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Scottish Primary Curriculum - help needed!

(23 Posts)
albachiara Wed 28-Sep-11 10:21:22


I need some help from Scottish mums and/or teachers.

I am trying to find out what children should learn in primary schools in Scotland (in particular in Primary 3, for Maths and English), but I cannot find any info on the Scottish curriculum (no scheme of work, or something like that). We moved from England a year ago, and I had found so many resources online, but I cannot find anything for Scotland.

The reason for this is that I want to work at home with my son, but the teacher is reluctant to tell me "what is coming next", as she wants to be the one to teach "how to do it". I don't agree with this approach at all (why should she decide when a child is ready to learn certain topics?), and have lost all confidence in this teacher, so I am going to do it myself, at home, after school or during the holiday.

What I am looking for is something that says (for ex.): in P3 children should already know: number bonds to 20, they should learn: 2, 5 , 10 times tables, and hopefully 3, 4, .... , the very bright children might also know: the 13 times table...

I know there is this Curriculum for Excellence and it is all very vague, but the teachers MUST follow some kind of guidelines, especially for English and Maths.

I could assume that Primary 3 is like Year 2 in England, but I'm not too sure about this (although at the moment, I am using the Year 2 examples that I found on the internet (Year 2 framework from the DFES)). Can any teacher that taught both in Scotland and in England tell me if Primary 3 is the same as Year 2 for Maths and English?

Could anybody help? Thank you!

tenderheart Wed 28-Sep-11 17:37:46

Your post makes me so sad! The curriculum for excellence is utter crap and until parents start complaining to the Scottish Government we are stuck with it!

Unfortunately you are not going to find anywhere online that will tell you what your child should know and by when. Each level for CfE now should take approx. 3 years to cover and is as you say it's very vague! It is a total joke. Schools like mine have been left with the bones of CfE and are now engaged in compiling skills lists for each level. Which is pointless since that is what the 5-14 curriculum was!

Sorry I know this is not the help you were looking for. I would roughly use the year 2 guidelines and try and go easy on the teacher, she is working with a mince curriculum!

haggisaggis Wed 28-Sep-11 17:47:16

Curriculum for Excellence is a load of tosh. We were told that the aim was to prepare children for employment by making them confident, independent etc etc. But as an employer I wasnt people who leave school with a defined range of skills that have been measured and assessed! I have a dd with learning difficulties. It is almost impossible to find out what level she is compared to peers as the emphasis is on what the individual child can do - not whetherhe/she has met specific targets. (have to say I am not propsing the SAT system in England either but 5-14 was far easier to undertsand!)

scotchbunny Wed 28-Sep-11 17:59:27


I have a daughter in Primary 3 so ask away...

The CfE is vague, but I wouldn't say it has changed the curriculum framework for each year at all, more that things have been added in and assesments appear less. Each term at my DD's school we recieve a Parent Mail Newsletter which informs us what they shall be learning the coming term. So, for example, when they went back this year we were told they would be continuing reading with the ORT each night and what they would be doing in language and spelling. They did 2's 5's and 10 times tables towards the end of P2 so that is to be continued and consolidated this term. They continue learning number bonds up to 20, adding and subtracting within that and dividing also. I know the top maths group are doing number bonds up to 100 though.


LindyHemming Wed 28-Sep-11 18:08:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

albachiara Wed 28-Sep-11 21:29:09

Thanks so much tenderheart, haggissaggis, scotchbunny and euphemia for your replies. At least I know the situation!

I guess I will roughly follow the Year 2 framework (from England! How ironic! I thought Scottish Education was supposed to be better than the English one! - don't get offended by this comment- I'm neither Scottish nor English).

scotchbunny: thanks so much for the information. My son is still doing "the story of 18" which is, I think, ways of adding 2 or 3 numbers to make 18, and subtractions (I think he has started with "the story of 13" at the beginning of the school year, and I really hope that once he gets to "the story of 20" he can start learning something else. I don't see the point in going through ALL the numbers. I hope they will not start with the story of 21, etc, or it will take him 3 years to get to the story of 100!! Are they really supposed to do this for every number up to 20? Is it really useful?)

