Supporting Learning

Supporting the Curriculum and Assessment in 2021/22 — Curriculum Delivery

Curriculum Delivery

CCEA Guidance for Schools

In line with DE guidance, schools have the flexibility within the minimum entitlement of the statutory curriculum to develop content they believe is best suited to meet the needs and interests of the pupils within their school community. The NI Curriculum is designed to enable schools to contextualise and make changes they believe are necessary to meet the needs of children and young people in 2021/22.

Our guidance document below aims to support schools with this. It provides advice on how to address the statutory curriculum and assessment requirements, while considering the wellbeing of pupils and teachers.

Schools should use this guidance alongside ongoing guidance issued by the Departments of Education and Health.

Assessment

Formative assessment approaches will enable teachers to use observations and judgements to identify individual learning needs.

Formal assessments or standardised tests are not considered necessary by the Department of Education for pupils in Year 1-3.

In May 2020, the Education Minister announced a package of significant reductions in assessment across all CCEA qualifications in 2021/22. For details see CCEA Summer 2022 Awarding.

Embedding recovery into curriculum provision

CCEA recognise that children and young people have been living with COVID-19 pandemic for a significant amount of time. A key priority within the curriculum is nurturing children’s relationships with parents, peers, and staff.

Schools are encouraged to use the CCEA resources to support:

  • Continued opportunities for children and young people to talk about their experiences;
  • Lessons on emotional health and well-being through PDMU and Learning for Life and Work;
  • Opportunities through learning to strengthen social skills and deeper relationships across peer groups;
  • The development and enhancement of creative through the Arts; and
  • A well-balanced Physical Education programme that includes daily physical activity and outdoor play.

School Safety Measures

Advice on safety measures is changing regularly. When planning to use curriculum resources in school, you should refer to the Department of Education’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for School and Educational Settings in Northern Ireland.

You’ll find advice and support for Science and Technology, and Art and Design practical activities from CLEAPSS, which will impact your choice of classroom activities. All schools in Northern Ireland have CLEAPSS membership through the Education Authority. The British Nutrition Foundation has also published guidance for practical food activities in both specialist and non-specialist food rooms.

Key Stages 1 and 2: Exemplars of Connected Learning (COVID-19 Themes)

Schools should consider pupils’ mental health and wellbeing needs and ensure that they have opportunities to explore what they have experienced during COVID-19. This can help pupils develop resilience and strategies to cope with change.

These exemplars directly address COVID-19 issues with ideas about how you can take a connected approach to wellbeing in different Areas of Learning. They include activities that promote creativity and the development of pupils’ independent working and problem-solving skills (Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities).

Many of the suggested activities can take place outdoors, providing a larger space for social distancing and a safer place to learn, where the risk of infection transmission is considered to be lower. The outdoors also offers a wealth of benefits for learning and wellbeing, including improved motivation and engagement and a closer connection with nature.

Practical activities will require risk assessments and schools to implement government suggested safety measures to protect pupils and staff against the transmission of COVID-19. These measures include organising pupils into protective bubbles, maintaining social distancing and using equipment safely.

Choose a key stage below for details about how our suggested activities support different Areas of Learning.

Curriculum Learning: KS1

Language and Literacy

Pupils are learning to:

  • tell their own stories based on personal experiences and imagination;
  • express thoughts, feelings and opinions in response to personal experiences, imaginary situations, literature, media and curricular topics and activities;
  • express opinions and give reasons based on what they have read;
  • understand and use a range of vocabulary by investigating and experimenting with language;
  • express thoughts, feelings and opinions in imaginative and factual writing; and
  • organise, structure and present ideas and information using traditional and digital means.

Mathematics and Numeracy

Pupils are learning to:

  • select the materials and mathematics appropriate for a task;
  • develop different approaches to problem-solving;
  • begin to organise their own work and work systematically;
  • understand mathematical language and be able to use it to talk about their work;
  • ask and respond to open-ended questions;
  • explain their way of working;
  • know ways to check their work;
  • understand and use the language associated with weight and time;
  • know and use the most commonly used units to measure in purposeful contexts;
  • choose and use simple measuring instruments, reading and interpreting them with reasonable accuracy; and
  • understand the conservation of measures.

Personal Development and Mutual Understanding

Pupils are learning to:

  • explore their self–esteem and self-confidence;
  • explore their own and others’ feelings and emotions and how their actions affect others;
  • explore positive attitudes to learning and achievement;
  • explore strategies and skills for keeping themselves healthy and safe; and
  • develop themselves as members of a community.

The Arts

Pupils are learning to:

  • investigate and respond to direct sensory experience, including visual, verbal, spatial and tactile dimensions, memory and imagination.

Physical Education

Pupils are learning to:

  • use different parts of the body to explore personal and general space and to move using simple actions;
  • listen to, and move in response to, different stimuli and accompaniments, for example verbal (music, poem, nursery rhyme, story, action words), visual, tactile, historical and cultural to create different types of dances;
  • move in a controlled manner, at different speeds and in different directions, using different levels in space (high, low), and different strengths (heavy, light);
  • perform simple steps and movements to given rhythms and musical phrases;
  • create, practise, remember and perform simple movement sequences; and
  • develop their movements progressively individually and in pairs.

The World Around Us

Pupils are learning to:

  • investigate people who are important to us and the jobs they do through exploring goods and services we are familiar with;
  • explore people from the past in the local and wider community; and
  • explore the variety of living things in the world.

Curriculum Learning: KS2

Language and Literacy

Pupils are learning to:

  • identify and comment on the tools used by poets to affect the reader or engage attention;
  • tell, re-tell and interpret poetry based on memories and personal experiences;
  • use a variety of stylistic features to create mood and effect; and
  • express thoughts, feelings and opinions in imaginative and/or factual writing.

Mathematics and Numeracy

Pupils are learning to:

  • explore ideas, make and test predictions, and think creatively;
  • use a range of problem-solving strategies, suggesting and trying out different approaches when difficulties arise;
  • use interlocking cubes to explore design builds and visualise how their designs will appear from different viewpoints in 3D;
  • draw a coded 2D plan of their designs using squared paper and co-ordinates; and
  • build 3D designs using software available, such as Minecraft

Personal Development and Mutual Understanding

Pupils are learning to:

  • examine and explore their own and others’ feelings and emotions;
  • recognise, express and manage feelings in a positive and safe way; and
  • recognise that feelings and emotions may change at times of change and loss.

The Arts

Pupils are learning to:

  • use a range of media, materials, tools and processes to respond to first-hand experiences and memory, and to realise personal ideas;
  • listen and respond to their own and others’ music-making, thinking about, talking about and discussing a variety of characteristics within music that they create, perform or listen to; and
  • develop a range of drama strategies to express ideas.

Physical Education

Pupils are learning to:

  • develop effective use of movement in space (for example bend, stretch, turn, jump and glide) and direction (for example up, down, right, left, forward, backward, clockwise and anticlockwise);
  • move with increased control, co-ordination and poise, using a variety of actions and gestures which communicate ideas and feelings; and
  • create, practise and perform movement sequences.

The World Around Us

Pupils are learning to:

  • respond to the positive and negative impact that human influence can have on the earth’s ecosystems;
  • develop steps to enrich local and global heritage by protecting or preserving historic stories and artefacts; and
  • determine ways in which lifestyle choices can have a positive or negative impact on body organs and human health.