Tag Archives: curriculum

National Parent Forum-Focus Group

The National Parent Forum is inviting all parents to give feedback on whether CfE is meeting its / parents’ ambitions and expectations. Please come along if you are free to give your view.

Background from National Parent Forum: CfE aims to achieve a transformation in education by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum, assessment and qualifications system from 3 to 18.

The introduction of new qualifications is part of this, with the aim
of reflecting the new style of learning, which places an emphasis on skills and knowledge and tests the understanding and application of knowledge as well as facts.

NPF would like to hear whether parents feel that CfE is achieving these ambitions for parents and children as they embark on their CfE journey.

Wednesday 29th April 7pm- MEARNS CASTLE HIGH SCHOOL

Primary 4/5- ‘Learn a Skill’ afternoons

During this term, Primary 4 and 5 will take part in ‘Learn a skill’ afternoons every Tuesday. Children have been allocated into mixed groups  from across the four classes in their year group depending on which activity they selected. The options were:

P4- Origami, Cookery/baking, Technology, ICT/graphics/making a comic strip

P5- Model making, Zumba, Arts and crafts and Music making.

We were pleased to be able to offer most children either their first or second choice.

The purpose of these afternoons is to facilitate personalisation and choice and challenge and enjoyment – some of the key principles of Curriculum for Excellence. The sessions also allow children to build up relationships with their peers from other classes, as well staff, whilst developing a range of new skills! Feedback from the first P4 sessions has already been extremely positive and photographs from all groups will be posted here and on twitter over the coming weeks. We are confident that your children will find these sessions rewarding and enjoyable.


Enterprise in Education

Enterprise in Education plays a significant part in the school curriculum. The school is committed to encouraging a spirit of enterprise and creativity in all our pupils. The school was awarded East Renfrewshire’s Platinum Award for Enterprise.

Enterprise in Education is an approach to teaching and learning that encompasses a Curriculum for Excellence.

Enterprise in Education gives young people the opportunity to:

  • Develop enterprising attitudes and skills across the whole curriculum
  • Experience and develop an understanding of the world of work
  • Participate fully in enterprise activities
  • Enjoy appropriately focused career education.

An aim of A Curriculum for Excellence is to provide more freedom for teachers, greater choice and opportunity for pupils and to promote 3-18 curriculum. By using the enterprise approach to teaching and learning, teachers will develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes in young people so that they become successful learners, responsible citizens, confident individuals and effective contributors.   

The aims of Enterprise Education and A Curriculum for Excellence are mutually supportive.  Together the programmes ensure that schools have resources, processes and encourage pupils to be enterprising.   Enterprise activities are now embedded into the framework of the curriculum.

Enterprise projects should encompass these five principles:

Responsibility: Pupils make decisions and have ownership of the project
Real:   Pupils are involved in a ‘real’ project that has real customers and satisfies a real need
Role: Every pupil has a role to play in the project
Relevance : Opportunities are explored to widen pupils’ understanding of how their project   relates to the world of work
Reflection: Pupils are encouraged to think about their own strengths and challenges in the project


The technologies framework provides a range of different contexts for learning that draw on important aspects of everyday life and work.

It includes creative, practical and work-related experiences and outcomes in business, computing science, food, textiles, craft, design, engineering, graphics and applied technologies.

Learning in the technologies enables children to:

  • develop an understanding of the role and impact of technologies in changing and influencing societies
  • contribute to building a better world by taking responsible, ethical actions to improve their life, the lives of others and the environment
  • gain the confidence and skills to embrace and use technologies now and in the future, at home, at work and in the wider community
  • become an informed consumer and producer who has an appreciation of the merits and impacts of products and services
  • be capable of making reasoned choices relating to the environment, sustainable development and ethical, economic and cultural issues
  • broaden their understanding of the role that information and communications technology (ICT) has in Scotland and in the global community
  • broaden their awareness of how ideas in mathematics and science are used in engineering and the technologies
  • experience work-related learning, and establish firm foundations for lifelong learning, and specialised study and careers.

It is important to remember that as children and young people play and learn, they will develop an interest, confidence and enjoyment in ICT skills that can be transferred and applied in different learning contexts.

Modern Languages

Learning a new language encourages children and young people to broaden their horizons as they explore the language and its associated culture.

Through learning of a new language:

  • children gain a deeper understanding of their first language and appreciate the richness and interconnected nature of languages
  • children enhance their understanding and enjoyment of other cultures and of their own and gain insights into other ways of thinking and other views of the world.
  • children develop skills that they can use and enjoy in work and leisure throughout life.

The study of language plays an important role in all language learning and the development of literacy skills.

