Aberdeenshire Curriculum Framework Proposals by chuffin

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A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire



INTRODUCTION
It is essential that we have a set of curriculum experiences that prepare our Aberdeenshire learners for 21st century Scotland and the wider world that they are growing up in. Many of us, for some time now, have felt that the national curriculum planning guidance that schools have operated within has been too restrictive. Happily we are now in a position where we can begin to plan and deliver a more meaningful set of experiences and entitlements for our young people, restore the flexibility and creativity to our teachers and allow our learners to flourish. For the last 12 months or so we have had a series of conversations on the shape of our curriculum for our learners. I see it best described as “the best of the old with the best of the new”. While this has been happening in Aberdeenshire, the Scottish Government has clarified its position in what is a major statement of intent in its “Building The Curriculum 3” document. Founded in the highly important 2008 OECD study into Scottish Education, BC3 will soon become the main national statement on the curriculum. As a consequence, we are now in a position to consult pupils, parents, teachers and other partners on the nature of an Aberdeenshire Curriculum Framework. Please take the opportunity to respond so that when we begin implementation in 2009 we have the support of the key constituents in Aberdeenshire. These documents are available at Aberdeenshire’s website www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk and Arcadia where you may access the Consultation Questionnaire. Bruce Robertson, OBE Director or Education, Learning & Leisure August 2008

CONTeNTs
1	 Rationale	 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1

2		 Principles	of	Curriculum	Design	  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 9 3	 4	 5	 6	 7	 8	 Guidance	on	effective	Learning,	Teaching	&	Assessment	  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 17 Transition  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 23 Qualifications	and	Assessment	 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 29 Curriculum	Architecture  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 31 Assuring	Quality	of	the	Curriculum .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 35 Conclusion	 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 37

Appendices  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 39 1	 2	 Building	the	Curriculum	3	(summary)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 40 References,	publications	&	websites	  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 43

1	

RATIONALe

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

RATIONALe

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

This policy is set in the national context of “A Curriculum for Excellence” and the unique and dynamic natural, cultural, economic and social context of Aberdeenshire. It outlines the experiences to which our children and young people are entitled and the principles that all schools should apply to the design and delivery of the curriculum. It supports Aberdeenshire schools and learning communities in organising, scheduling and delivering consistent learning experiences that meet the entitlements and needs of individual learners and establishes a culture of respect, care and ambition for our children and young people. It is intended to help every school and learning community effectively engage every child and young person in learning and achievement and enable them to gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications for learning, life and work that they need. The framework should also be used in conjunction with the Service Plan and, together, they provide an agenda for improvement planning. The framework has taken into account the guidance and directions set by the Scottish Government in its most recent policy document, ‘Building the Curriculum 3’. A summary of this is contained in Appendix 1. This policy describes a curriculum framework through which all schools and learning communities enable all our children and young people to:


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1)

•

use literacy, communication and numeracy skills

ü use technology for learning ü think creatively and independently ü learn independently and as part of a group ü make reasoned evaluations ü link and apply different kinds of learning in new situations
and develop:

ü enthusiasm and motivation for learning ü determination to reach high standards of attainment and achievement ü openness to new thinking and ideas
in order to become Successful Learners.

2)

•

relate to others and manage themselves

ü pursue a healthy and active lifestyle ü be self aware ü develop and communicate their own beliefs and view of the world ü live as independently as they can ü assess risk and take informed decisions ü achieve success in different areas of activity

and develop:

ü self respect ü a sense of physical, mental and emotional well-being ü secure values and beliefs ü ambition
in order to become Confident Individuals.

3)

•

communicate in different ways and in different settings

ü work in partnership and in teams ü take the initiative and lead ü apply critical thinking in new contexts ü create and develop ü solve problems
and develop:

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ü an enterprising attitude ü resilience ü self-reliance
in order to become Effective Contributors.


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

4)

•

develop knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s and Aberdeenshire’s place in it

ü understand different beliefs and cultures ü make informed choices and decisions ü evaluate environmental, scientific and technological issues ü develop informed, ethical views of complex issues ü develop understanding, appreciation and affection for the local North
East environment and develop:

ü respect for others ü commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and
cultural life in order to become Responsible Citizens.

The Curriculum Framework is a key structure through which the Service helps create and sustain the best quality of life in Aberdeenshire. That will be reflected in:

ü Happy, healthy and confident people A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire ü Safe, friendly and lively communities ü An enterprising and adaptable economy ü Our special environment and diverse culture.
As such, it is entirely consistent with the major themes of Aberdeenshire Council’s strategic plan. These are:

ü Community wellbeing ü Jobs and the economy ü Lifelong learning ü Sustainable environment
Our children and young people will be entitled to opportunities to develop understanding, appreciation and affection for the Aberdeenshire and North East environment through interaction with resources such as the Cairngorm National Park, the North East coastline, agricultural and maritime communities, museums, galleries, oral and musical heritage resources and work experience with economic partners. The activities and experiences designed into the curriculum framework will help our children and young people learn in, about and through the unique natural, cultural and economic environment of Aberdeenshire and the North East. Our children and young people will also be encouraged to engage and contribute to their communities, through voluntary and other community service initiatives as part of the role they play in and for their parts of Aberdeenshire. The framework will allow schools and learning communities to respond creatively and imaginatively to curricular provision. It will allow them to develop their unique identities within the unique Aberdeenshire context and to celebrate diversity.


