May 1, 2013

Junior Cycle

Junior Certificate Subjects

Compulsory Subjects

English, Maths, Irish, Science, Geography, History, CSPE.

Non-exam subjects: PE, Religion and SPHE.

Optional Subjects

After being offered a place in the school each student has to choose three subjects; one from  option 1 and 1 from option 2. The options are;

Option 1:

French or German

(The student continues the chosen language right up until Leaving Certificate)

Option 2:

Classical Studies, Art, Technology, Music or Materials Technology (Woodwork) Business Studies or Technical Graphics.

A Brief Description of….


Students learn how to complete Household and Business Accounts including Household Budgets, Bank Reconciliation Statements and Profit and Loss Accounts. They learn about Banking, Consumer Law, Marketing, Business Communication (Letters, Memos etc.), Business structures and currencies. There are two papers in the Junior Cert. exam at Higher Level. It prepares a student for Leaving Certificate Accounting, Business and/or Economics.

Technical Graphics

This subject tests both the physical and intellectual skills of students as it combines drawing skills with Geometry and Trigonometry. It is based on accuracy and requires students to solve problems, visualise solutions and produce neat dimensioned pencil drawings on paper. Students will carry out freehand sketching, shadowing and shading, orthographic projections, 3D drawings and developments (unfolding 3 D objects) and will increase their spatial awareness and problem solving. They can go on to study DCG or Construction Studies for the Leaving Certificate.

Classical Studies

This subject explores the Ancient Roman and Greek Civilisations. In particular students examine the History of those civilisations; their political, military and educational leaders; the wars they fought, the myths and legends that influenced their thinking, their religious and moral beliefs, how they entertained themselves and the buildings that they constructed. It can be sat at Higher and Ordinary Level for the Junior Cert. and continues onto the Leaving Certificate. It suits students who like History and Archaeology but also has a positive impact on student’s understanding of literature in English.


Students develop a variety of artistic skills and techniques during their first year which they bring into second and third year when they have to complete their project. There is no exam in the subject. For the project, students are given a theme to explore. One student, Alan chose the theme ‘My Place’ and focussed on ‘his place within the enchanting world of music.’ The project, Alan says, ‘consisted of all the preparation work done for painting and graphic design and eventually the completed work.’ He says that he found it a great experience as it was ‘a fantastic way to express oneself.’ Students can continue Art up until the Leaving Certificate.


This subject allows a student to work with a range of materials such as wood, plastic, electronics and mechanisms in the making of a number of smaller projects in their first and second years and then in completing their main Junior Certificate Project in Third Year. There is also a large theory component to the subject which is examined at the end of the three years. Students need good visualisation and design skills; good hand-eye co-ordination and the ability to produce neat accurate work. Technology doesn’t continue onto Leaving Certificate here in the High School.


The music course provides students with an opportunity to practice vocal and instrumental music; whether they have played a musical instrument before or not. They develop a knowledge of different kinds of music from a variety of eras and cultures, an ability to critically listen to music, an understanding of composes past and present and skills needed to read and write music. There is a written and practical examination in the subject. Students can play an instrument of their choice either individually or in a group in their practical exam. Music continues to Leaving Certificate.

Materials Technology (Woodwork)

Students work with various types of timber and occasionally plastics and metals. There is theory and practical work. The life cycle of a tree, differences between hardwood and softwood, seasoning of timber and the converting of timber are part of the theory. Students develop sketching skills and creative thinking when designing their own personal projects over the three years. They learn to cut, shape and finish hardwood and softwood. They complete common joints and use these to produce simple pieces of furniture (Clocks, Coffee tables etc.) They can go on to study Construction Studies for the Leaving Certificate.