Junior Cycle

Junior Cycle (1st – 3rd Year)

During the 3 years of the Junior Certificate all students follow the curriculum as directed by the Irish State. Comprehensive terminal examinations are taken at the end of Third Year. Most students sit Higher Level papers and take up to 10 subjects.

The curriculum is broad and balanced. We nurture and shape our students, encourage them to be confident, self-disciplined and independent learners. All classes are exposed to a wide range of teaching and learning styles.

Classes are small. Each year group is divided into groups of approximately 20, but most classes are considerably smaller.

All students are designated a Form Base and a team of Heads of Year, who act as academic advisor and mentor supporting, guiding and encouraging the students on each stage of their journey. He or she is the main point of contact with parents.

The school has an excellent tradition of working in active partnerships with parents. There is regular contact between home and the school and four reports every year and a formal parent teacher meeting.

The Curriculum

All students follow a core curriculum of ENGLISH, MATHEMATICS, IRISH**, FRENCH, SCIENCE, HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY.

**Please note students from an international background will usually receive an exemption from studying Irish.

In addition, all First and Second Years take a weekly computer class and follow a Physical Education Programme as well as Social, Personal & Health Education and Civics.


Within these option groups numerous combinations of subjects are available. Some will opt to take subjects that cover a wide range of disciplines. Others might prefer a combination of more practical subjects such as Art, Home Economics and IT.

Alternatively, students can opt to follow courses that are more technical and mathematical – Technical Drawing with its emphasis on Computer Aided Design and Business Studies. Of course, students can opt to study combinations of all three disciplines. Arrangements can be made to follow Spanish or German, but this is dependent on the numbers of students opt for these languages.


Parents are encouraged to be active partners in the educational programme and we ensure that they are regularly informed of the progress of their sons and daughters in the form of regular assessments.

Early in September the entire First Year take a diagnostic set of tests to establish baseline standards and give the teachers, parents and the students an objective view of potential future performance. This data provides the basis for target setting and allows us to focus on progression and development.

Classes are initially taught in mixed ability groups. Regular reports on achievement in two sets of internal exams and two formal assessments based on assignments in each subject (designed to provide a picture of attainment in core competencies) give a comprehensive insight into academic performance and measure progression. High standards are encouraged. Throughout this cycle students are exposed to a wide range of learning styles and begin to develop competency in oral and aural work, practical assignments, problem solving activities and group and team work.