Curriculum for Excellence

What is the Curriculum for Excellence?

Curriculum for Excellence is Scotland’s national curriculum. It provides coherent and inclusive curriculum from 3-18 years wherever learning is taking place, including early learning childhood centres, schools, colleges and community learning. It places children and young people at the heart of Scottish Education.

The purpose of Curriculum for Excellence is encapsulated in the four capacities – to enable each child or young person to be:

  • a successful learner
  • a confident individual
  • a responsible citizen and
  • an effective contributor

These four capacities govern the entire curriculum from age 3 to 18 and aim to raise the standards of achievement for all learners.

Curriculum for Excellence is underpinned by the values inscribed on the mace of the Scottish Parliament – wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity.

Throughout Curriculum for Excellence there is a strong focus on Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing across all aspects of learning and every teacher will support learners with the development of these, including digital literacy skills.

Curriculum for Excellence is defined as:

The totality of all that is planned for children and young people throughout their education.

The opportunities for learning and teaching are governed by the Four Contexts for Learning, which ensure that the education your child receives is informative, interesting, relevant and fun.

  • Ethos and life of the school as a community
  • Curriculum areas and subjects
  • Interdisciplinary learning
  • Opportunities for personal achievement

What are the Curriculum for Excellence Levels?

There are five and these are flexible depending on pupils’ needs and abilities (Some children and young people may achieve these levels earlier or later dependent on ability):

  • Early level pre-school to P1
  • First level to the end of P4
  • Second level to the end of P7
  • Third and fourth levels S1 to S3
  • Senior phase S4 to S6 and other forms of study.


What is the Broad General Education (BGE)?

The Broad General Education (BGE) is the first phase of two closely connected phases of education. The BGE phases stretches from age 3 until the end of S3 after which the learners move into the Senior Phase which starts in S4.

Curriculum areas and subjects

The BGE is delivered via 8 curricular areas which, in secondary school covers years S1 to S3, and may be subdivided further into individual subjects.

The 8 curricular areas are:

  • Expressive Arts
  • Languages and literacy
  • Health and Well Being
  • Mathematics and numeracy
  • Religious and Moral Education
  • Sciences
  • Social Studies
  • Technologies