Curriculum Aim and Objectives

Aim of the Northern Ireland Curriculum

The Northern Ireland Curriculum aims to empower young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions through their lives.


The Northern Ireland Curriculum should provide learning opportunities for each young person to develop as:

  1. an individual
    to achieve personal fulfilment and individual well-being through living a successful life
  2. a contributor to society
    to be concerned for the well-being of others as well as themselves, in their own society and beyond it
  3. a contributor to the economy and the environment
    to appreciate how employment will impact on the economic choices they make and how they, in turn, impact individually and collectively on the environment.

Key elements

There are key elements relating to each curriculum objective which can be highlighted throughout various subjects across the curriculum.

Developing as an individual

Personal understanding
Mutual understanding
Personal health
Moral character
Spiritual awareness

Developing as a contributor to society

Cultural understanding
Media awareness
Ethical awareness

Developing as a contributor to the economy and the environment

Economic awareness
Education for sustainable development

See the 2002 study from the National Foundation for Educational Research Is the Curriculum Working? to read about how pupils experienced the previous curriculum as disconnected and separate. The key elements seek to address this by signalling how similar concepts and concerns cross subject boundaries.