Junior Cycle


The new JCLA programme features revised subjects and short courses, a focus on literacy, numeracy and key skills, and new approaches of assessment and reporting.  All junior cycle students take courses leading to the Junior Certificate, the State examination taken at the end of the third year of junior cycle. During second and third year, junior cycle students also complete a number of Classroom-Based Assessments. The revised Junior Cycle prioritises engagement with writing across literary and non-literary forms. The learning at the core of junior cycle is described in thirty nine statement of learning, which describe what students should know, understand, value and be able to do at the end of junior cycle.


The aim of the new Junior Cycle Irish programme is to consolidate and deepen their understanding of Irish. Students are enabled to communicate in an effective, interactive, confident manner in formal and informal settings in the language community. Students are encouraged and empowered to take ownership of Irish and to enjoy their learning journey.

Students are encouraged to

  • use language effectively and confidently, both personally and in communicating with other users in the language community
  • enjoy creative and innovative communication in Irish using all the language skills
  • appreciate Irish and have a desire both to speak it and use it
  • engage with a wide range of texts in various ways, for learning, research, and recreation
  • have an appreciation and respect for literature in Irish so that they may enjoy literature and benefit from it
  • gain a better understanding of Irish culture and have respect and understanding for other cultures and languages.
  • participate in a wide range of learning activities throughout the year especially during Seachtain na Gaeilge

Maths at Junior Cycle focuses on further developing the mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding, which students have gained from primary school, applying Maths to real life situations, developing problem solving skills and fostering a positive attitude to maths.
Junior Certificate Mathematics is made up of five strands:
1. Statistics and Probability
2. Geometry and Trigonometry
3. Number
4. Algebra
5. Functions
The Maths Department are involved Numeracy initiatives at present.


In First Year, our students are given a general introduction to music from September to December. Emphasis is placed on developing listening skills in various musical genres. Students are encouraged to reflect on music styles that appeal to them. An awareness and appreciation of Irish music and orchestral music of the past and of the present is encouraged.

Junior Cycle There are three main strands to Junior Cycle music cycle:

  • Performing
  • Composing
  • Listening

All students will prepare a performance on an instrument and/or voice, as a soloist or as part of a group. This is worth 30% of their overall grade at Junior Cycle. Students are encouraged to become involved in Choir, Trad Group or the Musical Society in order to hone their performance skills.

Students are required to learn the basic elements of compositional technique to enable them to write melodies and harmonise melodies. Students are given opportunities to compose their own pieces.

Students musicianship and aural skills are developed to recognise each of the elements of music and the various composers, eras, genres and instruments.

Students will complete two CBAs – one in Second Year and one in Third Year and this contributes to 10% of their overall grade.

There will be a final exam in June of Third Year which is worth 60% of their overall grade

Visual Art

This syllabus aims to develop the expressive, communicative and functional modes of art, craft and design in the individual within the art class. Drawing is the central activity to the syllabus and links with 2-D (painting and graphic design), 3- D, Options (craftwork) and Support Studies in art history. Drawing is used for thematic ideas, designs and research. These activities encourage personal exploration and understanding of the
different art and design elements. We have a lunch time Art club in the school.

Business Studies

Business Studies helps pupils to make more informed decisions in the everyday business of living. It gives pupils a better understanding of the world of work. It encourages students to think about how and why people start up in business and why students too might also consider starting a business. Our school liaises with the Kerry Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and takes part in Student Enterprise Awards Competition.

The junior cycle has three strands:

  • Personal Finance
  • Enterprise
  • The Economy

Students complete a Classroom Based Assessments (CBA) in second and third year:

  • CBA 1: Group Project – 2nd Year
  • CBA 2: Individual Presentation – 3rd Year

Students complete an Assessment Task (AT) bases on CBA 2 which is worth 10%.

A final examination takes place in June of 3rd Year worth 90%.

Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE)

Teachers of CSPE aim to inform, inspire, empower and enable young people to participate as active citizens in contemporary society at local, national and global levels, based on the understanding of human rights and responsibilities.  The course will develop the pupils’ personal and social confidence, contribute to their moral development and prepare them for the responsibilities of citizenship.  They will also acquire skills of managing themselves through communication and working with others.  The building of these skills for citizenship will also be linked to the overall personal development and wellbeing of the student.

Through the study of CSPE, the student will explore how his wellbeing is connected to the wellbeing of others, the state and wider world.  The student will learn about the importance of taking responsiblity for her own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.  Happy and healthy citizens can create a World Of Wellbeing.

