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

July 4, 2018

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

What can you expect from the new Junior Cert Science examinations?

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.


While the learning outcomes associated with each strand are set out separately here, this should not be taken to imply that the strands are to be studied in isolation.

To give further emphasis to the integrated nature of learning science, the outcomes for each of the contextual strands are grouped by reference to four elements: Building blocks, Systems and interactions, Energy, and Sustainability.

Building blocks

Focuses on the essential scientific ideas that underpin each strand.

Systems and interactions

Examines how a collection of living and/or non-living things and processes interact to perform some function/s: there is a focus on the input, outputs, and relationships among system components.


A unifying concept that students can develop across the strands: it is an obvious integrating element as all phenomena we observe on earth and in space involve the transformation and variation of energy.


Focuses on the concept of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. 

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