Overview of Learning Support Centre

Key Stage 3

Pupils in the LSC are entitled to have full access to the Northern Ireland Curriculum at a level suitable to their needs.  It is the aim of the LSC to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. This is achieved in three different ways:

  • Pupils are taught in the LSC by LSC teachers.
  • Pupils are taught in LSC grouping by subject specialists – ICT and Irish at Key Stage 3
  • Pupils are integrated into Mainstream Classes and taught by practical subject specialists.

We aim to develop pupils’ abilities to communicate effectively in speech and writing, and to listen with understanding.  We also endeavour to develop enthusiasm, understanding and knowledge in reading.  Within an integrated programme of Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing, pupils are given the following opportunities to:

  • talk and listen in a variety of situations and for a range of purposes.
  • encounter a wide range of literature, non-fiction and media texts.
  • improve and consolidate their skills in writing and to develop a range of writing styles.

In Key Stage Three, pupils remain in the LSC and taught in small groups, usually Year Groups.  Pupils are tested using Standardised Tests and then placed on individual Reading and Spelling Programmes throughout their time in the LSC.  Pupil’s Individual Action Plan will encompass at least one literacy target.  Pupils also access Lexia, both within school and at home. A wide range of multi-sensory methods are used in the teaching of English within the LSC.  In addition, pupils have opportunities to develop their skills in the areas of:

  • Phonics
  • Listening Skills
  • Comprehension
  • Punctuation
  • Reading and enjoying novels including Danny The Champion of the World (by Roald Dahl), Billionaire Boy (by David Walliams), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (by John Boyne), There’s a boy in the Girl’s Bathroom (by Louis Sachar) to mention just a few.
  • Functional writing.
  • Poetry

We aim to develop pupils’ abilities in all areas of Mathematics.  Pupils complete standardised tests (Access Maths. Star Maths) to ensure programmes for work are tailored to individual needs. Pupils Individual Action Plan will encompass at least one literacy target. All Attainment Targets are included, Processes, Number, Shape and Space, Measures Data Handling and Algebra.  Pupils access ‘Accelerated Maths’ both within school and at home. A wide range of resources, including ICT ensure that practical activities enhance the learning experience.

Year 8 range of topics:

Place Value
Data Handling
2D Shape
3D Shape


Year 9 range of topics:

Whole Numbers in Action
Angles around us
Letters and Numbers
Introduction to Decimals
Facts, Figures and Graphs
Measuring Time
Solving Equations
Measuring Length
Tiling and Symmetry
Measuring Area
Letters, Numbers and Sequences
Two Dimensions
Measuring Volume
Solving More Equations
Three Dimensions


Year 10 range of topics:

Numbers in Action
All about Angles
Letters and Numbers
Making Sense of Statistics
Fractions, Decimals and Percentages
Distances and Direction
Positive and Negative Numbers
Round in Circles
Types of Triangles
Three Dimensions
Tiling and Symmetry

Year 8

Year 8 students follow the ‘Fully Alive 1’ Catholic Religious Education Programme. 

  • New Beginnings
  • My Parish
  • Baptism and Confirmation
  • Morality
  • The Bible
  • Palestine at the time of Jesus
  • The life and ministry of Jesus
  • RSE

Year 9

All students in Year 9 follow the ‘Fully Alive 2’ Catholic Religious Education Programme. 

  • Caring for the Earth
  • Moses and the 10 Commandments
  • The Orthodox Church
  • Problems in Western Christianity
  • Christianity today
  • Judaism
  • RSE

The following topics are covered in Year 8 – 9

  • Mapwork
  • Weather
  • Settlement
  • Ireland
  • Continents and Oceans
  • Rocks
  • Ecosystems -Tropical Rainforests
  • Volcanoes
  • Water
  • European Union
  • Multiculturalism
  • Global Warming

Field work is carried out by all pupils at Key Stage 3. Recent visits have included:

  • Peatlands Park
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • River Study
  • An Creagan

The following topics are studied:

Year 8

  • Time
  • Chronology
  • The Normans
  • Battle of Hastings
  • Castles
  • Black Death
  • The Norman Invasion of Ireland

Year 9

  • Ireland and the British Empire
  • The Famine
  • Trade and Industry
  • Land League
  • Home Rule
  • The Easter Rising
  • War of Independence
  • Partition
  • Nazi Germany

Pupils also have opportunities to take part in History Visits. Recent trips have included;

  • Titanic Exhibition
  • Carrickfergus Castle
  • The Ulster American Folk Park
  • Springhill
  • Bellaghy Bawn

Key Stage 4

Essential Skills are the most important and useful skills we all need to succeed in education, work and everyday life.

In Key Stage 4 in the LSC, we offer:

  • OCN NI Essential Skills in Literacy- Entry Level 1-3
  • OCN NI Essential Skills in Communication- Level 1 and 2
  • OCN NI Essential skills in Numeracy- Entry level 1-3
  • OCN Essential skills in Application of Number- Level 1-2


The OCN NI Entry Level Certificate in Essential Skills Numeracy has three skill components:

  • Number
  • Measure, Shape and Space
  • Handling data

OCN NI Essential Skills Application of Number Level 1 and 2 have three components:

  • Representing information
  • Carrying out calculations
  • Interpreting results and presenting findings

The OCN NI Entry Level Certificate in Essential Skills has three skill components:

  • Speak, listen and respond
  • Read and comprehend
  • Write to communicate

OCN NI Essential Skills Communication level 1 and 2 have two components:

  • Speaking and listening
  • Reading and writing