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St Patrick's Primary School and Nursery Unit, Loughguile, Ballymena


St.Patrick’s is committed to the Northern Ireland Curriculum which “aims to empower young people to develop their potential and to make informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives”. (The Northern Ireland Curriculum Primary).

The objectives are clear, through the opportunities created by the Northern Ireland Curriculum, young people should develop as; Individuals, Contributors to Society and Contributors to the Economy and the Environment,

The Curriculum and its objectives would be nothing without the Teaching Staff of the school, who use the curriculum as a starting point to plan a broad and balanced and relevant programme of study which caters for all pupils.


The Curriculum for the 3 stages; Foundation (Nursery, P.1, P.2); Key Stage 1 (P.3 and P.4) and Key Stage 2 (P.5, P.6 and P.7) consists of the following Areas of Learning:




 - Religious Education Religious Education

 - Language & Literacy (Communication) Talking & Listening, Reading, Writing

 - Mathematics & Numeracy (Using Mathematics) Processes, Number, Measure, Shape &          space, Data Handling

 - The Arts Art & Design, Drama & Music

 - The World Around Us Geography, History, Science & Technology

 - Personal Development & Mutual Understanding Personal Understanding and Health; Mutual Understanding in the local and wider community

 - Physical Education Athletics; Dance; Games; Gymnastics



Delivery of the curriculum is through a variety of approaches - subject based, cross-

Curricular, independent study.   Pupils are taught in year group classes of mixed ability.

On some occasions it will be appropriate for pupils to be taught by a teacher other than 

the class teacher.





The development of these Skills and Capabilities for lifelong learning runs throughout the Northern Ireland Curriculum.





Using Mathematics

Using Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Children will be assessed on the 3 Cross-Curricular skills at the end of P4, Key Stage 1 and the end of P7, Key Stage 2





Thinking, Problem-solving and Decision-making

Self management

Working with others

Managing Information

Being Creative  🎭🎨


Using the Northern Ireland Curriculum as a starting point, teachers plan programmes of study that help pupils go beyond the acquisition of knowledge to search for meaning, apply ideas, analyse patterns and relationships, create and design something new and monitor and evaluate their progress. (The Northern Ireland Curriculum – Primary).






The Foundations of Learning.


As with the structured importance of solid foundations in a building, we hope to establish 

firm foundations for children’s learning.   The Foundation Stage Curriculum is developmentally

appropriate and is, in essence, child-centred.   The key learning and teaching tool is PLAY –

a child’s work.   There will be an ethos and explicit teaching which will seek to develop the

children’s confidence, self-esteem and independence. 


The key features of the Foundation Stage Curriculum are:😀😀


• Developmentally – appropriate provision.

• Focus on children’s social and emotional development.

• Experiential /play-based learning.

• Emphasis on oral activities.

• Acceptance of creativity

• Physical activity.



The aims of the Foundation Stage are to:


• Promote children’s personal development.

• Promote positive attitudes and dispositions to learning.

• Promote children’s Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.

• Encourage creativity and imagination.

• Enable children to develop physical confidence and competence.

• Develop children’s curiosity and interest in the world around them.

• Enable children to communicate in a variety of ways.

• Motivate children to develop literacy and numeracy skills in meaningful contexts.


The core means of learning and teaching for young children is through fun-filled,

experimental, multi-sensory experiences.   This will help our children to become motivated,

inquisitive, communicative, co-operative, active, absorbed, self-motivated, independent, able to

problem-solve, take risks, make choices and “be able to learn whatever needs to be learned”.

(JOHN HOLT 1965)