Design and Technology in the National Curriculum for Northern Ireland

From DT Online

Peace Bridge Derry


The statutory requirements now mostly concern the skills and competences that children are expected to develop rather than to the content that they must learn. There is emphasis on information management skills and on thinking skills, problem solving and creativity.

A core element of the new curriculum is described under the heading Learning for Life and Work. This area includes the three dimensions of: Citizenship, Employability and Personal Development. Previously, these areas had been peripheral to the subject content of the old curriculum but they are now a central theme of the new one and the subject requirements are related to them.

STEM Works is a website developed to support learning and teaching at Key Stage 3 of STEM related subjects including Science, Technology and Design, Mathematics, Home Economics and Employability.

Key Stages 1 and 2

The Key Stage 1 & 2 Areas of Learning includes The World Around Us and is supported by STEM Thematic Units including:

Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 Area of Learning includes the subject strands of Science and Technology and Design supported by STEM Works.

Key Stage 4
  • Science and Technology
    • From September 2013 schools will be required to provide all pupils with access to a minimum number of courses at KS4 (current target 24). In both cases at least one-third of the courses must be General Courses and at least one-third Applied Courses. A General Course is one in which knowledge, understanding and skills are developed within a subject-specific context are normally assessed through written and/or oral examinations, although some may require an element of practical demonstration. An Applied Course is one in which subject knowledge, understanding and skills are developed in relation to a work context and are normally assessed through the demonstration of appropriate (practical) skills which may be supported by written and/or oral presentation.