Children develop and extend their literacy skills when they have opportunities to:

  • communicate, collaborate and build relationships
  • reflect on and again explain their literacy and thinking skills, using feedback to help them improve and sensitively provide useful feedback for others
  • engage with and create a wide range of texts in different media, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT
  • develop their understanding of what is special, vibrant and valuable about their own and other cultures and their languages
  • explore the richness and diversity of language, how it can affect them and the wide range of ways in which they and others can be creative
  • extend and enrich their vocabulary through listening, talking, watching and reading.

The teaching of French is an integral part of the curriculum and takes place throughout the school. A French teaching assistant visits the school regularly.

Social Studies

Learning in the social studies will enable children to:

  • develop their understanding of the history, heritage and culture of Scotland, and an appreciation of their local and national heritage within the world
  • broaden their understanding of the world by learning about human activities and achievements in the past and present
  • develop their understanding of their own values, beliefs and cultures and those of others
  • develop their understanding of the principles of democracy and citizenship through experiences of critical and independent thinking
  • explore and evaluate different types of sources and evidence
  • learn how to locate, explore and link periods, people and events in time and place
  • learn how to locate, explore and link features and places locally and further afield
  • engage in activities which encourage enterprising attitudes
  • develop an understanding of concepts that stimulate enterprise and influence business
  • establish firm foundations for lifelong learning and for further specialised study and careers.Social Studies is essentially concerned with, “the study of how people live and adapt to their environments in different places and at different times.” A further aim is to assist in acquiring knowledge and skills which will help them to make sense of their own and other environments. This approach to learning and teaching is achieved through active learning, problem solving, finding and recording and reporting information.


The sciences framework provides a range of different contexts for learning which draw on important aspects of everyday life and work.                  

Learning all about how bees pollinate. Learning in the sciences will enable children to:     

  • develop curiosity and understanding of the environment and their place in the living, material and physical world
  • demonstrate a secure knowledge and understanding of the big ideas and concepts of the sciences
  • develop skills for learning, life and work
  • develop the skills of scientific inquiry and investigation using practical techniques
  • develop skills in the accurate use of scientific language, formulae and equations
  • apply safety measures and take necessary action to control risk and hazards
  • recognise the impact the sciences make on their life, the lives of others, the environment and on society
  • recognise the role of creativity and inventiveness in the development of the sciences
  • develop an understanding of the Earth’s resources and the need for responsible use of them
  • express opinions and make decisions on social, moral, ethical, economic and environmental issues based upon sound understanding
  • develop as a scientifically-literate citizen with a lifelong interest in the sciences
  •  establish the foundation for more advanced learning and future careers in the sciences and the technologies.

Within our Science programme of study children follow structured programmes in Energy & Forces; Earth and Space; Living Things and the Process of Life.  Learning all about chemical reactions.

Steady does it!

Expressive Arts

Experiences in the expressive arts involve creating and presenting and are practical and experiential. Evaluating and appreciating are used to enhance enjoyment and develop knowledge and understanding.

Learning in, through and about the expressive arts:

  • enables children to experience the inspiration and power of the arts
  • recognises and nurtures their creative and aesthetic talents
  • allows them to develop skills and techniques that are relevant to specific art forms and across the four capacities
  • provides opportunities for them to deepen their understanding of culture in Scotland and the wider world
  • is enhanced and enriched through partnerships with professional arts companies, creative adults and cultural organisations.

From Primary 4 onwards pupils have the opportunity to receive instrumental tuition in music provided by the Local Authority Music Service both during the day and on Saturday mornings in Williamwood High School. In Primary 4 the violin/viola are available and in later stages children can be considered for guitar, cello, clarsach and woodwind instruments.

Fantasy Castles

Religious Education

Learning through Religious Education in a Roman Catholic school enables children to:

  • develop their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith
  • investigate and understand the relevance of the Catholic faith to questions about truth and the meaning of life
  • highlight, develop and foster the values, attitudes and practices which are compatible with a positive response to the invitation of faith
  • develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking, and deciding how to act in accordance with an informed conscience when making moral decisions
  • nurture prayer life as an individual and as part of the school community
  • understand and appreciate significant aspects of other Christian traditions and major world religions
  • make a positive difference to the world by putting their beliefs and values into action.

It is the privilege and duty of the school to promote the religious education of its members since our Religion is essentially a way of life and not merely a subject to be studied.

The aim of the school is to lead the children to a deeper, more active, living and personal faith.

The whole ethos of our school is built upon the fundamental issues of peace, justice and tolerance with which this major area of the curriculum is concerned. We aim to develop a caring, Christian attitude in all our pupils, relevant to the demands of a changing society and yet which continue to uphold the values and moral standards of our Christian beliefs. We aim to help children to discover and personally deepen their faith and their understanding of their membership of the Church and the Sacraments.

