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Information for Learners

Curriculum for Excellence puts the learner at the heart of their own learning and provides them with a range of pathways that meet their individual needs and aspirations. This means helping every young person understand how and why they are learning and what they need to do to develop. Scottish Government recognises that learners are the most important part of Scottish education and it is crucial that they have the information they need, at a level which is appropriate and at the time they need it.

Learning in Scotland is delivered through Curriculum for Excellence which aims to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they will need to flourish in learning, life and work, now and in the future. All young people from the age of 3 up until the end of S3 experience the Broad General Education, where they will work their way through Experiences and Outcomes across each of the eight curricular areas. The curriculum is designed to provide young people with challenge and enjoyment, as well as personalisation and choice. All schools are different and they will offer opportunities for personalisation and choice in different ways.

The Senior Phase of Curriculum for Excellence, from S4 to S6 in schools or up to age 18 out of school, follows a young person’s Broad General Education. It offers young people the opportunity to extend and deepen their learning as they build up their qualifications, awards and other achievements. It enables young people to continue to develop skills, through their qualifications and also through a range of opportunities for personal development, and supports them in moving on to the next stage – whether that is college, university, training or employment.

In the Senior Phase schools now have greater flexibility to offer a range of pathways which better meet the needs and raise the attainment levels of all their learners. Schools are able to offer greater personalisation and choice in a range of ways, for example by developing local partnership approaches where schools and partners, such as colleges, work together to plan and offer a range of choices for young people at all levels.

More examples of the range of potential pathways that young people might take through their Senior Phase curriculum, as well as examples of young people and headteachers talking about these options can be found at:

Education Scotland – What can learners expect?

Parentzone – Senior Phase Learner Journeys

SQA - Resources for School Learners