In a recent policy review, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) made a judgement that the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence was at a ‘watershed moment’, which could lead to a world-class system of education. The Curriculum for Excellence gives teachers more flexibility in what they teach and aims to develop a broad and general education up to the age of 15.
In their report titled ‘Improving Schools in Scotland: An OECD Perspective’, the OECD noted some key points about the Scottish Curriculum of Excellence, some of which are identified here:
Levels of academic achievement are above international averages in science and reading as measured by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) and similar to average in mathematics.
- A large majority of students feel positive about their school and teachers.
- Over nine in ten school leavers entered a "positive follow-up destination” in 2014 and nearly two thirds continue on in education.
- Scottish schools do very well on measures of social inclusion and mix.
ASDAN centres in Scotland use Key Steps to enhance and accredit the broad education offered through the Curriculum of Excellence. ASDAN has recently updated the programme, which is designed to provide KS3 learners (ages 10-14) with a comprehensive education based around citizenship and PSHE. Learners demonstrate their understanding with a range of skills that can accredit activities both inside and outside of formal education.
Key Steps is also used by teachers in England to develop learners in all of these areas and to prepare 11- to 14-year-olds for the pressures of future tests and examinations in education. Moreover, it can help young people to be better and earlier prepared for lifelong learning and the world of work.
Key Steps covers nine modules of learning: Identity, Community, Health, Citizenship, Environment, Personal Finance, Enterprise, Values and International. For further information and to download a sample copy of the student book, visit the ASDAN website.