Cross-Curricular Skills

Cross-Curricular skills


The cross-curricular skills of Communication, Using Mathematics, and Using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are the bedrock skills through which young people access knowledge. These skills are developed across the curriculum and are the responsibility of all teachers. Emphasis is placed on transferring, applying and ‘using’ skills effectively, throughout the curriculum.


Communication is central to the whole curriculum. Pupils should be able to communicate in order to express themselves socially, emotionally and physically, to develop as individuals, engage with others and contribute as members of society. The modes of communication include talking and listening, reading and writing. However, effective communication also includes non-verbal modes of communication, wider literacy and the use of multimedia and ICT technologies which may combine different modes.

Across the curriculum, at a level appropriate to their ability, pupils should be enabled to develop skills in:

Talking and Listening

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • listen to and take part in discussions, explanations, role plays and presentations;
  • contribute comments, ask questions and respond to others’ points of view;
  • communicate information, ideas, opinions, feelings and imaginings, using an expanding vocabulary;
  • structure their talk and speak clearly so that ideas can be understood by others;
  • adapt ways of speaking to audience and situation;
  • use non-verbal methods to express ideas and engage with the listener.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • read a range of texts* for information, ideas and enjoyment;
  • use a range of strategies to read with increasing independence;
  • find, select and use information from a range of sources;
  • understand and explore ideas, events and features in texts;
  • use evidence from texts* to explain opinions.


Pupils should be enabled to:

  • talk about, plan and edit work;
  • communicate information, meaning, feelings, imaginings and ideas in a clear and organised way;
  • develop, express and present ideas in a variety of forms and formats, using traditional and digital resources, for different audiences and purposes;
  • write with increasing accuracy and proficiency.


Using Mathematics is the skill of applying mathematical concepts, processes and understanding appropriately in a variety of contexts. Ideally these should be in relevant real life situations that require a mathematical dimension.

Across the curriculum, at a level appropriate to their ability, pupils should be enabled to:

  • choose the appropriate materials, equipment and mathematics to use in a particular situation;
  • use mathematical knowledge and concepts accurately;
  • work systematically and check their work;
  • use mathematics to solve problems and make decisions;
  • develop methods and strategies, including mental mathematics;
  • explore ideas, make and test predictions and think creatively;
  • identify and collect information;
  • read, interpret, organise and present information in mathematical formats;
  • use mathematical understanding and language to ask and answer questions, talk about and discuss ideas and explain ways of working;
  • develop financial capability;
  • use ICT to solve problems and/or present their work.

Using ICT

In school, ICT forms a vital part of every pupil’s developing knowledge, understanding and experience. Pupils need a broad range of experiences that reflect real-world uses of technology. Therefore, they need support to acquire and develop the skills necessary to become informed and responsible users of ICT.

All teachers have a responsibility to provide learners with experiences of using ICT appropriate to their subject.

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