East Lothian Council

The purpose of the curriculum

What are the four capacities?

The Curriculum for Excellence is a new way of looking at the curriculum that builds on best existing practices in Scottish education.

It is a continuing process to encourage more learning through experiences to best ensure that children and young people are prepared for the complex world they will be living in when they leave school.

Children and young people are at the centre of learning provision. Our aspiration is that they should all develop the four capacities to become:

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

Successful learners


  • enthusiasm and motivation for learning
  • determination to reach high standards of achievement
  • openness to new thinking and ideas

and able to

  • use literacy, communication and numeracy skills
  • use technology for learning
  • think creatively and independently
  • learn independently and as part of a group
  • make reasoned evaluations
  • link and apply different kinds of learning in new situations

Confident individuals


  • self respect
  • a sense of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing
  • secure values and beliefs

and able to

  • relate to others and manage themselves
  • pursue a healthy and active lifestyle
  • be self aware
  • develop and communicate their own beliefs and view of the world
  • live as independently as they can
  • assess risk and take informed decisions
  • achieve success in different areas of activity

Responsible citizens


  • respect for others
  • commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life

and able to

  • develop knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland's place in it
  • understand different beliefs and cultures
  • make informed choices and decisions
  • evaluate environmental, scientific and technological issues
  • develop informed, ethical views of complex issues

Effective contributors


  • an enterprising attitude
  • resilience
  • self-reliance

and able to

  • communicate in different ways and different settings
  • work in partnership and in terms (again, are you sure this isn't teams?)
  • take the initiative and lead
  • apply critical thinking in new concepts
  • create and develop
  • solve problems

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.