The Experience of Senior Cycle

The vision of senior cycle sees the learner at the centre of the educational experience. That experience will enable learners to be resourceful, to be confident, to participate actively in society, to build an interest in learning, and to develop an ability to learn throughout their lives.

This vision of the learner is underpinned by the values on which senior cycle is based and it is realised through the principles that inform the curriculum as it is experienced by learners in schools. The specification has embedded key skills, clearly expressed learning outcomes, and is supported by a range of approaches to assessment; it is the vehicle through which the vision becomes a reality for the learner.
At a practical level, the provision of a high-quality educational experience in senior cycle is supported by:

  • effective curriculum planning, development, organisation and evaluation
  • teaching and learning approaches that motivate and interest learners, that enable them to progress, that deepen and apply their learning, and that develop their capacity to reflect on their learning
  • professional development for teachers and school management that enables them to lead curriculum development and change in their schools
  • a school culture that respects learners, that encourages them to take responsibility for their own learning over time, and that promotes a love of learning.

Senior cycle education is situated in the context of a broader education policy that focuses on the contribution that education can make to the development of the learner as a person and as a citizen. It is an education policy that emphasises the promotion of social cohesion, the growth of society and the economy, and the principle of sustainability in all aspects of development.