Junior Cycle comprises the first three years of post primary education. Our students study the following core examination subjects;
Irish, English, Mathematics, French, History, Geography, Music, Science CSPE and Chinese and one option from Art, Business and Home Economics.
Chinese has an external accreditation and this is provided in conjunction with the Confucius Institute in UCD.
Non examination subjects are Religion, Physical Education and SPHE (Social Personal and Health Education.
English is a core subject. The study of English emphasises the development of a range of literacy and oral skills in a variety of domains, personal, social and cultural. Students learn to interpret, compose, discriminate and evaluate a wide range of materials. Students engage with the voice of literature, learn to dialogue critically with it and come to understand its significance and value.
Irish is a core subject. The study of Irish emphasises the development of oral, aural, reading and writing skills and also gives students an insight into Irish literature.
Mathematics is a core subject at Junior Cycle, Transition Year and Senior Cycle levels.
French is a core subject. The study of French aims to foster communicative skills in the target language. It is developed in an integrated manner through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students learn to extract information and derive enjoyment from a wide range of materials including the mass media and the more accessible French literature. Students are equipped with a broad acquaintance of the cultural, social and political complexion of France. The target language is used in class as far as possible.
The use of I.C.T (Information and Communication Technology) as a teaching tool is used frequently in the classroom.
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Geography is concerned with the study of people and their environment. The study of Geography helps students to develop an understanding of their physical and human surroundings and the changing interrelationships between the physical and human worlds. The broad nature of both the Junior and Leaving Certificate courses enables students to develop a wide range of skills that can be applied to the world of work and many other aspects of life. Students learn how to analyse, evaluate and present information through the study of maps, photographs, statistical figures.
Geography is a compulsory / core subject on the Junior Cycle curriculum.
At Senior Cycle level, Geography is offered as an option.
History is a core subject at Junior Certificate level and an optional subject at Leaving Certificate level. The study of History focuses on developing students’ research skills by developing a critical analysis of primary and secondary sources. The importance of understanding the causes and outcomes of Irish and international events is central to the teaching and learning of History in Jesus and Mary College.
(Business Studies, Accounting and Economics)
The Business subjects are optional. The study of Business contributes to a balanced and appropriate education. It develops habits and methods of investigation, analysis and problem solving skills. It encourages initiative and self-reliance in the student. It provides the student with an appropriate level of economic/business literacy.
Home Economics is an option subject. It is an inter-disciplinary subject, which concerns itself with the empowerment of individuals and families for the betterment of family and community life. It combines theory with practice to enable students manage their resources to meet physical, emotional, intellectual, social and economic needs.
It is unique in being the only school subject which concerns itself with teaching and learning about human relationships and development, resource management, diet, nutrition and health, culinary skills, clothing and shelter, food choices and the influences and trends in consumer behaviour.
As important health and lifestyle choices are made during childhood and adolescence it is essential that young people be guided towards the healthier option. Home economics positively influences students to make the right choices.
Music is a core subject at Junior Cycle level and an optional subject at Senior Cycle Level. The study of Music provides a general education in music for all students, and gives all students a basis for a lifelong leisure interest whether or not they proceed to further study or a career in music.
The study of Music encourages the development of musical creativity, sensitivity and potential through active involvement in performing, composing and listening to music.
All students study Religious Education (R.E.). It is also offered as an Exam option to Senior Cycle students. The school year also follows the liturgical calendar with liturgical celebrations in September, November, December and May. R.E. classes take place in a dual purpose music and religion classroom.
Science is a core subject at Junior Cert level and optional at Leaving Certificate. Science is divided into three different areas; Chemistry, Physics and Biology.
For the Junior Certificate students study all three. The basis of Science is experimental work. Students are encouraged to test their own ideas and record their observations. This experimentation supports their learning throughout their Junior Certificate.
In Transition Year all students study Science. For the first term, students develop projects for the BT Young Scientist, Scifest and Jesus and Mary College Science Exhibition. Students work on their presentation, communication and research skills. In the second and third terms students rotate between the three different areas of science.
In Senior Cycle, students choose their options. Chemistry, Physics and Biology are offered every year. Classes are facilitated depending on the number of students that choose the subject. The use of I.C.T (Information and Communication Technology) as a teaching tool is used frequently in the classroom.
Art is an optional subject in Jesus and Mary College.
The subject Art enables the student to enquire, be informed, and be able to discriminate in the visual, tactile and spatial world. Each student develops their personal identity and self-esteem by expressing and communicating in visual ways using art, craft and design skills. Students also have the opportunity to evaluate their own artwork and the artwork of others.