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Partnership working
In order to provide these learning experiences and entitlements for each learner and to ensure learners benefit from the full and unique range of support and opportunity available to them within Aberdeenshire, delivery of the 3–18 curriculum will require effective Partnership working and co-operation within and beyond the Education, Learning & Leisure Service. The development of dynamic learning communities incorporating and involving all key partners will provide the context for rich and varied learning experiences and opportunities which meet the individual needs and aspirations. These learning communities will include the following key contributors who, within their areas of influence, are Leaders of Learning:

ü Parents and Carers ü All types and Stages of Schools Provision – Nursery, Primary, Secondary
and Special

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ü Specialist Support Services eg: Psychological Services ü Community Learning and Development ü Leisure and Recreation ü Libraries and Cultural Services ü Social Work Services ü Health Services ü Careers Scotland ü Further and Higher Education ü Business and Industry ü Voluntary Sector and Local Community groups
The Community School Networks provide an important context for such partnership working in support of young people and their learning. By involving, drawing upon and supporting these learning communities across Aberdeenshire, the 3–18 Curriculum design, content and delivery will enable each individual young person to maximise their potential as learner, contributor and citizen.


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

The	Curriculum	Framework
The framework consists of:

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü A set of principles for design of the curriculum ü A set of entitlements for each learner ü Proposals for the architecture that the curriculum is built around
Plus

ü Advice and guidance on teaching, learning and assessment ü Advice on how the framework articulates with the national system of
National Qualifications

ü Advice on key “transition” stages in the life of each learner ü Advice on assuring the quality of the curriculum

Principles for Curriculum Design and Curriculum Entitlements
Schools and learning communities in Aberdeenshire will apply the principles for Curriculum Design that are drawn from National advice but reflect our unique Aberdeenshire context. Those principles are:


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ü Challenge and enjoyment ü Breadth ü Progression ü Depth ü Personalisation and choice ü Coherence ü Relevance
As well as designing a curriculum consistent with these principles, it will be necessary to ensure that the framework delivers the following entitlements for all learners:

ü A coherent learning experience ü Experiences in health and well-being ü Cultural experiences ü Environmental experiences ü Vocational experiences ü Creative and enterprising experiences

To achieve this, the Aberdeenshire Curriculum Framework will provide a broad, balanced set of experiences for each learner designed around the curriculum areas of:

ü Expressive arts ü Languages and Literacy ü Mathematics and Numeracy ü Health & Wellbeing ü Religious and moral education ü Sciences ü Social studies ü Technologies
together with opportunities to develop skills for learning, skills for life, skills for work with a continuous focus on:

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ü Enterprise and Creativity ü Citizenship and International Education ü Literacy ü Numeracy ü Health & Wellbeing ü Sustainable Development ü Information Communication Technology (ICT)


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Every school and learning community will engage every child and young person in learning and achievement and enable them to gain the knowledge and skills for learning, life and work that they need. The Curriculum Framework 3 –18 will progressively develop the skills of effective learning and will be founded on the idea that learners learn best when:

ü They understand clearly what they are trying to learn, and what is
expected of them

ü They are given feedback about the quality of their work and what they
can do to make it better

ü They are given advice about how to make improvements ü They are fully involved in deciding what needs to be done next and who
can give them help if they need it. Furthermore, the Curriculum Framework provides opportunities for learning through the application of a variety of new technologies. We see the use of e-learning as an opportunity to expand curriculum options as well as learning and teaching styles.

Transitions
The 3–18 curriculum will provide all learners with access to learning experiences and opportunities suited to the phase of education, their stage of development and individual needs. The design and delivery of the curriculum will ensure the following for each individual learner:

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü Opportunity to maximise their potential in terms of personal
development, achievement and attainment

ü Inclusion in a curriculum relevant to their needs and aspirations ü Personal support to enable them to gain as much as possible from these
opportunities

ü Flexibility to meet individual needs and choice, motivation, challenge and
richness

ü Facilitation of progressive learning and development through pathways
incorporating carefully planned and managed transitions for learners through all stages

ü Positive and sustained destinations beyond school

To ensure and support this:
Aberdeenshire Education, Learning & Leisure Service will provide ongoing guidance for schools and learning communities combining national requirements and local innovation. It will share emerging good practice and provide effective models for delivery. Furthermore, it will co-ordinate and facilitate appropriate opportunities for professional development. Schools and learning communities will apply the Aberdeenshire Curriculum Framework and engage with partners to produce programmes of learning across all of the curriculum areas and permeating themes with appropriate emphases on the Scottish and Aberdeenshire context. All those involved in our schools and learning communities will contribute to the collegiate design and delivery of these programmes. They will take professional responsibility for their own planning and delivery of experiences and opportunities that meet the needs of their learners. In support of this they will have the opportunity to undertake appropriate continuing professional development (CPD). This CPD needs to be every bit as dynamic, ambitious and motivating as the opportunities we are providing to all learners. Indeed all our teaching and support staff in schools and educators working across Education, Learning & Leisure Service are an integral part of the dynamic learning communities in Aberdeenshire.


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2		

PRINCIPLes	OF	CURRICULUm	 DesIGN

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

PRINCIPLes	OF	CURRICULUm	DesIGN

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

1 Introduction
This paper builds on the Rationale to Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum Framework 3–18. It outlines the educational entitlements of children and young people in Aberdeenshire. It outlines the experiences to which all of our children and young people are entitled and the principles that all schools and learning centres should apply to the design and delivery of the curriculum. It helps Aberdeenshire schools and learning communities deliver learning experiences that meet the needs of individual learners and establishes a culture of inclusion, respect, care and ambition for all of our children and young people. It reflects on issues raised in the 2008 OECD report into Scottish Education and recognises the strengths and opportunities therein.

