The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy requires that schools allocate 330 hours to first language subjects, English in English-medium schools, Gaeilge in Irish-medium schools, and to Mathematics. In order to promote high standards of literacy and numeracy it is seen as desirable that students would have classes in these subjects frequently. The Junior Certificate syllabuses for these subjects were designed to be taught in approximately 240 hours. The new Junior Cycle specifications in these subjects will, likewise, be designed to be taught in 240 hours.
Schools currently allocate the extra hours in a variety of ways to drive literacy and numeracy strategies and will continue to do so in the new junior cycle. How they choose to do this is a matter for the school. Some allocate extra subject classes. Some use the time for specific initiatives such as reading schemes, programmes and strategies. Others see cross-curricular initiatives where students develop their language and engagement with numeracy through a range of subjects and learning activities. The new junior cycle promotes flexibility and choice for the school in how it deploys its resources and its approach to allocating the time required for literacy and numeracy is a good example of this.