S4-S6 Senior Phase

TNQ Guide for Parents and Carershe senior phase, which takes place from S4 to S6 in schools and includes ages 16 to 18 out of school, is the phase when the young person will build up a portfolio of qualifications. It is the stage of education at which the relationship between the curriculum and National Qualifications becomes of key significance. There are some very useful documents below that will help guide both learners and parents and carers through this stage of learning.

The purposes of the senior phase are to provide all learners with:

  • an experience which builds on their learning in S1 to S3 with scope to develop their individual potential
  • opportunities to study at as advanced levels as possible, to a high degree of rigour
  • continued emphasis on literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and the development of a wide range of skills for life and skills for work
  • opportunities for a range of personal achievements, in or out of school
  • opportunities to extend their own abilities and interests
  • recognition of achievement, both attainment of qualifications and wider achievements
  • a broad preparation for adult life, whether their own next stage is further/higher education or employment or volunteering, and for participation in wider society
  • opportunities for all learners to achieve the qualifications and experiences, skills and capacities necessary to move to a positive destination at the end of the fourth, fifth or sixth year.

(Building The Curriculum 3 – a framework for Learning and Teaching, 2008)