SESE: Geography

SESE: Geography enables children to make sense of their surroundings and the wider world by learning about the natural and human elements of local and wider environments. Through learning about their environments, children develop a range of geographical skills and concepts. Geography encourages children to appreciate the interdependence of individuals, groups and communities. It promotes an understanding of, and respect for different cultures and how different people live their lives. The Geography Curriculum also fosters children’s sense of individual and community responsibility for caring for the environment

Geography is for all children in the primary school from junior infants to sixth class. The curriculum is presented in two sections: a skills and concepts section and a content section.

Skills and concepts
The Geography Curriculum outlines the skills and concepts which children should develop including:

  • A sense of place and space
  • Maps, globes and graphical skills
  • Geographical investigation skills.

The Geography Curriculum includes a number of strands:

  • Human environments
  • Natural environments
  • Environmental awareness and care.

These strands outline the content to be included in the Geography Curriculum at each of the four class levels. Each strand is subdivided into strand units. These units focus on particular themes within the strand.

SESE: History

SESE: History enables children to develop their knowledge and understanding of people, events and developments in the past at local, national and international levels. History has a valuable role to play in enabling children to learn about, and come to value the contributions made in the past by people from different ethnic and cultural groups, particularly those from ethnic, social and religious minorities. History, as outlined in the SESE: History Curriculum is an investigative subject. It emphasises the child’s development of knowledge and concepts and open and responsible attitudes through working as an historian.

The History Curriculum is for all children in the primary school from junior infants to sixth class. It is presented in two distinct sections.

It includes a skills and concepts section entitled Working as an historian which describes the historical skills and concepts that children should develop as they encounter topics in history. Depending on the class level, these skills can include:

  • Time and chronology
  • Change and continuity
  • Cause and effect
  • Using evidence
  • Synthesis and communication
  • Empathy

It also includes a number of strands which outline the historical periods that are to be included in the history programme at each level. Each strand includes a number of strand units. Depending on the class level, strands include:

  • Myself and my family
  • Story
  • Early people and ancient societies
  • Life, society, work and culture in the past
  • Eras of change and conflict
  • Politics, conflict and society
  • Continuity and change over time

In infant and first and second classes, the History Curriculum emphasises the development of the child’s historical understanding through the exploration of personal, family and local history. From third and fourth classes upwards children will explore more extensive and more distant periods in the past and will encounter a broadening range of local studies.

SESE: Science

The curriculum for Social, Environmental and Scientific Education incorporates a science programme for children in all classes in the primary school.

SESE: Science enables children to develop basic scientific ideas and understanding about the biological and physical aspects of the world. The Science Curriculum gives special attention to the process through which children develop this knowledge and understanding by helping them to develop scientific skills. The curriculum also helps children to develop positive attitudes to science. It encourages them to examine and to appreciate how science and technology impact on their lives and on the environment.

Science is for all children in the primary school from junior infants to sixth class. The curriculum is presented in two sections: a skills section and a content section.


The Science Curriculum supports children in working scientifically and in developing their designing and making skills.

  • Working scientifically – Children learning by investigating is at the heart of the Science Curriculum. Children are encouraged to work as scientists as they investigate and explore their physical and natural surroundings. These first-hand experiences help them to find answers to problems themselves by exploring their own environment. The curriculum supports children in developing skills of enquiry during this investigative work: observing, asking questions, suggesting explanations, predicting outcomes, planning investigations or experiments to test ideas and drawing conclusions.
  • Designing and making – Designing and making is the technological component of the Science Curriculum. This aspect of the curriculum provides children with opportunities to apply scientific ideas to everyday situations and problems. The children are challenged to explore, plan and make models and functional objects in order to solve practical problems. Designing and making simple magnetic games, wind/water mills, floating vessels, telescopes, containers for specific purposes, electrical circuits and so on develop children’s awareness of the value of technology in their lives.

The Science Curriculum includes four strands:

  • Living things
  • Energy and forces
  • Materials
  • Environmental awareness and care.

Each strand is subdivided into strand units which focus on particular concepts.

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