Beginning on a phased basis in September 2014, 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.
During second and third year, students complete a number of Classroom-Based Assessments. Key dates for Classroom-Based Assessments in 2019/2020 are available here.
For a small group of students with special educational needs, priority learning units (PLUs) are provided. These components enable the statements of learning and key skills to become a reality for the students throughout their three-year junior cycle.
In this section of the website you will find the new subject and short course specifications which are part of the new junior cycle. The section also has curriculum documents for the current junior cycle. To see what a new subject specification looks like, check out the specification for English on this website.
The Junior Certificate
For a period of five years from when it is first introduced in 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.