View to all-encompassing curriculum

30th October 2009 at 00:00

The fourth paper in the Scottish Government's Building the Curriculum series has been published this week as guidance on the "skills for learning, life and work" that young people should acquire under A Curriculum for Excellence.

Until recently, many aspects of skills development were linked with "vocational" learning, mainly aimed at "less academic" children.

Building the Curriculum 4, however, spells out that to meet the aspirations of ACfE, "there will need to be changes in the way people think about the curriculum, shifting the focus from a view of curriculum content as either `academic' or `vocational', towards curriculum as encompassing the range of knowledge, skills and attributes that contribute to the four capacities".

The document also seeks to define what is meant by "skills for learning, life and work":

- personal and learning skills enabling individuals to become effective lifelong learners;

- literacy and numeracy;

- the five core skills of communication, numeracy, problem solving, information technology and working with others;

- essential skills including the above;

- vocational skills specific to a particular occupation or sector.

It includes examples of good practice, showing how they link to the outcomes and experiences guidance published earlier this year, but adds that further exemplification will be published later:

- the fashion and brand retailing course for S5-6 students at Glasgow Caledonian University, which prepares pupils for learning in retail or at university, has a skills focus on research and employability, independent learning and presentation skills;

- Cultercullen School in Aberdeenshire established a pupil council, eco- school group, health and enterprise group and playground group - demonstrating a skills focus on leadership, decision making, organisation and team working;

- the independent living skills centre at Fairview School in Perth helped its pupils with additional support needs to develop life skills and health and interpersonal skills.

The Government has published a new online CPD resource to help schools work in partnership with employers under its Determined to Succeed programme: tivities.

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