The Junior Cycle

Junior Cycle education places students at the centre of the educational experience, enabling them to actively participate in their communities and in society and to be resourceful and confident learners in all aspects and stages of their lives. Junior Cycle is inclusive of all students and contributes to equality of opportunity, participation and outcome for all.

The Junior Cycle allows students make a greater connection with learning by focusing on the quality of learning that takes place and by offering experiences that are engaging and enjoyable for them, and relevant to their lives. These experiences are of a high quality, contribute directly to the physical, mental and social wellbeing of learners, and where possible, provide opportunities for them to develop their abilities and talents in the areas of creativity, innovation and enterprise. The learner’s Junior Cycle programme builds on their learning to date and actively supports their progress in learning and in addition, supports them in developing the learning skills that will assist them in meeting the challenges of life beyond school.

A Framework for Junior Cycle, published in October 2012, sets out the structure of the Junior Cycle and outlines how schools can fit short courses into the Junior Cycle.

Click on framework document image to download.

Statements of Learning

The learning at the core of Junior Cycle is described in twenty-four statements of learning. These statements describe what students should know, understand, value and be able to do at the end of Junior Cycle, having fully engaged with and participated in the Junior Cycle programme of their school. 

Click here to download the Statements of Learning Poster.

The NCCA has developed a template for planning to meet the 24 statements of learning. To see the statements of learning that relate to Money Matters, please go to the Money Matters short course specification.

Junior Cycle Structure

As schools plan a new Junior Cycle programme, they choose curriculum components that enable the 24 statements of learning, literacy and numeracy and other key skills to become a reality for students throughout their three-year Junior Cycle.  

The overall Junior Cycle offering includes a mix of subjects and short courses. Up to four short courses can be included in the new Junior Cycle school programme.  The content, design, structure and assessment of the short courses are at the discretion of the school.  Click here for the short course template.

Junior Cycle Principles 

Eight principles inform the planning, the development and the implementation of Junior Cycle programmes in all schools.  These are:

Junior Cycle Key Skills

The key skills help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world. They also support students in learning how to learn and to take responsibility for their own learning.

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Last modified: Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 11:20 AM