Progress in Curriculum for Excellence

An important focus of Curriculum for Excellence is pupil participation in setting learning targets, reflecting on their achievements and taking responsibility for their own learning. It is part of 'Assessment is for Learning' (AIFL). This is why the Learning Experiences and Outcomes in Curriculum for Excellence use phrases such as ‘I can…’ and ‘I am able to…’ Greater ownership of personal learning leads to confidence and a sense of success through achievement.

The process of self-assessment, goal-setting and celebrating success is called Personal Learning Planning. Across learning, children will make progress by developing their learning and thinking skills. These are described in the Experiences and Outcomes by the use of verbs. For example, a pupil may begin by remembering information, then move on to understanding it, before applying it, analysing it, evaluating it and finally creating a new idea with it. The development of thinking skills is central to Curriculum for Excellence.  

These transferable skills will equip pupils for the world of further and higher education, for work and for life.

How pupil progress will be recognised...

  • All teachers assess, monitor and track pupils' learning progress within Curriculum 3–18.
  • From ages 3 to 15, this will be carried out within schools and centres using the national Benchmarks.
  • Education Scotland Benchmarks are used to support assessment within Literacy and English and in Numeracy and Mathematics.  Benchmarks for all other curricular areas are being introduced over time.
  • Teachers will assess progress within and achievement of a level through looking at a broad range of evidence.  This may include information from day to day learning and teaching, practical application of learning, learner conversations and pupils' work.  Assessment will consider how well children and young people learn, how much they learn and how their learning and thinking skills are developing.
  • Learners have opportunity to self and peer assess and to agree targets for their next steps in learning.
  • Increasingly, computer programs are being used to support tracking of pupil progress.
  • From August 2017, Scottish National Standardised Assessments in reading, writing and numeracy will be undertaken by learners in P1, P4, P7 and S3.  These are designed for Early, First, Second and Third levels of Curriculum for Excellence.
  • From ages 15 to 18, assessment will include national qualifications overseen by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

National Improvement Framework (NIF)...

The National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan is designed to help us deliver the twin aims of excellence and equity in education - ensuring children and young people develop a broad range of skills and capacities, whilst supporting them to thrive, regardless of their social circumastances or additional needs.

Within the NIF Assessment of Children's Progress includes information on what children learn and achieve throughout their education and how well this prepares them for life beyond school.  An information leaflet for parents/carers Assessing Children's Progress:  A Guide for Parents and Carers provides further information.

See also: