Skills for learning, life and work

Every child and young person is entitled to develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work, with a continuous focus on literacy and numeracy and health and wellbeing.

Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching, p15
Girl in gym

Curriculum for Excellence will support all children and young people in developing skills which they will use throughout their life and in their work, including the development of pre-vocational, enterprising and employability skills, personal skills, high levels of cognitive skills and the opportunity to put learning into a practical context.

These skills for life and skills for work are embedded across all curriculum areas and include learning which falls within a broad definition of 'vocational'; that is learning which is generally about the development of pre-vocational and employability skills which will be made use of in future working life.

A strong focus on literacy and numeracy is essential; all children and young people require these skills to gain access to learning and to succeed in life. Confidence and competence in literacy and numeracy provide the foundations for lifelong learning.

'Numeracy across the Curriculum' and 'Literacy across the Curriculum' explore how staff might review and develop approaches to learning and teaching in numeracy and literacy across the curriculum.

The health and wellbeing experiences and outcomes include a range of opportunities to develop skills for life and skills for work, including working effectively with other people and career planning. These experiences and outcomes also include opportunities to develop a range of skills and attributes that will enable children and young people to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle.

The health and wellbeing experiences and outcomes include guidance (Health and wellbeing for all) that explores how all staff might review and develop these skills across the curriculum.

Links to the workplace

Making the link between the classroom and workplace can help young people to see the relevance of their learning and understand the contribution that they can make to their schools and colleges, to their community and to the economy. They can feel valued and involved and experience challenge and enjoyment; their confidence can increase with, potentially, a positive impact on their levels of attainment and achievement.

Children and young people should have opportunities to:

  • build knowledge and understanding of the workplace, what employers may expect of them and what they should expect from employment
  • experience enterprising activities and an enterprising culture
  • have access to more specific opportunities for learning through Skills for Work courses or other vocationally relevant qualifications

and so enable them to develop the skills, confidence and abilities to become the employees, employers and entrepreneurs of the future.

All young people can benefit from such learning and this should be reflected in the planning of the curriculum. This planning should involve all partners and ensure that these activities are not bolted on, but are part of a coherent whole.

More from Education Scotland

Learning across the curriculum allows practitioners to make links and draw on a range of themes and topics for delivering the curriculum.

Latest skills for learning, life and work posts on Education Scotland's learning blog

All skills for learning, life and work posts