This revised syllabus in Junior Certificate science has been drawn up to cater for the full range of student ability, aptitude and achievement. The syllabus has three major components, biology, chemistry and physics, and is concerned with the development of scientific knowledge, skills, concepts, and attitudes essential for the responsibilities of citizenship in today's world. All students, irrespective of syllabus level, will be required to study these three components.
The course is activity-based in its design and emphasises practical experience of science for each individual student. The importance of the processes of science as well as knowledge and understanding is reflected in the syllabus structure. Through a variety of investigations and experiments, students attain the specified learning outcomes, developing appropriate science process skills and a knowledge of underlying science concepts.
In the post-primary junior cycle, the study of science contributes to a broad and balanced educational experience for students, extending their experiences at primary level. It is concerned with the development of scientific literacy1 and associated science process skills, together with an appreciation of the impact that science has on our lives and environment. In an era of rapid scientific and technological change the study of science is fundamental to the development of the confidence required to deal with the opportunities and challenges that such change presents in a wide variety of personal and social contexts.
Arising out of their experience in the junior cycle, it is hoped that many students will be encouraged to study one or more of the science subjects in the senior cycle, thus preparing themselves for further study or work in this area.