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JCT – Junior Cert

The New Junior Cycle

Learning in the junior cycle will be informed by

  • Eight principles that underpin the entire Framework for Junior Cycle.
  • Twenty-four statements of learning that are central to planning for, thestudents’ experience of, and the evaluation of the school’s junior cycleprogramme
  • Eight key skills that are required for successful learning by all studentsThe principles, statements of learning and key skills provide a structure for schools to design their junior cycle programme


The Principles of Junior Cycle Education

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 all schools.

24 Statements of Learning

The learning at the core of Junior Cycle is described in the twenty-four statements of learning.
The twenty-four statements, underpinned by the eight principles, are central to planning for, the students’ experience of, and the evaluation of the school’s junior cycle programme. Schools will ensure that all of the following statements of learning feature in the programmes offered to their junior cycle students.

The student:

1.communicates effectively using a variety of means in a range of contexts in


2. listens, speaks, reads and writes in L2* and one other language at a level of proficiency that is appropriate to her or his ability

3. creates, appreciates and critically interprets a wide range of texts

4. creates and presents artistic works and appreciates the process and skills involved

5. has an awareness of personal values and an understanding of the process of moral decision making

6. appreciates and respects how diverse values, beliefs and traditions have contributed to the communities and culture in which she/he lives

7. values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts

8. values local, national and international heritage, understands the importance of the relationship between past and current events and the forces that drive change


9. understands the origins and impacts of social, economic, and environmental aspects of the world around her/him

10. has the awareness, knowledge, skills, values and motivation to live sustainably

11. takes action to safeguard and promote her/his wellbeing and that of others

12. is a confident and competent participant in physical activity and is motivated to be physically active

13. understands the importance of food and diet in making healthy lifestyle choices

14. makes informed financial decisions and develops good consumer skills

15. recognises the potential uses of mathematical knowledge, skills and  understanding in all areas of learning

16. describes, illustrates, interprets, predicts and explains patterns and relationships

17. devises and evaluates strategies for investigating and solving problems using mathematical knowledge, reasoning and skills


18. observes and evaluates empirical events and processes and draws valid deductions and conclusions

19. values the role and contribution of science and technology to society, and their personal, social and global importance

20. uses appropriate technologies in meeting a design challenge

21. applies practical skills as she/he develop models and products using a

variety of materials and technologies

22. takes initiative, is innovative and develops entrepreneurial skills

23. brings an idea from conception to realisation

24. uses technology and digital media tools to learn, communicate, work and think collaboratively and creatively in a responsible and ethical manner

 *L1 is the language medium of the school (Irish in Irish-medium schools). L2 is the second language (English in Irish-medium schools)

Key Skills

There are eight key skills required for successful learning by students across the

curriculum and for learning beyond school. These key skills and their elements are outlined. Throughout the Junior Cycle, students will acquire and enhance their proficiency in these eight key skills. They will be brought to life through the learning experiences encountered by students and will be evident in the assessment approaches used in the classroom and in examinations. These skills are key to learning in every area of junior cycle and beyond. They are closely linked to the skills required at senior cycle and those already developed for early childhood and primary education.

The key skills will be embedded in the learning outcomes of every junior cycle subject and short course. Thus, teachers will have a clear understanding of how they fit into a subject, short course or priority learning unit and how to build the skills into class planning.

Being Numerate

  • Expressing ideas mathematically
  • Estimating, predicting and calculating
  • Developing a positive disposition towards investigating, reasoning and problem solving
  • Seeing patterns, trends and relationships
  • Gathering, interpreting and representing data
  • Using digital technology to develop numeracy skills and understanding

Being Literate

  • Developing my understanding and enjoyment of words and language
  • Reading for enjoyment and with understanding
  • Writing for different purposes
  • Expressing ideas clearly and accurately
  • Developing my spoken language critical
  • Exploring and creating a variety of texts, including multi-modal texts


Assessment in the Junior Cycle

The most significant change in the new Junior Cycle is in the area of assessment. There is a substantial body of research evidence to show that educational outcomes for students can be improved by broadening the approach to assessment. A dual approach to assessment, involving classroom-based assessment across the three years and a final externally-assessed, state-certified examination can enable the appropriate balance between preparing students for examinations and also facilitating creative thinking, engaged learning and better outcomes for students. This approach will recognise and value the different types of learning that take place in schools and will allow for a more rounded assessment of the educational achievements of each young person.

Formative assessment, complemented by summative assessment, will be a key feature of the new Junior Cycle