Junior Certificate

 

Junior Certificate Irish builds upon the language developed during primary education. The learner’s vocabulary is both reinforced and enriched at this stage and the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are further developed. In addition the learner’s linguistic and cultural awareness are expanded over the three years of junior cycle.

There is currently one Irish syllabus at junior cycle, and a candidate may take the examination at one of three levels i.e. Foundation Level, Ordinary Level or Higher Level. An optional school-based oral examination worth 40% of the overall marks is offered at all three levels. Literary works, chosen by the school and based on certain criteria must be studied at higher level only, but the study of appropriate literary works in order to promote language development is also encouraged at the two other levels.

Note: : A new specification for Gaeilge will be made available in 2015 for introduction to first years in September 2016 as part of Phase 3 of the new Junior Cycle. These students will be assessed at two levels in future.

 

     

 

 

New features of this specification include learning outcomes across three strands, oral language, reading and writing.

There is a new focus given to oral communication which aims to promote greater engagement and thinking in the classroom and beyond. There will also be a new assessment in oral language as well as of students’ collections of written school work.

Teachers, students and parents will be able to check progress by logging in to samples of student work where they will see the range of texts that students in junior cycle English create and see the learning outcomes in action.

English Syllabus Pre- September 2014

List of texts 2014-17, 2015-18 and 2016-19

 

Maths at Junior Cycle focuses on further developing the mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding, which students have gained from primary school, applying maths to real life situations, developing problem-solving skills and fostering a positive attitude to maths. This syllabus is for first, second and third year students in post-primary education.

The syllabus is provided at two levels only – Higher and Ordinary level. It is assessed at Foundation, Ordinary and Higher levels.

Junior Certificate syllabus for examination in 2014

 


This syllabus, covers teaching and learning in French for the first, second and third years in post-primary school. It is assessed by examination at the end of third year at Ordinary and Higher Level.

Note: The current syllabus was introduced in 1993. A new specification for Junior Cycle French will be taken by first year students from September 2017.
Syllabus for examination in 2014 - 2018

 

Science at Junior Cycle is concerned with the understanding of a body of scientific knowledge and the development of scientific skills through practical activities. It contributes to the development of logical thinking and reasoning, and skills of observation, measurement, interpretation, numeracy, problem solving and decision making.

The syllabus is provided at two levels only – Higher and Ordinary level. There are two assessment components: coursework (35% of the marks) and an examination paper (65% of the marks). The coursework is common to both Ordinary level and Higher level. There are separate examination papers for each level.

Note: The current syllabus was introduced in 2003. A new specification for Junior Cycle Science will be taken by first year students from September 2015.

 

Home economics at junior cycle focuses on the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for living as individuals and as members of a family. Home economics is very relevant to the present and future social, creative and management needs and skills for living. The syllabus is based on a core of five areas of study that will be studied by all students and one optional study, from a choice of three.

Home Economics is assessed, at Ordinary and Higher Level, through three different methods of assessment: a food studies practical examination, an elective study project and a written examination.

Note: A new specification for junior cycle home economics will be taken by first year students from September 2018.

 

Junior Certificate Materials Technology (Wood) provides students in the junior cycle of post-primary education with an opportunity to explore their role in making and shaping their environment. It involves the use of a design process, which is a central feature of the subject, through which students undertake tasks that require the use of practical problem-solving skills and the application of scientific and technological knowledge. Materials Technology (Wood) is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of a written examination paper and a student project.

Note: Specifications for the technology subjects will be revised in phase 6 of the Junior Cycle Developments, with the changes commencing in 2019, for certification in 2022.

 

Junior Certificate Metalwork provides students in the junior cycle of post-primary education with an introduction to materials and process engineering and an insight into associated technology. It is founded in practical activity that seeks to link observation and action with ingenuity and creativity in a problem-solving context. The course has two main sections: (i) Techniques and Design, which incorporates all of the practical work, and (ii) Materials and Technology, which is the related technical and technological principles and theory.

Metalwork is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of a written examination paper and a student project. At Higher level, in addition, there is a practical examination.

Note: Specifications for the technology subjects will be revised in phase 6 of the Junior Cycle Developments, with the changes commencing in 2019, for certification in 2022.

 

This syllabus provides students with a framework for understanding the variety of religious traditions in Ireland and elsewhere. It offers opportunities to develop an informed and critical understanding of the Christian tradition and seeks to develop in students the skills needed to engage in meaningful dialogue with those of other, or of no, religious traditions. It covers teaching and learning for the first, second and third years in post-primary school. It is assessed by examination at the end of third year at Ordinary and Higher Levels. There are two assessment components – journal work (20%) and a terminal written examination (80%).

Note: A new specification for Junior Cycle Religious Education will be introduced for first year students from September 2019 and assessed in 2022 for the first time.

