General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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CPD Project - Literacy & Numeracy - KS2/KS3


The Literacy and Numeracy Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 CPD Project is a regional project funded by the Department of Education. It started in September 2014 with training for schools commencing in January 2015.

The aim of this project is two-fold:

  • To provide a professional development programme for teachers of English and Mathematics across Key Stages 2 and 3 which focuses on the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning.
  •  To address issues related to learning that pupils face at the transition from primary to post primary school.

“Schools and other organisations need to strengthen transition links in order to build effectively upon pupils’ prior learning and address the regression that can occur.” (Chief Inspector’s Report, 2012-14, p13)

In the longer term it is envisaged that this project will significantly impact on the educational experience of young people and ultimately on their attainment. The focus on learning and teaching of literacy and numeracy skills supports the PfG targets for GCSE English and maths.

The project is utilising the growing significance of the Area Learning Communities as vehicles for the sharing of good practice, co-ordination of teacher CPD and facilitation of communication between schools. The project is also making effective use of ICT within schools, particularly through the C2K network, to facilitate on-going sharing of effective practice, and to support the teacher professional development programme.

Information sessions for all Principals, primary and post-primary, were followed by ten Cross-Phase Principals’ Conferences which were organised to explain the project and showcase current good practice in transition. These were held in March 2015 for South and West Region schools and in October 2015 for North East, South East and Belfast schools.

The Project has been embraced by all school sectors in Northern Ireland, as teacher professional development has been at the core of the project. Uptake for the training programme has been significant with over 75 % of schools sending their teachers out to the training sessions.

A regularly updated website of resources on C2K’s Fronter is available now to all teachers and complements the teacher training provision. The project website on C2K’s Fronter is being maintained as a digital centre of excellence for teachers of English and Maths as well as teachers across the curriculum. The website has been made available to all teachers across Northern Ireland from 1st December 2015. The site currently has over 7,000 active users regularly downloading learning and teaching resources, this includes student teachers from the four teacher training institutions and NQTs. The Project Team take account of teachers’ professional development needs and update the project website accordingly and on a regular basis. Teachers are also contributing to the site by forwarding examples of best practice to members of the Project Team to add to the site.

The project is helping to improve much needed dialogue about pedagogy between primary and post-primary teachers in order to embed good learning and teaching approaches and improve the educational outcomes of pupils in Literacy and Numeracy. English and Maths teachers from post-primary schools and primary school teachers received training in literacy and numeracy and were provided with opportunities to meet together and to share their best pedagogical practice cross-phase. To date, cross-phase collaboration between teachers of KS2 and KS3 has yielded many positive outcomes, including joint staff development days, joint planning and joint classroom observation. An extension of the programme will provide more opportunities for the project to develop further transition work between primary and post-primary schools with a focus on Literacy and Numeracy.

A highly successful cross-phase Literacy and Numeracy TeachMeet was also organised by the Project Team in the North Down area in October 2015 creating more opportunities for teachers to share their best pedagogical practice to enhance transition in Northern Ireland.

The Project Team has also had the opportunity to provide cross-phase training for student teachers in all of Northern Ireland’s teacher training colleges. The purpose in doing this was to create an awareness of the benefits of cross-phase collaboration from the outset of a teacher’s career and practice.


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