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Scotland's Education Is Changing - Parental Newsletter

25th May 2010

Parental newsletter - May 2010
Issued By Highland Councils Education Service

Scotland's education is changing. Curriculum for Excellence will enable young people to become Confident Individuals, Successful Learners, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors to society and at work. It will offer planned learning experiences for children and young people from 3-18 and beyond.

In Highland, as in the rest of Scotland, our schools will be implementing Curriculum for Excellence from August 2010. Here is information about some of the changes:

Curriculum for Excellence sets out expectations for learning in eight areas:
Expressive Arts Religious and moral education
Health and Wellbeing Sciences
Languages Social studies
Mathematics Technologies
There will be a particular focus on Numeracy, Literacy, and Health and Wellbeing, and all teachers will have a responsibility for these areas. They will use approaches which are more interactive between pupils and teachers and less about teachers simply providing information.

Primary and Special schools
In Primary schools the curriculum will cover three stages

Early years (the pre-school year and P1)
First level (to the end of P4)
Second level (to the end of P7)

Assessment based on levels A-F will end in June 2010. Teachers will use continuous assessment and report to parents on their child's progress. Teachers will be planning lessons, based on real life, context based learning, which will support pupils to achieve learning outcomes and experiences from the various curricular areas. The aim is to bring learning to life and life to learning.

Secondary schools
In Secondary schools there will be two main phases of education

At Third level (S1-S3) the broad curriculum will be designed to help pupils achieve the learning outcomes and experiences in the eight curricular areas outlined above. There will be an emphasis on the development of literacy and numeracy skills and health and wellbeing, as well as team working, problem solving, and the skills required for work.

At Senior Phase (S4-S6) pupils will have opportunities to achieve a range of qualifications. The new courses will begin in 2013 and the qualifications will be awarded in 2014. Until then, students will continue to sit the existing qualifications.

Subject Qualifications from 2013/14 onwards

Pupils who are moving to S1 in August 2010 will be the first group of pupils to gain the new qualifications when they enter the Senior Phase in 2013 (or earlier in some cases). Planning has already begun nationally for these new courses.

The qualifications will be:

Access Qualifications at levels 1, 2 or 3
National 4 (internally assessed)
National 5 (internally assessed with an externally assessed examination)
Higher (revised)
And for pupils who go into S6 -
Advanced Higher (revised)
Baccalaureates in Sciences and in Modern Languages

Although it is only the National 4 & 5 courses and the Baccalaureates which are completely new, all of the qualifications will be revised to reflect the Curriculum for Excellence.
There will no longer be qualifications called Intermediate 1 and 2 and Standard Grades.

Features of Curriculum for Excellence in the Secondary Sector

There will be greater linking of subjects in S1 to S3 through the learning experiences and outcomes, and also better building on primary school learning
Young people will show greater understanding of their learning and be able to apply it to new situations
Young people will have opportunities to experience the world of work, vocational courses, and training opportunities which are most suited to them
Young people will have their in-school achievements and their out-of-school achievements recognised and celebrated
Young people will be entitled to personal support
Annually, from the age of 16, young people will be formally offered a place in school education, employment, training, further education, or other suitable destination

For more information, contact the Head Teacher at your child's school, or go to:

For earlier newsletters on Curriculumn For Excellence go to


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