Curriculum For Excellence 3-18

What is Curriculum for Excellence?

Curriculum for Excellence is intended to help children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century, including skills for learning, life and work. The review of the curriculum was started in 2004 following a national debate.

The Curriculum describes what children and young people experience in early learning and childcare establishments and school.  It sets out which subjects they study, what skills they learn  and how they are taught.

The purpose of Curriculum for Excellence is to enable all learners to become –

  • Successful Learners
  • Confident Individuals
  • Responsible Citizens
  • Effective Contributors

The 3-18 curriculum  ensures continuity in each child’s learning, from nursery to the end of secondary school.

It is made up of learning experiences and outcomes in eight areas –

  • Expressive Arts
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Religious and Moral Education
  • Sciences
  • Social Studies
  • Technologies

Learning outcomes are broad, summary statements which identify areas of achievement for children and young people as they continue their learning journey. These set out clear expectations of the skills and attitudes that children should develop.

Literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing permeate all aspects of learning and are the responsibility of all educators.

Children learn in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings.

What do children learn in Hazeldene Family Centre? 

Through play and planned learning experiences, we aim to help children to:

 Health and Wellbeing

    • feel good about themselves
    • learn about what our bodies need to stay fit and healthy
    • find out about the importance of exercise, food, hygiene and sleep
    • make friendships and build bonds with caring adults
    • learn to cope with change in their lives
    • know how to get help if they need it

Literacy and English

      • develop talking, listening and understanding of language
      • have fun with the rhythm of different words and sounds
      • develop early reading skills using books and other print,  including on screen
      • make up their own stories, retell favourite stories and rhymes
      • use books or the internet with an adult to find information
      • develop early writing skills using a variety of ideas and tools

Numeracy and Mathematics

      • develop an understanding of numbers and counting skills
      • develop thinking and problem-solving skills
      • investigate shapes, make and follow patterns
      • learn about money and how it is used
      • investigate measuring with everyday objects
      • ask questions to gather information
      • find out about different ways to measure and record time

Expressive Arts

      • experiment with different materials
      • design and make their own models and pictures
      • learn about some artists and the different ways they work
      • experience performances by visiting artists
      • take part in their own performances and show their work
      • explore ways of moving in dance and creative movement
      • enjoy singing, responding to and making music
      • explore ideas in a range of drama, role play and imaginative play situations



  • develop an interest in investigating the world around them
  • find out about simple forces
  • develop understanding of their body and how it works
  • observe living things and understand their place in the world
  • learn about the uses of science in everyday life.

Social Studies

  • explore how people lived in the past
  • explore the world of nature and care for the environment
  • explore places and features of their local area
  • try a variety of foods and discover where they come from
  • investigate the weather and the seasons
  • find out about different shops, services and people who help us
  • learn to make choices and decisions about their work and play

Religious and Moral Education

  • learn about some beliefs and practices of various world religions
  • find out why celebrations and festivals are important parts of life
  • develop respect for other people and cultures
  • learn to care for each other and to share
  • begin to develop an understanding of what is fair and unfair


  • play with and explore some technologies
  • find out how these are used to help people’s lives
  • design and make their own models
  • find out about different materials
  • reduce, re-use and recycle to help to care for the environment
  • work with a range of tools, materials and software

We plan for children’s learning based on children’s interests and development needs. In addition to the planned focus for learning, children learn through daily investigations in our sand, water, art, computer, construction and outdoor areas.

What does this mean for my child? 

  • Transitions between nursery, primary and high school  will be smoother.
  • Children take more responsibility for their own learning.
  • Children develop skills for learning, life and work.
  • Motivated children and young people
  • Raised levels of achievement.

Where can I find more information?

Parentzone website

What is Early Learning and Childcare?

What is Curriculum for Excellence?

Learn and Grow Together

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