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New Junior Cert Science for Examination in 2019 – What can you expect Part II

June 21, 2017

New Junior Cert Science for Examination in 2019 – What can you expect? Part II

What are the changes to Junior Cert Science?

New Junior Cert Science for Examination in 2019 

The new specifications for science subjects, at both Junior Cert and Leaving Cert, put an emphasis on the application of knowledge in real-world contexts. In other words, students should be able "to do" rather than only "to know".

The junior cycle changes in science were introduced for first years last September, as part of the ongoing reforms, and the first students to experience these will complete junior cycle in 2019.

Sixth-year students in 30 schools will participate in the trials for the practicals in October, before a final decision on their inclusion into the assessment regime.

The SEC is due to deliver a report on the trials to the department by February and, even if there is no further delay, it is likely to be 2021 at the earliest before the first practicals take place, as the new syllabus would be introduced for fifth years.

In this series of blogs, we analyse the specification for the new and improved Junior Cert Science syllabus and outline what you can expect in 2019.


Science in junior cycle aims to develop students’ evidence-based understanding of the natural world and their ability to gather and evaluate evidence: to consolidate and deepen their skills of working scientifically; to make them more self-aware as learners and become competent and confident in their ability to use and apply science in their everyday lives.

More specifically it encourages all students:

• to develop a sense of enjoyment in the learning of science, leading to a lifelong interest in science

• to develop scientific literacy and apply this in cognitive, affective and psychomotor dimensions to the analysis of science issues relevant to society, the environment and sustainability

• to develop a scientific habit of mind and inquiry orientation through class, laboratory and/ or off-site activities that foster investigation, imagination, curiosity and creativity in solving engaging, relevant problems, and to improve their reasoning and decision-making abilities

• to develop the key skills of junior cycle to find, use, manage, synthesise, and evaluate data; to communicate scientific understanding and findings using a variety of media; andto justify ideas on the basis of evidence

• to acquire a body of scientific knowledge; to develop an understanding of Earth and space and their place in the physical, biological, and chemical world and to help establish a foundation for more advanced learning.

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