Literacy and English

Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning, as it unlocks access to the wider curriculum.  Being literate increases opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life, lays the foundations for lifelong learning and work, and contributes strongly to the development of all four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence.

Literacy consists of:

  • Listening and Talking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Modern Languages; children in the upper school are taught French


About the 3-18 curriculum


​What is the curriculum?

Curriculum for Excellence is Scotland’s curriculum for children and young people aged 3-18.
It’s an approach designed to provide young people with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for learning, life and work in the 21st century.

It aims to enable every child or young person to be a:

  • Successful learner
  • Confident individual
  • Responsible citizen
  • Effective contributor.

Stages and levels

The curriculum is broken into two broad stages:

  • broad general education, providing a rounded education from the early years until the end of S3
  • senior phase, which will include studying for qualifications (from S4-S6).

The broad general education is divided into five curriculum levels (Early, First, Second, Third and Fourth) across eight curriculum areas.

Parent guides to the curriculum

Great learning in Scotland

This parent guide to the curriculum summarises some of the key ideas and approaches, such as personalisation and choice and the importance of literacy, numeracy and wellbeing. It was produced by the National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS)

PDF file: Great learning in Scotland (2.8 MB)

Frequently asked questions for parents

Find answers to questions you might have about the transition between broad general education and senior phase.

PDF file: Frequently asked questions for parents: Transition between Broad General Education and Senior Phase (606 KB)

Related links

Information on the background to Curriculum for Excellence and the benefits it brings to Scottish education.

PDF file: Curriculum for Excellence fact file – Background and benefits (360 KB)

A summary of the key features of the 3-18 curriculum and the terms used to describe these.

PDF file: Curriculum for Excellence fact file – Overview (465 KB)