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The Education (Curriculum Minimum Content) Order (Northern Ireland) 2007

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PART 4Key Stage 2


The minimum content for Language and Literacy is set out below.

Teachers should enable pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • listen and respond to a range of fiction, poetry, drama and media texts through the use of traditional and digital resources;

  • tell, re-tell and interpret stories based on memories, personal experiences, literature, imagination and the content of the curriculum;

  • participate in group and class discussions for a variety of curricular purposes;

  • know, understand and use the conventions of group discussion;

  • share, respond to and evaluate ideas, arguments and points of view and use evidence or reason to justify opinions, actions or proposals;

  • formulate, give and respond to guidance, directions and instructions;

  • participate in a range of drama activities across the curriculum;

  • improvise a scene based on experience, imagination, literature, media and/or curricular topics;

  • describe and talk about real experiences and imaginary situations and about people, places, events and artefacts;

  • prepare and give a short oral presentation to a familiar group, showing an awareness of audience and including the use of multimedia presentations;

  • identify and ask appropriate questions to seek information, views and feelings;

  • talk with people in a variety of formal and informal situations;

  • use appropriate quality of speech and voice, speaking audibly and varying register, according to the purpose and audience;

  • read aloud, inflecting appropriately, to express thoughts and feelings and emphasise the meaning of what they have read;

  • recognise and discuss features of spoken language, including formal and informal language, dialect and colloquial speech.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • participate in modelled, shared, paired and guided reading experiences;

  • read, explore, understand and make use of a wide range of traditional and digital texts;

  • engage in sustained, independent and silent reading for enjoyment and information;

  • extend the range of their reading and develop their own preferences;

  • use traditional and digital sources to locate, select, evaluate and communicate information relevant for a particular task;

  • represent their understanding of texts in a range of ways, including visual, oral, dramatic and digital;

  • consider, interpret and discuss texts, exploring the ways in which language can be manipulated in order to affect the reader or engage attention;

  • begin to be aware of how different media present information, ideas and events in different ways;

  • justify their responses logically, by inference, deduction and/or reference to evidence within the text;

  • reconsider their initial response to texts in the light of insight and information which emerge subsequently from their reading;

  • read aloud to the class or teacher from prepared texts, including those composed by themselves, using inflection to assist meaning;

  • use a range of cross-checking strategies to read unfamiliar words in texts;

  • use a variety of reading skills for different reading purposes.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • participate in modelled, shared, guided and independent writing, including composing on-screen;

  • discuss various features of layout in texts and apply these, as appropriate, within their own writing;

  • experiment with rhymes, rhythms, verse structure and all kinds of word play and dialect;

  • write for a variety of purposes and audiences, selecting, planning and using appropriate style and form;

  • use the skills of planning, revising and redrafting to improve their writing, including that which they have composed digitally;

  • express thoughts, feelings and opinions in imaginative and factual writing;

  • use a variety of stylistic features to create mood and effect;

  • begin to formulate their own personal style;

  • create, organise, refine and present ideas using traditional and digital means, combining text, sound or graphics;

  • understand the differences between spoken and written language;

  • use a variety of skills to spell words correctly;

  • develop increasing competence in the use of grammar and punctuation to create clarity of meaning;

  • develop a swift and legible style of handwriting.


The minimum content for Mathematics and Numeracy is set out below.

Teachers should enable pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:


Making and Monitoring Decisions

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • take increasing responsibility for selecting and using the materials and the mathematics required for their work;

  • identify and obtain the information required for a task, suggesting appropriate sources to find the information;

  • plan and organise their work, learning to work systematically;

  • develop a range of strategies for problem solving, looking for ways to overcome difficulties.

Communicating Mathematically

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • understand mathematical language and use it to discuss their work and explain their thinking;

  • compare their ideas and methods of working with others;

  • interpret situations mathematically using appropriate symbols or diagrams;

  • present information and results clearly.

Mathematical Reasoning

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • recognise general patterns and relationships and make predictions about them;

  • ask and respond to open-ended questions and explain their thinking;

  • understand and make general statements;

  • check results and consider whether they are reasonable.


Understanding Number and Number Notation

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • count, read, write and order whole numbers;

  • develop an understanding of place value up to two decimal places; use this to multiply and divide numbers by 10 and 100;

  • estimate and approximate to gain an indication of the size of a solution to a calculation or problem;

  • understand and use vulgar fractions, decimal fractions and percentages and explore the relationships between them;

  • understand and use negative numbers in context.