2 Principles for curriculum design
Our children and young people are entitled to opportunities to develop understanding, appreciation and affection for the Aberdeenshire and North East environment through interaction with resources such as the Cairngorm National Park, the North East coastline, agricultural and maritime communities, museums, galleries, oral and musical heritage resources and local employers. The activities and experiences designed within the curriculum framework will help all of our children and young people to learn in, learn about and learn through the unique natural, cultural and economic environment of Aberdeenshire and the North East. At the same time our children and young people have to learn beyond Aberdeenshire and understand how they can have an impact in the wider world.

0
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The seven principles for the 3–18 Curriculum Framework in Aberdeenshire, set out below, are drawn from National advice but reflect our unique Aberdeenshire context. They are universal and inclusive seeking to motivate and inspire all of our children and young people and instilling in them a sense of belonging to the area in which they live and learn, work and play.
a) Challenge and enjoyment: Learning in Aberdeenshire will be challenging and enjoyable. Our children and young people have a right to challenging, engaging and motivating learning experiences. Our 3–18 curriculum will encourage high aspirations and ambitions. In order to enable each individual to achieve his or her full potential, at all stages, learners of all aptitudes and abilities will experience an appropriate level of challenge. Through active learning in and beyond school they will have the right to develop and demonstrate their creativity, innovation and enterprise. They will be supported to sustain their effort and motivation.

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b) Breadth: In Aberdeenshire, our children and young people have broad learning activities based on the experiences and outcomes of the 8 curricular areas. The 3–18 curriculum in Aberdeenshire will be organised so that learners will learn and develop through a variety of contexts within the classroom, the local environment and the wider community and through all aspects of school life. c) Progression: Aberdeenshire will have a single 3 to 18 Curriculum Framework based on the experience and outcomes of the of the 8 curricular areas. Our children and young people will have a right to continuous progression in their learning from 3 to 18 within this single curriculum framework. Each stage will build upon earlier knowledge, skills and achievements. Our curriculum will allow progression at a rate which meets individual needs and aptitudes, maximises opportunity and sustains ambition and enthusiasm. At all levels learning will take place both in schools and beyond the classroom. It will involve teachers and other partners who can support learning working together to plan for progression. d) Depth: In Aberdeenshire our children and young people will have a right to develop their full capacity for different types of thinking and learning. As they progress, they will develop and apply increasing intellectual rigour, drawing different strands of learning together and exploring and achieving more advanced levels of understanding. New technologies and links with other learning providers and the wider communities and businesses represented in Aberdeenshire will ensure our learners are able to gain a deeper understanding of topics of particular interest, in new and different settings and contexts. e) Personalisation and choice: The 3–18 curriculum in Aberdeenshire will respond to individual learner needs and support their aptitudes and talents. Our children and young people have a right to increasingly exercise personal choice as they move through their school career. Choice will remain as open as possible and our children and young people will be supported to ensure that their choices lead to successful outcomes and positive sustained destinations.


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

f) Coherence: Learning activities in Aberdeenshire will be coherent. Our children and young people have a right to learning activities within the school context, their community and environment that combine to form a coherent experience. There will be clear links between the different aspects of young people’s learning, including opportunities for extended activities which draw different strands of learning together. g) Relevance: Education in Aberdeenshire will be relevant to the world in which our learners and staff live and work. Our children and young people will see the value of what and how they are learning. They will understand its relevance to their own careers, lives, lifelong learning, local community, environment and economy. They will understand how they impact in a wider global context in terms of development citizenship and sustainability. Personal access to new technologies in Aberdeenshire will promote creativity and other connections with the wider world. The experiences of learners in Aberdeenshire should ensure that they leave school very aware of their local landscape, their heritage, their culture and the economic activity which all combine to ensure Aberdeenshire is the best place in which to live, learn, work and play.

3 Entitlements
Schools and learning communities in Aberdeenshire have a responsibility to provide a number of entitlements. Each of our children and young people will be entitled to:
a) A coherent 3–18 curriculum b) Health and well being experiences c) Cultural experiences d) Creative and enterprising experiences e) Environmental experiences f) Vocational experiences


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which are delivered in a creative manner using a range of learning and teaching styles and environments which:

ü Are engaging and active ü Set challenging goals ü Share expectations and standards ü Are timely, and provide accurate feedback ü Share learning intentions, success criteria and support personal learning
planning

ü Are collaborative and reflect the ways different learners progress
Schools and learning communities in Aberdeenshire will provide the following experiences to ensure that these entitlements for all of our children and young people are fully met.

a)

A coherent – curriculum in Aberdeenshire which promotes high quality attainment and achievement and which provides:

ü A broad general education which is responsive to changing needs and
local circumstances and which is motivating and relevant

ü A senior phase with a range of courses which are motivating, relevant and
dynamic and offer the choice to gain qualifications and develop talent

ü The development of skills for learning, skills for life, skills for work
throughout the curriculum and linked to our local economy

ü Planned experiences and outcomes across all curricular areas with
a continuous focus on literacy numeracy and health and wellbeing (including early teaching in modern languages)

ü Access to high quality personal and pastoral support at times of transition
and ongoing opportunities to develop the 4 capacities

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ü Opportunities and support to move into positive and sustained
destinations

ü Personal access to new technologies to support creativity and learning ü An appreciation and understanding of sustainable development ü Recognition of achievement in its widest sense
b)
Health and Well Being in Aberdeenshire which provide:

ü Opportunities to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle ü Continuous and progressive participation in physical activity ü Opportunities to develop skills for independent living, active citizenship
and financial capability


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü Learning opportunities which promote physical, social and emotional well
being

ü Learning opportunities which teaches childrens’ rights and promotes,
respect and responsibility in a variety of new situations

