidance to more professional freedom and responsibility.
Staff are working with the new guidance which sets out the
experiences children and young people are entitled to and
the outcomes they should achieve.
This supports professionals to teach subjects more
creatively and gives them the responsibility to make it work.
Professional development
This is a chance for all those responsible for young people
to learn and grow too. There is guidance, training,
information, tools and resources to help.
Professional development is often best carried out with
colleagues to promote understanding and collaboration.
Colleagues can share ideas and resources, and engage in
professional dialogue to take the lead in development and
The Scottish Qualifications Authority Academy and
Scotland’s colleges have created a unique suite of staff
development opportunities to support college staff
What does it mean for Scotland?
1. Prepared for life
We live in a fast changing world where technology, travel,
migration, advanced knowledge and the effects of
industry and consumerism impact on individuals, society
and the environment. We aim to provide our children with
the knowledge and skills we believe they will need to
succeed in a future we don’t yet know, to secure jobs yet
to be invented, to build self-esteem and resilience, and to
harness knowledge yet to be discovered.
What does it mean for Scotland? cont.
2. Growing talent
This is a drive to provide a universal education service,
nurture our young people, teach our children how to
learn, be adaptable and thrive.
3. Creative education
Scotland has a world-wide reputation for the quality of its
education system. We want to keep it like that.
These changes will secure the best chance for our
children’s future in a competitive global economy.
The bigger picture
Different national programmes of activity link together to
provide a framework for supporting children and young people
to give them the best chance in life.
Determined to succeed: 3-18 years
Opportunities within the curriculum and school ethos to develop
enterprise skills, experience the world of work and running a
business, through contextualised and relevant learning.
Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC): 0-18 years
Schools, health and social workers plan services together to
improve the life chances of children and young people.
16+ Learning Choices: More Choices More Chances
Opportunities in the senior phase to gain skills, apprenticeships, train in the workplace, go on to further study.
The bigger picture cont.
Support for All and Additional Support for Learning:
0-18 years: promoting the rights of every child to support and
specialist help to support their learning, wellbeing,
Connected campaigns:
Play, Talk and Read –
Just Ask –