Curriculum for Excellence

Scotland’s curriculum – Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) – helps our children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century.  A refreshed narrative on Scotland’s curriculum, which sets CfE within the current context, was published in September 2019. It is available in both English and Gaelic.

As part of their learner journey, all children and young people in Scotland are entitled to experience a coherent curriculum from 3 to 18, in order that they have opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to adapt, think critically and flourish in today’s world.

This diagram makes clear the main changes to curriculum in Scottish Schools as part of Curriculum for Excellence:

CfE Levels

Throughout the Broad General Education, children and young people are assessed and decisions are made by teachers on when a child or young person has achieved learning at a particular level. This means that they have broadly covered the experiences and achieved the expected outcomes for that level. In making this decision, the teacher takes into account the evidence mentioned above, and considers the benchmarks produced by Education Scotland for each level as well as diagnostic feedback from the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA).

Benchmarks have been developed to provide clarity on the national standards expected within each curriculum area at each level. They set out clear lines of progression in literacy and English and numeracy and mathematics, and across all other curriculum areas.

Useful Links

  • CfE Briefing for Parents and Carers
  • The benchmarks – The CfE benchmarks set out clear statements about what learners need to know and be able to do to achieve a level across all curriculum areas.
  • Experiences and outcomes – Often called E’s and O’s, these are a clear and concise set of statements about children’s learning and progression in each curriculum area. They are used by teachers to help plan learning and assess progress.