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Junior Cycle

Phases of Junior Cycle

The new Junior Cycle has been implemented in school on a phased basis since 2014. The following infographic outlines the introduction of the new subject specifications, the date introduced and also relevant date for certification. We have concluded phase 5. All subjects have been introduced in Scoil Mhuire.

In Scoil Mhuire students study 10 Junior Cycle subjects. Each subject follows a Specification. The Specifications outline the Learning Intentions for each subject. The Specifications can be viewed by clicking on of the following:

English here...

Irish here...

Science here…

Business here…

Visual Art here…

Modern Foreign Languages here…

Gaeilge (English-medium school) as Gaeilge here…                                             

as Bearla here…

Mathematics here…

Music here…

Geography here…

History here…

Home Economics here…

Religious Education  here

Graphics here…

Key Skills and Statements of Learning

The Junior Cycle places students at the center of the learning process. In doing so, students engage in 8 key skills and 24 statements of learning. 

Through engaging with the key skills 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

The twenty-four statements of learning describe what students should know, understand and value. Scoil Mhuire ensures that all statements of learning feature in our curricula throughout junior cycle.



The way the Junior Cycle is graded has changed. All subjects are offered at a Common level except English, Irish and Mathematics which continue to have Higher and Ordinary levels. 

The new subject specifications are made up of two Classroom Based Assessments (CBA) an Assessment Task (AT) and a final examination. 

Classroom Based Assessments (CBA’s)

CBA 1 is undertaken in 2nd year and CBA 2 in 3rd year. Irish is an exception whereby both CBA’s are undertaken in 3rd year. Scoil Mhuire’s CBA’ timelines for this academic year:



Assessment Task (AT)

Once CBA 2 is concluded students will complete an Assessment Task. This task, set by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), is undertaken during normal class time and will be sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) for marking. For most subjects AT is worth 10% of the final grade. Practical subjects may differ and subject teachers will inform students where relevant. 



CBA Descriptor.png
Junior Cycle Grade Descriptor.png
Final Junior Cycle Examination 

Students sit a final examination set by the SEC in June. Timetable for state exams can be found here. Junior Cycle examinations will be reported using the following descriptors as results. 

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement 

Students will receive a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) once they have completed the Junior Cycle Programme. See sample of JCPA below.

Changes to current 3rd years Junior Cycle due to Covid 19


3rd years academic year 2020/2021 will only have to complete one CBA (see Scoil Mhuire timeline). The Assessment Task is not taking place for this academic year. Final examination will be worth 100%. Practical subjects % breakdown will continue as normal. 

Other Areas of Learning (OAL)


The JCPA also reports on specific learning opportunities and experiences that the student has participated in during curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular aspects of the Junior Cycle Programme in Scoil Mhuire e.g. engaging in the business enterprise awards, participation in the school’s choir or football team.  In this section of the JCPA, the school along with reflection from the student will record 3 - 5 references of areas whereby a key skill has been learned or developed whilst completing the school activity. Example of an OAL Statement may be as follows. 

"Sandra has been a class prefect and member of the student council. In doing so she has developed her leadership skills." 


The Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) provides for a new area of learning at Junior Cycle called Wellbeing. Wellbeing will cross the three years of Junior Cycle and build on substantial work already taking place to support our students’ wellbeing. This area of learning will make Scoil Mhuire’s culture and ethos and commitment to wellbeing visible to students. It

will include learning opportunities to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of our students. It will enable students to build life skills and develop a strong sense of connectedness to Scoil Mhuire and to their community. Six key wellbeing indicators are set out in the Wellbeing Guidelines.

- (adapted from Wellbeing Guidelines)


Students learn about wellbeing through specific areas of the curriculum namely CSPE, SPHE and PE. Junior Cycle students also partake in a Wellbeing class in Scoil Mhuire. 

At Scoil Mhuire we also take a whole school approach to Wellbeing whereby all subject teachers at Junior Cycle link the relevant statement of learnings and key skills learned with the wellbeing indicators set out in the Junior Cycle Wellbeing Guidelines.

Scoil Mhuire’s Wellbeing Committee organise various wellbeing events and initiatives that are. Examples can be seen here.

More regarding Scoil Mhuire’s SSE Wellbeing Improvement Plan can be seen here 

Further Information


Video Information for Parents:





Information for Primary School Parents can be found here.

Information for Secondary School Parents can be found here.

Information for parents about  ongoing assessment and reporting here.

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