The specification for junior cycle Graphics focuses on developing students’ understanding of and skills in the application and impact of technologies in the world around them. These will be achieved through three inter-connected contextual strands: 2D graphics, 3D graphics and Applied graphics. Graphics uses an interdisciplinary approach which encourages the integration of the three strands in the teaching and learning of the subject. It has been designed for a minimum of 200 hours of timetabled student engagement across the three years of junior cycle. This specification aims to strike a balance between exploring the breadth of possibilities the study of the subject presents and providing opportunities for in-depth experiences of particular areas as appropriate. To this end, the specification embeds a certain amount of flexibility and freedom for teachers to facilitate learning in a way that reflects students’ own choices, their curiosity and their creativity. Achieving learning outcomes should be planned in a way that is active and stimulating.
Strand 1: 2D graphics
In this strand, students will engage with, understand and apply the fundamental concepts and principles of 2D constructions, 2D shapes and projection systems. Throughout their studies, students will gain an appreciation of the application of 2D graphics in problem solving and develop an understanding of the role of 2D graphics in the creation of 3D shapes and objects. Students should as a result be able to create clear representations of objects in space and accurately represent these in two dimensions.
Strand 2: 3D graphics
In this strand, students will engage with, understand and use the fundamental concepts and principles underpinning 3D objects, modelling systems and graphical conventions. This strand is of specific importance in developing students’ ability in visual imagery and representation. Students should, as a result, be able to represent clear images of objects in space, accurately represent these in three dimensions and apply these skills to problem solving.
Strand 3: Applied graphics
In this strand, students will draw on the knowledge, principles and techniques developed through the 2D graphics and 3D graphics strands to create and communicate solutions and information graphically. Students should be encouraged to investigate their physical environment and to apply the principles of 2D graphics and 3D graphics to the solution of a variety of problems. Students should be able to select the most appropriate methods to communicate their solutions and solve these problems, both in terms of their selection of graphical media and the mechanism for its utilisation. Through the study of each of the strands, four elements: Spatial reasoning, Design thinking, Communicating and Geometric principles and constructions establish a crossover of learning to develop a coherent learning experience for the students.
Element 1: Spatial reasoning
The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to investigate a range of shapes, graphical information, objects and artefacts to assist students in developing their visual spatial abilities. The learning outcomes aid the student in developing their abilities from initially recognising spatial properties to visualising their manipulation.
Element 2: Design thinking
The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to use their understanding of graphics to develop ideas and solutions to everyday problems. Students will be developing the skills needed to develop their design solutions, influenced by their learning under the three strands.
Element 3: Communicating
The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to communicate through appropriate media to relay technical information, design ideas and solutions to problems. Emphasis should be placed on developing the students’ abilities to communicate through a range of graphical media.
Element 4: Geometric principles and constructions
The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to execute their understanding of geometric shapes and objects in the construction of two-dimensional and three-dimension representations. Students will adapt their knowledge from the classroom activities to explore the role of geometric principles and constructions in the natural world around them.