New Primary Language Curriculum for English
and Irish – junior infants to second class
Information Leaflet for Parents
The Primary Curriculum is changing.
Soon your child will be experiencing a new
Language Curriculum for English and Irish.
Who is the new Language
The new curriculum for English and Irish is
for all children from junior infants to second
class in all schools – English-medium schools,
Gaeltacht schools, Irish-medium schools and
Why is there a new curriculum?
The curriculum is changing so that it is
up-to-date with the times we live in, with
developments in language learning and the
introduction of the Free Pre-school Years.
Since the last curriculum (1999), society and
communities have changed greatly, as has
your child’s learning environment. Teachers
say they would like more guidance on the
best ways to help children in their language
learning. Thanks to research, we now know
more about how children learn to speak,
read and write and how to help them make
progress in ways that are well suited to their
How is the new Language
Curriculum different from the one
introduced in 1999?
The new curriculum is structured to make it
easier for teachers to support children learning
both English and Irish. As a parent, the biggest
difference you’ll see is in how your child will
learn the two languages in school. Over the
• your child will have lots of opportunities to
talk in class, give their opinion and express
their thoughts and ideas. The curriculum
highlights the importance of children
developing their oral language skills as well as
learning to read and write.
• your child will be supported in making
progress in oral language, reading and
writing at a level and pace suited to them.
The new Language Curriculum supports
children with different learning strengths
• much of your child’s language learning,
particularly in the infant classes, will happen
through play and playful interactions with
their friends and teacher in the classroom.
This will help them to build on their language
learning in the pre-school years based
on Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum
• your child will see links between English
and Irish and come to understand that
what they learn in one helps when learning
the other language.
Overall, the new Language Curriculum
supports teachers in providing language
learning experiences for all children that will
help them reach their full potential in English
How does the Language Curriculum
help my children to learn Irish?
The new Language Curriculum will
support your child to learn Irish at a pace
and level that suits them.
In an English-medium school, your
child will be encouraged to use Irish in
Irish lessons and during the school day.
Gaeltacht schools and Gaelscoileanna can
choose to teach through Irish during the
whole school day for a period up to the
end of senior infants. Where this happens,
your child will learn English in school after
this period of time. Schools work with
parents and boards of management when
making this decision.
Support is available at the website below
to help you and your child to use Irish at
Is the rest of the primary curriculum
Yes, over the coming years the entire
primary curriculum will be reviewed.
Work has started on a new language
curriculum for children from third to sixth
Where can I find more information?
The new Language Curriculum for
English and Irish is available at
www.curriculumonline.ie. There are
videos introducing the curriculum as well
as other material looking at different
aspects of language learning and teaching.
How can I support my child at home?
As a parent or guardian, you can encourage
your child to talk about things that interest
them and to have fun with reading and
writing. The curriculum online includes
a section called Support Material. While
much of this looks at classroom work, you
might find some of it helpful at home. The
material includes lots of practical advice,
photos and videos about how you might
support your child as they learn to read,
write and to enjoy talking about many
Visit the new Language Curriculum at www.curriculumonline.ie