Curriculum for excellence

The purpose of the Curriculum for Excellence is to embrace the four capacities define in the diagram below, enabling each young person to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor.

Road Safety is identified within the Curriculum in Health and Wellbeing from Early through to Third and Fourth Level with related Experiences and Outcomes. Senior Phase is the final stage and the one most relevant to YDIs.

YDI educators are generally involved with Senior Phase age 15 – 18 and should consider the diagram which outlines the four capacities and make links to the intervention that they are providing for learners.

For example, Under Confident Individuals an intervention should be able to demonstrate that through road safety, they enable young people to:

  • possess self respect
  • have secure values and beliefs about the rules of the road
  • be able to relate to others and manage themselves when travelling
  • pursue a healthy and active lifestyle when walking and cycling
  • assess risk and make informed decisions

YDI practitioners should then consider the other three capacities and find links associated to the intervention that they are providing for learners. In many respects defining the links to the four capacities will determine the content and style of learning.

To enable young people to become:

Successful Learners


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

and able to:

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

Confident Individuals


  • self-respect
  • a sense of physical, mental and emotional well-being
  • secure values and beliefs
  • ambition

and able to:

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

Responsible Citizens


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

and be able to:

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

Effective Contributors


  • an enterprising attitude
  • resilience
  • self-reliance

and be able to:

  • communicate in different ways & in different settings
  • work in partnership and in teams
  • take the initiative and lead
  • apply critical thinking in new contexts
  • create & develop
  • solve problems

The curriculum is designed on the basis of the following principles:

  • Progression – young people, experience continuous progression in their learning with each stage building upon earlier knowledge and achievements as road users.
  • Depth – young people, are given opportunities to draw on previous experiences in the road environment and apply these to new situations.
  • Relevance – young people, see the value of what they are learning and its relevance to their lives when using the road.
  • Breadth – young people have the opportunity to learn and develop as road users through a range of experiences.
  • Personalisation and Choice – young people are given increasing opportunity for exercising responsible personal choice when in the road environment.
  • Challenge and Enjoyment – Road Safety Education provides young people with experiences that are challenging at an appropriate level.
  • Coherence – Road Safety Education provides young people with opportunities for activities which draw different strands of learning together.

When creating your YDI session it’s important to bear the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence in mind and ensure that its principles are met.

Make links across learning and employ different learning styles to keep the session lively and relevant. Take risks, be adventurous and make sure your session includes active learning, by involving young people in their own learning through group discussion, problem solving and critical thinking.

The aim of your session should always be to equip young people with the skills to assess risk in the road environment and provide them with strategies to make healthy choices. This ethos is embedded in the Road Safety Scotland education resources provided to schools from age Early Level to Senior Phase. Incorporating the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence into your sessions should increase their effectiveness and their value for society as a whole.


To learn more about the Curriculum for Excellence, visit:

The Curriculum for Excellence [PDF - 670kB] booklet provides back ground information on the framework for learning.