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Supporting Change

The impact of curriculum change is felt by everyone in our education system. Supporting the work of stakeholders during times of curriculum change is an important feature of NCCA's work. This work involves collaboration and engagement throughout the process of reviewing, developing, enacting and sustaining curriculum change.


From Purpose to Practice

To support the redevelopment of the Primary School Curriculum an Advisory Panel (Primary) has been established.

From Purpose to Practice is a collaborative document emerging from NCCA’s work with the Advisory Panel (Primary) and is intended to support stakeholders to engage with the ‘big ideas’ of curriculum change. 

A suite of short videos also containing the key ideas in the document have been developed. You can access these within the document itself and below.

Thumbnail resize Overview.png Overview of Primary Curriculum Review and Redevelopment
Thumbnail resize the links.png The Links between Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Thumbnail resize agency.png Agency
Thumbnail resize Aligning.png Aligning Policy, Practice and Research
Thumbnail resize Leadership.png Leadership
Thumbnail resize systemwide.png Systemwide Learning

To further support the redevelopment of the Primary School Curriculum, NCCA have convened a number of events and activities that support stakeholder engagement including Curriculum Seminars, the Leading Out Seminar Series, and the establishment of an Advisory Panel below.


  • Advisory Panel

    To support the redevelopment of the Primary School Curriculum an Advisory Panel has been established. Members of the panel have been carefully chosen considering their expertise, current and previous research interests, their experience or participation in curriculum change processes, their knowledge and/or experience of education systems, and their familiarity with the Irish context.

    The four panellists include:


    To date the panel have been collaborating with NCCA and stakeholders to explore topics such as 'agency and flexibility', 'policy alignment and coherence', 'pedagogy and assessment' and 'cultivating conditions to support change'. The work of the panel will continue in 2021 with publications related to this work to follow.

  • Leading Out Seminar Series

    The Leading Out Seminar Series has been designed to support stakeholder organisations to identify and to begin to cultivate the necessary conditions to support the introduction and enactment of the redeveloped Primary School Curriculum. There have been four seminars to date focusing on 'the conducive conditions for curriculum change', 'agency and flexibility', 'policy alignment and coherence' and 'system wide leadership'.

    You can find a short report and related material on the proceedings of each seminar below.

    Seminar 1: Report  and Presentation

    Seminar 2: Report and Presentation

    Seminar 3: Report, Presentation and Podcast.

    Seminar 4: Report, Presentation and Podcast.

    You can also find a list of the stakeholder organisations who have engaged in the series to date here.

  • Curriculum Seminars

    The NCCA held five curriculum seminars between March 2018 and January 2019. Attendance was by invitation to the education partners and wider stakeholders while many of the attending teachers, school leaders and early years practitioners were members of the Schools Forum. The seminars gave participants opportunities to consider the key points emerging from the research papers, and to discuss and tease out these points from different perspectives. Each seminar included keynote presentations focusing on important aspects of a primary curriculum. This report identifies seven themes which emerged across the five curriculum seminars. The five seminars were as follows.

     Seminar 1 - Curriculum Purpose

    The first seminar, ‘Curriculum Purpose’ took place on March 21st 2018 and over one hundred attendees including teachers, principals and other stakeholders in education deliberated about the purpose of a primary curriculum and explored its values and principles.

    Jones.PNG Dr. Jones Irwin
    Dr Thomas Walsh.PNG Dr. Thomas Walsh
    Panel discus.PNG Panel discussion: Reflecting on the learning

     Seminar 2 - Powerful Synergies

    The second, ‘Powerful Synergies’ took place on May 17th 2018 when over one hundred stakeholders deliberated on powerful pedagogies, expressions of integration and the role of competencies and knowledge in a redeveloped curriculum.

    Wise.PNG Professor Dominic Wyse
    Louis.PNG Professor Louis Volante
    Dr Karen.PNG Dr Karen Bacon
    Carol.PNG Professor Carol McGuinness

     Seminar 3 - New Horizons

    The third seminar, ‘New Horizons’ took place on October 3rd 2018. It considered how a redeveloped primary curriculum could provide continuity and progression for children’s learning between the two preschool years and the initial years of primary school.

    Dr Ale.PNG Dr. Alejandra Cortazar
    Harold.PNG Dr. Harold Hislop
    Bernie.PNG Bernie McNally

    Seminar 4 - Enhancing Learning

    The fourth seminar 'Enhancing Learning Journeys' took place on November 29th 2018. The first part of the seminar focused on how children learn and the implications for classroom practice. The second part of the seminar considered parents' perspectives on a redeveloped primary curriculum. Findings were presented from the NCCA's focus group meetings with parents around the country (October 2018).

    Crafting.PNG Professor Emer Ring, Dr Lisha O'Sullivan, Marie Ryan and Patrick Burke
    Parents.PNG Parents' panel discussion

    Seminar 5 - Charting the Journey Forward

    The fifth and final seminar ‘Charting the Journey Forward’ took place on January 31st 2019 with over 120 stakeholders coming for further deliberation and reflection on what a redeveloped primary curriculum might look like. The first part of the seminar explored the content of a redeveloped primary curriculum. while the second part of the seminar focused on assessment. Attendees explored how a redeveloped curriculum might take account of new thinking in relation to assessment in the primary school.

    Aligning.PNG Professor Michael O'Leary and Dr Zita Lysaght
    International.PNG Sharon O’Donnell