Tel: (01) 8221626

Junior Cycle Programme

Core Subjects:

  • Gaeilge
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Modern Languages: French, German, Spanish
  • CSPE (Civic, Social and Political Education)
  • SPHE (Social, Personal and Health Education)
  • Religious Education
  • Physical Education


Option Subjects

  • Business Studies
  • Art, Craft and Design
  • Technical Graphics
  • Technology
  • Materials Technology (Wood)
  • Materials Technology (Metal)
  • Music
  • Home Economics


  1. A second Modern Language may be taken as an option. However this will only be offered if a sufficient number of students participate.
  2. All subjects are available at the appropriate level; Higher and Ordinary level.
  3. Foundation Level is available to students in Gaeilge, Maths and English.
  4. CSPE is offered at a common level only.

Class Size & Levels

The maximum class size will not exceed 30 pupils in academic subjects. In practical classes, the maximum number will not exceed 24 pupils. However the maximum number of students for Home Economics is 20.

All subjects are available at the appropriate level: Higher and Ordinary. Foundation Level is available to students in Gaeilge and Maths.

Download a brochure about making the right subject choices at Junior Cycle

Transition Year Programme

“To promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of the students, and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society”

What is Transition Year?

Transition Year is a distinct one year programme taken after the Junior Certificate and before a Leaving Certificate Programme. The overall mission of the Transition Year Programme is “To promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as auntomous, participative and responsible members of society” (Department of Education and Science Guidelines).

Transition Year offers students a broad educational experience and provides a bridge to help students take greater responsibility for their own learning and decision making. Here in Castelknock Community College, we encourage our Transition Year students to participate in learning strategies which are active and experiential. This aids our students to develop a range of transferable critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.


Aims of the Transition Year Programme

The overall aims of the Transition Year Programme are interdependent and interrelated and include the following:

  1. Education for maturity with an emphasis on personal development including social awareness and increased social competence,
  2. The promotion of general, technical and academic skills with an emphasis on interdisciplinnaery and self-directed learning,
  3. Education through experiece of adult and working life as a basis for personal development and maturity.

“There is growing evidence that students who have taken the Transition Year Programme are most-self-reliant learners when they enter third level education than their peers.”

Commission on the Points System, Final Report & Recommendations, 1999, p46.

Senior Cycle Programme

Leaving Certificate Established

The Leaving Certificate (Established) allows student to sit seven subjects for examination.

  • Three Core Subjects: Gaeilge, Maths and English
  • One Modern Language
  • Option Subjects (Students choose two of the following)
    • History
    • Business
    • Music
    • Geography
    • Accounting
    • Home Economics (Social and Scientific)
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Technical Drawing
    • Chemistry
    • Art, Craft and Design
    • Building Construction
    • Technology
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Applied Maths
    • Agricultural Science
    • Classical Studies
    • Religious Education
    • Politics & Society

All subjects are taken at either Higher or Ordinary Level.

In Third Year the following process allows students and parents to make informed choices about Senior Cycle:

  • Information Evening in September-October on Study skills and Course Choices available at Senior Cycle.
  • DATs (Aptitude Testing) in December – January.
  • Information Evening on Transition Year and other Senior Cycle Options and Subjects- January
  • Interviews for Transition Year Programme – February.
  • Students are informed of their Options/Programme in – April
  • A comprehensive booklet entitled “Choosing the Right Option at Senior Cycle” is made available to all Third Year students and parents in Spring of Third year.

Subject to sufficient demand and resources, Management reserves the right to determine on an annual basis the range and level of subjects.


Download a brochure about making the right subject choices at Senior Cycle


Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme – LCVP

The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) is a two year programme designed to enhance the vocational dimension of the Leaving Certificate.  The programme was introduced in response to a changing work and business environment.  The LCVP combines the academic strengths of the Leaving Certificate with a dynamic focus on self-directed learning, innovation and enterprise.  LCVP students follow the same subject syllabi and are assessed in the same way as their peers in the Leaving Certificate.  Throughout the programme students are encouraged to:

  • Be innovative and enterprising
  • Take responsibility for their own learning
  • Adapt to changing circumstances
  • Evaluate data and devise solutions to problems
  • Communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively
  • Work with others as part of a team
  • Investigate and plan career options
  • Use information and communication technologies
  • Investigate local businesses and community enterprises
  • Learn from their experiences

The strong vocational focus of the LCVP is achieved by arranging Leaving Certificate subjects into Vocational Groupings and through the provision of additional courses of study in work preparation and enterprise known as Link Modules.  For the Link Modules they are assessed by Written Examination (40%) and by Portfolio of Coursework (60%).  The written examination is of two and a half hours duration and takes place in May of the Leaving Certificate year.

Programme Requirements

Programme requirements for students taking the Leaving Certificate Examination –

  • At least five Leaving Certificate subjects plus the Link Modules, one of which must be Irish. If a student is exempt from Irish for the Leaving Certificate, they are automatically exempt for the LCVP and students should replace Irish with another subject.
  • Two of the above subjects must be selected from one of the designated Vocational Subject Groupings.
  • Two Link Modules: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education
  • A recognised course in a Modern European Language other than Irish or English

Vocational Subject Groupings

Two subjects are selected from one of the Vocational Subject Groupings.  These subjects provide students with a focus for developing vocational skills and exploring their career options.   The Specialist Groupings consist of subjects which complement each other naturally and the Services Groupings comprise subjects which complement one another in a commercial context.



LCVP students receive the same certification as other Leaving Certificate students but their Certificate includes an additional statement of the results of Link Modules.  Grades for the Link Modules are as follows:

Grade Percentage
Distinction 80% – 100%
Merit 65% – 79%
Pass 50% – 64%


The Link Modules are recognised for points purposes by the Institutes of Technology and the Universities.  The points are allocated as follows:

Grade Universities & Institutes of Technology
Distinction 70 Points
Merit 50 points
Pass 30 points


Leaving Certificate Applied – LCA

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate Programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. The Leaving Certificate Applied is best suited for the students who are not adequately catered for by other Leaving Certificate programmes and who have not found traditional forms of assessment to be suited to their styles of learning. The programme emphasise forms of achievement and excellence, which the established Leaving Certificate has not recognised in the past. The programme is structured around three main elements: Vocational Preparation, Vocational Education and General Education.

The Programme here in Castleknock Community College offers our students specific opportunity to prepare for the world of work and to progress to further education and training. The rationale behind The Leaving Certificate Applied is that the talents of all students are recognised-the programme is responsive to the aptitudes, abilities, needs and interests of the students. The programme also promotes communication and decision making skills and affords the students the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to the solution of real problems. Consequently, the students as a result of their involvement in the Leaving Certificate Applied are given the opportunity to develop in terms of responsibility and self-esteem.

Key underlying Principles:

  • Subject integration across the curriculum
  • Teamwork
  • Basic skills
  • Active teaching & learning methodologies
  • Reflecting
  • Links with the community.

Course Content

The Leaving Certificate Applied Programme is a two-year Certificate programme consisting of a range of courses, structured on

a modular basis for which credits are awarded. A module is of thirty hours duration. To facilitate the structure of the modules the programme is broken down into four sessions. One module is usually completed within a session in each course area.

Examination & Assessment

A range of Key Assignments and Student Tasks are completed within the two years of Senior Cycle. The Terminal Examination requires students to take seven Leaving certificate Examinations in the following areas:

  • English & Communication
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Social Education
  • Languages (2):  Gaeilge – Year 1 / Modern Languages – Year 2
  • Vocational Specialisms (2):  Office Administration and Customer Care (OACC) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)