Patterns, Relationships and Sequences in Number

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • explore and predict patterns and sequences of whole numbers; follow and devise rules for generating sequences;

  • understand and use multiples and factors and the terms prime, square and cube; appreciate inverse operations;

  • interpret, generalise and use simple relationships expressed in numerical, spatial and practical situations; understand and use simple function machines;

  • understand that a letter can stand for an unknown number.

Operations and their Applications

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • develop strategies to add and subtract mentally;

  • know the multiplication facts up to 10 x 10;

  • engage in a range of activities to develop understanding of the four operations of number; appreciate the use of brackets; add and subtract with up to two decimal places; multiply and divide decimals by whole numbers; use these operations to solve problems.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • use the four operations to solve problems involving money;

  • discuss the value of money, how to keep money safe, ways in which goods can be paid for and the need for budgeting;

  • be able to plan and think ahead in terms of saving and spending money; prioritise spending with a limited supply of money; understand how to access best buys;

  • discuss foreign currency including the Euro.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • develop skills in estimation of length, ‘weight’, volume/capacity, time, area and temperature;

  • appreciate important ideas about measurement, including the continuous nature of measurement and the need for appropriate accuracy;

  • understand the relationship between units and convert one metric unit to another; use the four operations to solve problems;

  • calculate perimeter and the areas and volumes of simple shapes;

  • understand and use scale in the context of simple maps and drawings;

  • recognise times on the analogue and digital clocks and understand the relationship between the 12 and 24-hour clocks; use timetables.


Exploration of Shape

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • construct a range of regular and irregular 2-D shapes; classify these through examination of angles and sides; recognise line and rotational symmetry; reflect shapes in a line; explore tessellations; name and describe common 2-D shapes; begin to understand congruence in 2-D shapes;

  • construct 3-D shapes; investigate the number of faces, edges and vertices on these shapes; name and describe common 3-D shapes; explore the relationship between 2-D and 3-D shapes.

Position, Movement and Direction

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • understand the notion of angle in the context of turning; recognise right angles; understand clockwise and anti-clockwise; know the eight points of the compass; use logo to understand movement and turning; be introduced to a programming language and use it to create pictures and patterns and to generate shapes;

  • develop language associated with line and angle; recognise properties of acute, obtuse and reflex angles; investigate angles in triangles and quadrilaterals; measure and draw angles up to 360°;

  • use co-ordinates to plot and draw shapes in the first quadrant.


Collecting, Representing and Interpreting Data

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • collect, classify, record and present data drawn from a range of meaningful situations, using graphs, tables, diagrams and ICT software;

  • explain their work orally and/or through writing and draw conclusions;

  • interpret a wide range of tables, lists, graphs and diagrams; create and interpret frequency tables, including those for grouped data;

  • design and use a data collection sheet; interpret the results; enter information in a database or spreadsheet and interrogate and interpret the results;

  • understand, calculate and use the mean and range of a set of discrete data.

Introduction to Probability

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • become familiar with and use the language of probability;

  • understand possible outcomes of simple random events; understand that there is a degree of uncertainty about the outcome of some events, while others are certain or impossible;

  • place events in order of ‘likelihood’; understand and use the idea of ‘evens’ and know whether events are more or less likely than this.


The minimum content for The Arts is set out below.

Teachers should enable pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • engage with observing, investigating, and responding to first hand experiences, memory and imagination;

  • collect, examine and select resource material to use in the development of ideas;

  • look at and talk about the work of artists, designers and craftsworkers from their own and other cultures; appreciate methods used in the resource materials and use their appreciation to stimulate personal ideas and engage with informed art making;

  • develop their understanding of the visual elements of colour, tone, line, shape, form, space, texture and pattern to communicate their ideas;

  • evaluate their own and others’ work and how it was made, explain and share their ideas discuss difficulties and review and modify work to find solutions;

  • use a range of media, materials, tools and processes such as: drawing, painting, printmaking, malleable materials, textiles and three-dimensional construction, selecting which is appropriate in order to realise personal ideas and intentions.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • work creatively with sound by creating musical stories, pictures, patterns, conversations, accompaniments and by investigating ways of preserving the music they have created;

  • sing and perform with simple instruments from memory, by ear or from notation to develop vocal and instrumental skills;

  • listen and respond to their own and others’ music-making, thinking about, talking about and discussing a variety of characteristics within music that they create, perform or listen to.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • develop their understanding of the world by engaging in a range of creative and imaginative role play situations;

  • explore a range of cultural and human issues in a safe environment by using drama to begin to explore their own and others’ feeling about issues, and by negotiating situations both in and out of role;

  • develop a range of drama strategies including freeze frame, tableau, hot seating, thought tracking and conscience;

  • develop dramatic skills appropriate to audience, context, purpose and task by exploring voice, movement, gesture and facial expression through basic exploration of a specific role, and by structuring dramatic activity to make meaning clear for a chosen audience.


