The curriculum in Scotland


The Scottish Government's lifelong learning strategy aims to ensure that everyone develops the attributes, knowledge and skills they will need for life, learning and work. The curriculum is all the experiences that are planned for learners to support the development of these skills.

Curriculum levels

There are five curriculum levels - Early, First, Second, Third and Fourth - in the broad general education (from early years to the end of S3).

This diagram shows the five curriculum levels with progression to the senior phase (S4-S6).

Diagram presenting information on the five curriculum levels and the senior phase - children in the early years and Primary 1 will typically be working at the Early level; Primary 2 to Primary 4 children will be at First level; from Primary 5 to 7 children will be working at Second level; in secondary school, children in S1 to S3 will be working at the Third/Fourth level. The Senior phase covers the years S4 to S6 (fourth to sixth year).

Note: This is a general guide. Learners will progress at their own pace through the curriculum levels - the framework is designed to be flexible to permit careful planning for those with additional support needs, including those who have a learning difficulty and those who are particularly able or talented.

The senior phase is for young people aged 15-18 and is designed to build on the experiences and outcomes of the broad general education, and to allow young people to take qualifications and courses that suit their ability and interests.

Curriculum for Excellence
Be at the heart of your child's learning.

This link will provide information to parents about the national campaign which seeks to provide information for parents and carers about Curriculum for Excellence. Click here to see it.

It includes the latest CfE briefing -A guide for Parents and Carers - designed to support you to be at the heart of your child's learning and raise your awareness of the wealth of information available on the Parentzone website.

We encourage you to visit the website:

Broad General Education Information

Senior Phase Information

"Every child and young person is entitled to experience a broad general education."

Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching, p14


The S1 – S3 curriculum at Alva Academy provides this 'broad general education' structured around the 8 curriculum areas, interdisciplinary learning and opportunities for personal achievement. 


Curricular areas

*Click on each curriculum area to find out more

Expressive arts
The inspiration and power of the arts play a vital role in enabling our children and young people to enhance their creative talent and develop their artistic skills.   Further information here
Health and wellbeing
Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge, understanding and skills which they need now and in the future.   Further information here
Knowing other languages and understanding other cultures is a 21st century skill set for students as they prepare to live and work in a global society.   Further information here
Mathematics equips us with the skills we need to interpret and analyse information, simplify and solve problems, assess risk and make informed decisions.   Further information here
Religious and moral education
Religious and moral education includes learning about Christianity, Islam and other world religions, and supports the development of beliefs and values.   Further information here
Science and its practical application in healthcare and industry is central to our economic future, for our health and wellbeing as individuals and as a society.   Further information here
Social studies
Through social studies, children and young people develop their understanding of the world by learning about other people, societies, their beliefs and values.   Further information here
The range of subjects in technical education has changed significantly over the last two decades and now includes craft, design, engineering and graphics.   Further information here

"Every young person is entitled to experience a senior phase where he or she can continue to develop the four capacities and also achieve qualifications."

Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching, p15


Nationals in a Nutshellnationals image

A great series of guides to Nationals from the National Parent Forum of Scotland which outline not only each level, but each course subject. Short guides, easy to understand and well-designed.