Rationale: This school will adhere to the statutory requirements of the NI Curriculum in all Key Stages and will endeavour to enhance and enrich this curriculum wherever possible.  All students will be encouraged and supported towards the highest academic standards commensurate with their individual abilities.

Pupil Organisation in KS3

  • Pupils are accepted based on admission criteria.
  • During the summer term our primary school liaison officer, Mrs. McCrystal, visited the feeder primary schools to discuss the new intake with primary Principals/P7 teachers.
  • Detailed information is gathered on each pupil including academic, medical, social, behavioural and special needs.
  • All pupil data gathered from primary schools together with test scores for literacy on P7 induction day are used to group pupils as follows:
  1. All students who are regarded as being highly capable by their primary schools and/or have achieved good results in the Induction Day assessment are grouped to form a class or classes depending on numbers. These students work together for RE, subjects within Environment & Society, Languages, IT and PSE.  Depending on numbers they may work with other groups for Technology, Home Economics, and subjects from the Arts.
  2. All other students are grouped in mixed ability form classes. Teachers closely monitor students during their first few months.  Teacher assessments are used in conjunction with CATs and standardised tests to place pupils in appropriate groups in order to maximise their potential
  3. All Year 8 students are banded for English, Maths and Science.

Departments review these groups on a regular basis and students are moved across bands as required. This pattern of grouping is maintained throughout KS3 for English and Maths


The basic period for timetable purposes is 30 minutes but as far as possible two periods are put together to make one hour periods.

N.I. Curriculum

The statutory requirements of the N.I. Curriculum are being fulfilled across Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

Enhancement of the KS3 Curriculum:-

All students study two modern languages Irish and French, in Years 8, 9 and 10.

With a view to improving literacy and developing research skills, Year 8 and Year 9 English classes use the library for 30 minutes per week. Literacy intervention strategies such as spelling club, paired reading and Reading Partnership Programmes (facilitated by trained classroom assistants), are also offered to underachieving pupils to improve literacy standards. Pupils are identified by data analysis, parents are informed and, after retesting, parents will be notified of any changes in reading or spelling ages. English teachers will also decide upon the Literacy target on pupils’ IEPs.

Irish Medium

Pupils who have transferred to Dean Maguirc College from Irish Medium Units at primary level have where possible a separate class for Irish and will study French with their peers.  The programme followed in Irish will lead to pupils completing a G.C.S.E. in this subject in Key Stage 3. Where appropriate, these pupils will continue to study Irish throughout KS4

All Year 8,Year 9 and Year 10 students have timetabled ICT for 1 hour per week which enables them to learn the basic ICT skills which they will develop in other subjects.


CEIAG (Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance) plays an integral part in the development of the whole person.  All pupils are timetabled for Employability/Careers Education from Years 8 –14. In Years 8-10 this is delivered as part of Learning for Life and Work.

STEM and CEIAG are being developed across all STEM subjects.  A STEM team has been set up to promote STEM careers and pathways.  Industrial visits and participation in STEM events are used by the STEM team to inform pupils of STEM careers. A “STEM in focus week” has been introduced to highlight career opportunities for those involved in choices in Years 10, 12, 13 and 14.

STEM Careers Information Morning

This takes place annually for Year10 and Year12 pupils involving past pupils from Dean Maguirc College who have been successful in STEM related careers.

Employability Week

This has been introduced to encourage links with industry across the curriculum.

Each subject area invites a speaker from industry to make a presentation to a class/year group on topic such as job roles and employment opportunities.