The curriculum The Northern Ireland curriculum is described as six Areas of Learning at key stages 1 and 2:
Language and Literacy; Mathematics and numeracy; Personal Development and Mutual understanding; The Arts; The World Around Us; Physical Education; Religious Education
and nine Areas of Learning at key stages 3 and 4:
English; Mathematics; Modern languages; The Arts; Environment and society; Science and technology; Learning for life and work; Physical education; Religious education.
These areas are comprised of subject strands. Each subject strand is defined as a minimum requirement and is structured to facilitate more collaborative learning. Although subject strands are organised within specified Areas of Learning this does not preclude connections being made with other Areas of Learning or subject strands. The statutory minimum requirements must be met by schools through their curriculum. These requirements are written slightly differently for each key stage however, there should be a progression between them. There is non-statutory guidance for key stage 3 and 4, developed by CCEA.
How citizenship education is specified in the curriculum At key stage 1 and 2, there is an area of the curriculum called ‘Personal Development and Mutual Understanding’ – which incorporates some aspects of citizenship education.
‘Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PD&MU) focuses on encouraging each child to become personally, emotionally and socially effective, to lead healthy, safe and fulfilled lives and to become confident, independent and responsible citizens, making informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives.’
At key stage 3 and 4, there is an area called ‘Learning for Life and Work’ and within that is Local and Global Citizenship which is statutory at both key stages.
National standards or expectations of pupils There are no national standards in Northern Ireland. However the Department for Education policy ‘Every School a Good School’ http://www.deni.gov.uk/ sets out overarching indicators for success and there are a number of policies for School Improvement that also come under this.
Click on Learning for Life and Work to access the Local and Global Citizenship strand, as well as Employability, Personal Development and Home Economics (the latter only at KS3); also both KS3 and 4 the guidance materials, statutory requirements and information on Thinking Skills