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 new curriculum focuses on developing 8 Key Skills. These are summarised in the info-graphic below:
The framework document sets out 24 corresponding statements of learning which schools should provide to it’s students through the subjects it offers. These are available here
Provision for theses statements of learning is being accompanied by a new curriculum structure and new subjects specifications being introduced on a phased basis.
New Curriculum Structure
Schools may now offer a number of ‘Short Courses‘ as well as the established subjects. These short courses can cover a wide range of learning and in Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed we offering digital literacy or coding AND PE. From September 2018 students have the option of taking 9 full subjects for Junior Cycle and 2 short courses (Coding or Digital Literacy AND PE). More information on the Short Courses can be found at this link: www.curriculumonline.ie/Junior-cycle/Short-Courses
New Subject Specifications
New subject specifications are being introduced in all Junior Cycle subjects on a planned, phased basis which began in 2014 with English. The graphic below outlines the plans for subject specification introductions:
The Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement
From 2017 the state no longer issues the traditional Junior Certificate to students. This is now replaced by the school-issued Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). This profile document outlines the results achieved in the state certified examinations in June of the third year but also shows the results achieved in key Classroom Based Assessments (CBA’s) which are administered and assessed by the class teacher. There is also a section to recognise ‘Other Areas of learning’. This, for the first time, gives an opportunity for a student’s extra-curricular involvements to be acknowledged and the learning in those areas noted. Students are surveyed, in conjunction with their parents, on what other areas of learning they wish to include here. The involvements that can appear must, however be firstly, school-based and secondly, verifiable by a teacher in the school. A sample JCPA can be seen here :
An excellent summary of the above information can be seen here: Junior Cycle Information for Parents
A major emphasis of the new Junior Cycle is well-being. Here in Colaiste Mhuire we are exceeding the time requirement of 300 hours through delivering CSPE, SHPE, PE, Study skills (in 1st and 2nd year) and Belonging Plus in 1st year. In line with the spirit of wellbeing we are also working on whole school intiatives and more detail on these can be found in our Wellbeing policy.
We offer a broad range of subjects to our Junior Cycle subjects:
- Civic, Social and Political Education
- Home Economics
- Material Technology (Wood)
- Physical Education
- Religious Education
- Social, Personal, Health Education
- Technical Graphics
- Digital Literacy
All first year students “taste” all subjects and options are student led in second year. Ms Byrne our guidance counselor has produced the following leaflet to assist students in making their subject options.