Junior Cycle English focuses on improving students’ communication skills, creativity and appreciation of literary, digital and visual texts through the three inter-connected strands of oral language, reading and writing.

English aims to develop students’ knowledge of language and literature and to deepen their literacy skills. Students engage personally and think critically about a broad range of spoken, written and visual texts and create texts of their own. As their skills in using language expand, students’ communication skills improve and this empowers them to contribute to society as thoughtful active citizens. Junior Cycle English specification, Assessment Guidelines and Examples of Work are available here.

The Junior Cycle English specification was introduced into schools in September 2014. The specification was re-published in 2015, incorporating changes to the Framework for Junior Cycle. The development of the specification began in September 2012. The background paper and brief for the review of Junior Cycle English explores the development of the subject at junior cycle; highlights good practice at home and abroad; and to use evidence-based research to inform the revision of the specification.

The Junior Cycle English Development Group consisted of nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies, Department of Education and Skills, and the State Examinations Commission. Reports of development group meetings can be accessed here.

A draft Junior Cycle English specification was developed from September 2012 to May 2013. The draft specification and consultation report are available here.