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Junior Cycle Programme

Junior Cycle Programme

Junior cycle education places students at the centre of the educational experience, enabling them to actively participate in their communities and in society and to be resourceful and confident learners in all aspects and stages of their lives. Junior cycle is inclusive of all students and contributes to equality of opportunity, participation and outcome for all.

The junior cycle allows students to make a greater connection with learning by focusing on the quality of learning that takes place and by offering experiences that are engaging and enjoyable for them, and relevant to their lives. These experiences are of a high quality, contribute directly to the physical, mental and social well-being of learners, and where possible, provide opportunities for them to develop their abilities and talents in the areas of creativity, innovation and enterprise. The learner’s junior cycle programme builds on their learning to date and actively supports their progress in learning, and in addition, supports them in developing the learning skills that will assist them in meeting the challenges of life beyond school. The junior cycle aims to develop and enhance eight key skills in pupils throughout the course of the three years.


The Principles

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.

Learning to Learn

High quality curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning support students in developing greater independence in learning and in meeting the challenges of life beyond school, of further education, and of working life.

Choice and Flexibility

The school's junior cycle programme is broad enough to offer a wide range of learning experiences to all, and flexible enough to offer choice to meet the needs of students.


All students experience a high quality education, characterised by high expectations of learners and the pursuit of excellence.

Creativity and Innovation

Curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning provide opportunities for students to be creative and innovative.

Engagement and Participation

The experience of curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning encourages participation, generates engagement and enthusiasm, and connects with life outside the school.

Continuity and Development

Curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning enables students to build on their learning to date, recognises their progress in learning and supports their future learning.

Inclusive Education

The educational experience is inclusive of all students and contributes to equality of opportunity, participation and outcomes for all.


The student experience contributes directly to their physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing and resilience. Learning takes place in a climate focused on collective wellbeing of school, community and society.

Key Skills

Key skills help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world. They also support students in learning how to learn and to take responsibility for their own learning.


Statements of Learning

The learning at the core of junior cycle is described in 24 statements of learning. Schools will ensure that all statements of learning, along with the key skills feature in the programmes of all junior cycle students. The statements of learning aim that a student:

  • Communicates effectively using a variety of means in a range of contexts in English
  • Listens, speaks, reads and writes in L2 and one other language at a level of proficiency that is appropriate to her or his ability
  • Creates, appreciates and critically interprets a wide range of texts
  • Creates and presents artistic works and appreciates the process and skills involved
  • Has an awareness of personal values and an understanding of the process of moral decision making
  • Appreciates and respects how diverse values, beliefs and traditions have contributed to the communities and culture in which she/he lives
  • Values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts
  • Values local, national and international heritage, understands the importance of the relationship between past and current events and the forces that drive change
  • Understands the origins and impacts of social, economic and environmental aspects of the world around her/him
  • Has the awareness, knowledge, skills, values and motivation to live sustainably
  • Takes action to safeguard and promote her/his wellbeing and that of others
  • Is a confident and competent participant in physical activity and is motivated to be physically active
  • Understands the importance of food and diet in making healthy lifestyle choices
  • Makes informed financial decisions and develops good consumer skills
  • Recognises the potential uses of mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding in all areas of learning
  • Describes, illustrates, interprets, predicts and explains patterns and relationships
  • Devises and evaluates strategies for investigating and solving problems using mathematical knowledge, reasoning and skills
  • Observes and evaluates empirical events and processes and draws valid deductions and conclusions
  •  Values the role and contribution of science and technology to society, and their personal, social and global importance
  • Uses appropriate technologies in meeting a design challenge
  • Applies practical skills as she/he develop models and products using a variety of materials and technologies
  • Takes initiative, is innovative and develops entrepreneurial skills
  • Brings an idea from conception to realisation
  • Uses technology and digital media tools to learn, communicate, work and think collaboratively and creatively in a responsible and ethical manner


Junior Cycle Subjects

Junior Cycle Assessment

Junior Cycle Useful Links & Documents