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Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

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Continuity and progression

Primary Curriculum

Continuity is fostered between students’ experience of learning Irish in primary school and  their experience of Irish in the junior cycle. The Primary Language Curriculum (2015) is an integrated curriculum. The same structure (strands and elements) is used for Irish and English. The integrated curriculum meets various language needs and school contexts, including English- medium schools, Gaeltacht schools, Irish-medium schools  and special schools. There are two versions of the curriculum: one which is focused specifically  on Gaeltacht schools and Irish- medium schools and another which is focused specifically on English-medium schools.

The Primary Language Curriculum recognises that skills and certain concepts are transferable from the first language to the second and to the third language in some cases. This creates opportunities for skill enhancement and for the transfer of literacy skills and learning strategies to other languages.

The Primary Language Curriculum emphasises the development and fostering of

  • communicative competence
  • positive attitudes to learning languages
  • language awareness (exploring and using  language)
  • self-awareness and autonomous learning.

All these features of the Primary Language Curriculum align with the rationale and aims of

this Specification for Junior Cycle Irish. This helps to provide a continuous learning experience for students as they add to their language and learning skills in junior cycle.

Senior cycle

This specification through its strands and elements provides a learning experience that creates opportunities to enhance and deepen learning at senior cycle. The learning outcomes that emphasise students’ spoken competence, the role of literature in language learning, writing in a range of genres for a variety of audiences and language and self-awareness will be very important for students’ learning in senior cycle.

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