St. Paul's Secondary School, Oughterard

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Junior Cycle 

In 2014, the new Junior Cycle was introduced into Irish schools on a phased basis alongside the existing Junior Certificate. It features revised subjects and short courses and a stronger focus on literacy, numeracy, wellbeing and developing key skills. In keeping with the new Junior Cycle, many subjects now have a new subject specification and students are completing Classroom Based Assessments (CBA’s) and Assessment Tasks whilst also encompassing a range of other essential learning experiences. From 2020 onwards all subjects are under the new Junior Cycle.

The new framework “places our students at the centre of the learning process and envisages a modernised curriculum across all subjects. It allows for new ways of learning and a broader range of skills to be properly assessed.” (Junior Cycle Framework, 2015)



Junior Cycle – Subject Choice

State Examination Subjects

The core subjects for all junior students include:

• Mathematics
• Irish
• English
• Science
• History
• Geography
• Modern European Language (French or German)

Note (1): Some students may be exempt from Irish under Dept of Education & Skills Circular Letter 12/96.
Note (2): Arrangements are in place to exempt some students from modern language in consultation with parents/guardians.


Optional Subjects

Junior students can then choose two additional option subjects to sit for the ‘State Examination’:

• Business
• Material Technology (Wood)
• Art and Craft
• Home Economics
• Technical Drawing


Non-Examination Subjects

• Religious Education
• Wellbeing (Physical Education, Social & Personal Health Education, Civic Social & Political Education and Digital Wellbeing)


Additional Information on the Junior Cycle Curriculum