ü Opportunities for active involvement in, and contribution to, their local
communities and wider global and sustainable issues

ü Opportunities to take part in voluntary work and community service ü Ongoing opportunities to develop Health Promoting Schools, ECO
Schools and Rights Respecting Schools Initiatives

c)

Cultural experiences in Aberdeenshire which provide:

ü Direct experience, participation and performance with creative
practitioners

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü Access to and involvement in local cultural traditions ü Multi cultural activities which celebrate and reflect Aberdeenshire’s
diverse communities and which promote international education and the understanding of different beliefs and cultures

ü Access to the resources of Aberdeenshire’s Arts, Museums and Libraries ü Opportunities to develop and communicate their own beliefs and views
of the world

d) Creative and enterprising experiences in Aberdeenshire which provide:

ü Inter disciplinary learning opportunities across the curriculum which
promote creativity and encourage play, problem solving, innovation, experimentation, independence and critical thinking

ü Practical activities that develop enterprising skills and attitudes eg
positive attitude, self-awareness, decision-making, responsibility, ambition, reflection, co-operation, leadership, risk taking and informed decision making; a ‘can do’ approach


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ü Learning opportunities which emphasise the importance of teamwork,
independent thinking and the presentation of information. Experiencing and learning from failure as well as from success

ü Entrepreneurial approaches to learning activities in and beyond the
classroom where young people will experience leadership and achieve success in different areas of creativity

ü Opportunities to develop pre vocational, employability, personal and
cognitive skills which put learning into a practical context

ü Direct access to creative and enterprising people and resources ü A wide and varied set of contexts in which to learn both inside and
outside the classroom including real and virtual contexts for learning

ü An awareness of their contribution to a smart, successful and
internationally competitive Scotland and the need to take an active part in enhancing our global profile.

e) Environmental experiences in Aberdeenshire which provide:

ü Learning in, about and through the full range of environments in
Aberdeenshire – physical, historical and built

ü Opportunities to evaluate environmental scientific and technological
issues and the development of informed choices, decisions and ethical views

ü Opportunities to participate in a range of outdoor learning activities

ü Visits to significant local environments (such as Cairngorm National Park) ü Opportunities to appreciate Aberdeenshire’s unique environment and
play an active part in its conservation and sustainability

ü Opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of the world and
Scotland’s place in it

f) Vocational experiences in Aberdeenshire which provide:

ü Opportunities for entrepreneurial learning giving young people the
chance to experience the risk and responsibility of real business through their experiences.

ü A clear focus on skills for work and skills for life through direct
engagement with employers and development of new courses linked to the local economy to develop “industry ready” young people

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ü Access to vocational learning including at least one work placement ü Careers guidance and activities that helps young people make
connections between learning and work and to recognise the contribution they can make to the local and global economy

ü Opportunities which equip young people, at every stage of their
learning, with the knowledge to make informed decisions and reasoned evaluations about their future

ü Support at key transition phases to help ensure progress into positive and
sustained destinations Within each learning community the emphasis given to each of the entitlements will vary to suit local circumstances.


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

4 Planning and Delivery
The curriculum which emerges in each school and learning community, based on the principles and entitlements will require detailed planning and development work, involving all staff working together. Head Teachers and management teams will have a key role to play in this in providing the vision and leadership necessary to formulate and take forward the schools’ plans, as well as ensuring that all staff are consulted and involved in the process. All staff will be involved in developing learning experiences that encompass all of the curriculum areas in ways that will provide opportunities for the inter-disciplinary approaches that will be necessary if the principles are to be adhered to and the entitlements delivered. Parent Councils also have a key role to play particularly during the discussions of the local planning and delivery at school level. A starting point for the development of such a curriculum is clearly existing good practice, but staff in schools and learning communities should be willing to engage in a process of engagement and sharing with colleagues who have different sets of expertise – staff from different subject areas, from different teaching and learning disciplines, staff from different educational sectors – if the desired curricular outcomes are to be realised. However, working collaboratively on the planning and delivery of the curriculum with other staff in schools will not of itself be enough to ensure that all of the principles and entitlements are delivered. Many of the entitlements and principles outlined above make it incumbent upon schools and learning communities to involve, from the outset, partners from across the Education, Learning & Leisure Service and indeed, from beyond the Service in the planning and delivery of Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum Framework. To deliver the kind of curricular experience envisaged for all of our children and young people will require an approach to planning and delivery that maximises the opportunities for synergies that exist by harnessing the expertise, resources, ways of working and modes of delivery from across (and beyond) the Education, Learning & Leisure Service. In addition, although Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum Framework outline refers primarily to the age range 3–18, running through all of the principles is the notion that the curriculum that each learner experiences will be one that fosters a desire to engage in learning, which will serve them throughout their lifetime. It is the responsibility of everyone involved in the design and delivery of the curriculum to ensure that our children and young people aspire to be the very best in Aberdeenshire and beyond, and that this aspiration stays with them as they go on to play a full and active role within their communities and the wider world in which they are citizens.

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A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire



3	 GUIDANCe	ON	eFFeCTIve	LeARNING,	 TeAChING	&	AssessmeNT

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

GUIDANCe	ON	eFFeCTIve	LeARNING,	TeAChING	&	 AssessmeNT

This paper builds on the Rationale to Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum Framework 3 – 18. It sets out guidance that all schools should apply to ensure that learning and teaching is effective in meeting the needs of all our children and young people. It also emphasises the importance of integrating clear assessment procedures, which meaningfully involve children and young people in the learning process and which encourage them to reflect on their progress. The Assessment is for Learning programme and Curriculum for Excellence aim to deepen children and young people’s learning and to improve their achievement and attainment.

