Irish curriculum

*** You as the parent have the right to choose what approach best suits your home education of your child. ***

Structured, sequential, Purposeful Programmes

Disclaimer: HEN does not recommend or advocate for any one educational method. We respect and appreciate that education looks different for every family. The following is information that has been recently adapted from This is merely a guideline broken down into sizeable chunks for easy reference.

Note the ages used on this page are merely guidelines. Some children will be ahead or behind the age levels given in some subjects. Choose the appropriate curriculum for your child’s ability.

AgeStructured & Sequential
7-8 yearsStructured curriculum
9-10 yearsStructured curriculum
11-12 yearsStructured curriculum
13-15 yearsStructured curriculum
16-17 yearsStructured curriculum
17+ years

Purposeful Programmes

Examples of Purposeful Programmes are to be found on this page.

Structured, Sequential Curriculum

(According to

Age: 7-8 (Approx. 1st and 2nd class)

Shape patterns and number sequences
Symbols/pictures in number sentences
Use data to answer questions
Measure length, weight, capacity and area
How time is measured
Equivalent expressions of time
Money: euro and cent
Counting strategies
Place value
Addition and Subtraction
Recognise fractions
Equivalent fractions
Spatial knowledge
Direction co-ordinates
2D and 3D shapes
Rotate, reflect and translate shapes and lines
Language & Literacy
Create text in a range of genres
Work collaboratively with others – both speaking and listening
Use appropriate sentence type: Simple, Complex, Compound
Show understanding of new words
Use sophisticated vocabulary and phrases
Give and follow instructions in text
Use personal experiences in writing and conversation
Ask and answer open and closed questions, when appropriate
Ability to categorise things
Create stories
Retell stories
Use language creatively and playfully
Communicate points of information
Describe actions, events and processes

Age: 9-10 (Approx. 3rd and 4th class)

Rules describing a pattern
Make prediction based on pattern rules
Relationship between quantities
Use words or letter-symbols to represent known and unknown quantities
Collect, display and analyse date
Test predictability and uncertainty
Measure length, weight, capacity, area and volume
Know equivalent units of measure
Measure time
Know different units of time
Calculate money sums
Compare numerical expressions using ‘=’
Add, subtract, multiply, divide
Greater than, less than
Compare equivalent fractions
Order fractions
Calculate fractions of quantities
Location, directional instructions
Angles: Shapes and turning
Properties of 2D and 3D shapes
Draw shapes
Calculate dimensions of shapes
Transformation of lines and shapes
Language & Literacy
Extract meaning from text and conversation
Engage in conversations on personal and other topics
Use tone, gestures and body language
Use appropriate sentence type: Simple, Complex, Compound
Use appropriate grammar
Use words/phrases from different sources
Converse and write in different genres
Use personal experiences in writing and conversation
Express needs, opinions and preferences
Ask and answer a variety of question types
Ability to categorise things
Create stories
Retell stories
Use language creatively and playfully
Communicate ideas and opinions
Evaluate actions, feelings and experiences

Age 11-12: (Approx. 5th and 6th class)

Generalise patterns, models and operations
Mathematical structures – expressions, diagrams, symbols
Solve expressions/equations that include letter-symbols (x, y, etc.)
Evaluate data in order to answer questions
Make inferences, conclusions and implications from data
Use probability to make informed decisions and predictions
Express probability in different forms
Calculate units of measure in fraction & decimal form
Make measurements with increasing precision
Problem-solving with time
Make informed judgements about transactions and financial planning
Compare decimals, percentages and fractions
Use different operations (add, subtract, etc.)
Proportionality and ratios
Location on co-ordinate plane
Simple scale drawing
Make 2D / 3D models
Solve angle related problems
Perform multi-step transformations
Enlarge shape on scale diagrams
Language & Literacy
See how culture/identity change how people communicate
Work collaboratively with others – both speaking and listening
Use appropriate sentence type: Simple, Complex, Compound
Use appropriate grammar
Use complex vocabulary, phrases and figurative language
Evaluate spoken and written language
Use personal experiences in writing and conversation
Ask and answer a variety of question types, when appropriate
Ability to categorise things
Create stories
Retell stories
Use language creatively and playfully
Communicate ideas and opinions
Evaluate actions, feelings and experiences

Age 13-15: (Approx Junior Cycle)

