General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

 
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Revised Curriculum will help in achieving potential

13-09-2007

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has said that the revised curriculum will prepare young people for today's world and help them achieve their full potential.

The Minister was speaking as the new school year got underway and teachers in primary, post primary and special schools begin to introduce the revised curriculum, which is being phased in over three years. A leaflet from the Department outlining what the curriculum looks like and why it is being introduced is currently being distributed to parents through schools.

The Minister said: "This is an exciting time for our children and young people as they begin a new school year. For teachers and all staff in our schools this is also an exciting time as we begin to phase in the revised curriculum. This is a curriculum which will better prepare our children and young people for their future, whether that is to continue in education or move into employment.

"A lot of preparatory work has been done to get us to the start of the phased implementation, including rolling out a training and support programme for teachers. We have made the curriculum outcomes as relevant as possible to the knowledge, understanding and skills young people need in an ever-changing world, including the use of technology.

"In recent weeks I have met with employers and business leaders and listened to their views on the skills our young people need. We agree that there is much to celebrate in our schools and the recent GCSE and A level results are evidence to this, but there are areas we need to improve on. That is why the revised curriculum will help improve levels of literacy and numeracy and develop better communication and team working skills.

"In addition, I am keen to introduce children as early as possible to physical activity and modern languages and we are working on exciting proposals in both these areas.

"I strongly believe in getting children interested and engaged in their education from the earliest possible stage. That is why the creation of a distinct Foundation Stage for years 1 and 2 allows schools to tailor lessons to the needs of the class, whilst developing their literacy and numeracy skills. In recognition of the need for additional resources, in May I was pleased to announce an additional £3million funding for the Foundation Stage and the provision of 20,000 additional laptops for primary and post primary schools."

Speaking about the revised arrangements for assessment, the Minister said: "Teachers will continue to assess individual performance during the year to ensure learners progress through the curriculum and develop literacy and numeracy skills. Assessment will be diagnostic and inform teaching and learning for all pupils. The Pupil Profile, which is being phased in, will provide parents with information on their child's progress in a standard format to make this as accessible as possible."

In conclusion, the Minister said: "As we phase in the revised curriculum over the next three years we will begin to see the positive results of the hard work of many, especially our teachers. Together we can produce articulate, creative young people who are able to confidently take their place in their community and make a positive contribution to our modern, global society."

 

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