Physical Education – Junior Cycle

Subject Overview

Physical education applies a holistic approach to the concept of physical activity for young people. It recognises the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of human movement, and emphasises the contribution of physical activity to the promotion of individual and group wellbeing. Learning in physical education involves the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills, and attitudes central to physical education, together with recognition of its potential for integration with other curriculum areas. The general aim of physical education is to contribute to the preparation of the student for a life of autonomous wellbeing. Content

The physical education curriculum includes a number of areas of study representative of a range of practical activities, each of which has particular characteristics and contributes to the attainment of the overall aim of physical education. These areas of study are:

Orienteering Entry Jumping Basic actions Games making Themes Activities and the body
Team challenge Movement in water Running Movement quality Attacking play Movement vocabulary Fitness
Campcraft Aqua fitness Throwing Relationships Defensive play Qualitative focus Training
Water safety Dance creation Relationships Lifelong activity


Assessment is an integral part of the teaching/learning process. It seeks to establish the extent and quality of the student learning which has taken place. Assessment of student learning and achievement should provide information that informs future learning strategies and motivates the student in that context. At junior cycle, assessment modes and methods used in physical education will contribute directly to the formative development of the learner. The assessment modes and methods employed will also be consistent with the practical nature of physical education at this level.

Suggested assessment modes

  • Formal assessment by the teacher
  • Informal observation by the teacher
  • Peer assessment by students
  • Self-assessment by students

Current status

The Junior Cycle Physical Education Programme was established in September 2003, to support the introduction of the junior cycle physical education syllabus. The programme is being administered from Mayo Education Centre in association with the Teacher Education Section of the Department of Education and Science.