Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School

Junior Certificate

Junior Cert Timetable available here

New Junior Cycle

In 2014, the new Junior Cycle was introduced into Irish schools. From 2020 onwards all subjects come under the new Junior Cycle. It places the student at the centre of the learning process and allows for new ways of learning and a broader range of skills to be properly assessed.

Underpinning the new Junior Cycle are a set of principles, key skills and statements of learning. These will ensure that each child receives a rich educational experience that has both breadth and depth.

Key Skills

Key skills help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world. They also support students in learning how to learn and to take responsibility for their own learning.

These Key Skills are found throughout the planning of each subject. To read the description of each Key Skill, please click HERE.

Assessment in Junior Cycle

Assessment and reporting is strongly linked to the learning experience with a shift in focus to ongoing reporting and assessment to include feedback given at parent teacher meetings, teacher - student feedback, CBAs, the Assessment Task, OALs, Wellbeing and as well as a final exam.

From now on, Junior Cycle students will receive a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) instead of a Junior Certificate.

This JCPA will reflect a much wider range of a student’s achievements over the three years of Junior Cycle in MPETSS. The JCPA will report on a number of areas, including:


Classroom Based Assessments

Short courses

Other Areas of Learning


CBA Calendars

CBA 1 - 2nd years (downloadable copy available here)

CBA 1 calendar 2023-2024_page-0001.jpg

CBA 2 - 3rd Years (downloadable copy available here)

CBA 2 calendar 2023-2024 copy (002)_page-0001.jpg


All subjects are now under the Junior Cycle and each has its own specification replacing what was previously known as a syllabus. Each specification describes the learning that takes place as part of the student’s study of a subject in Junior Cycle. All new subject specifications have now been introduced. Students can study a maximum of 10 subjects for the JCPA.

Students will still sit state examinations in subjects at the end of their Junior Cycle. These will be graded differently. Instead of A, B, C, D, E, F and NG the following descriptors will now be used:

  • Distinction 90 to 100 %
  • Higher Merit 75 to 89 %
  • Merit 55 to 74 %
  • Achieved 40 to 54 %
  • Partially Achieved 20 to 39 %
  • (not graded) 0 to 19 %

Classroom Based Assessments

Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning and skills in ways not possible in a pen and paper examination, for example, their verbal communication and investigation skills. CBAs will be undertaken in subjects and will be facilitated by the classroom teacher during a defined time period within normal class time and to a national timetable. Students will usually complete one CBA in second year and one in third year.

Once the second CBA is completed students in third year will complete a written Assessment Task. This task, set by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), is undertaken during normal class time and will be sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) for marking. The Assessment Task will be worth 10% of the overall mark in the case of most subjects. At the end of third year, students will sit the final SEC examination in June. CBAs will be reported on in the JCPA using the following descriptors:

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In Line with Expectations
  • Yet to Meet Expectations

Short Courses

Schools may offer short courses on their Junior Cycle programme. A short course is designed for approximately 100 hours of student engagement across two or three years of the Junior Cycle. We review the short courses we offer annually to ensure we are providing the most interesting and relevant programmes we can.

Other Learning Experiences (OALs)

Students have the opportunity to engage with a range of other learning experiences in MPETSS as part of school life and these can be recorded on the JCPA.

OALs play a critical role in ensuring that students are provided with a broad and personal educational experience, which is reflective of the individual learner and their own learning journey. It allows them to grow their own natural talents and develop new skills.

Assessment & Reporting in Junior Cycle

In 2023-2024 all 1st year students will study the core subjects of English, Irish, Maths, French/Spanish, Science, History, CSPE, SPHE, Ethical Education and PE along with three other subjects of their choice, numbers and Department of Education allocations permitting. They may also take some short courses and these will be confirmed before the start of school in 2023.

Subjects other than those within our Wellbeing programme, will be assessed through CBAs (Classroom Based Assessments) an AT (Assessment Task,) and a final exam.

CSPE, Ethical Education and SPHE fall under our Wellbeing programmes and offer our students much support and knowledge in looking after themselves, their physical, spiritual and mental health and the world around them.

Core Subjects

  • English
  • Irish
  • Maths
  • History
  • Science
  • Modern Foreign Language - French (from September 2022 students can chose between French and Spanish)
  • CSPE
  • PE
  • Ethical Education

Short Courses

  • SPHE
  • Artistic Performance

Optional Subjects

  • Geography
  • Technology
  • Technical Graphics
  • Home Economics
  • Business
  • Art
  • Classics
  • Music

Rotational module:

Digital Skills, Restorative Practice, Careers, Personal Development & Self Care.

* Subjects offered are reviewed annually and those non mandated by DES may be subject to change

Aug 23
Return to School
Oct 28
Autumn break
Dec 23
Winter Break
Swords Enterprise Centre, Feltrim Road, Drinan, Swords.
01 963 1299
© 2024 Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School