Junior Cycle

Framework for Junior Cycle

The New Junior Cycle represents a significant change in the way secondary education is provided to our young people in Ireland. Full details on the thinking behind the new curriculum which is currently being phased in can be found in the Junior Cycle Framework document: Framework-for-Junior-Cycle-2015

The Principles 

Eight principles underpin the Framework for Junior Cycle. These principles will inform the planning for as well as the development and the implementation of junior cycle programmes in our school.


The Statements of Learning

The learning at the core of junior cycle is described in 24 statements of learning. We will ensure that all statements of learning, along with the key skills feature in the programmes of all our junior cycle students.

Statements of Learning Poster

The Key Skills

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.



New Curriculum

The new junior cycle features revised subjects and short courses, a focus on key skills, and new approaches to assessment and reporting. Schools have more freedom to design junior cycle programmes that meet the learning needs of all students. For students, the new junior cycle means that the curriculum available in their schools is a mix of subjects and short courses as well as other learning experiences.

All First Year students in Coláiste Éinde sample all of the following subjects and choose one language and two chosen subjects after a eight week period. These three subjects become the student’s options until the Junior Cycle Examination.

A wide range of subjects are on offer to students –



Student Wellbeing

A major emphasis of the new Junior Cycle is student wellbeing. Wellbeing comprises a subject in Junior Cycle components of which are covered in the subjects of PE, SPHE and CSPE. Elements of wellbeing may also be covered in other subjects as well as directly in our class tutorial sessions.

More detail on Wellbeing can be found here: Junior Cycle Wellbeing Guidelines

Short courses for Wellbeing

  • Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE)
  • Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)
  • Physical Education (PE)


The new junior cycle will feature newly developed subjects and short courses, a focus on literacy, numeracy and key skills, and new approaches of assessment and reporting. Schools will have more freedom to design programmes that meet the learning needs of all students. However, at present the Junior Certificate is assessed through the mechanism of a State examination taken at the end of the third year of junior cycle.

The junior cycle provision also includes a number of subjects that are integral to the curriculum, but are not formally assessed in this way. The inclusion of these subjects in the curriculum ensures that students receive a broad, balanced education that introduces them to all the areas of experience relevant to the needs of learners at this age and stage of their development. Non-examination subjects at junior cycle include Physical Education, Social, Personal and Health Education and Computer Studies, while Religious Education is available both as an examination and non-examination subject.

Classroom Based Assessment

Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning and skills in ways not possible in a pen and paper examination, for example, their verbal communication and investigation skills. CBAs will be undertaken in subjects and short courses and will be facilitated by the classroom teacher.

CBAs will be undertaken during a defined time period within normal class contact time and to a national timetable. Students will complete one CBA in second year and one in third year, in each subject.

Once the second CBA is completed students in third year will complete a written Assessment Task. This task, set by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), is undertaken during normal class time and will be sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) for marking. This Assessment Task will be worth 10% of the overall mark in the case of most subjects. At the end of third year, students will sit the final SEC examination in June. CBAs will be reported on in the JCPA using the following descriptors:

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In Line with Expectations
  • Yet to meet Expectations

Contact Information

    Coláiste Éinde
    Threadneedle Road