Curriculum for Excellence

What is Curriculum for Excellence?

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) aims to achieve a transformation in education in Scotland by providing an improved, more flexible and enriched curriculum for all children and young people from 3 – 18. The curriculum includes all of the experiences which are planned for children and young people through their education, wherever they are being educated. All schools and nurseries in North Lanarkshire are working hard to raise standards so that children and young people will develop all of the skills necessary to continue to be successful when leaving school and entering the world of higher education, training or work.

The curriculum for all learners is underpinned by Scottish Government policy for development and learning. The 3-18 curriculum aims to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland develop the attributes, knowledge and skills they will need to flourish in life, learning and work.

The knowledge, skills and attributes learners will develop will allow them to demonstrate four key capacities – to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.


The four capacities

The purpose of the curriculum 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.

The attributes and capabilities of the four capacities are outlined below:






The curriculum includes all of the experiences which are planned for children and young people through their education, wherever they are being educated. These experiences are grouped into four categories.

  • Curriculum areas and subjects
    The curriculum areas are the organisers for setting out the experiences and outcomes. The title ‘experiences and outcomes’ recognises the importance of the quality and nature of the learning experience in developing attributes and capabilities and in achieving active engagement, motivation and depth of learning. An outcome represents what is to be achieved. Each area contributes to the four capacities.
  • Interdisciplinary learning
    How the curriculum should include space for learning beyond subject boundaries.
  • Ethos and life of the school
    The starting point for learning is a positive ethos and climate of respect and trust based upon shared values across the school community.
  • Opportunities for personal achievement
    Pupils need opportunities for achievements both in the classroom and beyond, giving them a sense of satisfaction and building motivation, resilience and confidence.

Curriculum Levels

Children experience a broad general education from nursery to the end of Secondary School Year 3. Learning is divided into levels. The levels are as follows ~


Level Stage
Early the pre-school years and P1 or later for some
First to the end of P4 but earlier or later for some
Second to the end of P7 but earlier or later for some
Third and Fourth S1 – S3 but earlier for some

More Information from Education Scotland

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