Junior Cycle Reform

Beginning on a phased from September 2014, the new junior cycle will feature revised 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 junior cycle programmes that meet the learning needs of all students. For students, the new junior cycle will mean that the curriculum available in their schools will be a mix of subjects and short courses as well as other learning experiences.

Curriculum
For a small group of students with special educational needs, priority learning units (PLUs) will be provided. These components will enable the statements of learning, literacy and numeracy and other key skills to be become a reality for the students throughout their three-year junior cycle.

The Junior Certificate

For a period of five years from 2014, the new Junior Cycle will operate in schools alongside the programmes based around the existing Junior Certificate.

Almost all junior cycle students take courses leading to the Junior Certificate, the State examination taken at the end of the third year of junior cycle, when students are 15 years of age. Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level, although three subjects, Irish, English and mathematics, can also be studied at Foundation Level.

Assessment

From 2014, 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.

Further information available here