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These teacher guidelines and the materials included with them have been developed as an aid to teachers in the implementation of the revised Junior Cycle Physical Education syllabus. Though detailed in nature, they are not intended to be prescriptive. Particular attention is given to aspects of methodology with which teachers may not be familiar. In many cases, guidance is also provided on issues of content.



In developing a physical education programme in school, the primary source of guidance for the teacher should be the syllabus. In the planning of such a programme the teacher should apply the curricular framework offered in the syllabus. The role of the guidelines emerges once this planning has taken place.

The aims, objectives and learning outcomes in the syllabus are presented within the teacher guidelines in a teaching context. This context is not definitive but is descriptive of school settings with which many teachers will identify. Accordingly it is envisaged that schools will be in a position to make decisions on the nature of their physical education provision which reflect individual circumstances and ethos.



The guidelines may be utilised in a number of ways by the teacher in the delivery of her/his programme. The units of work within the materials are organised in terms of options, which the teacher may select and/or adapt in the context of the school's physical education programme. The purpose of the units is to give teachers ideas on how elements of the syllabus might be interpreted and taught.

Every effort has been made in the design of the guidelines to ensure their applicability to the widest possible range of school settings. However, in selecting appropriate structure, content, methodologies and assessment methods for her/his programme the teacher will take a number of factors into account such as:

  • previous experience of students
  • general ability of students
  • facilities/teaching resources available
  • time allocation



The quality of student learning is influenced in many ways. One of these influences is assessment which can be a highly effective mechanism for promoting student learning and performance.

The assessment envisaged by the syllabus and by the teacher guidelines is formative in nature.

Whether formal or informal, it is primarily intended to help a student attain a higher level of performance and understanding. Through a properly structured assessment scheme feedback can be regularly provided to the student in order to assist his/her learning and to the teacher so as to facilitate informed planning. This is an essential element of the teaching / learning process.

The syllabus provides a substantial degree of flexibility to the teacher in relation to the choice of methods of assessment to be employed. Critical decisions as to the frequency of assessments and nature of feedback provided are at the discretion of the teacher.

It is recognised that the physical education teacher frequently has special demands placed on her/him as a result of the structure of the school timetable and the large numbers of students taught each week. These and other challenges may influence the implementation of a coherent assessment scheme. However, with a flexible approach, using some of the innovative modes of assessment included in these guidelines, it should be possible to deal effectively with these obstacles.




The materials are presented at two levels.


Level One incorporates content and methodologies appropriate to the students' first experience of the particular physical education activity 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 activity in primary school but such experience is not viewed as a pre-requisite.


Level Two builds upon learning attained at the preceding level and caters for students whose abilities and aptitudes are more advanced. The selection of content and suggested teaching approaches are designed to deepen the students' understanding of the activity and enhance their performance level.



All activities have a similar structure within the guidelines. This comprises:


1. Introduction

This presents a brief statement on the rationale for the inclusion of the activity. It also describes briefly the particular structural aspects of the activity.


2. Overall Aims and Objectives

These are derived from the syllabus and are the basis for decisions made in relation to content selection and suggested methodology.


3. Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes are taken directly from the syllabus and identify, in a detailed manner, the learning that is envisaged as a result of the students' participation in the activity


4. Content Framework

The content for the various units within each level is clearly laid out in a framework graphic. It is hoped that this will give an overview of the scope of the work to be undertaken by the students.


5. Units

Each level comprises six units of work. These are set out in a detailed way so as to present the teacher with a significant amount of guidance methodological approaches.

Each unit contains:

  • learning outcomes
  • required resources
  • class organisation notes
  • detail of suggested content
  • relevant teaching points
  • specific resource material


6. Resource Material

Some additional material is made available in the guidelines to provide further support for teachers.


7. Assessment

Where there are assessment instruments specifically related to particular levels, these will be included within that level.


8. Recommended Resources

A list of relevant resources is provided to offer further guidance to teachers.


These guidelines were devised by practising teachers and were subsequently tested in a large number of schools throughout the country. The teaching and learning experiences of the teachers and students in those schools contributed to the refinement of the guidelines.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 July 2009 13:39

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