The principal of one Ulster school which piloted the revised curriculum ahead of its introduction this year today told how his pupils have benefited greatly from the new style of teaching.
Martin Bowen, principal of St Peter's High School in Londonderry, admitted it was a challenge to implement the new curriculum three years ago, but said the changes had revitalised the pupils' desire to learn.
However, while he welcomed the introduction of the revised curriculum in schools across Ulster, Mr Bowen - who is also a member of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment - said more could be done to make the transition easier for teachers who already work long hours.
"The Department of Education has to be a bit more imaginative," he said.
"Our teachers work very hard, quite often coming in at the weekend to get work done. I frequently have the caretaker coming and asking me if it is okay for a teacher to come into the school at the weekend and while I have to pay the caretaker extra for him to work on a Saturday, that isn't the case for the teachers.
"I would love to see a situation where the Department would pay extra to teachers for working on Saturdays."
He continued: "The introduction of the new subjects, such as citizenship, did create problems and it has a major implication for teacher training.
"We have 10 training days a year and we are supposed to use at least four of them to deliver the skills the teachers need to teach the new subjects.
"Most schools are not ready for it but I just happened to have very flexible staff. I have always tried to work on the philosophy that we teach children not subjects and after three years it has all become second nature. In fact, you wouldn't believe the number of requests we have had from other schools asking our teachers to go and give a talk on the revised curriculum."
Despite the difficulties they will face, Mr Bowen said schools should embrace the changes: "I thought we would have greater difficulty implementing the revised curriculum but I believe teachers can absorb change probably far better than any other profession.
"The revised curriculum is far more relevant to the children and makes them far more willing to learn.
"We have a much lower pupil-teacher ratio, our results have improved and the inspectors were very pleased with our progress."
Mr Bowen also believes the introduction of a new annual report, which has a standard format and will be used in all schools throughout Northern Ireland, will prove important in improving education.