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Junior Cycle

The Junior Cycle Framework contains 24 statements of learning, underpinned by the eight principles, provide the basis for schools to plan for, design and evaluate their junior cycle programmes. That process of planning focuses on the combination of curriculum components (subjects, PLU’s, and short courses) and other learning experiences. Schools will ensure that all statements of learning, alongside the key skills feature in the programmes of all junior cycle students. These are the key learning experiences throughout a whole learning process, from first to third years:  1. Communicates effectively using a variety of means in a range of contexts  2. Listens, speaks, reads and writes and one other language at a level of proficiency that is appropriate to her or his ability  3. Creates, appreciates and critically interprets a wide range of texts 4. Creates and presents artistic works and appreciates the process and skills involved  5. Has an awareness of personal values and an understanding of the process of moral decision making  6. Appreciates and respects how diverse values, beliefs and traditions have contributed to the communities and culture in which she/he lives  7. Values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts  8. Values local, national and international heritage, understands the importance of the relationship between past and current events and the forces that drive change  9. Understands the origins and impacts of social, economic, and environmental aspects of the world around her/him  10. Has the awareness, knowledge, skills, values and motivation to live sustainably 11. Takes action to safeguard and promote her/his well-being and that of others  12. Is a confident and competent participant in physical activity and is motivated to be physically active  13. Understands the importance of food and diet in making healthy lifestyle choices  14. Makes informed financial decisions and develops good consumer skills  15. Recognises the potential uses of mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding in all areas of learning  16. Describes, illustrates, interprets, predicts and explains patterns and relationships  17. Devises and evaluates strategies for investigating and solving problems using mathematical knowledge, reasoning and skills  18. Observes and evaluates empirical events and processes and draws valid deductions and conclusions  19. Values the role and contribution of science and technology to society, and their personal, social and global importance  20. Uses appropriate technologies in meeting a design challenge  21. Applies practical skills as she/he develop models and products using a variety of materials and technologies  22. Takes initiative, is innovative and develops entrepreneurial skills 23. Brings an idea from conception to realisation  23. Uses technology and digital media tools to learn, communicate, work and think collaboratively and creatively in a responsible and ethical manner

Core Subjects

All students of St David’s Holy Faith Secondary School will study, from First to Third Year, the following subjects:


Most employers and colleges will require students to have studied English. English developments critical thinking skills and is the gateway to all other learning.


Gaeilge is a compulsory subject for all students who studied it in Primary School. Students must have Irish to enter many colleges and some courses e.g. Primary Teaching.


An extremely important subject, required for many courses and occupations. Honours Maths are needed for most engineering courses in University and some other specialised areas.


While History is not a specific requirement for any course it is an excellent foundation for the study of Law, Journalism etc. It also raises one’s awareness of political and economic trends in modern society.


Geography brings an appreciation of the environment and the impact of daily living on the world around us.


Science is one of the subjects most in demand in this technological age. It is divided into three subjects after the Junior Cycle: Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Very often one of these subjects is a requirement for many third level science related courses e.g. engineering, medicine, physiotherapy and food science. All students study Science in Junior Cycle in St David’s.


Wellbeing includes three subjects:  Physical Education, Civics Social and Political Education, Social Personal and Health Education. 


As a Catholic school, religion imbues the whole ethos of the school and all students are required to take part in both class and out of class religious activities. Religious Education is a state examination subject for all Junior Cycle students in St David’s Holy Faith Secondary School. 

Option Subjects

In addition to the above subjects, all incoming First Years choose three optional subjects. Students choose three optional subjects, one from block one and then a further two from blocks two and three.  

Block One

Language learning is accessible to all students and contributes to their cognitive, personal and social growth by enhancing their communicative and thinking skills, as well as their participation in a global society. Being able to communicate in the mother tongue and in foreign languages are also among the eight key competences for lifelong learning identified by the European Union and European Council

Blocks Two and Three

If you would like more information on Junior Cycle subjects and subject choice options, click on the image to the right to access our 1st Year Subject Choice information Booklet.

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The following are seen as the main areas of study: plane geometry, descriptive geometry and communication graphics (including design presentation and computer aided design/graphics).

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The specification for Junior Cycle Home Economics focuses on developing students’ understanding and skills to achieve an optimal, healthy and sustainable life through three interconnected contextual strands: Food, health and culinary skills, responsible family living and textiles and craft.


The specification for Junior Cycle Business Studies on improving students’ understanding of the business environment and on developing skills for life, work and further study through the three inter-connected strands: Personal Finance, Enterprise  and Our Economy


The specification for Junior Cycle Music focuses on giving students the opportunity to develop their musical knowledge, skills and cultural awareness through the practical and cognitive engagement with music. A student will experience learning in each of these three strands as they progress through their junior cycle.

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This course consists of three strands:  

Principles and particles, Design Technology and Wood Science and Technology. 

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Art, or fine art, is the expression of creative skill in a visual form. It emphasises ideas, feelings and visual qualities through imaginative and/or technical skill. Apart from the creation of artworks, fine art also encompasses the study of art through appreciation and critical discussion.


Junior Cycle Engineering aims to develop the students' awareness of engineering processes while developing the necessary subject knowledge with the disciplinary skills to engineer products.


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