Anyway, I have started him on a few workbooks (age 6-7), and also I expect (!!!) him to answer my non-stop Maths questions (when we go to Asda he has to calculate the change from £1 for a pint of milk).

I guess we will concentrate on times tables and corresponding division facts, number bonds to 20 and 100. I think I will try to find maths puzzles to make him think logically and to try different problems even if they are unfamiliar. Any other suggestions?

Also, he is doing Storyworld, level 7 . Is that very bad? I know there are children in his class that can read Rohal Dahl, or similar things, but I am hoping that with patience and encouragement my son will start reading for enjoyment on his own at some point.

If anybody can tell me what their primary 3 kid can do/is doing at school, that would be great.

Thanks so much again, everybody!

scotchbunny Wed 28-Sep-11 22:45:09

Number stories/number bonds they generally do up to 20 then next is units of ten up to 100. My dd is average in maths and is comfortable with bonds up to 20 but easily knows her units of 10. Your son sounds like he is doing fine. Some kids in the class are on bonds up to 10. Reading similarly is widely spread, 3 or 4 groups. I have not heard of that reading scheme, we do the dreaded ort but I am told dd on last level(her stonger and most comfortable subject) and about to go onto normal books. I think with reading it is finding out what he enjoys the most, regardless of the level and instilling the love of reading from there.

BirdyBedtime Thu 29-Sep-11 14:55:10

Parentzone describe CfE as coherent, flexible and enriched. What that actually means is waffly, complicated and unclear! It really annoys me (DD is in P2) that everything is presented as all fluffy and interactive and child-centred, but what I actually want is my child to learn to read, write, count and have appropriate social skills. Grrrrr. I reguarly raise it at our Parent Council and get fobbed off by head. Sorry, I know that's not any help but it's a pet hate of mine.

floosiemcwoosie Thu 29-Sep-11 18:45:53

Hello usually school have a" meet the parent night", one of the aims is to talk to the parents about what they plan to cover in the following year.

My DS has just started p2 and they are doing the story world books. he has just finished level 6 and are starting level 7 soon. They seem to be concentrating on them forming and writing sentences and spelling, particularly words that dont fit into the phonics system

They are starting to count in units and tens and are also working on money. Telling the time has also heavily

arias77 Fri 19-Aug-16 07:17:34

I agree the scottish Curriculum is a load of waste. No set framework, I am too teaching my children the English Curriculum. Anyone have any idea where I can find free P5 english printable resources...

arias77 Fri 19-Aug-16 07:19:14

I agree the scottish Curriculum is a load of waste. No set framework, I am too teaching my children the English Curriculum. Anyone have any idea where I can find free P5 english printable resources...

blaeberry Fri 19-Aug-16 14:31:05

General consensus amongst my teacher friends who have taught in both systems is that the English system is now a lot better! CfE is rubbish.

blaeberry Fri 19-Aug-16 14:35:07

Maths is especially bad.

As long as all kids fall to the lowest common denominator so there is no attainment gap then the SNP will be happy (they never talk of raising standards only of getting rid of the gap; so all kids being crap is fine).

arias77 Sat 20-Aug-16 12:49:17

My kids go to an East renfrewshire school so there is standardised testing in p3,p5 and p7. That's a good benchmark but again I think they just do that to make sure they are at par with other East Renfrewshire schools. I'm pretty sure if my kids were tested by the English method they would be below average...more so due to the CFE being all wishy washy.

prettybird Sat 20-Aug-16 21:20:56

Just to add some balance here: ds sat his Nat 5s this year and got As inboth Maths and English (and 4 other As, a B and a C). Having looked at the quality and level of work he is doing, I don't consider that it has been dumbed down from when I sat the equivalent (albeit a loooong time ago blush)

There were many complaints after the Maths Nat 5 about it being "too difficult" (especially Paper 1) - yet ds was adamant it was all in the curriculum and that overall there was nothing wrong with the exam.

Interestingly some of the worst complaints came from East Ren - maybe they just weren't teaching the curriculum properly. hmm

I was a straight As pupil albeit all those years ago - 8 O grades and 6 Highers (the Highers all in 5th Year): English was my best subject at school (although I chose to do Languages at Uni) and I'm the daughter of an English teacher and again, looking at past papers and exemplar answers, I don't see any diminution in the standard expected.