Add, subtract, divide, multiply
Factors, multiples and prime numbers
Decimal places & Significant figures
Exponential form of numbers
Convert between fractions, decimals and percentages
Bills, VAT, profit or loss, % profit or loss, cost price, selling price, compound interest, income tax, net pay, value for money calculations
Absolute and relative comparison
Currency conversion, average speed, distance and time
Numerical patterns, tables and graphs,
Compare numerical expressions using ‘=’
Units of measure and time
2D Shapes
3D Solids
Geometry proofs
Trigonometric ratios (sin, cos, and tan)
Co-ordinate Geometry
Transformations: Translation, Central symmetry, Axial symmetry, Rotation
Patterns: linear, quadratic, exponential
Equations with variables
Factorise expressions
Solve Equations
Quadratic equations
Manipulate equations
Language & Literacy
Asking for information, stating an opinion, listening to others, informing, explaining, arguing, persuading, criticising, commentating, narrating, imagining, speculating
Recount experiences and express  feelings and ideas
Discuss their work
Write down main points of an account/presentation
Deliver a short oral text, using appropriate language &; style
Use appropriate language & style for: persuading, informing, narrating, describing a process
Note key ideas, style, tone, content and overall impact from various sources (drama, poetry, media broadcasts, digital media)
Know how grammar, text structure and word choice, varies with context and purpose in spoken texts
Read texts with fluency, understanding and competence, decoding groups of words/phrases
Read for a variety of purposes: learning, pleasure, research, comparison
 Retrieve information; link to previous knowledge, follow a process or argument, summarise, link main ideas
Examine an author’s choice of words, the use and effect of simple figurative language, vocabulary and language patterns, and images
Compare how different genres shape texts and shape the reader’s experience
Read for pleasure
Appreciate character, setting, story and action; why characters develop; setting and plot structure
Select key moments from a text and give thoughtful value judgements
Use language resources (e.g. dictionary, thesaurus and online resources) to assist vocabulary development
Know features of English at word and sentence level
Know how word choice, syntax, grammar and text structure may vary with context and purpose
Formal versus informal writing
Plan, draft, re-draft, and edit their own writing
Write to analyse, evaluate, imagine, explore, amuse, narrate, inform, explain, persuade, criticise
Write letters, reports, reviews, blogs, etc.
Show a critical appreciation of language, style and content, choice of words, language patterns, tone, images in written text
Comment on effectiveness of key moments from texts, characters, key scenes, favourite images
Improve own written work from reading other texts
Edit own writing to enhance meaning and impact
Use sentence structure, paragraphing, grammar, to make own writing a richer experience
Use punctuation and spelling to aid meaning and presentation
 Know how syntax, grammar, text structure and word choice may vary with context and purpose
Improve writing proficiency

Age 16-17: (Approx Leaving Cert.)

Selecting r objects from n distinct objects
Compute binomial coefficients
Concepts of probability
Venn diagram: basic probability rules
Make inferences, conclusions and implications from data
Expected value
Probability: Independent events
Bernoulli Trials
Statistics: Population and samples
Bivariate data
Statistical samples
Graphing data
Data distribution
Compare data sets
Standard deviation & inter-quartile range
Sampling variability
Empirical rule
Hypothesis test
Margin of error
Linear equation
Area of triangle
Pythagoras theorem
Sine/Cosine rules
Area using trigonometry
Irrational numbers
Complex numbers
Numbers in exponential form
Rates of change
Compound interest
Nets of 3D shapes
Perimeter and Area
Surface Area and Volume
Factorise expressions
Rearrange formulae
Solve equations
Simultaneous equations
Language & Literacy
Give an account of a text.
Summarise the information they obtained from a text
Comment on the selection of facts given: evaluate the adequacy of the information and indicate omissions
Identify the point of view of an author
Outline the values assumed in a text.
Indicate the genre of a text
Comment on the language use, structure and lay-out
Compose accurately in a range of information genres
Outline the stages of an argument and identify the conclusion
Identify the reasoning structure evidenced in key words or phrases e.g. therefore, because, nevertheless, etc
Distinguish between statements/propositions and examples
Distinguish between opinion, anecdote and evidence
Evaluate the validity of an argument
Attempt to identify assumptions present
Outline the values being asserted
Put forward a theory or hypothesis
Justify a decision
Attempt an overview
Identify the techniques being used to persuade eg. tone, image, rhythm, choice of words, selection of detail
Evaluate the impact of a passage in achieving its desired effect
Indicate to which audience it is addressed
Analyze the value-system advocated and/or implied by the text
Outline whose interests it serves
Compose in a range of contexts: Newspaper articles, Advertising copy, Public relations/propaganda/political statements
Develop an awareness of own response to texts and analyse and justify that response
Indicate aspects of the narrative which were significant and attempt to explain fully the meaning
Outline the structure of the narrative and how it achieves coherence within its genre
Develop an awareness of narrative characteristics of different genres
Approach narrative texts from a variety of critical viewpoints
Compare texts in different genres on the same theme
Compose in a range of contexts
Read a wide range of texts in a variety of literary genres for personal recreation and aesthetic pleasure
Develop appropriate stances for reading and/or viewing in all literary genres
Engage in interpretative performance of texts
Develop an awareness of own responses to aesthetic texts
Re-read texts for rich and diverse levels of suggestion, inference and meaning
Attempt to compare and evaluate texts for the quality of the imaginative experience being presented
Compose within the aesthetic forms encountered
Compose “interventions”, i. e. alternative scenarios based on a text
Compose analytical and coherent essays relative to a text
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