Curriculum for Excellence – Bringing Learning to Life.
Scottish education has changed with the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence , which aims to develop the four capacities in our children and young people
• Confident individuals
• Successful Learners
• Effective Contributors
• Responsible Citizens.
These four capacities reflect the purpose of Curriculum for Excellence, the aim of which is to provide our children with the best possible teaching and learning experiences that are more relevant to our changing world.
Curriculum for Excellence has been designed to ensure that children and young people are as fully engaged in their learning as possible whether in early years, primary or secondary school and at all crucial stages. It brings real life into the classroom and takes lessons beyond the classroom. It promises to support children in every way possible so that they can fulfil their potential and make the most of their opportunities.
Curriculum for Excellence is all about bringing real life into the classroom and taking lessons beyond it, being creative, and ensuring that our children are learning at an appropriate pace. Learning and teaching will still focus on key subjects and knowledge.
The curriculum offers breadth and balance across the 8 key subject areas:
• Expressive Arts
• Health and wellbeing
• Religious and moral education
• Social studies
However there is a strong emphasis on linking learning between subjects and this is carefully planned by teachers. It is important that learning in school relates to real life and helps our children to be effective participants in society with well developed skills for learning, life and work.
How is Curriculum for Excellence Organised?
Children’s learning will progress through 6 Curricular Levels or Stages from the age of 3 to18. Each of the Levels or Stages generally spans three years. However, children progress at different rates and some may need support, while others will achieve confident learning skills sooner.
Curriculum for Excellence
Early Level Early years in nursery and Primary 1
First Level P2 , P3 and P4 with increasing depth
Second level P5, P6 and P7 with increasing depth
Third and Fourth Level Secondary 1 to Secondary 3
Senior Phase S4 to S6 in school and college, or other means of study, up until the age of 18.
Where can I find out more about the curriculum?
The Curriculum is planned around the 8 key areas and experiences and outcomes for each of these areas have been developed. This gives a picture of what our learners will experience and achieve as they progress through the levels.
Full details on the experiences and outcomes for all curricular areas are available at the following link: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/what-is-the-curriculum-for-excellence/
Literacy and English
Teaching in Language includes the key elements of Listening and Talking, Reading and Writing. This is taught in a variety of ways, both discreetly and within the context of other curricular areas. Carefully planned learning will give children opportunities to learn in meaningful, relevant and interesting contexts. This will be supported by the use of textbooks, novels, media and other relevant and appropriate resources.
We have a very structured approach to teaching children how to read. At the Early Stages emphasis is placed on reading aloud i.e. decoding the printed word. We progress to teaching more sophisticated reading skills focusing on reading for understanding and research and reference skills. We use a range of comprehension materials to support the development of higher order reading skills.
Reading for pleasure is also important and will be encouraged at every stage.
The core resources our school uses to support the reading programme are:
In the Early Stages we now use Oxford Reading Tree and Jolly Phonics
In the Middle and Upper Stages we now use Literacy Evolve and a wide selection of ‘real books’ (books written by known authors – other than reading schemes).
Children will learn a wide range of writing skills useful and relevant to real life. This will involve many opportunities to create text and stories. Many writing activities will come from the different contexts that the class is focusing on and will be supported by the core methodology within Big Writing. Children will also be taught the technical skills of spelling, handwriting and grammar. A cursive handwriting style is used throughout the school.
Numeracy and Mathematics
We provide a carefully structured and balanced programme of study for all children.
Learning and teaching in mathematics involves the key aspects of:
• Number, Money and Measurement (including Financial Awareness)
• Shape, Position and Movement
• Information Handling
We place particular importance on children developing excellent numeracy skills, the ability to solve problems and a sound understanding of mathematical concepts. Equally important is an awareness of the usefulness and relevance of mathematics in life and the nurturing of a positive and confident attitude to numeracy and mathematics.
A variety of methods and resources are used to ensure that children have a broad and balanced learning experience as individuals, in groups and as a class. Learning and teaching is matched to children’s learning needs.
Health and Wellbeing
We follow the programme outlined within Curriculum for Excellence and focus on mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. This work is introduced throughout the curriculum in a variety of ways; through contexts for learning, interdisciplinary studies, with science, and sometimes discreetly.
We are fortunate to have a fully qualified PE teacher as a permanent member of staff who delivers and supports teachers in delivering a comprehensive and well structured PE programme. In line with Government guidelines all of our children enjoy more than the stipulated 2 hours per week PE. Each class is timetabled for 2 indoor sessions and a third outdoor lesson. Our children follow a programme that includes gymnastics, athletics and a wide variety games skills related to tennis, badminton, netball, basketball and hockey. In addition there are a range of sports festivals, organised in conjunction with Active Schools and ER Council where our children have the opportunity to play in competitive situations with other East Renfrewshire pupils. Examples of this are the P2 Football Festival and the P6 and P7 Netball Tournament.
There are also a wide variety of after school and lunchtime sports clubs that our children participate in regularly.
Other Areas of the Curriculum
In all other areas of the curriculum we follow the experiences and outcomes set out in Curriculum for Excellence. We aim to offer the children a well structured and progressive learning experience through interesting and relevant contexts.