In September 2014, the junior cycle started changing on a phased basis leading to revised subjects and the introduction of a system of options and short courses. 

The new programme also meant new approaches to assessment and reporting. Schools now have more freedom to design junior cycle programmes that meet the learning needs of all students. Ongoing assessment is now part of the overall assessment plan.

This new junior cycle means that the curriculum available in schools is a mix of subjects and short courses as well as other learning experiences. 

Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Three subjects, Irish, English and Mathematics, can also be studied at Foundation Level. 

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. Non-examination subjects at junior cycle include Physical Education, Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Computer Studies.


These principles inform the planning and implementation of the junior cycle programme at ETSS Wicklow:

1. Learning to Learn
High quality curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning support students in developing greater independence in learning and in meeting the challenges of life beyond school, of further education, and of working life.

2. Choice and Flexibility
The school's junior cycle programme is broad enough to offer a wide range of learning experiences to all, and flexible enough to offer choice to meet the needs of students.

3. Quality
All students experience a high quality education, characterised by high expectations of learners and the pursuit of excellence.

4. Creativity and innovation
Curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning provide opportunities for students to be creative and innovative.

5. Engagement and participation
The experience of curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning encourages participation, generates engagement and enthusiasm, and connects with life outside the school.

6. Continuity and development
Curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning enables students to build on their learning to date, recognises their progress in learning and supports their future learning.

7. Inclusive education
The educational experience is inclusive of all students and contributes to equality of opportunity, participation and outcomes for all.

8. Wellbeing
The student experience contributes directly to their physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing and resilience. Learning takes place in a climate focused on collective wellbeing of school, community and society.

T                                                                                     Learn Together to Live Together - No Child an Outsider
                                                                                                         ETSS Wicklow
                                                                                                          Crinion Park
                                                                                                          Wicklow Town
                                                                                                          Eircode: A67 HV26
                                                                                                          Tel: 0404 33060
                                                                                                          Email: reception@etsswicklow.ie
                                                                                                          Website: www.etsswicklow.ie
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