 

Junior Certificate Technical Graphics involves students in the development of a range of skills associated with the management of spatial problems and the graphical communication of spatial ideas and solutions. In Technical Graphics, students in the junior cycle of post-primary education construct, and study the properties of, plane geometrical figures; they also develop skills in graphical communication using current standards and conventions, including drawing and sketching and the use of computer graphics.

Technical Graphics is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of a terminal examination paper.

Note: Specifications for the technology subjects will be revised in phase 6 of the Junior Cycle Developments, with the changes commencing in 2019, for certification in 2022.

 

This syllabus covers teaching and learning in History for the first, second and third years in post-primary school. It is assessed by examination at the end of third year at Ordinary and Higher Levels.

Note: A new specification for Junior Cycle History will be taken by first year students from September 2019.

 

Geography in junior cycle aims to develop students’ understanding of the world they live in, what shapes the environment and how the environment is influenced by people in different ways. Students learn how to source and use information from different sources including the internet, books, maps, photographs, graphs, diagrams and newspapers. As students learn in Geography they are encouraged to collect information related to their learning beyond the classroom through fieldwork studies.

The syllabus is provided at two levels only – Higher and Ordinary. It is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

Note: A new specification for Geography will be taken by first year students from September 2018.

 

The syllabus, for first, second and third year students in post primary education, aims to develop the expressive, communicative and functional modes of art, craft and design in the individual within the art class with drawing as the central activity.

This syllabus is assessed at the end of third year at two levels, Ordinary and Higher. The quantity and quality of work produced determine the differences between the two levels.

Note: A new specification for Junior Cycle Art, Craft, Design will be taken by first year students from September 2017.

 

This syllabus, covers teaching and learning in Business Studies for the first, second and third years in post-primary school. It is assessed by examination at the end of third year at Ordinary and Higher Level.

Note: The current syllabus was introduced in 1989. A new specification for Junior Cycle Business Studies will be taken by first year students from September 2016.

 

This 100 hour short course builds upon the 70 hour CSPE course that many teachers are familiar with. It is built around three strands, rights and responsibilities, global citizenship and exploring democracy.

Collaborative and active learning and the development of skills in citizenship, research, reflection and action are integrated across each of the three strands.
There is a new focus given to student reflection through the creation of a reflection journal and a strong focus on student action aimed at giving students an experience of active citizenship. Teachers, students and parents will be able to see samples of both student reflection journals and their action projects on this website.

 

Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) in junior cycle provides a unique opportunity where students can develop the skills and competences to learn about themselves, to care for themselves and others and to make informed decisions about their overall health and wellbeing. SPHE also provides the context within which students can learn about the important moral, physical, social and emotional issues around relationships, sex and sexuality including where to get reliable information from trusted sources.

SPHE is not formally assessed in the Junior Certificate examination.

 

Junior Certificate Technology involves the achievement of human purposes through the use of available materials, processes and energy. Technology education enables students in the junior cycle of post-primary education to develop their knowledge and skills and to apply these through suitable tasks, using a design process, to devise solutions to problems.

The study of Technology contributes to the students’ development of qualities of self-reliance, self-confidence, resourcefulness and initiative and allows them to develop an awareness and an appreciation of scientific and technological phenomena. Junior Certificate Technology is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of a written examination and a student project.

Note: Specifications for the technology subjects will be revised in phase 6 of the Junior Cycle Developments, with the changes commencing in 2019, for certification in 2022.

 

This syllabus, covers teaching and learning in Spanish for the first, second and third years in post-primary school. It is assessed by examination at the end of third year at Ordinary and Higher Level.

Note: A new specification for Junior Cycle Spanish will be taken by first year students from September 2017.

 

Music at junior cycle consists of a series of interrelated musical activities aimed at developing performing, composing and listening skills. This syllabus is for first, second and third year students in post-primary education. It is assessed by a practical examination and a combined aural and written examination at the end of third year at Ordinary and Higher levels.

Note: This syllabus was implemented in schools in 1989. A new specification for Junior Cycle Music will be taken by first year students from September 2018.

Transition Year

The Transition Year (TY) is a one-year programme that forms the first year of a three-year senior cycle in many schools. It is designed to act as a bridge between the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate programmes. It is available to all second level schools and currently approximately 75% of schools offer the programme. Transition Year is optional for students in most schools.

Transition Year offers learners an opportunity to mature and develop without the pressure of an examination. It also provides an opportunity for learners to reflect on, and develop an appreciation of, the value of learning in preparing them for the ever-changing demands of the adult world of work, further and higher education and relationships.

Programme Structure

Each school designs its own Transition Year programme, within set guidelines, to suit the needs and interests of its students. In establishing its own distinctive programme content, the school takes into account the possibilities offered by local community interests.

