Junior Cycle

The Framework for Junior Cycle provides the basis for secondary schools to plan quality, inclusive and relevant education programmes with improved learning experiences for all students, including those with special educational needs. The new Junior Cycle will better prepare students for life and future learning.

Key Skills

The changes will ensure that your child continues to develop key literacy and numeracy skills as well as learning how to manage information, how to think critically, how to work with others and how to manage themselves. Other skills will include fostering creativity, the ability to communicate effectively and staying well.


The following subjects are part of the Junior Cycle:

  • English
  • Irish
  • Maths
  • History
  • Geography
  • Business Studies
  • Science
  • Modern Foreign Languages(German/French)
  • Art
  • Technology
  • Technical Graphics
  • Materials Technology(Wood)
  • Music

Priority Learning Units(PLUs)

These are designed to meet the learning needs of a small number of students with learning disabilities. PLUs focus on the life skills of communicating and literacy, numeracy, personal care, living in a community and preparing for work.

Classroom-Based Assessment(CBA):

In each subject, students will undertake two Classroom-Based Assessments facilitated by their teacher. One Classroom-Based Assessment will take place in second year and a second Classroom-Based Assessment in third year. Classroom-Based Assessments will provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and skills in a way which would not be possible in a formal examination. A particular purpose of the Classroom-Based Assessments will be to facilitate developmental feedback to students during their engagement with the assessment task and at the end of the process.

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement

As part of the Framework for Junior Cycle the reporting process at junior cycle will culminate in the award of the JCPA to students. The JCPA is a new kind of award and it will replace the Junior Certificate from 2017. It will report on student achievement across a broad range of areas of learning in junior cycle. The JCPA, alongside other reporting arrangements in junior cycle, will offer parents/guardians a clear, broad picture of their child’s learning journey over the three years of junior cycle.

Junior Cycle Wellbeing

The Framework for Junior Cycle provides for a new area of learning at Junior Cycle called Wellbeing. Wellbeing will cross the three years of Junior Cycle and build on substantial work already taking place in schools in support of students’ wellbeing. This area of learning will make the school’s culture, ethos and commitment to wellbeing visible to students. It will include learning opportunities to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of students. It will enable students to build life skills and develop a strong sense of connectedness to their school and community. The Junior Cycle Wellbeing programme will consist of 400 hours each year.

Wellbeing Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ETUrznld_A&t=377s

Junior Cycle Information Pamphlet for Parents