Maybe ds is just lucky in going to a good state school in Glasgow. smile

Not sure I could have done the applied maths in his physics paper (but then, I always did struggle to do applied maths and was lucky with the questions I got in my Physics Higher) - one of the differences in CfE is actually learning how to apply the subjects in a practical context. Some teachers seem to have struggled with this.

My dad showed some of the Nat 5 past papers to the grandchildren of his lady friend who're at the equivalent stage in their (anglophone) country. They were horrified: they didn't even know where to start and wouldn't have been able to answer anything. To be fair, that is a country which is suffered from a dumbing down of standards.

There's an awful lot of hatred of the CfE - some of it on purely political grounds (despite the fact that it was Labour who began its implementation) - yet my experience to date has been a postitive one - with the exception ironically of the rigidity of the correct words required in the Physics and Chemistry exams, even if you've demonstrated understanding (but I believe that it is better at Higher)

Maybe it helped that nothing changed at ds' primary school when CfE was introduced, as they already taught that way (a school that consistently got brilliant HMI reports and was an exemplar of best practice in the teaching of EAL) smile

blaeberry Sat 20-Aug-16 22:04:39

Pretty you are lucky to have good schools though he wouldn't have done CfE all the way through primary. He is also lucky to gave been able to sit 8 Nat 5s - round here you can do at most 6 and that is part of the problem. There is inequity across Scotland because of it.

prettybird Sat 20-Aug-16 23:03:52

I know he wouldn't have done CfE formally throughout primary - but he did for the last few years.

The point I'm making is that nothing actually changed in the way his school taught: as a member of the parent council, I went to a lot of presentations before its implementation and also talked to the school (both before and after the presentations that they made to the parents) as I was confused, because nothing seemed different from the way that they already taught. They agreed that at a primary school level, nothing really changed: it was just good practice.

The main difference seems to be at secondary - with a greater emphasis on applying the knowledge and arguably a higher standard at Nat 5 to ensure less of a shock at Higher.

I agree with the issue of inequity with different areas implementing CfE differently. I'm not sure who is at fault though - the councils or the government - I think a bit of both. The content of CfE doesn't seem to be the issue.

It seems to even out in S5 though with all academic kids doing 5 Highers (as that is what schools seem to be measured by nowadays).

TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 21-Aug-16 12:19:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrEBear Thu 25-Aug-16 00:05:38

Trouble with Angels I think the Op might have sorted out her issues - check the date!

sammykatstache Tue 22-Nov-16 14:37:28

I know this is an old post, but this link may be helpful for others in the future. smile

If anyone has any links for a laid out Scottish Primary Curriculum it would be greatly appreciated. smile

user1497703624 Sat 17-Jun-17 14:18:38

Hi there,
I know this is an old thread but I hope someone can help smile we are due to move from Turkey back to Scotland this summer and my little boy who is 8 y/o (9 on 1 Sept) will be going into P5. The system here in Turkey is very different, kids start school at 6 y/o in Turkey and so he would normally be going into p4 here.I am so worried that he will struggle especially with English and would much rather he be going into p4. Is there a big difference between the p4 and p5 in terms of curriculum? Do parents have a say in the matter? Many thanks

JennyBlueWren Sat 17-Jun-17 17:11:32

The curriculum is not supposed to be based around the age of the child but rather around their abilities. As a guide Early Level is expected to have been achieved by most pupils by the end of P1, First Level is expected to have been achieved by the end of P4 and Second Level by the end of P7.
In the average P5 class you would normally have some children working at the middle of First and some in the middle of Second but most will be at beginning of Second Level. I have heard of (but don't know how official it is) pupils going into a lower or higher year group when they have come into Scotland but doubt it would happen for a September birthday.

BearAusten Sat 17-Jun-17 17:13:31

Even though he has a September birthday, he could still go into P4. See www entry into school. You are allowed to defer September to December birthdays. Not particularly common but not unknown. I am sorry I know little about P4/5 as I have a younger child.

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