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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 physically, develop as individuals, engage with others and contribute as members of society.

Pupils are likely to develop and consolidate their communication skills within the Language and Literacy Area of Learning and related qualifications. They should also have opportunities to transfer their knowledge about communication concepts and skills to real life and meaningful contexts across the curriculum.

Teachers of any subject can encourage pupils to become effective communicators by using a range of techniques, forms and media to convey information and ideas creatively and appropriately.

Teachers should enable pupils to develop skills in:

  • communicating meaning, feelings and viewpoints in a logical and coherent manner;
  • making oral and written summaries, reports and presentations, taking account of audience and purpose;
  • participating in discussions, debates and interviews;
  • interpreting, analysing and presenting information in oral, written and ICT formats; and
  • exploring and responding, both imaginatively and critically, to a variety of texts.

It is likely that most schools will address their key statutory obligations for Communication by providing qualifications in English (and Gaeilge in Irish-Medium settings). However, there are opportunities to develop Communication across all qualifications; these are outlined in our specifications.

At Key Stage 3, teachers use the Levels of Progression to assess pupils in Communication. Teachers do not have to use the Levels of Progression at Key Stage 4. However, teachers can use them to support ongoing teaching and learning, especially where pupils are working up to Level 7.

See Guidance on Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Key Stage 4 and Assessment and Reporting at Key Stage 4 for more details.


For more information on Communication, contact: