Beginning on a phased from September 2014, the new junior cycle will feature revised subjects and short courses, a focus on literacy, numeracy and key skills, and new approaches of assessment and reporting. Schools will have more freedom to design junior cycle programmes that meet the learning needs of all students. For students, the new junior cycle will mean that the curriculum available in their schools will be a mix of subjects and short courses as well as other learning experiences.
For a small group of students with special educational needs, priority learning units (PLUs) will be provided. These components will enable the statements of learning, literacy and numeracy and other key skills to be become a reality for the students throughout their three-year junior cycle.