Skip to content

Consultation on the Primary Curriculum now open

Consultation on the Primary Curriculum now open

View Info

Glossary of L1LPs terms

This glossary is intended to define and clarify terms from the guidelines for the Level 1 Learning Programme as they appear in this specification.

Anatomical language

Anatomical language refers to the accepted terms used in the field of human anatomy for parts of the body.


When a learning outcome includes ‘and/or’ the student may attain ‘Successful Completion’ of this learning outcome when they achieve one or both stated outcomes at any level on the progression pathways. The teacher must determine which aspects of the learning outcome are most suitable for each student.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to a wide range of methods used to augment (add to) or act as an alternative to speech. These methods may be aided (using external tools) or unaided (no tools required). Examples of unaided systems include signing, facial expression and gesture. Aided communication systems may include, but are not limited to, objects of reference, communication boards, symbols, photographs and various forms of voice output technology.

Book-handling skills

Book-handling skills include those of holding the book using the correct orientation, opening the book, page turning and so on.

Cause and effect

Cause and effect refers to the understanding that there is a relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other (e.g. turning on a light when going into a dark room).

Communicative partner

The communicative partner is an individual engaged in the act of communicating in a concentrated way with a student undertaking L1LPs. Communicating intentionally is a very large step for some of these students. Communicative partners learn to ‘read’ the signs in the student that s/he is learning to communicate at a level of progression on the continuum.


Elements outline the specific areas for learning covered within each Priority Learning Unit (PLU). For example, PLU 5: The arts is comprised of three elements: Visual art, Music and Drama. Teachers should include learning outcomes from all elements over the course of delivering the Level 1 Learning Programme to ensure students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

Features of Quality

Features of Quality are the criteria which are used by the teacher to support a judgement about whether learning outcomes have been achieved or not.

Generalising learning

Generalising learning is the term used to describe the stage when a student can be observed transferring learning in a specific context to other, less familiar or unfamiliar situations.

‘How to’ guidelines

It is envisaged that short pieces of additional support material will be provided on specific teaching approaches that are known to be effective with these students, for example, one for each PLU.

Joint attention

Joint attention is a situation where the individuals involved in the communication act both focus on the same object. It is more than just looking at an object; the individuals understand that they are attending to the same thing. For some students, eye contact or visual attention can be a challenge. In this case, joint attention may be achieved through the use of alternative senses (smell, taste, touch or hearing) so long as the student demonstrates an understanding that the experience is shared and their partner is smelling/feeling/hearing or tasting the same thing.

Learning intentions

A learning intention for a lesson or series of lessons is a statement, created by the teacher, that describes clearly what the teacher wants the students to know, understand, and be able to do as a result of learning and teaching activities.

Learning journey

The learning journey refers to the unique way each student accesses the Level 1 Learning Programme. Where possible, all students should have the opportunity to experience/attempt all of the learning outcomes in a way that is meaningful to them. Teachers, the student’s family and multi-disciplinary professionals supporting the student will work together to identify which learning outcomes are to be prioritised, the pathway at which they may be accessed and the order in which they should be followed, based on the students learning strengths, needs and interests.

Learning outcomes (see also Unconstrained learning outcomes)

Learning outcomes specify the knowledge, skills and attitudes students can demonstrate they have learned within each element of a PLU. Learning outcomes are not expected to be followed in a linear manner but in a way that best suits the student. The unconstrained nature of the learning outcomes ensure flexibility for adaptation so that they can be made specific to the individual student to reflect their interests, strengths and needs.

Mark making

Students begin their journey towards writing by making marks. These can be made using body parts or a range of implements. Slowly the marks they make begin to have more meaning for them. This is an important step in learning to write.

Priority Learning Units (PLUs)

Priority Learning Units (PLUs) explicitly identify and develop the key areas of learning needed to prepare the students for their future lives. There are six PLUs in the Level 1 Learning Programme: Communication, language and literacy; Personal care and wellbeing; Being part of a community; Numeracy; The arts; and Physical education. Each PLU is then broken down into elements and then further into learning outcomes.

Process-based teaching and learning

Process-based teaching and learning is a holistic approach to teaching and learning that places a focus on the process of the learning rather than individual outcome targets. The L1LPs places an emphasis on ‘real-world’ learning for students participating in the L1LPs.


Self-regulation as used here refers to the process by which students take charge of their behaviour. They gain self-control by being enabled to recognise triggers which provoke behaviours they want to change and by learning strategies which support them in self-regulation.

Sensory signals

Sensory signals include any source of sensory stimulation/output that may or may not elicit a response (e.g. sounds, tastes, smells, textures or images /lights).

Short courses

It is envisaged that schools will have autonomy to develop units of learning specifically to meet their students’ needs. The Themes
Among the themes for Irish are; myself, at home, school, food, television, shopping, pastimes, clothes, the weather and special occasions. The teacher can select lots of topics from the themes. These topics could be extended to also include subjects that the child finds interesting.
will be appropriate to the chronological age of students and will reflect their interests. They will allow for cross-curricular learning and teaching and will have the learning outcomes of PLUs embedded in them.

Social conventions of privacy

Social conventions of privacy are societal ‘norms’ relating to behaviours, information and places which are considered private.

Social scripts

Social scripts describe the physical environment students will visit and details of what the excursion will involve. They are often written in the first person, e.g. ‘When we climb the steps to the entrance I will be able to leave my bag in a room, where it will be safe until I get back’.


This term replaces the word ‘syllabus’. A specification is an outline of the curriculum and assessment components of a subject or learning programme. Unlike a syllabus, learning outcomes are not content-driven but are statements that describe what understanding, skills and values students should be able to demonstrate after a period of learning.

Standardised objects of reference

Standardised objects of reference are concrete, three-dimensional objects that have been standardised in the student’s life to communicate, e.g. using a wooden spoon to indicate that it is ‘time for cooking’.

Stimulus/Stimuli (plural)

A stimulus or stimuli can be defined as any object or event that may trigger a reaction of some sort. For example, a piece of music may trigger an emotional response, resulting in a student laughing.


Stories, in this context, are a connected series of events, invented or factual, that are recalled in sequence in any meaningful way. This may include picture books, sensory stories, massage stories, story trays, photo stories or the incorporation of any other items/approaches that are meaningful to the student.


Throughout the L1LP guidelines, ‘text’ includes all products of language use: oral, gesture, sign, written, visual, electronic and digital.

Unconstrained learning outcomes

Unconstrained learning outcomes specify the knowledge, skills and attitudes students can demonstrate they have learned, expressed as broad statements which allow for a range of interpretation at school level to suit the students’ needs.

Visual representations of items

Visual representations of items are picture systems which are used to standardise the student’s communication. They are sometimes called augmentative communication systems. They are ONE form of augmentative communication systems

Successfully added to the clipboard.