Last Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks

What is this?

Education Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Statement for Practitioners (Aug 2016) stated that the two key resources which support practitioners to plan learning, teaching and assessment are:

Benchmarks have been developed to provide clarity on the national standards expected within each curriculum area at each level. They set out clear lines of progression in literacy and English and numeracy and mathematics, and across all other curriculum areas from Early to Fourth Levels (First to Fourth Levels in Modern Languages). Their purpose is to make clear what learners need to know and be able to do to progress through the levels, and to support consistency in teachers' and other practitioners' professional judgements.

Benchmarks are designed to be concise and accessible, with sufficient detail to communicate clearly the standards expected for each curriculum level.

All schools are expected to report on curriculum level achievement for literacy and numeracy, and data will be collected and collated for reporting at national level. For the purposes of national reporting, schools are not currently expected to report on CfE levels for any other areas of the curriculum.

The introduction of Benchmarks for all other areas of the curriculum needs to be proportionate and manageable. Teachers and other practitioners should be given time to engage in professional discussion to become familiar with the Benchmarks and start to use them in line with their school improvement plans.

Who is this for?

The guidance is for teachers and other practitioners, including those in early learning and childcare, youth work, colleges and local authorities.

CfE Benchmarks: FAQs

This paper aims to answer some of the questions practitioners have asked about the Benchmarks since their publication. It seeks to clarify some key points, and to support effective use of the Benchmarks as part of assessment and moderation.

PDF file: Frequently asked questions (399 KB)

Achievement of a Level poster

PDF file: Achievement of a Level poster (79 KB)

PDF file: Achievement of a Level poster (Gaelic version) (496 KB)

All Benchmarks on this page are in their final form

Benchmarks for literacy and English

PDF file: Benchmarks for literacy and English (616 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for literacy and English (1.2 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for literacy and English - Gaelic version (650 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for literacy and English - Gaelic version (1.2 MB)

Benchmarks for numeracy and mathematics

PDF file: Benchmarks for Numeracy and Mathematics (745 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for numeracy and Mathematics (1.2 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for numeracy and Mathematics - Gaelic version (1.2 MB)

Word file: Benchmarks for numeracy and Mathematics - Gaelic version (1.4 MB)

Benchmarks for curriculum areas

Classical Languages

PDF file: Benchmarks for Classical Languages (84 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Classical Languages (1 MB)

Expressive Arts

PDF file: Benchmarks for Expressive Arts (273 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Expressive Arts (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Expressive Arts - Gaelic version (318 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Expressive Arts - Gaelic version (1.1 MB)

Literacy and Gàidhlig

PDF file: Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig (1.1 MB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Literacy and Gàidhlig (1.3 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig - Gaelic version (1.5 MB)

Word file: Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig - Gaelic version (1.5 MB)

Gaelic (Learners)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Gaelic (Learners) (415 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Gaelic (Learners) (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Gaelic (Learners) - Gaelic version (470 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Gaelic (Learners) - Gaelic version (1.1 MB)

Health and Wellbeing (Food and Health)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Food and Health) (935 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Food and Health) (2 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Food and Health) - Gaelic version (355 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Food and Health) - Gaelic version (111 KB)

Health and Wellbeing (Personal and Social Education)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Personal and Social Education) (310 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Personal and Social Education) (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Personal and Social Education) - Gaelic version (231 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Personal and Social Education) - Gaelic version (1.3 MB)

Health and Wellbeing (Physical Education)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Physical Education) (509 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Physical Education) (1.2 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Physical Education) - Gaelic version (274 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Physical Education) - Gaelic version (245 KB)

(Please note there are no Benchmarks for the 'Responsibility of All' aspects of Health and Wellbeing. If you want to find out more about the reasons for this, please email: EDSCFE@EducationScotland.gov.scot)

Modern Languages

PDF file: Benchmarks for Modern Languages (287 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Modern Languages (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Modern Languages - Gaelic version (221 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Modern Languages - Gaelic version (1.1 MB)

Religious and Moral Education

PDF file: Benchmarks for Religious and Moral Education (230 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Religious and Moral Education (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Religious and Moral Education - Gaelic version (270 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Religious and Moral Education - Gaelic version (1 MB)

Religious Education (Roman Catholic)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Religious Education (Roman Catholic) (306 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Religious Education (Roman Catholic) (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Religious Education (Roman Catholic) - Gaelic version (1 MB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Religious Education (Roman Catholic) - Gaelic version (333 KB)

Sciences

PDF file: Benchmarks for Sciences (724 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Sciences (1.2 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Sciences - Gaelic version (721 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Sciences - Gaelic version (1.2 MB)

Social Studies

PDF file: Benchmarks for Social Studies (271 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Social Studies (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Social Studies - Gaelic version (1 MB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Social Studies - Gaelic version (470 KB)

Technologies

PDF file: Benchmarks for Technologies (418 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Technologies (1.1 MB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for Technologies - Gaelic version (504 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for Technologies - Gaelic version (1.1 MB)

Benchmarks by level

Early level

PDF file: Benchmarks for early level - All curriculum areas (348 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for early level - All curriculum areas (2 MB)

First level

PDF file: Benchmarks for first level - All curriculum areas (443 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for first level - All curriculum areas (2 MB)

Second level

PDF file: Benchmarks for second level - All curriculum areas (554 KB)

Word file: Benchmarks for second level - All curriculum areas (2 MB)

Changes documents

The Benchmarks for literacy and English; Literacy and Gàidhlig; and numeracy and mathematics were revised following consultation. The documents below provide details of the changes made to the original versions.

PDF file: Benchmarks for literacy and English (Revisions) (819 KB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig (Revisions) (768 KB)

PDF file: Benchmarks for numeracy and mathematics (Revisions) (1.3 MB)

Key messages

Before using the Benchmarks, you are advised to watch the 'key messages' videos. These short clips highlight important information that will support your understanding of the Benchmarks and their purpose. You are also encouraged to watch the Benchmarks exemplification videos and read the supporting papers that provide some early insights into how teachers and schools are beginning to engage with the Benchmarks.

The Benchmarks - Introduction

Can't view this video? You can also view this clip on Glow (log-in required).

PDF file: Benchmarks generic introduction (29 KB)

Moderation

Can't view this video? You can also view this clip on Glow (log-in required).

Using the Benchmarks

Can't view this video? You can also view this clip on Glow (log-in required).

Benchmarks for curriculum areas beyond literacy and numeracy

Can't view this video? You can also view this clip on Glow (log-in required).

Contact us

If you have a query or any comments about the Benchmarks, please email: EDSCFE@EducationScotland.gov.scot

Please indicate in your email which Benchmarks you are interested in.