Assessment

There is no state examination at the end of Transition Year. Assessment is usually carried out on an ongoing basis and can include school-based assessment of projects or portfolios, oral, aural, practical and written activities. Evaluation of activities such as work experience or community service will often involve the providers or hosts of such activities. Some modules may have their own assessment arrangements. Since 2000, the Department of Education and Science has issued an official Transition Year certificate to participants, in addition to schools providing their own school-based certification.

 

Leaving Certificate

Leaving Certificate Irish builds upon the language developed during Junior Cycle. All four language skills are further developed in order to enable the learner take an active part in the bilingual society in which we live in today in Ireland. The learner is encouraged to develop and share her/his views on a range of topics. The learner is also prepared during Senior Cycle for further study in or through Irish.

Irish is assessed at three levels i.e. Foundation Level, Ordinary Level or Higher Level. The learner’s oral competency is assessed around Easter of the final year, in an oral examination worth 40%, at each level, of the overall mark, and the other three skills are assessed in June. Aspects of literary works must be studied at Ordinary Level while at Higher Level these same works and additional material must be studied in greater detail.
The NCCA is currently undertaking a review of the Leaving Certificate Syllabus.

Leaving Certificate Irish builds upon the language developed during Junior Cycle. All four language skills are further developed in order to enable the learner take an active part in the bilingual society in which we live in today in Ireland. The learner is encouraged to develop and share her/his views on a range of topics. The learner is also prepared during Senior Cycle for further study in or through Irish.

Irish is assessed at three levels i.e. Foundation Level, Ordinary Level or Higher Level. The learner’s oral competency is assessed around Easter of the final year, in an oral examination worth 40%, at each level, of the overall mark, and the other three skills are assessed in June. Aspects of literary works must be studied at Ordinary Level while at Higher Level these same works and additional material must be studied in greater detail.
The NCCA is currently undertaking a review of the Leaving Certificate Syllabus.

 

Leaving Certificate English invites students into rich experiences with language so that they become fluent and thoughtful users of it and more aware of its significance in their lives. It develops a range of literacy and oral skills in a variety of areas, personal, social, and cultural. Students develop a wide range of skills and concepts. These will allow them to interpret and enjoy a range of material so that they become independent learners who can operate independently in the world beyond the school.

 

Mathematics at Senior Cycle builds on the learning at Junior Cycle and develops mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding needed for continuing education, life and work. Through their study of mathematics, students develop a flexible, disciplined way of thinking which enables them to solve problems in mathematical and real world contexts.

The syllabus is provided at three levels – Higher, Ordinary and Foundation level and is also assessed at these levels. There are two examination papers at each level.

Project Maths is an initiative to change the syllabus, assessment and teaching of mathematics in post-primary schools. For more info go to www.ncca.ie/projectmaths

 

Leaving Certificate geography will help students develop an understanding of the changing relationships between the physical and human worlds. Through their study of geography, students will develop geographical skills that will help them to make informed judgements about issues at local, national and international levels.

Leaving Certificate geography may be studied at Ordinary or Higher level. The course is divided into core, elective and optional units of study. Geography is assessed at Ordinary and Higher level. Students are expected to complete a report on a geographical investigation and to sit a written examination.

 

Leaving Certificate chemistry aims to provide a relevant course for students who will complete their study of chemistry at this level while, at the same time, providing a foundation course for those who will continue to study chemistry or a related subjects following completion of their Leaving Certificate. This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Ordinary and Higher levels.

Adjustments to the Leaving Certificate Chemistry Syllabus (Changes in September 2013)

The Leaving Certificate chemistry syllabus has been adjusted as a result of a ban on substances that have been designated as Substances of Very High Concern by the European Chemicals Agency. The theoretical content of the syllabus is not being changed. Four of the mandatory experiments have been adjusted. Three are being adjusted to accommodate the removal of banned substances and one that did not require the use of a banned substance is being extended to ensure that the overall amount of practical work in the syllabus does not change.

Note: These adjustments are effective from September 2013 for all students who will sit the Leaving Certificate Chemistry examination in 2015 and thereafter.

 

Biology is the study of life. Through the study of biology students explore the diversity of life and the inter-relationships between organisms and their environment. They become aware of the use of living organisms and their products to enhance human health and the environment.

The Leaving Certificate Biology syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Ordinary and Higher levels. The biology syllabus is currently under review.

 

Leaving Certificate accounting provides students with the knowledge, understanding and skills in accounting and financial management necessary for managing personal and basic company accounts. The learning experiences in accounting develop students’ organisational, logical thinking, planning and problem-solving skills for their future life, work and study. It also develops their numeracy skills within the context of business and enterprise. The syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

 

Leaving Certificate engineering is the study of mechanical engineering for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education. Students develop the skills and initiative in the planning, development and realization of technological projects in a safe manner. Practical resourcefulness, creativity and design in the planning and development of technological projects are emphasised. There are two main areas of study: workshop processes, and materials and technology.

