Curriculum for Excellence, CfE, aims to achieve a transformation in education in Scotland by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18.
The 3-18 curriculum aims to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland develop the attributes, knowledge and skills they will need to flourish in life, learning and work.
The knowledge, skills and attributes learners will develop will allow them to demonstrate four key capacities – to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
CfE within the Academy is designed to prepare young people for learning, life and work in the twenty-first century. This means offering inspiring learning opportunities to explore new subjects and ways of learning, kindle ambition, extend talents and interests.
Literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing have also been given added importance because these skills are so vital in everyday life. All teachers have a responsibility to teach these through the course of their lessons.
The ‘Broad General Education’ is from nursery to the end of S3. Learning is divided into levels. The levels are as follows:
- 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-S3, but earlier for some
- Senior Phase, S4 – S6, college or other means of study
What will students learn from S1-S3?
All our students are offered a broad, deep, general education from S1-S3, building on previous learning. They experience a wide range of subjects across eight curriculum areas – expressive arts, languages and literacy, health and wellbeing, mathematics and numeracy, religious and moral education, sciences, social studies, and technologies. This provides a good foundation for moving on to study for qualifications, at the right level for the student, in the later stages of secondary school.
Opportunities for student personalisation and choice have been introduced into S1 – S3 including limited subject choice at the end of S1 and a wider subject choice at the end of S2. This allows progression and depth of study as well as providing the students with ongoing challenge and enjoyment.
Armadale Academy operates a 33 period week, with 32 periods allocated to teaching & learning and 1 period split into 5 and used for registration.
In S1/S2 all students study a broad range of subjects working mainly within mixed ability classes. The subjects currently studied are:
- Art and Design
- Craft and Design Technology
- Home Economics
- Information Technology
- Personal and Social Education
- Physical Education
- Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies
- Skills Academy
- Social Studies
S1/S2 Students take part in ‘Skills Academy’ for 1 period a week where they develop their own ‘skills for learning’, ‘higher order thinking skills’ and ‘skills for life and work’ through a range of practical activities.
In addition to these, in S2 students select personalised options for 4 periods a week from a range of topics ranging from ‘Let Me Entertain You’ through to ‘Rock Band’ and ‘Sports Academy’. These change on a yearly basis to suit the individualised needs and interests of our students as we strive to widen their experiences.
During S2 considerable attention is given to the selection of subjects for S3. The Student Support Staff introduce students to the options available, explain the choice procedure, consider the personal, curricular and vocational aspects of the choices, distribute information packages and offer advice to Parents. Parents are invited into school for further discussion before decisions are finalised.
In S3 students study 7 subjects (English, French and Mathematics plus 4 others) as well as core Physical Education and Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies providing a broad and balanced curriculum, relevant to student’s interests and with multiple routes for progression in the senior phase. This is currently under review.
The school makes arrangements through Interdisciplinary Learning activities to ensure that all students within the Broad General Education experience learning opportunities from all Curricular Areas.
What happens within the Senior Phase?
The Senior Phase aims to enhance knowledge, understanding and skills through qualifications and other learning. Staying in learning after 16 offers young people the best chance of long term employability and Curriculum for Excellence offers all young people appropriate, relevant and attractive choices to continue their learning when they reach 16. This individualised approach to learning will enable young people, including those in need of support, to achieve qualifications, skills and experiences to prepare them for learning, life and work. For schools, this is known as working towards a ‘positive destination’. For students this typically means a place at university, college, employment, training, or voluntary work.
Students in S4-S6, choose to study up to 6 subjects, each school session, to provide study in more depth and detail. The number of subjects a student will work towards in each session will be based upon the needs of the individual student and not on the year group they are in. This may result, at times, in students from S4/S5/S6 being in the same class. Students work towards securing National Qualifications at N4/N5/Higher/Advanced Higher.