Long term planning - content

This section of the long-term plan might outline:
  • the strands and strand units to be taught
  • the skills and concepts to be developed
  • an overview of the content objectives to be taught, and/or examples of the learning activities engaged in to realise these objectives in the classroom.

You may wish to click here for useful clarification regarding the terms “content objective” and “curriculum objective”. The importance of using the School Plan as the starting point for planning is explored hereIt is important to refer to the School Plan to ascertain:  

  • the strand units to be covered in a particular school year where subjects have been organised over a two-year period such as the example in SPHE below

  • The content objectives to be covered by each class level if this has been included in the School Plan
  • agreed whole school approaches and decisions – for example the Geography content selected for the particular class group, the spelling and phonics programme decided on by the school, the class novel agreed for the class level, the agreed approach to teaching addition and subtraction and so on.

As the content objectives for each class level are specified in the curriculum statements for the various subjects, it is not necessary to transcribe these verbatim in to the long-term plan. It is essential however, that teachers refer, as appropriate, to the strands/strand units/content objectives or to the learning experiences and the activities that enable the children to acquire and develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and concepts that the strand/strand units address, as included in Example 1a.

Some teachers may find it useful to adopt a similar approach to all subjects as illustrated in the illustrative example for Third and Fourth Class is included here.

Alternatively when devising your long-term plan a general statement, as outlined in this example, may suffice: Examples 2a and 2b.

Please note this example is intended as a guide - experienced teachers should use their professional judgement to determine the level of detail necessary to inform their teaching and learning.

Example 1: Mathematics - sixth class. Term 1: September – December

Strand and strand unit

• Number: Operations, Place Value, Decimals and percentages, Fractions, Number Theory

• Algebra: Equations

• Shape and Space: 2D shapes, lines and angles

• Measures: Area

• Data: Representing and interpreting data
• Measures: Length

• Number:

Fractions, Numbers and Decimals, Place Value, Operations

• Algebra:

Rules and Properties 

• Measures: Money

• Shape and Space: Lines and Angles, 2D Shapes 

• Number:

Decimals and Percentages, Place Value, Operations      

• Number: Operations, Place Value
• Measures: Time             


• Odd, even, prime, composite, square, factor, multiple, product, square root, exponent.

• Distance, units of measurements, metres, centimetre, millimetre, kilometre, perimeter , diameter, circumference, dimensions, scale.

• Numerator, denominator, equivalent, improper, mixed number, lowest common denominator, simplify, ratio, proportion

• Digits, decimal point, rounding decimal places, estimation,

• Unit Pricing, value, discount, cost price, selling price, percentage increase/decrease, value added tax, profit and loss, currency, exchange rate.    

• Angle, degrees, rotation, direction, right angle, acute, obtuse, straight angle, reflex, horizontal, vertical, perpendicular, parallel, triangle, quadrilateral.

• Triangle, equilateral, isosceles, scalene, quadrilateral, parallelogram, rectangle, trapezium, square, rhombus, kite, circle, diameter, radius, circumference, regular, irregular.

• Fraction, decimal, percentage

• Average, below average, above average , totals

• Hours, minutes, seconds, time zones, longitude, GMT, International Date Line, timetables, arrival and departure times, average speed, distance, distance charts, stopwatch.

Linkage and integration
Geography: Maps and Globes

Visual Arts: Exploring design using 2D and shapes

Geography: Trade-commodity study

Geography: Longitude and latitude

PE: Using a stopwatch to calculate speeds in athletics

Example 1b: Overview of content - third and fourth class (coming soon!)


Example 2a: Oral language  – infant classes

The children will be enabled to develop their capabilities in oral language through discussion and opportunities to work in pairs, groups and whole class settings. Teachers will provide children with occasions and supports to:

  • listen to a story/description, respond to it and ask questions about it
  • learn to adopt appropriate verbal and non-verbal behaviours and use these when creating and telling stories and when sharing their reactions to a wide range of everyday experience and feelings
  • respond to story through discussion, mime and role-playing to stories, rhymes and songs heard and learnt in an enjoyable way
  • use language to perform common social functions, ask questions, retell stories/events with increasing detail and accuracy, and create and sustain imaginary experiences/situations in discussion and in play
  • listen to, learn and recite rhymes and riddles, including nonsense rhymes • create real and imaginary sound worlds and recognise and re-create sounds in the immediate environment.

Example 2b: Poetry - First to third class

Throughout the year, the children will listen to, read, recite, learn and respond to an appropriate and varied range of poetry. The teacher will take the children's interests and various stimuli into account and introduce more sophisticated nonsense verse and rhyme.

The children will recreate poems in improvisational drama and using that as a stimulus draw and write poems. The children will be supported in writing about their likes and dislikes about events and characters in story through poetry.