Minister Bruton welcomes significant subject changes for start of new school year

Picture: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D., Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan ,Emma Crumlish, Ciara Rooney, Mark Winters and Conal Kehoe .

Continued rollout of the Junior Cycle

Short courses in Lithuanian and Korean for Junior Cycle and Transition Year

First students take Computer Science & Physical Education at Senior Cycle

The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D., today (Monday the 10th September) welcomed the introduction of a number of changes to the subject choices available to post primary school students from the start of this school year.

Minister Bruton said, “We are continuing to modernise and equip children to excel in a modern world. The changes coming in will focus more on the individual student, developing their capacity to analyse and discern, to problem solve and collaborate. The new subjects also reflect the need to respond to a changing economy and global environment.”

From this September, the first students will begin studying the Leaving Certificate Computer Science and Physical Education courses. Both subjects are being introduced to an initial group of schools, before both are rolled out nationally in 2020 to all schools who wish to teach them. Politics and Society, which has gone through this initial phase, with its first set of students sitting the Leaving Certificate exam this year, is now available to all schools who wish to teach the subject.

The new Junior Cycle, which puts the student at the centre of the learning process, with a greater emphasis on group work, creativity, project-based learning and non-academic performance and achievements is now being extended. New specifications for Mathematics, Home Economics, History, Music and Geography are all being introduced under the new Junior Cycle for the first time this school year.

The Minister also today announced the introduction of Lithuanian as a new short-course for Junior Cycle and Korean as a module for Transition Year. Plans to further diversify the range of languages on offer have commenced with work on developing specifications for Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese, due for implementation in schools from September 2020.

The Minister said, “I am keen to prioritize the teaching and learning of foreign languages during my time as Minister. Not only do we need to increase the number of languages taught, but we need to deepen the level of fluency and competency in these languages among our students. In the context of Brexit and the increasing importance globally of non-English speaking countries, I want to take action to ensure Ireland is well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.”


All of these changes are important actions under the Minister’s Action Plan for Education, the government’s plan to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.