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Operational Structure PDF Print E-mail

Junior cycle education incorporates the principles of breadth, balance, relevance, and coherence. These principles should also be reflected in any course derived from this syllabus in physical education. In the Teacher Guidelines, which accompany this syllabus, content is presented at two levels, reflective of the student's previous experience of physical education.


Level one incorporates content and methodologies appropriate to the student's first experience of the particular area of study at post-primary school. It is introductory in nature and is accessible to students with a variety of physical education backgrounds. This level

presupposes experience of the area of study in primary school, but such experience is not viewed as a prerequisite.


Level two builds upon learning attained at level one. The selection of content and suggested teaching approach is designed to deepen the student's understanding of the activity and enhance the level of performance.


The syllabus can be described as an enabling structure through which a wide variety of courses can be developed and implemented as appropriate to the circumstances and resources of the school. However, it is recommended that all courses derived from the syllabus should be based on the following parameters:


  • the junior cycle course should comprise one activity from each of at least seven areas of study
  • three of these activities should be taken to level two
  • two further activities should be taken at the discretion of the teacher (at either level one or two)
  • if health-related activity is chosen as an area of study, it is recommended that its study is integrated with other areas of study.


It is recognised that the availability of facilities and resources will, to some extent, determine the ability of schools to offer a fully-balanced course. Nonetheless, every effort should be made to ensure that students receive a comprehensive range of activities.


The parameters provided, while ensuring a broad and balanced programme, offer the teacher considerable flexibility. The following examples illustrate how the parameters might be applied




Course A

·     Seven activities pursued at level one Athletics, Adventure activities, Invasion games, Health related activity, Gymnastics, Dance, Net and fielding games


·     Three activities pursued at level two Athletics, Adventure activities, Invasion games


·     Two further discretionary activities Dance (level two), Gymnastics (level two)

Course B

·     Seven activities pursued at level one Athletics, Adventure activities, Net and fielding games, Health-related activity, Gymnastics, Aquatics, Dance


·     Three activities pursued at level two Adventure activities, Net and fielding games, Aquatics


·     Two further discretionary activities Athletics, Gymnastics (level two)




This syllabus is developed on the basis of a time allocation of two hours per week.



Qualified, specialist teachers of physical education should be responsible for the development of the physical education course at junior cycle.



The teaching and learning associated with junior cycle physical education will require that access be available to a variety of facilities on a regular basis. Ideally, facilities for the implementation of the physical education syllabus should include some, or all, of the following:


  • suitable indoor space – sports hall with changing and shower areas
  • suitable outdoor space - grass pitch and hard-court areas large enough to work efficiently and in safety
  • access to swimming pool
  • access to areas suitable for the teaching of adventure activities
  • access to classrooms, audio-visual and ICT
  • equipment as required.


Last Updated on Thursday, 04 June 2009 16:36

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