CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE
What is Curriculum for Excellence all about?
Curriculum for Excellence is now being implemented across Scotland for all 3-18 year olds – wherever they learn. It aims to raise standards, prepare our children for the future and equip them for jobs of tomorrow in a fast changing world.
Curriculum for Excellence enables professionals to teach subjects creatively, to work together across the school and with other schools, to share best practice and explore learning together. Glow, Scotland’s unique, world-leading, online network supports learners and teachers in this.
Teachers and practitioners will share information to plan a child’s ‘learning journey’ from 3-18, helping their progression from nursery to primary, primary to secondary and beyond, ensuring the change is smooth. They will ensure children continue to work at a pace they can cope with and with an appropriate degree of challenge on which they can thrive.
Curriculum for Excellence balances the importance of knowledge and skills.
Every child is entitled to a broad and deep general education, whatever their level and ability. Every teacher and practitioner will be responsible for literacy and numeracy – the language and numbers skills that unlock other subjects and are vital to everyday life. The Broad General Education will now cover first to third year. Young people will not begin specialising in a limited number of subjects until the Senior Phase in fourth to sixth year.
Curriculum for Excellence develops skills for learning, life and work to help young people go on to further study, secure work and navigate their way successfully through life. It brings real life into the classroom, making learning relevant and helps young people apply lessons to their life beyond the classroom. It links knowledge in one subject area to another helping children understand the world and make connections. It develops skills so that children can think for themselves, make sound judgements, problem solve, enquire, analyse, evaluate, create and find solutions.
There will be new ways of assessing progress and ensuring children achieve their potential. Our well regarded Access, Highers and Advanced Highers will be updated to take account of and support the new approaches to learning and teaching. The levels covered by Standard Grade (Foundation, General and Credit) will be replaced by Access 3, National 4 and National 5 courses.
There will also be better personal support to help young people fulfil their potential and make the most of their opportunities with additional support wherever that is needed. There will be a new emphasis by all staff on looking after our children’s health and well-being – to ensure that the school is a place where children feel healthy, safe and secure.
Ultimately, Curriculum for Excellence aims is to improve our children’s life chances, to nurture successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors, and responsible citizens, building on Scotland’s reputation for excellent education.
Are you offering Curriculum for Excellence?
The school is currently offering the traditional curriculum whilst phasing in Curriculum for Excellence. The children and young people in first to third year are currently experiencing Curriculum for Excellence, whilst the young people in fourth to sixth year are experiencing the traditional curriculum.
What is the new definition of the curriculum?
As noted on this section’s title page, the term ‘curriculum’ has traditionally been associated with the subjects available within the school. With the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence, the term ‘curriculum’ applies now to “the totality of all that is planned for children and young people throughout their education” and recognises that learning takes place in four contexts: within the ethos and life of the school as a community; curriculum areas and subjects; interdisciplinary learning; and opportunities for personal achievement.
What learning experiences does the school offer outside the formal curriculum?
In addition to the learning experiences in the formal curriculum, there are a variety of whole school community events which contribute significantly to the education of our young people. For example senior pupils provide leadership and team building training for all learners in first and second year. First year pupils have the opportunity to take part in one week of outdoor education to build self-esteem and resilience as well as team working and interpersonal skills. Field and study trips supplement the formal curriculum in the majority of subjects and there are opportunities to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities including excursions and study trips abroad. Working with a range of business partners is also part of the curriculum to ensure relevance and improve motivation.
We hold regular community events which include formal family learning experiences (e.g. the
Holocaust Memorial Event and an Evening of Photography in partnership with the
Ayrshire Photographic Society), expressive arts events (e.g. talent showcases, concerts, gymnastic displays, drama events, Young Musician of the Year events, school shows etc.) and charity events ( e.g. a week of activities in November for pupils, staff and parents to raise funds for children less fortunate than ourselves) in addition to the usual social events such as parties, discos etc.
Young people have a voice in the decisions which affect the school. Their views are surveyed at least on an annual basis and inform our planning for improvement. Class representatives take part in House Learning Councils where their views are sought on a range of issues and most recently on the shape of the new curriculum where their views have significantly affected our thinking and planning. The school Eco-Council, Sports Council and Fair Trade Cooperative also host a range of events during the session, including an annual Spring Clean of our local community and school campus, the Big Day Out (a health promoting event for the whole school) and events to encourage other schools to become Fair Trade Schools. This session a large group of staff and pupils are reviewing our school values as part of their work to achieve the UNICEF Award as a Rights Respecting School.
The Parent Council and the Kyle Parents’ Association are very actively involved in the life of the school and in supporting learning. The Kyle Parents’ Association host a number of regular social events during the session to allow staff and parents to get to know one another and to raise funds for the school. They also host an annual school Fashion Show which actively involves young people in managing lighting and sound, modelling and marketing the event.
The Parent Council hosts an annual meeting of the Parent Forum (i.e. for all parents) where they report on their work and consult parents on school priorities. In recent years these meetings have focussed on developments relating to Curriculum for Excellence, self-evaluation and reviewing our school vision, values and aims. There are also regular events throughout the session to provide information for parents and consult them on key priorities for improvement.