2014 saw the introduction of the new Junior Cycle with English being the first subject to be reviewed. Now, four years later we have new specifications in English, Science, Business Studies, Irish, French, Spanish, Art Craft & Design, History, Geography, Maths, Home Economics and Music. The new Junior Cycle features newly developed subjects and short courses, a focus on literacy, numeracy and key skills, and a variety of approaches of assessment and reporting. As a school, we will have more freedom to design programmes that meet the learning needs of our students. The College is currently finalising the transition from Junior Certificate to Junior Cycle and is working to ensure that students will continue to have a wide and varied programme of subjects and extra-curricular experience.
Subjects continue to play an important role in Junior Cycle programmes. The NCCA has developed new curriculum specifications for subjects on a phased basis. English was the first subject to undergo curriculum changes. Teachers have now attended workshops and in-service to ensure that they are familiar with the new curriculum specification. Each subject will have an element of computer studies built into their programmes to encourage key skills in digital learning and to support digital literacy.
Most subjects will have common level specifications in that there will be one level taken by all students and no Ordinary or Higher level option will be available. The exception to this will be the subjects English, Gaeilge and Mathematics where the specification will be at two levels, Higher level and Ordinary level.
The Junior Cycle is of three years’ duration. The Junior Cycle covers a vital period in young people’s lives when they encounter significant changes in their educational experience. While a majority of subjects are assessed as part of the Junior Certificate Examination, the Junior Cycle provision also includes a number of subjects that are integral to the curriculum, but are not formally assessed in this way. The inclusion of these subjects in the curriculum ensures that students receive a broad, balanced education that introduces them to all the areas of experience relevant to the needs of learners at this age and stage of their development. In this way, students engage in personal development and achieve a level of competence in these courses, which will enable them to proceed to Senior Cycle education.
Subjects offered at Junior Certificate Level in St Kevin’s Community College include core subjects (usually compulsory for all students), a modern language (French or Spanish) and optional subjects. Students engage in a selection process of option subjects upon enrolment after a short tasting period in first year. Descriptions of each subject are available on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment website.
In St Kevin’s Community College all students have access to Higher Level subjects and students and parents will be supported and advised by subject teachers, resource department teachers and guidance counsellors on the appropriate choice of level for each subject before final assessments take place.
- CSPE (Civil Social and Political Education) is a Learning Experience (non-exam subject)
- Modern Language – French or Spanish
- Irish (compulsory unless student qualifies under strict exemption conditions)
- Physical Education (non-exam subject)
- Religious Education – Faith instruction in any one particular faith is not part of our curriculum. This course is suited to students of all faiths and none.
- SPHE (Social, Personal and Health Education) (non-exam subject)
- Wellbeing (This programme will combine inputs from a variety of subjects to help to educate students about the importance of wellbeing).
Option subjects offered at Junior Cycle Level are dependent on resources and staffing and may include:
- Art, Craft and Design
- Business Studies
- Home Economics
- Materials Technology (Wood)