Curriculum for excellence (CfE)

Curriculum for excellence (CfE)

The national framework in Scottish schools from the age of 3 to 18 years old is the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). 

Whilst developed out of the ‘National Debate on Education’ exercise carried out in 2002, it was in 2004 the 4 key purposes of education were identified and was not implemented into schools by the Scottish government until 2010-11.

The CfE framework has been implemented to ensure opportunities are provided for children to develop their skills, attributes, critical thinking and knowledge to equip themselves to flourish and blossom in today’s world, across these four areas;

The approach places the learner at the heart of education and at its core is four fundamental capacities. These four capacities are aimed at helping children to become;

Whilst also reflecting and recognising the lifelong nature and importance of education and learning, these four context are key areas of development and knowledge which are observed against within the 8 areas curriculum;

Expressive arts 

Religious and moral education 

Health and wellbeing 



Social studies 



Outside of these 8 areas, an importance is also put on developing children in literacy, numeracy and aspects of health and wellbeing.

The curriculum levels have no ceiling, enabling staff to extend a child’s learning as required and are;

  • 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 to S3, but earlier for some. The fourth level broadly equates to SCQF level 4. 
  • Senior phase –  S4 to S6, and college or other means of study

Statements of development and experiences reflect the national expectations of learning from early years to the fourth level of curriculum. For easy reference within the CfE, statements are coded to provide a unique identification for each statement.

eyworks offers CfE as a framework option as part of their eylog platform for online learning journeys. Practitioners can easily add assessments and next steps to observations and track children’s progress in accordance with the CfE framework.

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