Key changes to junior syllabus
The new-look junior syllabus will give schools the option of being able to award marks for activities such as musicals and plays.
With the exception of Irish, English and maths, all other subjects will be offered at common level.
An eight-subject cap will become mandatory for children starting second level in 2014.
All students will have to cover 24 "essential learning" topics -- like communications, citizenship, consumer skills and economic and social knowledge.
Time spent on subjects will be reduced to 200 hours (down 40 hours) over three years, with the exception of maths, Irish and English, which will remain unchanged at 240 hours.