Curriculum for Excellence
Curriculum for Excellence is the name given to the most wide-ranging and radical review of Scottish education in a generation. It enshrines the principle of pupils acquiring skills for learning and skills for life which are transferable across the curriculum, which can be used in a variety of contexts within and outwith school and which will develop their capacities to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
Discussion, investigation and the practical application of knowledge are often, but not exclusively, the focus of the learning and teaching approaches used. Pupils are encouraged to develop enterprising, problem-solving and team-working skills but the traditional skills long associated with the Scottish curriculum such as having a firm grounding in literacy and numeracy are also emphasised.
Currently teachers are working to develop new courses from pre-school to S3 based on ‘Experiences and Outcomes' documents in all curricular areas. In many cases course content is not radically different from existing courses, but there are changes in emphasis in teaching methods, as outlined above, and in assessment procedures - on which a great deal of work has still to be done at national level.
In S4 there will be some change to current certification. Standard Grade and Intermediate exams will end by 2014 and will have been replaced by qualifications known as ‘National 4' (equivalent to Standard Grade General level and Intermediate 1) and ‘National 5' (equivalent to Standard Grade Credit level and Intermediate 2). Higher and Advanced Higher examinations will remain largely in their current form and will continue to be the benchmark for entry to further and higher education.
SQA also has a new information for parents page which gives helpful information about CfE and the new National Qualifications. This can be found at www.sqa.org.uk