Curriculum in primary schools


The curriculum sets out the subjects that children study in school.

It sets out what your child is taught and how learning in each subject is assessed.

Ireland's primary and post-primary schools is determined by the Minister for Education who is advised by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).

What do children learn at school?

The primary school curriculum consists of 6 curriculum areas that are further divided into 11 subjects. The 6 areas are:

The curriculum aims to ensure that all children are provided with learning opportunities that recognise and celebrate their uniqueness and develop their full potential.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) provides information for parents about the curriculum. It also provides advice on how you can support teaching and learning at home and in school.

The Department of Education provides answers to frequently asked questions about the curriculum in primary schools.

Assessment of children in school

Schools must regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to the students and their parents.

Children's learning and achievement are regularly assessed in primary schools using a variety of tests and other methods.

All Irish primary schools must administer standardised tests in English and Mathematics to their pupils twice during their primary school years:

  • At the end of first class or at the beginning of second class and
  • At the end of fourth class or at the beginning of fifth class.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has published Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for Schools (pdf). It has also published explanatory leaflets for parents about the standardised tests.

Further information

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)

24 Merrion Square
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 661 7177
Fax: (01) 611 7180

Page edited: 12 May 2021