Minister Foley launches new Primary Mathematics Curriculum

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today launches the new Primary Mathematics Curriculum for all primary and special schools.

The current mathematics curriculum is over 20 years old and much has changed in mathematics education. The new mathematics curriculum was developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) through research and a collaborative approach including engagement with school communities, wide consultation, and extensive deliberation.

Minister Foley said: “I have the enormous honour of introducing the new mathematics curriculum for all primary and special schools. This new curriculum is another significant milestone in the ongoing development of the primary curriculum.


“The curriculum, developed over a number of years by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), includes the views of our many stakeholders. Most importantly, the curriculum has been shaped by the views of the children themselves. They have shared with us how they experience mathematics in the classrooms today and how they would like to experience it in the years to come.

“The curriculum sets out a fresh vision for children’s learning that is characterised by playfulness, creativity, challenge, risk-taking, and opportunities for reasoning and solving real-life problems. It also provides opportunities to make connections between mathematical learning and other areas of learning.

“The new curriculum promotes the development of skills such as computational thinking, financial literacy and spatial ability which are critical for children to thrive in the modern world.

“Mathematics is everywhere, it is the language we use to understand our environment and surroundings. It helps us to successfully navigate through everyday life as it enhances our ability to understand and engage fully with the world around us. We must ensure that we provide the best mathematics education for all our children.

“We want the children in our schools to understand the importance of maths in the wider world but we also want them to see maths as integral to day to day life, interacting with them in their play as well as work and worthy of pursuit in its own right.

“As Minister for Education, I am pleased to oversee this positive change to the way we will teach mathematics to our children.

“We are not just teaching maths to our children because we have to, we are teaching maths to our children because it is the key to unlock and understand the world around them.


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the development of the new mathematics curriculum, especially the children who gave us their valuable input.

“I would also like to sincerely thank all our hard working educators and the whole school community for all the tireless work they do.”

The new curriculum builds on what we know about children’s learning and how they develop an understanding of mathematics. It provides an inclusive and child-centred approach to learning, teaching and assessment.

Much of ‘what’ children will learn in mathematics remains unchanged, but the curriculum places a greater emphasis on enhancing ‘how’ children learn best. The new curriculum provides an emphasis on creativity, playful approaches to learning, problem-solving, and experiences shaped by children.

The new curriculum is fully aligned with the vision, principles and statements on learning, teaching and assessment of the Primary Curriculum Framework, launched earlier this year by Minister Foley.

The over-arching aim of the Primary Mathematics Curriculum is the development of children’s mathematical proficiency. This proficiency develops as children’s mathematical experiences expand and deepen throughout their education and beyond.

The curriculum provides for the continuity of experience and progression as children make the transition from pre-school to primary and on to post-primary. It recognises that each child’s learning journey is different, and provides the flexibility and choice to teachers and school leaders as they support each child’s development.

The importance of the knowledge, skills and experience for quality learning, teaching and assessment of school leaders and teachers is recognised.

Time and support will be required as they become familiar with the new curriculum.

A suite of high-quality professional development will be provided by the Department of Education’s support services to ensure the engagement, collaboration and professional learning of school leaders and teachers. In addition, an online toolkit to include support materials and examples of children’s learning will be provided to assist teachers in building rich mathematical learning experiences for children.

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