Subject Aims

The aim of junior cycle mathematics is to provide relevant and challenging opportunities for all students to become mathematically proficient so that they can cope with the mathematical challenges of daily life and enable them to continue their study of mathematics in senior cycle and beyond. In this specification, mathematical proficiency is conceptualised not as a one-dimensional trait but as having five interconnected and interwoven components: 

  • conceptual understanding—comprehension of mathematical concepts, operations, and relations 
  • procedural fluency—skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately 
  • strategic competence—ability to formulate, represent, and solve mathematical problems in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts 
  • adaptive reasoning—capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation, justification and communication 
  • productive disposition—habitual inclination to see mathematics as sensible, useful, and worthwhile, coupled with a belief in diligence, perseverance and one’s own efficacy. 

Key Skills 

In addition to their specific content and knowledge, the subjects and short courses of junior cycle provide students with opportunities to develop a range of key skills. There are opportunities to support all key skills in this course but some are particularly significant. 

The junior cycle curriculum focuses on eight key skills: 

Overview: Course

The specification for junior cycle mathematics focuses on developing students’ ability to think logically, strategically, critically, and creatively through the Unifying strand and the four contextual strands: Number; Geometry and trigonometry; Algebra and functions; and Statistics and probability.

The specification has been designed for a minimum of 240 hours timetabled student engagement across the three years of junior cycle. This is a minimum and schools should be aware that there are students who would benefit from an engagement of more than 240 hours to realise the national improvement targets set out in the Literacy and Numeracy strategy (DES,2011).



Junior cycle teachers in 2019/2020 will be using the following manuals to implement the new Junior Cycle Maths Specification including their schemes of work, breakdown the specification and develop units of learning in order to prepare students for their CBA’s. 

  • Junior Cycle Maths Specification
  • Text and Tests 1 – Common Introductory Course – Teacher Manual
  • Text and Tests 2 – Ordinary Level – Teacher Manual
  • Text and Tests 2 – Higher Level – Teacher Manual

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