Junior Cycle

Junior Cycle

The Junior Cycle programme is now fully in place for all students and 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 have more freedom to design programmes that meet the learning needs of our students we are 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 have developed new curriculum specifications for subjects. Teachers have attended workshops and in-service to ensure that they are familiar with the new curriculum specification and suggested methodologies.

Most subjects have common level specifications in that there is 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. In Lucan 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.

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 Lucan Community College include core subjects (usually compulsory for all students), a modern foreign language (French or German) and optional subjects. Students engage in a selection process of option subjects upon enrolment. Descriptions of each subject are available from the school and on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment website.

Core Subjects

  • CSPE (Civil Social and Political Education) is assessed as a Learning Experience (non-exam subject) for students
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Irish (compulsory unless student qualifies under strict exemption conditions)
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Language (MFL) – French or German
  • Physical Education (non-exam subject)
  • Religious Education – In Religious Education (RE) you will learn about what people believe, why they believe and how these beliefs influence their own lives, the lives of others and the world around us. 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 combines inputs from a variety of subjects to help to educate students about the importance of wellbeing).

Option Subjects

Option subjects offered at Junior Cycle Level in Lucan Community College are dependent on resources and staffing and usually include:

  • Applied Technology (formerly called Technology)
  • Business Studies
  • Engineering (formerly called Metalwork)
  • Graphics (formerly called Technical Graphics)
  • Home Economics
  • Music
  • Science (although Science is not currently compulsory, the college ensures that all students who seek science as a priority option subject will be facilitated.)
  • Visual Art (formerly called Art, Craft and Design)
  • Wood Technology (formerly called Materials Technology Wood)


As well as ongoing in-class feedback, there are two main forms of assessment at Junior Cycle:

Classroom-Based Assessments (CBA's): Classroom-Based Assessments are when the teacher assesses a student during class time on a specific subject or short course.

State Examinations: At the end of the third year of the Junior Cycle, usually in June, students will sit State examinations. These are run by the State
Examinations Commission (SEC).

For more information, please see the most recent publication from the Department of Education on the Junior Cycle Programme (October 2023)

Junior Cycle
Jun 05
Junior Cycle/Leaving Cert/LCA Exam Period
Lucan Community College,
Esker Drive,
Co. Dublin,
K78 TF67.

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