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An Chomhairle Náisiúnta Curaclaim agus Measúnachta
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

Religious Education

Junior Cycle Religious Education focuses on developing knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values to enable young people to come to an understanding of religion and its relevance to life, relationships, society and the wider world. The course is built around three interconnecting strands: Exploring Beliefs, Exploring Questions and Living our Values.

Junior Cycle Religious Education aims to develop the students’ ability to examine questions of meaning, purpose and relationships, to help students understand, respect and appreciate people’s expression of their beliefs, and to facilitate dialogue and reflection on the diversity of beliefs and values that inform responsible decision-making and ways of living.

For students who begin first year before September 2018 the Junior Certificate RE syllabus (2000) applies.

For students who begin first year in or after September 2019 Junior Cycle Religious Education specification applies. Click here to download. 

The Junior Cycle Religious Education specification will be introduced into schools in September 2019. The development of the specification began in May 2017.

The background paper for Junior Cycle Religious Education and the consultation report which have informed the development of the specification can be accessed here

The Religious Education Development Group consists of the nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies, Department of Education and Skills, and the State Examinations Commission. The membership of the group can be viewed here. Reports of development group meetings can be accessed below.

For students entering first year before September 2019 the Junior Certificate Religious Education syllabus applies. Download the fact sheet for Junior Certificate Religious Education  here: