Second Level Education

The second-level education sector comprises secondary, vocational, community and comprehensive schools. Secondary schools are privately owned and managed.

Second-level education consists of a three-year junior cycle followed by a two or three-year senior cycle. The Second Level system offers some opportunities for the integration of ESD at formal level, however, second level timetabling and structure does not easily allow for links to be made between subject areas, which is integral in ESD.

The following subjects at present incorporate some of the elements of ESD.   As is the case at primary level, some of the initiatives highlighted are curriculum supports and not part of the official curriculum.

Formal Curriculum

Name of group Name of Initiative Description of Initiative Contact Details
Department of Education & Science Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) - Junior Cycle Covers rights and responsibilities, stewardship, development, democracy, laws, interdependence, human dignity.
  Geography - Junior and Senior Cycle Geography explores human relationships with the earth and human impact on the earth.  
  Science - Junior and Senior Cycle Science offers opportunities for teaching knowledge of scientific principles of environmental systems from energy to ecology, which underpin the concept of Sustainable Development.  
  Business & Enterprise - Senior Cycle Ethical investment is part of the Business and Enterprise subject at senior level.  
National Parks and Wildlife Service North Midlands Region Education Centre It is the role of the Education Unit to raise awareness of the natural world and the importance of conserving and protecting our biodiversity. The North Midlands Region Education Centre provides a 'Survey of an Ecosystem' for Junior and Leaving Certificate groups within the region.The survey closely follows both the Junior and Leaving Certificate curriculum. Education Officers deliver a presentation to the group and then bring the group to their nearest NPWS site to survey the area. All equipment is provided. This is a free service.

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