JCPE - Junior Cycle Physical Education Support Service

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Links with other Curricula PDF Print E-mail

In the context of the education continuum, the junior cycle should establish continuity with the primary school programme and align itself with the appropriate senior-cycle syllabuses. In this way, the student will begin to appreciate the continuous and progressive nature of the physical education process. Where relevant, links with other subjects and educational programmes should be facilitated and encouraged.


Primary curriculum


The physical education curriculum at primary level outlines a balanced range of activities for children and allows schools considerable flexibility in planning a programme that meets the needs of the school. The curriculum is divided into six strands and these are closely related to the components of the junior -cycle syllabus. The strands are:


  • Athletics
  • Games
  • Dance
  • Outdoor and adventure activities
  • Gymnastics
  • Aquatics


The physical education curriculum provides a framework for encouraging children to pursue healthy lifestyles and to develop positive attitudes towards physical activity. The learning experiences envisaged therefore, will not only address fundamental skill development, but also the child's attitude towards participation in physical activity. The junior-cycle syllabus seeks to progress this approach with developmentally appropriate methodologies and content.


Links within junior cycle


The emphasis in junior cycle physical education is on the participation of each student in purposeful physical activity and the learning associated with this participation. There is, however, significant scope for incorporating the learning taking place in this context with topics and themes in other areas and subjects of the junior cycle. The detailed exploration of such interaction and integration is beyond the scope of this document and more appropriately dealt with elsewhere. Some general points can be made however which may help to promote such links.


Learning in other areas of experience is frequently enhanced through presenting material in alternative modes. Thus approaching topics by referring to the student's spatial, kinesiological or interpersonal awareness might prove useful. Physical education can be related directly with many of the areas of experience mentioned in the opening section of this syllabus. In this regard, the relationship between physical education and other subjects can be fostered. Such initiatives have the additional value of embedding the learning outcomes of physical education in a broader range of educational domains.


In providing practical applications for what might otherwise be considered theoretical or abstract concepts in other junior cycle areas of experience or subjects, physical education may prove to be a strong and effective influence in presenting an integrated educational experience to students.


Physical education might, for example, be linked with aspects of:


Language, literature and communication

e.g. reviewing the language used in sports articles, analysing prose related to sporting performance, commentary, communication of ideas in group work etc


Science and technology

e.g. study of body systems (skeletal, digestive, nervous, respiration), use of ICT, digitally recording of performance (own and others) for analysis and practice prescription, compilation of electronic components for student portfolio

Arts education

Physical education elements such as dance and gymnastics have as central aims the aesthetic and artistic development of participants. This contributes directly to the student's learning in this area of experience.


Links with the senior cycle


The nature of the physical component at junior cycle allows great flexibility in the design of the course in individual schools. Accordingly, when planning for coherence between physical education courses at different levels, it is through the structure of curricula and through the teaching approach adopted that continuity is underscored. The study of physical education concepts through participation in a series of activity areas, continued from primary school, is progressed through the junior cycle into a senior-cycle course which continues this process. Senior-cycle syllabuses focus on offering the student different perspectives on the same physical activities, many of which will have been studied at junior cycle.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 10:06

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JCPESS, Mayo Education Centre, Westport Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Tel: +353 94 9020789
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