The Learning Environment
Children and young people thrive and learn best in safe, secure and inclusive learning environments, where their views are valued. It is imperative that they are supported to develop genuine relationships with their peers and staff and close attention is paid to their well-being and mental health. Their learning and behaviour is better when they receive high levels of understanding, care and respect.


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Teaching and Learning
Schools and learning communities will engage every child and young person in a range of planned, quality learning experiences which will meet their needs and allow them to develop the four capacities. In planning, preparing and teaching these learning experiences, teachers and educators will:

ü Plan for a continuous focus on literacy, numeracy and the health and wellbeing of learners.

ü Be accountable for their part in delivering a high quality education to
ensure the success of the school and all children and young people

ü Know their learners well, and have high expectations of all learners and
young people

ü Make learning relevant, engaging and progressive, building on prior
experiences and learning

ü Take responsibility for improving learners skills in literacy, numeracy and
ICT

ü Regularly reflect on the quality of learning, assess its impact and adapt
accordingly

ü Make effective use of questioning to extend thinking and embed learning ü Make meaningful links in learning and teaching across learning
experiences

ü Share learning intentions with children and young people and support
them to set ambitious but achievable targets

ü Have meaningful dialogue with children and young people about the
progress of their learning, and provide advice on how they should take their learning to the next stage

ü Communicate effectively with parents and partner agencies on
attainment achievement and learning needs of children and young people.

ü Ensure that children and young people are given feedback about the
quality of their work, and what they can do to improve it

ü Be responsive and adaptable to meet the changing needs of learners in
the 21st century In addition, Teachers and Educators should consider how to:

ü Create and maintain stimulating environments, which engage and
motivate learners including interactive learning and teaching displays

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ü Plan for and implement effective and efficient management of learning ü Maintain good order and effective classroom routines for learning
activities

ü Promote active learning and opportunities for learners to work
collaboratively and independently

ü Provide resources which are interesting, accessible and relevant to the
needs of all learners

9
A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü Make effective use of new technologies and e-learning ü Make effective use of the learning environment, including outdoor
learning opportunities

ü Take opportunities to promote relevant vocational and work-based
learning

ü Work as a collegiate team to make effective use of space, time and
resources

Assessment
Assessment is an integral part of effective teaching and learning. The principles underlying the Assessment is for Learning programme provides good support for the kinds of learning experiences envisaged as part of the Aberdeenshire 3–18 curriculum. Our aspiration is that every school and learning community should become one in which “everyone is learning together”. The processes of assessment for learning, assessment as learning and assessment of learning will all be important in ensuring that our children and young people enjoy a quality teaching and learning experience. Assessment for learning involves teachers and/or children and young people engaging in activities that provide information that can be used to modify teaching and improve learning. It is effective when children and young people:

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü Understand clearly what they are trying to learn, and what is expected of
them

ü Are given timely feedback about the quality of their work and what they
can do to make it better.

ü Are given advice about how to go about making improvements ü Are fully involved in deciding what needs to be done next, and who can
give them help should they need it. Assessment as learning involves teachers and children and young people in reflecting on their learning and using it to set goals for their subsequent learning. It assists them in becoming more aware of what they are learning, how they have learned, and of what kinds of activities and approaches helps them to learn. As a result, they will develop responsibility for their own learning. Assessment as learning is supported by self and peer assessment and the process of Personal Learning Planning. Assessment of learning involves working with the range of available assessment evidence that will enable dependable judgements to be arrived at about the progress children and young people are making in their learning. The method used to generate the evidence and arrive at judgements should be valid, reliable and comparable. Arrangements for local moderation should also be in place to ensure that standards are consistently applied across schools, learning communities and beyond. Schools and learning communities need to ensure that appropriate systems are in place to ensure that progress is recorded (making using of Management Information Systems, where appropriate) to support learning, reporting and monitoring. Teachers and educators can evaluate the progress made by children and young people in relation to the outcomes and experiences defined for each of the curriculum levels as defined in ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ and detailed in the table opposite:

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Curriculum Levels
Level Early First Second Third Fourth Stage Pre School and P1 To the end of P4, but earlier for some children To the end of P7, but earlier for some children S1-S3, but earlier for some children The fourth level broadly equates to SCQF level 4. In most curriculum areas, the fourth level experiences and outcomes are intended to provide possibilities for choice, and young people’s programmes will not include all of the fourth level outcomes. Further guidance will be published within the Building for Curriculum series S4-S6

Senior

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Inter-disciplinary Learning
“Curriculum areas are not structures for timetabling; establishments and partnerships have the freedom to think imaginatively about how the experiences and outcomes might be organised and planned for in creative ways which encourage deep, sustained learning and which meets the needs of children and young people.” (Building the Curriculum 3, pg 20)
Inter-disciplinary Learning makes connections and is meaningful. The curriculum needs to include space for learning beyond subject boundaries, so that learners can make connections between different areas of learning. This can take the form of:


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü Individual one to one projects or longer courses of study ü A themed approach with experiences and outcomes drawn from different
curriculum areas or subjects within them and should include:

ü Progression in skills and in knowledge and understanding ü Opportunities for mixed age or stage learning which is interest based
Inter-disciplinary study can also take advantage of opportunities to plan and work with partners multi-disciplinary agencies and the wider community who are able to offer and support enriched learning experiences and opportunities in Aberdeenshire. Developing this approach will enable children and young people to build skills in transferring their learning to new situations and support them to:

ü Become skilled in flexible thinking ü Apply concepts across subject areas and to life beyond school ü Adopt multiple points of view in problem solving ü Select which skills and knowledge are required in unfamiliar situations ü Develop organisational skills, creativity, teamwork and the ability to apply
learning in new and challenging contexts

