Key Skills Framework


In the table below each of the five key skills is broken down into essential elements. These elements further describe the skill that students will develop. The key skills are also described in terms of learning outcomes -what students might show as evidence of achieving in the key skill. You can view these learning outcomes by clicking the links in the table.

The complete framework can be downloaded here(PDF 530 KB)

Key Skill





  • Accessing information from a range of sources
  • Selecting and discriminating between sources based on their reliability and suitability for purpose
  • Recording, organising, summarising and integrating information
  • Presenting information using a range of information and communication technologies


Critical and


  • Examining patterns and relationships, classifying and ordering information
  • Analysing and making good arguments, challenging assumptions
  • Hypothesising and making predictions, examining evidence and reaching conclusions
  • Identifying and analysing problems and decisions, exploring options and alternatives,  solving problems and evaluating outcomes
  • Thinking imaginatively, actively seeking out new points of view, problems and/or solutions, being innovative and taking risks





  • Analysing and interpreting texts and other forms of communication
  • Expressing opinions, speculating, discussing, reasoning and engaging in debate and argument
  • Engaging in dialogue, listening attentively and eliciting opinions, views and emotions
  • Composing and performing in a variety of ways
  • Presenting using a variety of media


Working with others

  • Working with others in a variety of contexts with different goals and purposes
  • Identifying, evaluating and achieving collective goals
  • Identifying responsibilities in a group and establishing practices associated with different roles in a group (e.g., leader, team member)
  • Developing good relationships with others and a sense of well-being in a group
  • Acknowledging individual differences, negotiating and resolving conflicts
  • Checking progress, reviewing the work of the group and personally reflecting on one’s own contribution


Being personallyeffective

  • Being able to appraise oneself, evaluate one’s own performance, receive and respond to feedback
  • Identifying, evaluating and achieving personal goals, including developing and evaluating actions plans
  • Developing personal qualities that help in new and difficult situations, such as taking initiatives, being flexible and being able to persevere when difficulties arise
  • Becoming confident and being able to assert oneself as a person

Back to key skills

View all key skills learning outcomes

Back to senior cycle