A very significant development in the new Junior Cycle is the development of the Wellbeing Programme. There is a recognition that learning for life for all of us must include a learning about how to manage ourselves in our personal and social lives and the new curriculum emphasises this aspect of learning in the Wellbeing component.
This aspect of the course is made up of a number of elements: classroom subjects – PE, SPHE and CSPE and a component of Guidance. Civic, Social and Political Education
CSPE is an important part of a wellbeing programme within junior cycle, as it enables students to feel connected to and take responsibility for the wellbeing of others. It also develops students’ confidence, agency and engagement which are important characteristics of student wellbeing.
The CSPE course is built around three strands; rights and responsibilities, global citizenship and exploring democracy. There is a strong focus on student action aimed at giving students an experience of active citizenship.
Physical Education (PE) is a 100 hour short course builds on the Junior Cycle Physical Education Framework which physical education teachers currently use to plan their physical education programme in junior cycle. There are four strands, each one focusing on learning in different physical activity areas: Physical activity for health and wellbeing. Games, Individual and team challenges, Dance and Gymnastics. The learning outcomes in this short course provide a clear focus for student learning as well as teacher planning.
In order to ensure that students are motivated to learn and participate in physical education, there is emphasis on consultation with students about the course and assessment design.
Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) builds on the Junior Cycle Social, Personal and Health Education Framework which SPHE teachers currently use to plan their SPHE programme in junior cycle.