Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 (post-primary Years 8, 9 and 10), the curriculum builds on the learning experiences that pupils bring from primary school. Pupils now attend classes in different subjects, and teachers typically teach specific subjects to pupils across the different Years.
Curriculum at Key Stage 3
The Northern Ireland Curriculum aims to empower young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives. The learning opportunities provided should help young people to develop as individuals, contributors to society and contributors to the economy and environment.
The statutory curriculum at Key Stage 3 is set out under the following Areas of Learning and Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities.
Language and Literacy is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It includes English with Media Education (and Irish with Media Education in Irish-medium settings) and encourages pupils to
Modern Languages is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It gives pupils opportunities to develop effective communication skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing in a target
Mathematics and Numeracy is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It gives pupils a wider understanding of how the world around them works and prepares them for making decisions, solving
Environment and Society is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It has two subject strands: Geography and History. This Area of Learning gives pupils opportunities to investigate the past and
Learning for Life and Work is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It has four subject strands: Employability, Local and Global Citizenship, Personal Development, and Home Economics.
Science and Technology is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It has two subject strands: Science, and Technology and Design. This Area of Learning aims to stimulate pupils’ curiosity
Physical Education is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It enables pupils to learn through movement so that they develop, extend and refine their skills in a range of movement contexts.
Religious Education is a compulsory part of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3. It gives pupils opportunities to develop their personal understanding and enhance their spiritual and
The Arts is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It has three subject strands: Art and Design, Drama, and Music. This Area of Learning gives pupils opportunities to develop their practical
Communication is one of the three Cross-Curricular Skills at the heart of the curriculum. Developing pupils’ communication skills enables them to express themselves socially, emotionally and
Using Mathematics is one of the three Cross-Curricular Skills at the heart of the curriculum. It is the skill of applying mathematical concepts, processes and understanding appropriately in different
Using ICT is one of the three Cross-Curricular Skills at the heart of the curriculum. Developing pupils’ digital skills encourages them to handle and communicate information, solve problems, pose
All parts of the curriculum emphasise the development of Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. These skills help pupils to think critically and creatively. They also help them to develop personal
Teachers should plan opportunities for pupils to acquire, develop and demonstrate skills in all areas of the curriculum.
The Development Pathway
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