RTÉ introduce new educational programmes for Junior and Leaving Cert students

As a result of the Republic of Ireland entering Level 5 restrictions due to the worsening Covid-19 pandemic putting the whole country into lockdown, our nation’s students have had to move to remote online learning from their homes.

There’s no denying that learning from home comes with a whole host of struggles each and every day, resulting in a fair few tears and tantrums, and not just from the kids either…

The good news is that in an effort to help Ireland’s Junior and Leaving Cert students prepare for their exams, RTÉ are introducing new educational programmes this Spring, including Shakespeare on Sunday, bilingual radio shows and other educational content.


Shakespeare on Sunday’ is a new strand for RTÉ2, starting this Sunday, which will broadcast Shakespeare productions for Leaving and Junior Cycle students during Sundays in January and February. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016 production with John Hannah and Matt Lucas), which is on the Junior Cycle for 2021 and 2022, will air this Sunday at 2:10pm. Other films in the weeks and months ahead on RTÉ2 include: 

  • Sunday Jan 24, 1:25pm: King Lear (Leaving Cert 2021 - 1982 version with Brenda Blethyn, Michael Hordern)

  • Sunday Jan 31, 1:55pm Julius Caesar (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 - 1979 version with Charles Grey)

  • Sunday Feb 14, approx. 2pm Romeo and Juliet (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 - 1978 version with Alan Rickman, Anthony Andrews and Rebecca Saire)

  • Sunday Feb 21, approx. 2pm Much Ado About Nothing (Junior Cert 2021 and 2022 – 1984 film with Charie Lunghi and Jon Finch)

  • Sunday Feb 28, approx. 2pm: The Tempest (Leaving Cert 2021 - 1978 film with Andrew Sachs) 

  • Sunday March 13, evening time TBA, Othello (1995, starring Laurence Fishbourne) 

RTÉ is also making available a range of on-line teaching modules and work-sheets for the Junior Cycle syllabus, devised and produced in association and partnership with Junior Cycle Teachers. The subjects covered, as part of an on-going BAI/JCT/RTÉ initiative are: History, Religious Education, Gaeilge, English, Geography, Business Studies, CSPE, SPHE and Digital Media. You can check it out here

StaidAir with Blåthnaid Treacy is a new bilingual 2FM programme to support students who are preparing for the Irish oral exam. Full of tips, vocabulary, contributions from Irish language experts and top 40 music nightly. The show is going to be supported by a podcast series which explores the best way to get ready for the exam. Starting Tuesday January 19 from 8pm, it will run Monday to Thursday for four weeks. 

Blåthnaid Treacy

LC 21 with Carl Mullan, airs Monday to Thursday at 7pm for three weeks. The show will create a community for students and will deal with study planning, with advice on looking after themselves over the next few months, and how to focus on what they can control. Full of brilliant contributors, experiments, craic, and great music, the show will also be available wherever you listen to your podcasts or On Demand audio.  

On RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime, each Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm, Evelyn O'Rourke will present the Drivetime Study Hub, an interactive half-hour of advice and support for second-level students, especially those preparing for the State Examinations.  Along with advice on planning, study tips and online resources, Study Hub will feature some of the country's best teachers, taking students step-by-step through the key Leaving Certificate subjects and exam papers. Study Hub will also reflect the opinions and concerns of students, and Evelyn will be keeping a sharp eye out for all the latest news and developments, as the class of 2021 face into another disrupted exam season.  

On RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta there will be a regular slot on Tús Áite each week when Fachtna Ó Drisceoil will speak to various guests about the challenges they are facing at the moment and how they are dealing with home schooling.  Parents and young people at home will get tips and advice that they can use and they will have the opportunity to get in touch with the programme and share their experiences and ask questions they may have.  Other programmes across the service will also provide more information to help support young people and parents during these tough times. 

Carl Mullan

Not only that, but there’s also a plethora of educational content up on the RTÉ Player, including science, history, and natural world documentaries for Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle students.

Junior Cycle   

Cloud Control: Who owns your data  Anne-Marie Tomchak returns home to Ireland, determined to explore a world where our digital fingerprints are being captured and exploited in all areas of modern life 

Tommy Bowe's Body CheckA unique insight into what it takes to rise to the top of the modern game of professional rugby by exploring the science and physiology of Ireland and Ulster winger Tommy Bowe. 

Ireland's Deep Atlantic sees underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan embark on a series of voyages out into the open North Atlantic in search of large whales, sharks and cold water coral reefs 3,000 down on Ireland’s deep sea bed. 

 Senior Cycle   

1916: The Irish Rebellion A landmark documentary giving a comprehensive overview of the Easter Rising, looking at the enormous impact it had both here and around the world and the crucial role played by Irish America in the lead up to the rebellion. 

The Irish Revolution: A major documentary project to mark the centenary of the Irish War of Independence, narrated by Cillian Murphy.

For more information make sure to check out rte.ie/learn.