Key Stage 4

Age 14–16 / Qualifications

At Key Stage 4 (post-primary Years 11 and 12), pupils build on their learning from Key Stage 3. Pupils meet the statutory curriculum requirements through compulsory Areas of Learning and optional courses that lead to general and/or applied qualifications.

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Curriculum at Key Stage 4

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 4 is set out under the following Areas of Learning and Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities.

The Development Pathway

Pre-School

Age 3–4 / Before Year 1

Pre-school education offers children one year of non-compulsory education. Children learn at their own pace through a breadth of learning experiences and challenging play activities in a stimulating environment.

Foundation Stage

Age 4–6

Primary school Years 1 and 2 make up the Foundation Stage. Children build on the learning experiences that they bring to school from home and/or pre-school. They learn through well-planned, challenging play that develops their interests, curiosity and creativity.

Key Stages 1 & 2

Age 6–11

Key Stage 1 (primary school Years 3 and 4) builds on Foundation Stage experiences, and Key Stage 2 (primary school Years 5, 6 and 7) builds on Key Stage 1 experiences. As children progress through these stages, they move from informal to more formal learning.

Key Stage 3

Age 11–14

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.

Key Stage 4

Age 14–16 / Qualifications

At Key Stage 4 (post-primary Years 11 and 12), pupils build on their learning from Key Stage 3. Pupils meet the statutory curriculum requirements through compulsory Areas of Learning and optional courses that lead to general and/or applied qualifications.

Post-16

Qualifications

At post-16, young people can choose from a number of qualifications that we offer at Level 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework, including GCE A levels.

Latest News

CCEA update on the cancellation of the summer 2020 examinations

Published: 26/03/2020, 5:00pm

CCEA are rapidly working up plans to implement the arrangements that the Minister of Education has set out for us.

CCEA statement on the cancellation of the summer examinations 2020

Published: 19/03/2020, 5:45pm

CCEA welcomes the clarity from the Minister of Education regarding school closures and cancellation of the summer examinations timetable.

January 2020 Examination Series - Issue of Results for GCSE

Published: 03/03/2020, 5:00pm

Electronic results files for GCSE will be available for centres to download from the A2C Migration Application on Wednesday 4 March 2020.

The results are for release to candidates on Thursday 5 March 2020.

NI’s Young Film-makers and Animators Celebrated at CCEA’s Moving Image Arts Showcase

Published: 29/11/2019, 12:02pm

It was lights, camera and action for Northern Ireland’s most creative young film makers and animators at CCEA’s Moving Image Arts Showcase 2019.

New look e-newsletters launched

Published: 09/10/2019, 12:33pm

September 2019 saw the re-launch of CCEA’s Primary and Post-Primary e-newsletters to accompany the existing Foundation-Stage and SEN e-newsletters.

Upcoming CCEA Events