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NEW Junior Cycle

Outline of the new Junior Cycle

The Junior Cycle has been revised by the National Council for Curriculum & Assessment (NCCA). They have published their revised programme - Framework for Junior Cycle.

8 Principles underpin the Framework for Junior Cycle. These inform the development and implementation of Junior Cycle programmes in schools. The eight principles of Junior Cycle are:

  • Learning to Learn
  • Choice and Flexibility
  • Quality
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Engagement and Participation
  • Continuity and Development
  • Inclusive Education
  • Wellbeing.

8 Key Skills

*Staying Well

*Working with Others            *Being Creative

*Managing Information & Thinking

*Being Numerate *Managing Myself *Communicating *Being Literate


Eight Key Skills permeate across the entire curriculum. Through engaging with the Key Skills it is expected students will:

  • be more actively engaged with learning
  • take greater ownership of their learning
  • have a critical engagement with digital technology
  • be encouraged to problem solve and think creatively


Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement

Junior cycle students will receive a new Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). The JCPA will reflect a much wider range of your child’s achievements over the three years of junior cycle. The JCPA will report on a number of areas, including:


*Classroom Based Assessments

*Short courses

*Other Areas of Learning



JC Subjects are being revised and each one will have its own specification replacing what was previously known as a syllabus. Maths, Irish and English will be available at Higher and Ordinary level. All other subjects will have one Common Level paper.

The state examination that students sit in their subject at the end of their Junior Cycle will also be graded differently. The following descriptors will now be used:

*Distinction 90 to 100 %

*Higher Merit 75 to 89 %

*Merit 55 to 74 %

*Achieved 40 to 54 %

*Partially Achieved 20 to 39 %

*Not Graded 0 to 19 %


Classroom Based Assessments

Classroom Based Assessments (CBA’s) provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning and skills in each subject in ways not possible in a terminal examination, for example, their verbal communication and investigation skills.

CBAs are undertaken in subjects and short courses and will be facilitated by the Subject Teacher. CBA’s will be done during a defined time period within normal class contact time in Second and Third year.

CBAs are graded in school and reported on the JCPA using the following descriptors:


*Above Expectations

*In line with Expectations

*Yet to Meet Expectations


Assessment Task

Once the second CBA is completed students in Third Year will complete a written Assessment Task.

This task is set by the NCCA, completed during normal class time and is sent to the SEC for marking. This Assessment Task is worth 10% of the overall mark in most subjects.



Useful links

*Framework for Junior Cycle

*Subjects and Short Courses


*Assessment and reporting

*Junior Cycle Information for Parents