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Rationale and Aim


Physical Education supports the development of physical, cognitive, psychological and social capabilities. Through the study of physical education students develop an understanding of the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of human movement. Learning in physical education supports students’ participation in recreational physical activity and competitive sport, the pursuit of individual goals and involvement in organised sport in a variety of roles such as spectating, officiating or volunteering. The specification for Junior Cycle Physical Education focuses on developing a physically literate young person. It develops the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to facilitate students’ informed, confident and competent participation in physical activity and a commitment to lifelong engagement.


Through this specification students are afforded opportunities to develop the movement skills and competencies to participate and perform in a variety of physical activities in a competent and safe manner. Students build upon movement skills, developing the capacity to create more complex movement patterns in a variety of settings and ways. This facilitates the transfer of knowledge and skills to range of contexts from recreational participation to sport performance. 


Students develop an understanding of the principles and rules for participation in physical activities in a safe, challenging and enjoyable way, supporting students’ personal, social and physical development. Through active participation students enhance their interpersonal and leadership skills. They develop their ability to make informed decisions relating to physical activity while appreciating the consequences in both tactical and social contexts. 


Physical Education supports students to develop a disposition towards, motivation in and a commitment to lifelong physical activity. As students experience a broad and balanced programme, they learn to become more positively disposed, motivated to commit to lifelong physical activity. Physical Education promotes student agency through exposure to a range of contexts, critical reflection and choice. Through meaningful and enjoyable experiences students develop their self-confidence and understanding of personal capacities. In turn this facilitates the welcoming of new activities and a deep understanding of the benefits of regular health-enhancing physical activity and the lifelong inclusion of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.



The Junior Cycle Physical Education specification aims to develop students as competent and confident physical activity participants in a range of physical activities. It aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions on their involvement in physical activity either through the pursuit of recreational participation or sport. It supports students’ motivation to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle while instilling an appreciation of the benefits of physical activity participation.