Inter-disciplinary learning can support children and young people to develop skills for life and work by:

ü Acquiring an understanding of the skills necessary for life and work
through a wide range of real life contexts

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü Developing their ability to think and act in enterprising ways and to
explore their creativity

ü Experiencing joined-up areas of learning which will help them to
understand how curriculum areas relate to career choices

ü Making informed choices of future pathways ü Acquiring the skills, behaviours and attitudes necessary for lifelong
learning Although some learning will still be built around conventional subjects it is vital that duplication is avoided and the application of learning can be transferred. Local programmes will be developed across schools in Aberdeenshire and our unique environment and the structure of the Education, Learning & Leisure Service is well suited to such cross-curricular approaches. The programmes which are developed in our communities will be shared on GLOW to support our teachers in their endeavours to create exciting learning opportunities for the children and young people of Aberdeenshire.


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Learning Communities
Learning communities succeed where staff engage in an evidence-based approach to professional reflection and self-evaluation. The professional knowledge and skills of staff will be enhanced thus improving the learning experiences for our children and young people. All staff will be provided with a range of appropriate CPD opportunities which will build on individual strengths and address development needs to enhance practice in learning, teaching and assessment.

4	

TRANsITION

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

TRANsITION

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

This paper builds on the Rationale to Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum Framework 3-18. It is designed to outline clear expectations and entitlements for transitions of children and young people from 3 to 18 years of age in educational establishments and partner centres in Aberdeenshire. Effective transitions are central to enable young people to develop as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. At the heart of effective transitions lie the seven principles of curriculum design as outlined in the Principles of Curriculum Design paper. This will provide a basis for monitoring and evaluating the impact of arrangements and practice. Change is an inevitable part of life, and learning how to prepare for and cope with change at transition points is a valuable and necessary skill. Each stage in a young person’s education provides opportunities to build on prior learning. It is vital that all staff in educational establishments and partner centres support young people at these points and provide them with opportunities to grow and progress.

Definition of transition
Transitions occur at many points in children and young people’s lives. However for the purpose of these guidelines, key transition points are to be interpreted as:


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ü Home to pre-school setting ü Pre-school to pre-school ü Pre-school to Primary ü Primary to Secondary ü Transitions between levels of curricular design ü Transitions to positive and sustained destinations, e.g. Further/Higher
Education, the world of work

ü School to school across and outwith the authority
The principles outlined in these guidelines can, however, apply to transition points at other times in a child or young person’s experiences. It is important to recognise and build on these and other strengths in developing effective transitions at all stages.

Background and context
Curriculum for Excellence states that “young people should experience continuous progression in their learning from 3 to 18 within a single curriculum framework. Each stage should build upon earlier knowledge and achievements. Young people should be able to progress at a rate which meets their needs and aptitudes, and keep options open so that routes are not closed off too early.”

“Some children and young people will start learning at these levels earlier and others later, depending upon individual needs aptitudes. The framework is, however designed to be flexible in order to permit careful planning for those with additional support needs, including those who, for example, have a learning difficulty and those who are particularly able or talented.” (Building the Curriculum 3, Pg 28)

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Approaches to transition should focus on individual learners and very close attention must be paid to ensuring continuous progression in children and young people’s learning, including how they learn. There should be opportunities for personalisation and choice in the curriculum. Effective transitions will encourage progression and continuity as well as a depth and breadth of learning. They will promote opportunities for children and young people to be creative, enterprising and prepared for the world of work and their future careers. Transitions should take account of pupils’ prior learning and experiences and enable smooth movements from one level and stage to another. Partnerships and multi-agency working is vital for smooth transitions to take place. Partners include pre-school settings, schools, children and young people, parents, partner agencies and local communities. Joint assessment approaches to meeting needs will support effective learning and teaching, curricular delivery and the care, welfare and development of children and young people. Aberdeenshire’s Child Protection Guidelines as well as national policies, such as ‘Safe and Well and Getting It Right For Every Child’ (GIRFEC), will be central to ensuring the safety and care of children and young people at key transition points. All establishments will need to refer to such policies when planning for transitions. SEEMIS, the Management Information System (MIS) used by the Service, should be administered to ensure that information relating to children and young people is managed and used effectively. Effective learning and teaching is central to transitions at all stages. Appropriate use of a range of methodologies, in particular active and co-operative approaches to learning, as well as using assessment to support effective learning and progression is crucial to enable children and young people to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that are required for life and for wider society.


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Principles of Effective Transition
At all key stages there is a number of principles which apply. They include:

ü Effective systems and timely sharing of relevant information between all A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire
establishments and agencies

ü Ongoing communication between establishments and agencies after
transition points

ü All partners involved in key decision making at transition points ü Building on good practice from one level to another ü Quality cross-sector working ü Improving support for children, young people and families through multiagency approaches

ü Parental involvement at transition stages ü Appropriate and effective use of assessment data ü Focus on the development of the whole child ü Making good use of effective practical strategies to enable smooth
transitions Positive features such as these will support effective transitions in areas such as the curriculum, learning and teaching, improving attainment and achievement and meeting children and young people’s needs.


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Key Elements of Effective Transitions –
Each stage will have specific requirements to enable smooth and effective transitions. However, there are key elements of effective transition which permeate all transitions. This section outlines such elements with subsequent sections identifying specific transition issues. At all stages, the principles of progression and coherence remain central to young people’s learning experiences. Taking account of children and young people’s prior learning and their needs is of central importance. Effective transitions should ensure that outcomes and experiences are delivered effectively at all stages and across all curricular areas.


