The aim of Junior Certificate Irish is to develop students' ability to communicate through the Irish language. Irish language skills are improved in a number of areas: spoken language, listening skills, written skills, and reading skills. Reading skills and comprehension skills are developed through reading passages, poems and stories written in Irish. Written skills are developed through writing letters, postcards, essays and stories in Irish.
The new Junior Certificate English syllabus actively involves students in the integrated skills of oral language, reading and writing, and in discussing and comparing a wide variety of texts and forms of English. The aim is to develop students' knowledge of language and literature, to improve literacy skills, and make students more self-aware as learners. Junior Certificate English is linked to twenty-four statements of learning, literacy and numeracy development, and key skills such as being creative, communicating and managing information and thinking.
The Project Mathematics syllabus contains five strands: Statistics and Probability; Geometry and Trigonometry; Number; Algebra; and Functions. In Mathematics students develop problem solving skills and the ability to present logical arguments. Students learn to appreciate that Mathematics is involved in almost all aspects of life and living. Students are better able to use what they have learned in Maths in real life situations in everyday life and work. Junior Certificate Mathematics builds on the Primary School curriculum. Mathematics has connections with other subjects such as Science, Geography, Home Economics, Business, Art and Music.
Junior Certificate History introduces students to the techniques and sources used by historians to find out about the past. Through the study of a wide range of past events from prehistoric time to the present day students find out about important changes which have shaped the world in which we live today. The syllabus is divided into three sections - how we find out about the past, studies of change and understanding the modern world. Future careers for history students include tourism, heritage and education.
Geography involves the study of people and their relationship with their environment. By developing an understanding of the physical, social, and economic processes which shape the environment, students are enabled to function more as members of society. The syllabus is divided into three sections: the human habitat; population, settlement and urbanisation; and patterns and processes in economic activity. Students also gain practical skills such as map and photograph interpretation, figure interpretation, map drawing and fieldwork.
Junior Certificate French is a communicative syllabus organised around the needs, expectations and interests of students. It aims to make them aware of another culture and to be able to interact with others contributing to their overall personal and social development. Students should achieve basic communicative proficiency in meeting and getting to know people, engaging in leisure pursuits, making plans, doing a home stay in France, talking about family and home, animals, the weather, the past, school and communicating in the classroom, travelling, illness or accident, telling the time, day and date, finding the way, talking about food and drink, shopping, using the telephone, writing a note, postcard and personal letter and filling a form. Students also learn to listen for information and to extract information from French language material. Assessment is by means of a written examination and an aural and optional oral examination at Ordinary and Higher level.
Junior Certificate science covers three sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Biology is the science of living things such as humans, animals and plants. Students also study the environment and how to care for it. Chemistry involves learning about the composition of substances and their properties. Students learn about materials that make up the world and how materials can change and be changed. Physics is the science of matter and energy and how they interact. Students learn about forces and energy and how things work. Junior Certificate students will be introduced to a new Science syllabus in September 2016.
The Home Economics syllabus contains a common course of five areas: Food Studies / Culinary Skills; Consumer Studies; Social and Health Studies; Resource Management and Home Studies; and Textiles. Students also complete a project in an optional study from Childcare, Design and Craftwork and Textile Skills. The aim of this subject is to equip students with skills for day to day living within the household. Students learn how to take care of themselves, others, their home and their environment. Future careers may be obtained in catering, fashion and textiles child care, teaching, tourism and in health and nutrition.
Students study the Business of Living for the individual / household area, Enterprise which involves business in a commercial context and Economic Awareness which highlights the role of the state in economic affairs. Business for Living includes personal finance, income, expenditure, budgeting, insurance and record keeping. Enterprise includes areas such as forming a business, marketing, accounting and industrial relations. Economic Awareness includes areas such as inflation, the national budget and trade.
This subject involves an appreciation for ideas, feelings and visual qualities, the use of tools and materials and the ability to plan, solve problems, complete projects and use drawing as a means of thinking. This subject educates the whole person enabling students to shape their world, to evaluate their own work and to understand and appreciate the work of others. Students examine art from an historical, cultural, economic, social and personal view point. Students learn a variety of new crafts such as drawing, painting, printmaking, calligraphy, packaging, photography, screen printing, strip cartooning, bookcrafts, animation, graphic design and textiles. The skills learned are very useful in careers such as photography, illustration, interior/industrial/fashion design, education and architecture.
Students who study music for their Junior Certificate work on three musical activities - composing (reading and writing music, composing simple melodies, adding simple harmony to melodies using triads and basic chord progression) , listening (responding musically to extracts studied, listening to music and song in a number of musical genres,studying Irish traditional music, writing simple melodies from dictation, and researching a style of music), and performing (learning a number of songs, playing or singing either solo or in a small group as part of the practical component of the examination). Junior Certificate music is assessed at both Higher and Ordinary levels. 25% is awarded for the practical element and 75% for a written/aural examination.
Civic Social and Political Education prepares students to become active participatory citizens. The emphasis on human rights and responsibilities in a changing and complex society and the workings and nature of democracy enables students to see, decide, judge and act thus contributing to moral development and preparation for the responsibility of citizenship. There are four units of study: The Individual and Citizenship; The Community; The State-Ireland; and Ireland and the World. A new CSPE syllabus includes three strands: Rights and Responsibilities; Global Citizenship; and Exploring Democracy. A focus on student action plays an important part of a well-being programme as it enables students to feel connected to and take responsibility for the well-being of others.
Social Personal Health Education helps students develop the skills and competence to learn about themselves and to care for themselves and others and make informed decisions about their health, personal lives and social development. SPHE is presented in ten modules: belonging and integrating, self management, communication skills, physical health, friendship, relationship and sexuality, emotional health, influences and decisions, substance use and personal safety. SPHE promotes self-esteem, it provides opportunities for reflection and discussion and it promotes physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.
The physical education programme aims to develop students physically, socially, and personally in a safe, challenging and enjoyable environment. Physical education contributes to individual and group well-being. It motivates students to choose an active, healthy lifestyle. The syllabus includes adventure activities such as hillwalking and orienteering, athletics, gymnastics, dance, invasion games, competitive sports, and health-related activity.