Guidance on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Guidance on Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Key Stage 4

Research highlights the importance of quality teaching, learning and assessment to ensure that pupils make progress in their learning, improving learning outcomes and raising subject standards (Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP), 2006; 2007; 2010a; 2010b; 2011).

Quality teaching, learning and assessment are an integral part of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 4. These are a focus for school improvement and are essential characteristics of a successful school (DENI, 2009a).

The principal and senior management team should lead the school in self-evaluation and development planning, focusing on improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment at a whole-school level. The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) defines teaching, learning and assessment at classroom level as core professional competencies that teachers should have opportunities to develop throughout their careers.

At Key Stage 4, schools need to meet the statutory requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum and the Key Stage 4 Entitlement Framework (HMSO 2006; 2007; 2011). They need to give pupils a child-centred, broad and balanced curriculum experience to enable them to build on their learning from Key Stage 3.

Schools also need to ensure there are opportunities for developing and assessing pupils’ progression in:

  • the Cross-Curricular Skills;
  • Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities (TSPC); and
  • subject knowledge and understanding

Areas of Learning

Physical Education
The Arts
Science and Technology
Religious Education
Environment and Society
Modern Languages
Mathematics and Numeracy
Language and Literacy

Skills and Capabilities

Cross-Curricular Skills
Using Mathematics
Using ICT
Other Skills (at Key Stage 4)
Working with Others (at Key Stage 4)
Problem Solving (at Key Stage 4)
Planning for Skills Development