In recent years,Scottish Education has gone through a process of change, with the introduction of a new curriculum and new qualifications. Scotland’s curriculum for 3-18 is designed to provide young people with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for learning, life and work in the 21st century. The knowledge, skills and attributes developed, will allow them to demonstrate four key capacities – to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

The curriculum is organised into the eight curricular areas:

  • Expressive arts
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Religious and moral education
  • Sciences
  • Social studies
  • Technologies

All subject areas contribute to the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills and are committed to developing these skills within the context of each subject. Health and Wellbeing is also explored across a wide range of subject areas within relevant contexts.

S1 to S3 - Broad General Education

The Curriculum for Excellence requires that every child and young person in Scotland experiences a broad general education. This takes place from the early years to the end of S3, and is represented by learning across all curricular areas, covering all the experiences and outcomes. The key learning stages 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

Senior phase: S4 – S6 and/or further education

The new National qualifications including: National 3, National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher are being introduced in Scotland between 2013 and 2016. During that period they will replace the existing Access, Standard Grades, Intermediates, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications.

At the end of S3 learners will select the 6 subject areas they wish to continue with during S4. This will reduce to 5 in S5. All S4 pupils now follow the new Nationals at the level that is appropriate to them. The introduction of new Higher courses will take place during 2014 / 2015. This means that some pupils will continue to study the “old” Higher and Intermediate courses in the current session. The implementation of the new Advanced Higher will take place the following year.

Further information about the content of individual courses can be found on subject pages or at

© 2007-2019 St Stephens