The purpose of education can best be achieved by providing a curriculum which includes opportunities:

  • to increase knowledge and understanding
  • to develop skills
  • to enhance personal and social development

The Curriculum for Excellence (3-18) provides a framework to enable all young people to become:

  • successful learners
  • confident individuals
  • responsible citizens
  • effective contributors

and children are most likely to learn when they:

  • are motivated by stimulating and personally rewarding tasks
  • have self-confidence and a sense of personal worth
  • understand the relevance of tasks
  • believe that they are capable of achieving the goals set

The learning and teaching take place through a wide range of planned experiences. A number of approaches are used to which these guidelines apply;

  • One to one teaching directed towards individual objectives
  • group activities
  • play
  • day to day experiences in and out of school
  • integrated themes
  • community based experiences
  • vocational contexts
  • enterprise activities

Providing a balance of these approaches ensures that pupils not only develop initiative and independence to the maximum of their capabilities, but also learn to relate appropriately to others, and to work co-operatively.

The Curriculum for Excellence recognises that "Children and young people enjoy making progress and find satisfaction in meeting the challenges posed by a curriculum that engages and motivates them". It recognises that they will progress at different rates and that learning and teaching needs to be flexible to find the appropriate balance and breadth of experiences for each individual's stage and circumstances. The framework allows for different routes for progression and promotes learning across a wide range of contexts and experiences.

Within this framework additional plans like Personal Learning Plans, Co-ordinated Support Plans, Behaviour Support Plans and Autism Profiles are also relevant.

The 24 hour curriculum recognises that learning takes place through a totality of experiences and situations, and is not dependent on traditional school subjects or formal curriculum areas by:

  • reinforcing key skills such as literacy and numeracy.
  • building on classroom learning through additional tasks and activities.
  • providing opportunities that supplement the formal school curriculum.

In best practice, learning opportunities across 24 hours are broad, balanced, flexible and appropriate to young people's needs. Delivery is planned in a way which ensures rich, relevant and motivating learning experiences. At all stages, the learning offered provides young people with good opportunities to make steady progress within a coherent framework. There is a well-judged range of challenges to encourage them to develop skills relating to PSD, communication, numeracy, information and communications technology, problem solving and working with others. Well-planned and effective programmes focus on the four capacities and enable staff to give constant attention to raising the attainment and achievement of all young people, regardless of their abilities.