Developing Curriculum for Excellence: A Local Authority Perspective Andrew Griffiths Head of Education Aberdeenshire Council
Why is there no Curriculum for Excellence for Dummies? It is complex It is about a transformational change in education Over-simplifying loses the message
Background Curriculum for Excellence is a 3-18 education development based on a national Scottish Government policy It is overseen by Education Scotland, the national body responsible for the quality of education in Scottish schools and education services Local Authorities are responsible for the quality and development of education in local government areas A period of significant change National Debate in Education – 2003 OECD Report on Quality and Equity in Scottish Schools - 2007 It is not all totally new Learning and teaching is core business Skills for learning, life and work Evolution not revolution Working with parents, Further/Higher Education colleagues, business, employers and a range of other partners to support the developments
Why change? Todays learners are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach (Marc Prensky) Improve attainment and achievement opportunities for all learners Create better learners equipped with modern skills for learning, life and work Enable young people in Scotland to have the knowledge, skills and attributes required for the 21 st century Summed-up in the four capacities
The Four Capacities The purpose of the curriculum is encapsulated in the four capacities - to enable each child or young person to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor The experiences and outcomes are a set of statements which describe the expectations for learning and progression for each of the eight curriculum areas.
University of Aberdeen Graduate Attributes Some similarities with Four Capacities of Curriculum for Excellence: Academic Excellence Critical Thinking and Communication Learning and Personal Development Active Citizenship
In our Local Authority… Aberdeenshire Education, Learning and Leisure (EL&L) service is responsible for all of our schools We are a confident and aspirational service The service develops policy which is governed by the democratic process of elected Councillors who are responsible for policy and scrutiny of standards This is governed through the EL&L Committee which is politically representative of the make-up of the Council The service has broad guidelines to ensure that schools implement Curriculum for Excellence appropriately Head Teachers and schools are charged directly with developing the curriculum with support and guidance from the Local Authority The Senior Phase in S4 is the starting point for qualifications We are aiming to improve qualifications and attainment in the Senior Phase through more opportunities where appropriate. The qualifications a young person leaves school with is crucial Qualifications remain vital, but so are the wider skills and attributes each young person is entitled to develop
The importance of Nursery and Primary education Learning stages Early Level First Level Second level All levels incorporate the full range of experiences and outcomes
Secondary Education 2 parts S1-3 Broad General Education S4-6 Senior Phase
The S1-3 curriculum Learning across all the 8 curriculum areas Builds on the primary curriculum and experiences Blend of separate subjects and inter- disciplinary learning Some whole school or year group learning experiences Opportunities for wider achievement Increasing opportunities for choice and personalisation as each learner moves through the curriculum
The Senior Phase – S4-6 All pupils have entitlements to experience a Senior Phase of education Pupils will work towards SQA and other qualifications in S4-S6 New qualifications being developed nationally Will replace some existing qualifications
Senior Phase Entitlements A coherent curriculum from 3-18 and then beyond the senior phase – HE/FE/work A Senior Phase which provides opportunities to gain qualifications and develop the four capacities Develop the four capacities, skills for learning, life and work and move beyond school positively
Challenges Supporting the understanding of change and the reasons for it Providing for all learners as individuals whilst dealing with the realities of schools and curriculum structures Developing consistency with curriculum opportunities whilst acknowledging the diversity of schools and communities Supporting parents and working as partners Building-in curricular flexibility whilst acknowledging the requirements of universities and colleges Communicating complex changes, in particular an understanding of the Senior Phase and qualifications approach
Where to next? Our schools will begin Senior Phase for S4 pupils from this summer First diet of new qualifications in summer of 2014 Variety of approaches taken by our schools Continuing to work with parents, employers, universities, colleges and other partners
Some questions linked to university context How can we develop a greater understanding of local and national changes with Curriculum for Excellence and its potential impact? How much do staff in universities know about the scale and specifics of changes and how can Local Authorities support this understanding? What do Local Authorities need to know/do to ensure we understand what universities need?