The development of the skills of visual language, recording, problem solving, timekeeping, and personal expression are at the core of this subject.
The study of artworks, artists and their approaches enhances the students’ experience of human life on all levels, conscious and subconscious, physical, spiritual, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Students learn to understand the historical, cultural, economic, social and personal responses in art, craft, and design and the role of visual images in everyday life. An awareness of the natural, built, and social environment in which the student lives is also explored.
Jesus and Mary College offers an extensive Physical Education Programme with students timetabled for two forty minute periods. 1st to 3rd year students follow the Junior Cycle P.E. Programme. Physical Education is aimed at encouraging participation and enjoyment of a wide range of sports. The facilities available for use include the School Hall, Hockey pitch and three hard court Tennis Courts.
In our extra-curricular sports programme ,students have an opportunity to take part in Hockey, Tennis, Cricket and Athletics (Cross Country Running and Track & Field Events). The students use the facilities available at the school and also use facilities available at the campus in U.C.D.
Less formal lunch time activities also take place. Badminton, gymnastics and Basketball are some of the activities the girls can participate in during their lunch break.
Social, Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.)
S.P.H.E. is a subject designed to promote the health and wellbeing of young people.
S.P.H.E. is a core subject for Junior Cycle and Transition Year students. It is offered in conjunction with Career Guidance to Fifth Year students. In Sixth Year students may opt to take one class period a week of S.P.H.E.
Civic, Social and Political Education Classes are taken by all Junior Certificate students.
Students are in their pastoral group for CSPE, therefore, classes are mixed ability.
The time allocation is one 40 minute class per week.
Classroom organisation can be formal and informal depending on the activities being carried out.
CPSE is all about understanding our community, our society, country and the wider world. How each works and how we can become more actively involved to make them better.
In this class students get a chance to think about and take action on topics such as:
• what it means to be an active citizen
• how you can become involved in your community
• how you can make a difference
• what human rights are
• how you can play your part in protecting the environment.
These are active classes. Students can:
• discuss and debate topics in class
• learn through games, role play, photos and other activities
• use newspapers, magazines, books and the Internet to find out information
• invite a guest speaker into the class or go on a trip outside of school
• take part in an environmental project such as recycling
• support a campaign for children’s rights
• watch what’s happening in the news/ current affairs
• discuss topics that come up in class with your family and friends
• find out how voting works by organising a mock election
• learn to work as part of a team in an action project
• write a report on your participation and evaluate your action project
CSPE is examined at common level for the Junior Certificate.
Students are assessed in two ways:
• the report on participation in an action project or the presentation of a coursework assessment booklet. 60%
• a written examination. 40%
The building skills for citizenship in CSPE are similar to the personal development in SPHE. You will find links between Religious Education and CSPE in learning about the Community.
Concepts of democracy, law, rights and responsibilities, and knowledge of Ireland and the wider world help students with History and Geography in the Junior Cycle.
Social Studies on the Transition Year Programme in Jesus and Mary College will allow you to research, develop, carry out and evaluate an action project with specific interest in community/social affairs
At present, there is no subject called CSPE after the Junior Cert. However, the Leaving Certificate subject Politics and Society is likely to be introduced in the future. Topics learned in CSPE will be useful if you study Geography, Home Economics, History or Economics in the Leaving Certificate.
You will find CSPE useful if you want to study politics or sociology. In every day life it helps you to research and understand our community, society, and the wider world.
Action Projects completed in Jesus and Mary College have been concerned with democracy, stewardship, rights and responsibilities, law interdependence and human dignity. The action has taken the form of visits to the Dail, the Four Courts, and the DSPCA. Students invited Guest Speakers from the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Irish Cancer Society, and one of the Research Units at UCD. Awareness campaigns about Animal Rights, Homelessness, Breast Cancer, and an African Day Care Centre for Children affected by HIV and AIDS have taken place around the school. Fundraising is also popular with Rainbow Days, Non-Uniform Days, Cake and Pizza Sales, and Bag Packing in supermarkets.
Special Educational Needs
We aim to maximize the potential of all our students. In accordance with the SEN Act 2004 we strive to provide equal educational opportunities for students with special educational needs. In our S.E.N. department, students are closely monitored to ensure they are reaching their full potential.
Resource hours (i.e. additional teaching support) are assigned to students who are deemed to have qualifed for them by the Department of Education and Skills.
In addition learning support may be provided for students who require specific support for a limited period depending on the availability of staffing resources within the S.E.N. department.