The minimum content for The World Around Us is set out below.

Through the contributory elements of History, Geography and Science and Technology, teachers should enable pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:


Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • How they and others interact in the world;

  • How living things rely on each other within the natural world;

  • Interdependence of people and the environment and how this has been accelerated over time by advances in transport and communications;

  • The effect of people on the natural and built environment over time.


Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • How place influences the nature of life;

  • Ways in which people, plants and animals depend on the features and materials in places and how they adapt to their environment;

  • Features of, and variations in places, including physical, human, climatic, vegetation and animal life;

  • Our place in the universe;

  • Change over time in places;

  • Positive and negative effects of natural and human events upon place over time.

Movement and Energy

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • The causes and effect of energy, forces and movement;

  • Causes that effect the movement of people and animals;

  • How movement can be accelerated by human and natural events such as wars, earthquakes, famine or floods;

  • Positive and negative consequences of movement and its impact on people, places and interdependence.

Change over Time

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • How change is a feature of the human and natural world and may have consequences for our lives and the world around us;

  • Ways in which change occurs over both short and long periods of time in the physical and natural world;

  • The effects of positive and negative changes globally and how we contribute to some of these changes.


The minimum content for Personal Development and Mutual Understanding is set out below.

Teachers should enable pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:


  • their self esteem, self confidence and how they develop as individuals;

  • their management of a range of feelings and emotions and the feelings and emotions of others;

  • effective learning strategies;

  • how to sustain their health, growth and well being and coping safely and efficiently with their environment.


  • initiating, developing and sustaining mutually satisfying relationships;

  • human rights and social responsibility;

  • causes of conflict and appropriate responses;

  • valuing and celebrating cultural difference and diversity;

  • playing an active and meaningful part in the life of the community and being concerned about the wider environment.


The minimum content for Physical Education is set out below.

Teachers should provide opportunities for pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:


Pupils should be enabled to

  • participate in activities and physical challenges to learn, understand and continue to develop the core skills of running, jumping and throwing in a co-operative and competitive context using a variety of equipment;

  • progress from simple running, jumping and throwing activities towards becoming involved in more difficult personal challenges and through them, improving performance;

  • practise running over short and long distances;

  • practise jumping for height and distance;

  • practise throwing activities for accuracy and distance from a stationary position to a controlled run-up;

  • record and analyse personal performance in a variety of ways.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • progress from using simple movements and gestures, towards developing these into a structured, sequenced and co-ordinated set of movements using variables such as space, direction and speed;

  • develop their movements progressively individually; in pairs; in trios; small groups; and larger groups.

  • develop more effective use of space levels, directions, speed and strength

  • move with increased control, co-ordination and poise, using a variety of actions and gestures which communicate ideas and feelings;

  • create, practise and perform movement sequences, using a variety of stimuli and to an audience;

  • structure dances with clear beginnings, middles and ends;

  • perform a selection of simple folk dances.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • progress from developing individual skills and partner activities and games to suitable small-sided, adapted and mini-games through both co-operative and then competitive play;

  • develop control in running, jumping, changing speed, stopping and starting, with and without small equipment;

  • improve their skills of handling, hitting and kicking using a variety of equipment and progress from developing individual skills and partner activities and games to suitable small-sided adapted and mini games through both co-operative and then competitive play;

  • develop an understanding of, and participate in, small-sided, adapted and mini games.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • extend their body management skills and improve the variety and quality of movement;

  • progress from working individually to working in pairs, trios, small groups and whole groups;

  • explore, practise and refine a range of movement skills, including travelling, flight, rolling, balancing, transferring weight, including weight on hands, twisting, turning and stretching.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • develop basic swimming and personal survival skills;

  • understand the importance of personal hygiene in relation to pool use;

  • progress from using a swimming aid to developing their confidence and competence in being able to swim without the use of any aids using recognised swimming strokes.

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