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Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is the Scottish National Curriculum which applies to all children and young people aged 3-18, wherever they are learning.  It aims to raise achievement for all, enabling children and young people to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to succeed in learning, life and work.


The Four Capacities - the curriculum aims for all children to become:


  • Successful Learners

  • Confident Individuals

  • Responsible Citizens

  • Effective Contributors


The Eight Curriculum areas are:


  • Expressive Arts – including art and design, dance, drama and music

  • Health and Wellbeing – mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing; PE; food and health; substance misuse; and relationships, sexual health and parenthood

  • Languages – listening and talking, reading and writing in English and modern languages, plus classical languages and literacy, and Gaidhlig/Gaelic learners (where available)

  • Mathematics – including analysing information, solving problems and assessing risk

  • Religious and Moral Education (denominational and non-denominational) – learning about Christianity, other world religions, and developing values and beliefs

  • Sciences – understanding important scientific concepts across planet Earth, forces, electricity and waves, biological systems, materials and topical science

  • Social Studies – understanding people, place and society in the past and present including history, geography, modern studies and business education

  • Technologies – including computing science, food, textiles, craft, design, engineering, graphics and applied technologies


Additional important themes across the curriculum are creativity, enterprise and global citizenship, which include sustainable development, international education and citizenship.



Learning Opportunities


Your child will learn in a variety of different contexts and groups including ability, co-operative and social.

Curriculum Levels


There are national levels to describe different stages of learning and progress.  For most children the expectation is:


  • Early Level – early learning and childcare to the end of P1

  • First Level – to the end of P4

  • Second Level – to the end of P7

  • Third and Fourth Levels – S1 to S3, with the fourth level broadly equivalent to SCQF level 4

  • Senior Phase – S4-S6, and equivalents in other settings, where pupils/students can continue to develop the four capacities and achieve qualifications.

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Updated: 06/08/2020

Learning Opportunities
Curriculum Levels
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