Education: Finding their level: how the Scottish scheme works: The Scottish system is being hailed as a model

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The Independent Online
THERE is no national curriculum laid down in statute for schools in Scotland, although a consensus on what should be taught has built up over several years between the Scottish Office, education authorities and teachers. Guidance on what should be taught is issued by the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum.

Children progress through five levels in language, mathematics, environmental studies, expressive arts and religious and moral education. Only reading, writing and mathematics are tested (in Gaelic where appropriate), as and when the teacher considers each child has achieved the targets of one level and is ready to move on to the next. Test units, supplied on request by the Scottish Examination Board, are administered and marked by teachers. Other subjects are measured by teacher assessment. Each level takes roughly two years; most children will be tested five times between the ages of five and 14.

Level A: should be attainable in the course of the first three years at primary school (P1 to P3) by almost all pupils.

Level B: should be attainable by some pupils in P3 or even earlier, but certainly by most in P4.

Level C: should be attainable in the course of P4 to P6 by most pupils.

Level D: should be attainable by some pupils in P5 and P6 or even earlier, but certainly by most in P7, the final year at primary school.

Level E: should be attainable by some pupils in P7 or S1, but certainly by most in S2.

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