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

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ABeRDeeNshIRe	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3–18	

	 DIAGRAm	OF	CORe	PRINCIPLes	OF	TRANsITIONs
Attainment data will be used to inform, monitor, plan and evaluate learning experiences at transition points by all staff e.g. baseline assessments, pupil achievements of outcomes/levels. Effective local arrangements will be in place, including moderation and sharing of standards to ensure accuracy and effective use of attainment and achievement information.

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Establishments will have robust, secure and effective systems to transfer information at key stages of transition, e.g. attainment data, personal information, reports, learning profiles, IEPs and CSPs. A transition calendar at network level should be put in place to support communication and planning for effective transitions.


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The needs of each child or young person will be the paramount focus. This will involve a commitment by all establishments to inclusion for all pupils in accordance with Pathways to Policy, and managing transitions for learners at later stages to reach positive destinations.

Effective approaches to learning, teaching and assessment will be built upon at transition points. Pupils will have effective and progressive learning experiences from 3–18. This will include approaches such as Assessment is for Learning, Active Learning and Co-operative Learning and will maximise the potential of key areas such as enterprise education, citizenship, community involvement and multi/inter-disciplinary approaches to learning and curricular organisation. Curricular areas and specific outcomes and experiences will be at the heart of effective approaches to the pupils’ learning experiences and should be integral parts of pupils’ transitions. At all stages, key partners and contributors as defined in the curriculum rationale will be involved at points of transition. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) will provide opportunities for individual establishments and networks to arrange opportunities for sharing and evaluating practice, e.g. via classroom observations, team-teaching and professional discussions of approaches to learning, teaching and assessment.

Core Principles of transitions – in Aberdeenshire

Events, programmes and link visits will be part of pupils’ experiences at transition points, e.g. visits to receiving schools, college/university visits, sporting and cultural experiences, The curricular projects. Where appropriate, achievements a focus on learning in, about and of young people will be through the unique Aberdeenshire recognised, including attainment context will support transition and wider achievements such as programmes. sporting, musical, cultural or communitybased involvements. A means for recognising and recording achievements will be developed which is transferred from one establishment to another. Opportunities for young people to cultivate leadership skills at all ages will also be an important way of encouraging confidence, responsibility and effective contributions to the school community and beyond. Such skills can be developed in a variety of ways involving all partners.

5	 QUALIFICATIONs	AND	AssessmeNT

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

QUALIFICATIONs	AND	AssessmeNT

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Currently there is a national consultation on the future shape of the Assessment and Qualifications framework for Scottish schools and FE Colleges. Once we have clarity on the national direction of travel, we aim to consult on how to take forward local implementation. The Aberdeenshire Council response to the national consultation will be available from 28 August 2008 on www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

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6	

CURRICULUm	ARChITeCTURe

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

CURRICULUm	ARChITeCTURe

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Introduction:
This paper builds on the Rationale to Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum Framework 3–18. The vision outlined in the Rationale and Principles of the Curriculum for Aberdeenshire requires building blocks on which we can plan and deliver the entitlements and experiences for children and young people. One of these building blocks is concerned with Curriculum Architecture We see learning as being delivered by a range of partners both within formal school settings and in other settings such as early years centres, colleges and the wider environment, with children and young people learning in, learning about and learning through Aberdeenshire We have asked fundamental questions about what is the best way to arrange the school day/week and how we are best able to deliver the ideas set out in our ambitious set of entitlements.

Curriculum Architecture:
At present there are almost as many variations of school timetables as there are establishments in Aberdeenshire. Schools start and finish at different times, they have a variety of lunchtimes and break times and they plan learning in blocks of times which can vary a great deal. This makes collaborative working extremely difficult to arrange and can result in re-inventing of many wheels! We wish to maximise opportunities for schools to collaborate. This will be the local Primaries collaborating with each other and/or their associated early years centres and Academy or groups of Secondary schools collaborating with each other or the local colleges to offer viable courses or vocational provision. We are seeking to find approaches which benefit learners. In addition, variations in curriculum architecture also makes it challenging for collaborative learning activities to take place without significantly disrupting the teaching, transportation or catering arrangements for one or more establishments. We feel that the time is right to propose looking at a more consistent approach across our establishments. If we are to deliver collaborative and cross sector working we need to have a degree of consistency in the building blocks of the curriculum. Much work has been done on this subject both by Aberdeenshire and by other local Authorities. In essence, and after consideration of various alternatives, it is proposed that all schools move to a standard timetable of 4 longer days and 1 shorter day. This shorter day would enable a range of collegiate and collaborative activities to take place – teacher meetings, joint planning, parental interviews, pupil activities. After much deliberation on which day should be shorter it was considered on balance that in terms of families planning childcare, a Friday would be most appropriate.


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One facet of the longer days would enable Primary colleagues to vary the learning activities during the longer days and perhaps use the shorter day for innovative cross stage and collaborative activities. An added benefit to children and young people would be the opportunity to be involved in wider aspects of learning on the shorter day. This may be a time when a sports leader may be able to arrange activities between schools, when a work placement can be arranged, where various clubs etc could be provided with other volunteers, partners or training providers can be involved in supporting learning and teaching in the broadest sense. The longer days would also enable decent blocks of time in which to deliver vocational and other collaborative courses. Within Secondary, the week would be split into 32 x 50 minute periods, plus 10 minutes each day for registration. This arrangement should result in efficient use of staff time, create opportunities for smaller classes and enable Secondary schools to maximise choices for senior pupil courses. Realising the benefits of this working arrangement will require a commitment to collaborative planning and partnership working at all levels. It will require us to work together to identify and facilitate joint programmes of staff development, to coordinate the work of volunteers to support a range of pupil activities and to provide childcare for families.