Modern Languages: French and Spanish

Presentation Secondary school offers two continental languages; French & Spanish. The syllabus in each language is a communicative one
organised around the needs, expectations and interests which pupils bring to the foreign language classroom.


Geography is the study of people and their relationships with their environment It is concerned with helping to develop an understanding of the physical, social and economic processes which shape that environment. To achieve that understanding, the Geography syllabus aims to introduce young people to a broad body of knowledge and equip them with a wide range of practical skills. The subject is structured around a number of key geographical concepts which are studied in local, national and international settings.


The History syllabus aims to ensure that students:
Acquire knowledge and understanding of human activity in the past
Understand the contemporary world through the study of the past
Develop conceptual understanding
Develop the ability to think independently
Develop a range of historical skills e.g. research skills
Develop such positive attitudes as a commitment to objectivity and fairness
Develop an interest and enthusiasm for history
Learn to value their heritage

Home Economics

In Junior Certificate, Home Economics includes both practical work and theory. Pupils work in pairs in practical cookery classes. Each pupil
undertakes an individual project, choosing from a wide variety of topics such as Childcare, Craftwork or Textiles. Practical work makes up at least half of class time and it includes food preparation, practical needlework, interior design and consumer research projects. Pupils also enter National and European competitions in Consumer and Health related topics. The practical element of this course makes it very rewarding and enjoyable.

Physical Education

Physical education applies a holistic approach to the concept of physical activity for young people. It recognises the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of human movement, and emphasises the contribution of physical activity to the promotion of individual and group wellbeing. Students take part in Soccer, Dance, Gymnastics, Athletics, Basketball, Orienteering and Health Related Activities.

Religious Education

The aim of Junior Certificate Religious Education is to provide students with a framework for encountering and engaging with the variety of religious traditions in Ireland and elsewhere. The syllabus is built around a framework of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes. The State
Examinations Commission issues a list of topics for Journal Work at the beginning of each academic year.


Science essentially deals with knowledge and understanding of our world. The study of science is concerned with the understanding of a body of scientific knowledge and the development of scientific skills through practical activities. It contributes to the development of logical thinking and reasoning, and skills of observation, measurement, interpretation, numeracy, problem solving and decision making. Junior Certificate Science
provides a suitable preparation (but is not a requirement) for the study of one or more science subjects at senior cycle. The science syllabus
contains the three main areas:
1. Biology
Human Biology – food, digestion and associated body systems; the skeletal/muscular system; the senses and human reproduction and Animals, plants and micro-organisms.

Classification of substances; Air, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water; Atomic structure, reactions and compounds.

3. Physics
Force and energy; Heat, light and sound; Magnetism, electricity and electronics.

Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)

Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) in junior cycle education supports the personal development, health and well being of young people and helps them create and maintain supportive relationships. The aims of SPHE are to enable students to develop skills for self-fulfilment and living in communities, to promote self-esteem and self-confidence, to enable students to develop a framework for responsible decision-making, to provide opportunities for reflection and discussion and to promote physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.
The SPHE programme in our school reflects the unique ethos of the school.
Our supportive whole school environment is one where people feel valued, self-esteem is fostered, fairness and tolerance are evident, high
expectations are the norm, those having difficulty are supported, communication is open, effort is recognised, difference is valued, conflict is
handled constructively, initiative and creativity is stressed and social, moral and civic values are promoted.

Information Technology

Presentation Secondary school is constantly updating and changing to reflect the ever-evolving IT sector.

Students are given the opportunity to complete Microsoft Office Specialist examinations. These internationally recognised qualifications develop skills for use in education and world of work. The work of the staff and students in this area has been recognised by Microsoft as we achieved “Centre of Excellence” status, the first school in Kerry to do so.

Microsoft 365 has given staff and students the ability to use the more up to date technology both in the classroom and at home.

Presentation Secondary school is involved with a number of national digital initiatives:

  • Using E-portfolios to embed formative assessment in Transition Year
  • Schools Digital champions project
  • Digital Excellence project
  • Webwise Youth Panel

We are aware of the importance of digital safety we celebrate Safer Internet day annually. The occasion is marked in a variety of ways including workshops, walking debates, presentations and peer facilitation to educate students about positive online behaviour and how to deal with the issues that arise for them online.

An Acceptable Use Policy (A.U.P.), covering the safe use of internet, is in operation in the school. Parents/Guardians and students are requested to agree in writing to abide by this policy.


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