With the cooperation of their families, the children in Primary 4 are prepared to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and Confirmation will now be conferred on pupils in Primary 7.

“This Is Our Faith” Religious Education Programme is used throughout the school.

“This Is Our Faith” stresses the importance of being inclusive to all learners and details the distinctive purpose of religious education in the Catholic school. It emphasises the central place of Jesus Christ in the enterprise of the Catholic school and invites schools to provide for children and young people structured opportunities of encounter with Jesus.

It stresses the importance of Catholic religious education in helping to discover the correct relationship between the definitive fullness of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ, handed on by the Apostles and by the teaching of the Church, and the importance of the human experience and provides guidance on the place of learning about other Christian denominations and other world religions in the religious education offered by Catholic schools.

Father Hill, Chaplain, Father Jim and Father Burke visit the school.

Mass is celebrated in school at times and on Holidays of Obligation and on the school Feast Day of 8 September, Our Lady’s Birthday.

We have introduced Class Masses and stage by stage pupils attend First Friday Masses in St Vincent’s Church.

We have regular Religious assemblies for all stages.

Parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from religious education and observance (Section 8, Education Act 1980) and this can be put into effect by notifying the school of their decision.

Religious instruction and observance however form part of the religious tradition and ethos in Catholic schools and play an important part in the education provided in this school.

Parents from ethnic minority religious communities may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school in order to celebrate recognised religious events.  Only written requests detailing the proposed arrangements will be considered.  Appropriate requests will be granted on not more than three occasions in any one school session.

Easter Cantata

Health and Wellbeing

Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future.  We work with partners and take a holistic approach to promoting health and wellbeing, one that takes account of the stage of growth, development and maturity of each individual, and the social and community context.  Children can expect their learning environment to support them to: 

  • develop self-awareness, self worth and respect for others         
  • meet challenges, manage change and build relationships
  • experience personal achievement and build resilience and confidence
  • understand and develop physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and social skills
  • understand how what they eat, how active they are and how decisions they make about behaviour and relationships affect physical and mental wellbeing
  • participate in a wide range of activities which promote a healthy lifestyle
  • understand that adults in their school community have a responsibility to look after them, listen to concerns and involve others where necessary
  • learn about where to find help and resources to inform choices
  • assess and manage risk and understand the impact of risk-taking behaviour
  • reflect on their strengths and skills to help them make informed choices when planning their next steps
  • acknowledge diversity and understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to challenge discrimination.

The school participates in East Renfrewshire Council Active Schools programme and pupils receive 2 hours Physical Education per week.

Everyone enjoying Sport's Day

Numeracy and Mathematics

Children’s learning in mathematics enables them to:

  • develop a secure understanding of the concepts, principles and processes of mathematics and apply these in different contexts, including the world of work
  • engage with more abstract mathematical concepts and develop important new kinds of thinking
  • understand the application of mathematics, its impact on our society past and present, and its potential for the future
  • develop essential numeracy skills which will allow them to participate fully in society
  • establish firm foundations for further specialist learning
  • understand that successful independent living requires financial awareness, effective money management, using schedules and other related skills
  • interpret numerical information appropriately and use it to draw conclusions, assess risk, and make reasoned evaluations and informed decisions
  • apply skills and understanding creatively and logically to solve problems, within a variety of contexts
  • appreciate how the imaginative and effective use of technologies can enhance the development of skills and concepts.

Early Numeracy – As with Early Literacy an important emphasis is placed on strategies to improve numeracy at the early years and subsequently throughout primary school through an interactive, participative approach to oral/mental mathematics activities.

Children enjoying using the computer to complete a Maths task.

Literacy and English

 The development of literacy skills plays an important role in all learning. 

Children develop and extend their literacy skills when they have opportunities to: 

  • communicate, collaborate and build relationships
  • reflect on and explain their literacy and thinking skills, using feedback to help them improve and sensitively provide useful feedback for others
  • engage with and create a wide range of texts in different media, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT
  • develop their understanding of what is special, vibrant and valuable about their own and other cultures and their languages
  • explore the richness and diversity of language, how it can affect them and the wide range of ways in which they and others can be creative
  • extend and enrich their vocabulary through listening, talking, reading and writing.

In developing English language skills: 

  • children engage with a wide range of texts and develop an appreciation of the richness and breadth of Scotland’s literacy and linguistic heritage
  • children enjoy exploring and discussing word patterns and text structures.

Early Literacy – An important emphasis is placed on strategies to improve literacy in the early years and subsequently throughout primary school. 

Each stage has a small fiction/non-fiction library. Every class has an Enterprise lending library where books are borrowed on a weekly basis.