What is CFE?

girl reading“Continuity” and “change” are at the heart of the Curriculum for Excellence because whilst it brings a new approach to education in Scotland, it also builds on the many strengths of the existing system.

The major change is to look at education not just in terms of traditional school work, but also in how it helps young people develop their potential so that they are well able to move with confidence from school into further education, training or employment and to take an active part in society. Central to this is the idea that the curriculum should develop what are known as the “four capacities” in young people. These are successful learners, responsible citizens, effective contributors and confident individuals. The curriculum will be organised into 8 areas – expressive arts, health and well-being, literacy and language, numeracy and maths, religious and moral education, science, social studies and technological studies. There need be no fears that knowledge and understanding will disappear from the curriculum – rather “Curriculum for Excellence” should be viewed as knowledge and understanding with a “plus” being a whole range of skills and abilities that our pupils will find useful throughout their lives.

Moreover, these skills will be built into the curriculum so that they are a natural part of teaching in all the 8 areas. For example, numeracy will not just be part of maths, it could also be taught in health and well-being when pupils are asked to work out timings in a race, or adjust recipe quantities for a larger or smaller cake. It is also intended that there will be more “cross-curricular” experiences – pupils could work on an “eco-newsletter” which could involve science skills, ICT skills as well as literacy, spelling and grammar being important too! Another change is that the curriculum will move seamlessly from age 3-18. The new stages will be-


From nursery to the end of P1
One To the end of P4
Two To the end of P7
Three To the end of S1
Four To the end of S3
Senior Years S4, S5 and S6
The aim of the curriculum for Excellence is to produce a simplified and more coherent education system that is easier to understand, meets the needs of a changing society and allows our young people to develop fully.