Junior Cycle

2014 saw the introduction of the new Junior Cycle with English being the first subject to be reviewed. Now, four years later we have new specifications in English, Science, Business Studies, Irish, French, Spanish, Art Craft & Design, History, Geography, Maths, Home Economics and Music. The new Junior Cycle features newly developed subjects and short courses, a focus on literacy, numeracy and key skills, and a variety of approaches of assessment and reporting. As a school, we will have more freedom to design programmes that meet the learning needs of our students. The College is currently finalising the transition from Junior Certificate to Junior Cycle and is working to ensure that students will continue to have a wide and varied programme of subjects and extra-curricular experience.

Subjects

Subjects continue to play an important role in Junior Cycle programmes. The NCCA has developed new curriculum specifications for subjects on a phased basis. English was the first subject to undergo curriculum changes. Teachers have now attended workshops and in-service to ensure that they are familiar with the new curriculum specification. Each subject will have an element of computer studies built into their programmes to encourage key skills in digital learning and to support digital literacy.

Most subjects will have common level specifications in that there will be one level taken by all students and no Ordinary or Higher level option will be available. The exception to this will be the subjects English, Gaeilge and Mathematics where the specification will be at two levels, Higher level and Ordinary level.

The Junior Cycle is of three years’ duration. The Junior Cycle covers a vital period in young people’s lives when they encounter significant changes in their educational experience. While a majority of subjects are assessed as part of the Junior Certificate Examination, the Junior Cycle provision also includes a number of subjects that are integral to the curriculum, but are not formally assessed in this way. The inclusion of these subjects in the curriculum ensures that students receive a broad, balanced education that introduces them to all the areas of experience relevant to the needs of learners at this age and stage of their development. In this way, students engage in personal development and achieve a level of competence in these courses, which will enable them to proceed to Senior Cycle education.

Subjects offered at Junior Certificate Level in St Kevin’s Community College include core subjects (usually compulsory for all students), a modern language (French or Spanish) and optional subjects. Students engage in a selection process of option subjects upon enrolment after a short tasting period in first year. Descriptions of each subject are available on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment website.

In St Kevin’s Community College all students have access to Higher Level subjects and students and parents will be supported and advised by subject teachers, resource department teachers and guidance counsellors on the appropriate choice of level for each subject before final assessments take place.

 

Core Subjects

  • CSPE (Civil Social and Political Education) is a Learning Experience (non-exam subject)
  • English
  • Modern Language – French or Spanish
  • Geography
  • History
  • Irish (compulsory unless student qualifies under strict exemption conditions)
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education (non-exam subject)
  • Religious Education – Faith instruction in any one particular faith is not part of our curriculum. This course is suited to students of all faiths and none.
  • SPHE (Social, Personal and Health Education) (non-exam subject)
  • Wellbeing (This programme will combine inputs from a variety of subjects to help to educate students about the importance of wellbeing).

 

Option Subjects
Option subjects offered at Junior Cycle Level are dependent on resources and staffing and may include:

  • Art, Craft and Design
  • Business Studies
  • Home Economics
  • Materials Technology (Wood)
  • Metalwork
  • Music
  • Science

Profile of Achievement and CBAs

Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) have been introduced as part of the Junior Cycle (1st-3rd Year) to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills and their ability to apply them in ways that may not be possible in an externally assessed examination. They will be used in the assessment of learning in subjects and in short courses.

We have developed a calendar of CBAs for our 2nd and 3rd years to help you as parents/guardians know what work is expected of them. A short description of each CBA is provided below.

2nd Year CBA Calendar 2020/2021

Subject Duration

Description

Dates for CBA

Visual Art 4 months From Process to Realisation: Group or individual project where students choose to work from one of the range of given themes to develop their ideas and create a realised work. During a maximum of four months with support/guidance from teacher Jan 22nd-  March 27th 2021
Home Economics 8-10 weeks Creative Textiles: This is an individual project. Students will produce evidence of the application of the design brief process to one of the following options: Make a creative textile item for an individual or the home or recycle or upcycle a creative textile for an individual or the home. Jan 4th – March 12th 2021
Geography. 3 weeks Geography in the news: Structured inquiry through a response to a recent geographical event(s). Response to a media source. Response may be presented in a wide range of formats. At the end of a three week period students will report on their inquiry, based on a recent media source, relating to a geographical event. Jan 18th – Feb 5th 2021
Maths 3 weeks Mathematical Investigation: A report may be presented in a wide range of formats. A student will, over a three week period, follow the problem-solving cycle to investigate a mathematical problem. Problem solving cycle: define a problem, decompose it into manageable parts and/or simplify it using appropriate assumptions; translate the problem to mathematics if necessary; engage with the problem and solve it if possible; interpret any findings in the context of the original problem. Jan 4th – Jan 22nd 2021
Science 3 weeks Extended Experimental Investigation (EEI): A student will, over a three-week period, formulate a scientific hypothesis, plan and conduct an experimental investigation to test their hypothesis, generate and analyse primary data, and reflect on the process, with support/guidance from the teacher. Nov 23rd – Dec 11th 2020
History 3 weeks The Past in my Place: Display which can be completed by a group, pair or individual.

Students will be required to research a project on a local historical monument, event or key personality.

March 8th – March 26th 2021
Business Studies 4 weeks Business in Action Group Project: Based on one of three options:

Enterprise in action

Economics in Action

Finance in Action

Nov 9th – Nov 27th 2020
MFL 3 weeks Oral Communication in the target language: Individual, pair or group communication using an interview, role-play, presentation (accompanied by question – and – answer session) or conversation in response to stimulus material.

 

April 12th – April 30th 2021
English 3 weeks Oral Communications: Individual or group communication or presentation/performance of 3 minutes on a topic the students chooses. Feb 22nd – March 12th 2021
Music N/A Composition Portfolio: Two pieces chosen from the student’s portfolio. Compositions are produced over the course of the year. CBA due May 14th
Engineering 3 weeks Engineering in Action: Students will investigate real-life applications of the processes and principles of engineering. Students can focus their investigation through the lens of a specific strand, a combination of two strands or can adopt an integrated approach across all three strands. The students will communicate their findings through any appropriate media. Jan 25th– Feb 12th 2021
Wood Technology 3 weeks Wood Science in our Environment: Students will explore a wood science-related issue within a local/global context. They will analyse the information/data collected, evaluate and present the findings of their research of the issue they have investigated. Jan 11th – Jan 29th 2021

 

3rd year CBA Calendar 2020/2021

Gaeilge 3 Weeks MRB2: Communicative Task: 3-4 minutes of an oral task in the format or a presentation, role play or interview. Can be completed alone or in a group. Jan 25th – Feb 12th 2021
Visual Art 3 months CBA2: Communicate and reflect: Individual project where students choose one form a range of given themes and generate preparatory work which they present to their class for discussion and feedback. Sept 7th – Nov 20th 2020
Home Economics Term 2 CBA2: This is an individual submission. Students will utilise the design break process to research, generate ideas and possible solutions for their food literacy skills brief, drawn from a list of briefs issued by the State Examinations Commission. Jan 4th – Jan 22nd 2021
Science 3 weeks CBA2: Science in Society Investigation (SSI): A student will, over the three week period, research a socio-scientific issue, analyse the information/secondary data collected, evaluate the claims and opinions studied, and draw evidence based conclusions about the issues involved, with support/guidance from the teacher. Nov 2nd – Nov 20th 2020