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Summary:
General features of the curriculum delivery framework in all of our schools/learning establishments will be:


A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

ü A school year of 190 days as required by legislation ü A pupil week of 27½ hours in all Secondary schools ü A pupil week of 25 hours in all Primary schools (Where any Primary school
currently does not have a 25 hour week, we aim to move towards this by 2011, or earlier)

ü A pupil week of 15 hours in all Nurseries (by 2010/2011) ü An asymmetric week in which 4 days (Monday -Thursday) are identified as
longer days and one day (Friday) is a shorter day to allow opportunities for collegiate activities, extra curricular activities and partnership working

ü Within Secondaries, the week would be built around a common structure
of 32 x 50 minute periods plus 5 x 10 minutes registration (a 32+1 structure).

ü Within Primaries the longer days, Monday to Thursday would be
approximately 5½ hours in duration while Friday would be approximately 3 hours long.

Example of Asymetric Week
The example outlined on the next page would include a morning break of 20 minutes and a lunch break of 45 minutes. Friday morning classes would end at 12 noon and lunch would be available thereafter.

PRIMARY
Monday – Thursday (longer days)

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Start Break Lunch Finish

8:45am ü Monday to Thursday - Daily Direct Teaching Time = 5 Hours 30 minutes (complete length of day 6 10:30am – 10:50am Hours 35 minutes including lunch and break) 12:15pm – 1:00pm ü Direct Pupil Teaching Time Monday to Thursday = 3:20pm 22 Hours

Friday (shorter day) Start Break Classes Finish Lunch 8:45am 10:30am – 10:45am 12:00noon 12:00pm – 12:45pm

ü Friday – Daily Direct Teaching Time =
3 Hours

ü TOTAL PUPIL TEACHING TIME PER
WEEK – 25 Hours

SECONDARY
Monday – Thursday Start Break Lunch Finish Friday Start Break Lunch Finish 8:30am ü Friday – Daily Direct Teaching Time = 3 Hours 30 minutes 10:20am – 10:40am 12:20pm – 1:05pm ü TOTAL TEACHING TIME PER WEEK – 27 HOURS 30 MINUTES 12.20pm 8:30am ü Monday to Thursday – Daily Direct Teaching Time = 6 Hours (complete length of day 7 Hours 5 10:20am – 10:40am minutes) 12:20pm – 1:05pm ü Direct Pupil Teaching Time Monday to Thursday = 3:35pm 24 Hours


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Whilst this aspect of our proposals will generate much discussion, we feel there are significant benefits for all stakeholders. We recognise the concerns some parents may have over issues such as childcare and will need to ensure there are arrangements in place to respond to such concerns. However, the approach has been in place for many years in areas such as Edinburgh and Lothian and feedback from these places is very positive. The main benefits we see are that professional development and collegiate type activities can take place on a Friday afternoon thus reducing disruption to pupil learning. In addition, a range of additional pupil activities such as extra curricular activities, Duke of Edinburgh Award and work experience can be planned. Also families can take advantage of time which, especially in winter time, is not always available for daytime activities and appointments which take pupils away from school.

7	

AssURING	QUALITy	OF	The	 CURRICULUm

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

AssURING	QUALITy	OF	The	CURRICULUm

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

This paper builds on the Rationale to Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum framework 3–18. As the Framework is implemented across Aberdeenshire it will be subject to thorough evaluation to ensure that the curriculum offers our children and young people a high quality experience and that it has a positive impact on their attainment and achievement. Assuring the quality of the Curriculum Framework will be firmly rooted in selfevaluation processes throughout Aberdeenshire. The information will be gathered through a range of strategies including dialogue, informed exchange, teachers’ evaluations of practice, group discussion, surveys and other relevant data. The selfevaluation will focus on core quality indicators to ascertain the impact of outcomes for children and young people and the quality of the experiences delivered through Aberdeenshire’s Curriculum Framework. These indicators will include:

ü Meeting learning needs ü Learners’ experiences ü Teaching for effective learning ü Improvements in performance ü Improvement through self-evaluation ü The curriculum
The evaluation information will be gathered throughout the year and from various sources and stakeholders connected with the Service. The self-evaluation process will begin in the classroom and build out to faculty, whole school and authority levels. In this way future change and improvement will be planned systematically and supported with well matched professional development opportunities. All the stakeholders in education in Aberdeenshire have a role to play in assuring the quality of the curriculum. We will work through our existing quality assurance policies, using self-evaluation as our corner stone, to ensure continuous improvement. Our links with HMIe and other external audit agencies will help us in this respect.


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8	

CONCLUsION

ABeRDeeNshIRe’s	CURRICULUm	FRAmewORk	3	–	18		

CONCLUsION

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Curriculum for Excellence is the most ambitious reform of Scottish Education for many years. Aberdeenshire is well placed to meet these aspirations for our children and young people to ensure that they will be responsible citizens, confident individuals, effective contributors and successful learners. Through the Curriculum Framework we will support children and young people, help them maximise their potential and to have high attainment and achievement while developing their skills for learning, life and work. “Towards the very best – A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire” sets out the guiding principles and entitlements which will see our children and young people learning in, about and through Aberdeenshire for years to come and will instill in them a love of learning and a deeper understanding of their contribution to Aberdeenshire … the very best of Scotland.


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APPeNDICes

Towards the very best... A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

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Appendix	1



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A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Towards the very best... A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire



Appendix	2



Towards the very best...

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Towards the very best... A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire





Towards the very best...

A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire

Towards the very best... A Curriculum Framework 3–18 for Aberdeenshire


NOTES


								
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