If your child attends school in Northern Ireland or you’re looking for information about qualifications, this section brings together relevant resources about the Northern Ireland Curriculum, learning and assessment.

Do you have questions about the alternative awarding arrangements for Summer 2021 and Summer 2022? See our Frequently Asked Questions (examples below). Other areas you may be interested in include our Parent and Student Information Guides, News and information on Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Summer 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Centre Determined Grade (CDG)?

A student’s grade in a subject will be based on their teacher’s professional assessment of the evidenced standard at which they are performing. These will be known as Centre Determined Grades.

Is there a specific number of pieces of evidence required to award grades to students?

No, as set out in the Head of Centre Guidance, CCEA is not being prescriptive in the amount of evidence to be used by schools for a qualification.

What is the contribution of AS to A Level in Summer 2022?

Whilst your AS level grade cannot be counted towards your final A level grade, assessments, and schoolwork that you have carried out in your AS year, can be used by your teachers as further evidence (if needed) to help determine your final grade. Watch the video below for more information:

When do I get my results?

CCEA AS and A level results will be released on 10 August 2021, followed by the release of GCSE results on 12 August 2021.

If my teacher’s judgement is unfair, can I challenge this?

Yes. If you feel there has been an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement, your grade can be reviewed through an appeal to CCEA Awarding Organisation. Before getting to this stage, you must first complete a Centre Review to make sure all procedures have been followed accurately and there are no administrative errors.

The Development Pathway


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.



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.