The English curriculum is designed to offer children a language experience which integrates oral language, reading and writing. The English Curriculum notes that language is crucial in the learning process. Children learn about language, and they also learn through language.
Oral language is of particular importance throughout the curriculum, as it is central to the development of the child's general language ability. Talk and discussion are encouraged in every curriculum area. Through oral language activity children
- develop their ability to communicate and use language socially
- develop cognitive skills
- develop reading and writing skills
- enrich their language experience and imaginative powers.
The approach to reading presented in the English Curriculum is based on this integrated language experience. From the earliest years children should experience a print-rich environment in which they have ready access to books. As their reading abilities develop, children
- read for pleasure and information
- learn to locate and use books for a variety of purposes
- develop the higher order comprehension skills
- learn to read for both functional and social purposes.
The ability to write clearly and expressively is developed through the process of writing. Children
- have opportunities to write for a variety of purposes, for different audiences and in a range of genres
- develop the ability to self-correct their own writing, through a consistent experience of drafting, editing and redrafting
- develop a command of the conventions of grammar, spelling and punctuation, and progressively become independent writers.
By using a range of assessment tools, the teacher can monitor the children's progress in language development at every stage in order to identify difficulties as early as possible, and provide appropriate support.
Implementation of the English Curriculum by teachers in primary schools began, following national inservice, in the 2001/2002 school year. The advisory service provided by the Primary Professional Development Service (PPDS) continues to support teachers and principals in their implementation work.
The NCCA completed a review of the English Curriculum in schools which was published in May 2005. Following this review, the NCCA developed Additional Support Material which re-presents the English Curriculum under the strands of oral language, reading and writing. This further material was published and sent to all schools early in 2006.
Language: English Curriculum (Primary School Curriculum online) (1999)
Language: Teacher Guidelines (Primary School Curriculum online) (1999)
View or download the PDF files of these documents:
Language: English Curriculum (1999) (PDF, 311KB)
Language: English Guidelines (1999) (PDF, 1.8MB)
English: Additional Support Material: Structure of the English Curriculum (2005, PDF, 5.2 MB)
Guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Disabilities (online resource)
Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for Schools (2005, PDF, 1.7 MB)
Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for Schools (2005) (online browsable version)
English as an Additional Language in Irish Primary Schools: Guidelines for Teachers (2005, PDF, 4.8 MB)
Primary Curriculum Review: Phase 1 (2005)
Primary Curriculum Review: Phase 2 (2008)
Primary Professional Development Service (PPDS)