Communication at Key Stages 1 & 2


Communication is central to the whole curriculum. Pupils should be able to communicate so they can:

  • develop as individuals;
  • express themselves socially, emotionally and physically;
  • engage with others; and
  • contribute as members of society.

The modes of Communication are:

  • Talking and Listening;
  • Reading; and
  • Writing.

These modes are covered in a range of contexts across the curriculum. However, effective communication also includes non-verbal modes, wider literacy and using multimedia and ICT that may combine different modes.

Teachers can encourage pupils to become effective communicators by using a range of techniques, forms and media to convey information and ideas creatively and appropriately.

Standards of pupil competency in Language and Literacy are measured through the Cross-Curricular Skill of Communication.

Assessing Communication

Assessing Communication in a variety of contexts across the curriculum helps track the effectiveness of school literacy strategies and monitors pupil progress. It is important to plan teaching, learning and assessment opportunities and the Levels of Progression can help with this, for example when negotiating success criteria with pupils.

See the Assess and Progress section for more detailed advice and guidance on assessing Communication.


For more information on Communication contact:

Janice MacArthur
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2631

Melanie Mulligan
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2716


Levels of Progression for Communication

The Levels of Progression are set out in can-do statements. These show the continuum of skills that pupils should be able to demonstrate so they can build the literacy skills needed for functioning effectively in life and the world of work. The Levels of Progression and the Expansion of the Levels of Progression are available from Communication at Key Stage 1 and 2 in the Assess and Progress section.

Task and Exemplification Library

Our Task and Exemplification Library for Key Stages 1 and 2 covers Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing. It also contains:

  • guidance documents;
  • samples of assessed pupil work that have been assigned Levels 1–5;
  • commentaries that provide the context for the samples of pupil work and the evidence for each assigned level;
  • CCEA Tasks and pupil responses to some of these tasks; and
  • an example of a school submission for external moderation, which contains samples of pupil work for Communication at Levels 2–5.

We advise teachers to use the Task and Exemplification Library in the following ways. They may use:

  • tasks with pupils from Key Stages 1 and 2 to support the development and, if appropriate, the assessment of the Cross-Curricular Skills;
  • pupil responses to tasks and samples of pupil work during internal standardisation activities within school; and
  • samples of pupil work to model good practice and carry out peer assessment activities with pupils.

To access the Task and Exemplification Library, go to Skills and Learning: Interactive Support. Teachers do not have to log in for the Task Library but they do have to log in for the Exemplification Library to access pupils’ actual work.

Ready Reckoners: Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing

The Ready Reckoners help teachers in planning a learning intention and success criteria for lessons as well as levelling pupil work. Teachers can also share the Ready Reckoners with their pupils as a self and peer assessment tool. They list the statutory requirements on the left and the progression statements on the right. The statements summarise what is expected at each level. The key words and short phrases are in bold to show the differentiation between levels.

C2k NewsDesk Using C2k NewsDesk as a Digital Tool to Inspire and Engage Pupils

This resource is a quick guide to using NewsDesk. It will help you to use NewsDesk to its maximum potential and to encourage your pupils to become actively engaged in their own learning.

Communication Training Modules

These modules are to be used by Primary Assessment or Literacy Coordinators as part of a school's Teacher Professional Learning Programme. They provide all the resources necessary to deliver training to teachers on the expected standards for the skill of Communication at Key Stages 1 and 2 as well as suggestions about how to implement and embed Internal Standardisation and how to use the Levels of Progression formatively to move pupils on in their learning.

Success Criteria Cards for Teachers and Pupils Success Criteria Cards for Teachers and Pupils

These Success Criteria Cards have been designed to help teachers match reading and writing activities to the appropriate standard, using the Levels of Progression for Communication when carrying out literacy activities. It is recommended that before you introduce these Success Criteria Cards to your pupils, you make them aware of the standards for the skill of Communication. You may wish to use the Ready Reckoners for Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing to help with this.

Teacher Guidance for Using Success Criteria Cards 954.1 KB - Uploaded 20-09-2017

Teacher Success Criteria Cards – Reading 59.4 KB - Uploaded 20-09-2017

Teacher Success Criteria Cards – Writing 88.1 KB - Uploaded 20-09-2017

Pupil Success Criteria Cards – Reading 847 KB - Uploaded 20-09-2017

Pupil Success Criteria Cards – Writing 235.2 KB - Uploaded 20-09-2017

Should you wish to trial the use of these cards in your classroom, we would love to hear from you.

Interactive Levels of Progression Interactive Levels of Progression

CCEA has created a new interactive resource for the Communication Levels of Progression including all Key Stages: SEN, Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1, 2 & 3. It brings together the levels of progression, the expansions documents and the ready reckoners in one easy to navigate system.

The resource is designed to fully support progression. Teachers can choose a mode, select a requirement and have a choice to either move between the full range of levels from the Q skills through to level 7, or select specific levels as a focus. In addition, teachers are able to view related tasks and exemplification linked to the requirement they have selected.