Understanding the Revised Curriculum
The Revised Curriculum sets out what your child will be taught at each stage of their time at school. Children aged four to 16 in all grant-aided schools must be taught the Revised Curriculum.
The Revised Curriculum - what it aims to do
All schools work to this programme to ensure a balanced and consistent education for every child.
It sets out:
- the areas of learning to be taught
- the cross-curricular and other skills every pupil should develop
- the level of knowledge, understanding and skills to be developed in each area - known as minimum content
- Levels of Progression - teachers will use these to assess your child's progress in developing skills of communication, using mathematics and ICT
- how your child's progress is assessed and reported
Guidance and support materials for teachers are available through the Northern Ireland Curriculum website.
Guides for parents on the curriculum
The Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) have produced two booklets for parents of primary and post-primary children on the curriculum and what to expect when their child starts school. The booklets can be downloaded below.
- Primary: Quick guide to the curriculum (PDF 1.04MB)
- Post-Primary: Quick guide to the curriculum (PDF 1.22MB)
- Help with pdf files
The key stages
The curriculum is made up from five blocks of years called key stages.
These include a new Foundation Stage for the youngest children in Years 1 and 2 of primary education.
|4-5||Foundation||Year 1||Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|5-6||Foundation||Year 2||Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|6-7||Key Stage 1||Year 3||Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|7-8||Key Stage 1||Year 4||Assessment in literacy and numeracy during autumn term using the InCAS computer system. Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|8-9||Key Stage 2||Year 5||Assessment in literacy and numeracy in autumn term using the InCAS computer system. Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|9-10||Key Stage 2||Year 6||Assessment in literacy and numeracy during autumn term using the InCAS computer system. Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|10-11||Key Stage 2||Year 7||Assessment in literacy and numeracy during autumn term using the InCAS computer system. Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|11-12||Key Stage 3||Year 8||Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|12-13||Key Stage 3||Year 9||Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|13-14||Key Stage 3||Year 10||Teacher assessment of learning and skills.|
|14-15||Key Stage 4||Year 11||Teacher assessment of learning and skills. Some children take GCSEs.|
|15-16||Key Stage 4||Year 12||Most children take GCSEs or other qualifications.|
There is minimum content for each area of learning, which sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills that pupils should develop at each stage.
Pupils in Years 4 to 7 are assessed during the autumn term using a computer-based method specified by the Department of Education. You will be notified by your school of the outcomes of these assessments in writing.
Your school will also offer a meeting by the end of the autumn term to discuss the results of your child’s assessment.
These assessments are carried out in the autumn term so that teachers can find out how your child is doing early in the school year.
Computer-Based Assessments support other forms of assessment used by the school. These specific assessment outcomes provide teachers with information on pupils’ strengths and areas for improvement and are intended to help teachers plan their teaching during the school year to meet the needs of their pupils.
In addition, the assessments provide schools with useful information for monitoring individual pupil progress and, more generally, to inform self-evaluation, development planning and target-setting by schools.
Computer-Based Assessments are an integral part of the Department of Education’s wider efforts to raise outcomes in literacy and numeracy for all young people.
The Interactive Computer Assessment System (InCAS) was specified for use by schools up to and including the 2011-2012 school year. From September 2012 onwards, there will be two providers with separate Literacy and Numeracy assessments.
More information about Computer-Based Assessment can be found on the Northern Ireland Curriculum website: