The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Joe McHugh T.D., has announced revised arrangements for the Junior Cycle Examination 2020. Students will no longer be required to sit Junior Cycle exams at the beginning of the new school year. The Minister confirmed that all third year Junior Cycle students will be awarded certificates for the completion of Junior Cycle by the Department of Education and Skills. The Department will issue these early in the new school year The fees for these exams have been waived and refunds will issue automatically to those who have already paid this fee.
Schools have also been given the autonomy to assess students and to issue a report of achievement that reflects effort and engagement over the course of the complete Junior Cycle including this final term. In being asked to report on these efforts and achievements schools have been asked to consider a range of evidence of learning to inform our assessment. Having reflected on the Ministers request as a staff, we have decided on the following arrangement for the Junior Cycle Class of 2020. All students will receive an end of year Statement of Achievement that will reflect the following components 1. Students who have completed subjects which required completion of Classroom Based Assessments during year 2 and year 3 of the course will receive a statement of the descriptors received for each of these CBA’s. The descriptors set by the State Examinations Commission for these CBA’s are;
Exceptional Above Expectations In line with Expectations Yet to meet expectations Not reported We are including this element to acknowledge the hard work and effort carried out by staff and students in completing these CBA’s
2. Engagement with Teaching and Learning Online
This last term has been a steep learning curve in digital and online learning for staff and students alike and everyone is to be congratulated for making such a huge effort. Teachers have given assignments and engaged in the online teaching of classes over the last number of weeks. This work will continue until the end of term. The results of these assignments will form the basis of the grade achieved in this area. Teachers are very conscious not just of the quality of the work produced but also of the effort and quality of engagement and collaboration in this new form of online learning. Each teacher will apportion marks in this section to student engagement and effort during the term. For this element we will also use the CBA descriptors referred to above
3. The last section will reflect student effort from 1st year to the Mock examinations. In this section we will use past examinations grades, term reports, school engagement and mock examinations as a base. Teachers of subjects with practical or project elements will adjust these grades to reflect student work in these important areas during the course.
The grading system we will use this area will be the new Junior Cycle Grading system which is as follows Distinction (90-100) Higher Merit (75-90) Merit (55-75) Achieved (40-55) Partially Achieved (20-40) Not Graded (0-20)
If students have issues competing or submitting work, they should email their subject teacher or year head Ms Murren. All teachers have gone to great efforts to ensure students are being engaged and supported during this challenging time and this process will continue for as long as is necessary.
It is important for students to continue to engage with their teachers for the remainder of the school term. Work done in next few weeks will form part of the above assessments and more importantly is a foundation for work that will begin in Senior Cycle.