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A Personal Project, Key Skills and Priority Learning Units

In addition to their specific content and knowledge, the subjects and short courses of junior cycle provide students with opportunities to develop a range of key skills. The junior cycle curriculum focuses on eight key skills. There is an overlap between the learning in the PLUs with the key skills of junior cycle developed for all students. 

The Table  below lists the PLUs, some elements of those PLUs and the sorts of associated learning activities that will support students in achieving the learning outcomes and elements of the PLUs. Teachers can also build many of the other elements of the key skills of junior cycle into their classroom planning.

Priority Learning Unit

PLU element

Student learning activities

Communicating and Literacy


Speaking/signing appropriately for a variety of purposes and demonstrating attentiveness as a listener

The student:

  • reads and/or listens to obtain information
  • reads social sight vocabulary/recognises symbols and signs related to dog control



Managing money


Using a calculator

The student investigates the costs involved in looking after a dog and plans a budget for this. 

Through role-play and real-life shopping experiences the student learns to use a calculator in this context.

Personal Care


Developing a healthy lifestyle


The student lists the benefits of having a dog, e.g. for exercise, for social reasons and/or mental wellbeing.

Living in a Community


Seeking help and advice


The student researches the work of key professionals in the community who work with dogs and from whom they can seek help or advice. The student role-plays reporting an emergency situation by phone, verbally or by text.

Preparing for Work


Being able to set goals for learning


In Strand 1 the student sets learning goals for the short course, highlighting the areas to work on and develop. Achievements in meeting these goals are recorded by the student.