Engineering is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of a written examination, a project and a practical examination.

 

Leaving Certificate construction studies provides students in the senior cycle of post-primary education with an introduction to the knowledge and skills involved in construction technology and construction materials and processes. Students develop their ability to communicate ideas and information and to apply accurate observation and scientific investigation through exploring materials and processes.

Construction studies is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of a written examination, a practical test, and an assessment of student project work.

 

Leaving Certificate home economics provides students with knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for managing their own lives, for further and higher education and work. The learning experiences in home economics develop flexibility and adaptability in students, prepare them for a consumer-oriented society and provide a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in food, textiles, science, design, social studies and tourism. This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

 

Leaving Certificate Physics aims to give students an understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and their application to everyday life. It offers a general education in physics to all students, enabling them to develop an understanding of the scientific method and their ability to observe, to think logically and to communicate effectively. Science technology and society (STS) is an integral part of the syllabus so that students can be aware of the principles of the applications of physics in the everyday world.

This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

 

Leaving Certificate French follows a common syllabus framework for the teaching and examining of modern languages in the Leaving Certificate. The syllabus aims to develop learners’ communicative skills in the French, to develop their strategies for effective language learning and raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity.

Assessment is by means of a written examination, and an aural and oral examination at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level.

 

Leaving Certificate business creates an awareness of the importance of business activity and develops a positive and ethical attitude towards enterprise. The learning experiences in business develop students’ critical thinking, creative and organisational skills while enhancing literacy and numeracy skills using real-life examples. Business provides students with a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in business, marketing, law, enterprise and management.

This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Ordinary and Higher levels.

 

Leaving Certificate religious education promotes tolerance and mutual understanding. It is a broad course which seeks to develop the skills needed to engage in meaningful dialogue with those of other or of no religious traditions.

This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

A non-examination framework is also available for those students who do not wish to take Religious Education as a Leaving Certificate examination subject.

 

Leaving Certificate agricultural science involves the study of the science and technology underlying the principles and practices of agriculture. It aims to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote the sustainability of agricultural resources, and places emphasis on the managed use of these resources. Plants and animal types associated with agriculture are studied, and investigations are undertaken into such aspects as soil, ecology, plant and animal physiology, farm crops, farming practices, genetics and microbiology.

Agricultural Science is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, through a written examination and an assessment work undertaken during the course.

 

Leaving Certificate design and communication graphics involves comprehending, analysing and communicating information presented verbally or graphically. Problem solving and creative thinking skills are developed through the analysis and solution of problems in both two and three dimensions graphics. Graphics and design are communicated using a variety of media, including computer-aided design (CAD). The main areas of study are: Plane and Descriptive Geometry, Communication of Design and Computer Graphics, and Applied Graphics.

Design and Communication Graphics is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of two assessment components: a student assignment, of which CAD forms a significant and compulsory element, and an examination paper.

 

Leaving Certificate art is made up of four units linked together and based on the everyday visual experience of the student's own environment. The practical work can include Life Sketching, Still Life, Imaginative Composition, Design and Craftwork. Students also study the History and Appreciation of Art, which covers Irish and European Art, and Art Appreciation.

This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Ordinary and Higher levels.

 

Leaving Certificate history deals with the experience of human life in the past. The study of history involves an investigation of the surviving evidence relating to such experience. It brings students into contact with human experiences that are often very different from their own and fosters their developing understanding of the human condition and human motivation. Through its focus on the evaluation of evidence, it contributes significantly to the development of students' skills of critical thinking. Through its focus on research, it allows students the opportunity to develop their skills of independent learning.

Leaving Certificate history is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level. There are two assessment components: a research study report (submitted prior to the examination) and a written examination.

 

Spanish follows a common syllabus framework for the teaching and examining of modern languages in the Leaving Certificate. The syllabus aims to develop learners’ communicative skills in the Spanish, to develop their strategies for effective language learning and raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity.

Assessment is by means of a written examination, and an aural and oral examination at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level.

 

Technology Leaving Certificate technology provides students in the senior cycle of post-primary education with knowledge and skills associated with technology education. Students apply their knowledge and skills creatively in a design-based approach to solving everyday technological problems, mindful of the impact on natural resources and on the environment. The syllabus comprises core areas of study, which are mandatory, and five optional areas of study, from which students choose two.

Leaving Certificate Technology is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of an examination paper and a student project.

 

Leaving Certificate Music involves a series of interrelated musical activities within each of the three core areas of musical experience - performing, composing and listening. In performing, students choose from a variety of individual and/or group performing activities. In composing, students develop an understanding of musical structure and form, while the listening component provides for rich aural experiences through exposure to music of different periods, styles and genres.

This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

 

 

 

 

 

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Virginia College, Lake Road, Virginia Co. Cavan.