Calasanctius College

Assessment & Reporting

Junior Cycle

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Assessment is carried out in support of learning; it is about gathering information to measure the outcomes of learning. In the new Junior Cycle there is a broader use of assessment, and its main purpose is to help and guide the student towards greater learning success. Assessment can take many shapes and forms, and is a constant in the everyday of Calasanctius College as we strive to challenge and support our young people in reaching their full potential.

As a parent, you can expect your child to receive feedback on their learning beyond the traditional marks and grades. A wide variety of assessment types are used in the Junior Cycle, and they are organised in such a way that the student gets relevant and regular feedback. The new Junior Cycle places huge emphasis on the teacher's professional observations and feeding them back to the young person on a continual basis. This is considered central to building students' ability to manage their own learning and their motivation to persevere with a task or problem.

Complementing this ongoing informal assessment, are our more structured, formal whole-school assessment checkpoints that occur twice throughout the academic year. All students engage in house exams where they go 'off-timetable' for one week to complete them. Regular lessons are replaced by timetabled exams and study periods which are designed to help prepare students for formal State exams.

  • Winter Check-in (November)
  • Summer Checkout (May)

Each year, following these exams periods, written reports are published to students and parents consisting of grades and feedback for improvement. It is essential that all reports are fully and thoroughly read by both parents and students, and we encourage you to discuss these at home as they focus on the next steps for further learning.

3rd and 6th Yr students do not sit Summer assessments, but instead complete their mock exams in February as final preparation for their state exams in June. In other year groups, students may complete key-projects or Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) which will form part of their report.

Classroom Based Assessment (CBA)

CBAs have been introduced as part of the new Junior Cycle to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of skills and concepts that might not be suited to traditional exam style assessments. Students undertake one CBA per subject in both second and third year, and these are all assessed at common level. The CBA assessments cover a broad range of activities depending on the specific subject e.g. oral tasks, written projects, artistic performances, scientific experiments, practical projects. CBAs are undertaken by students within class time according to a national timetable, which will be provided to you and your child at the beginning of second and third year. CBAs will be graded and reported on in the JCPA using the descriptors above.

2nd Yr CBA Calendar 2023/24

3rd Yr CBA Calendar 2023/24

Assessment Task (AT)

During the third year of the Junior Cycle, students complete an AT in each of their subjects. The AT is based on the learning outcomes of their second CBA (CBA 2). The AT is a formal written task, which is set, marked and graded by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), along with the final exam. It is worth 10% of the overall mark for most subjects.

State Certified Final Exam

All Junior Cycle students sit a Junior Cycle written exam in each subject they study, which is marked, set and graded externally by the SEC. The written exam is no longer than 2 hours in duration, in a maximum of 10 subjects. All subjects are common level except for English, Gaeilge and Maths, which have both higher and ordinary levels. The exams take place in June of third year for all subjects, and they are part of a comprehensive range of assessments that make up the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement.

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)

At the end of their Junior Cycle, each student is awarded a JCPA. It is issued by the school during first term of Senior Cycle. It is an official document which outlines the achievements of the young person across the range of their learning during the Junior Cycle. JCPAs include the student's:

  • Results from the state-certified final exams (inclusive of the AT)
  • Descriptors for each of the CBAs
  • A description of Other Areas of Learning undertaken or acheived by the student

Senior Cycle

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After completing the Junior Cycle, students begin their Senior Cycle programme. For more details on the Senior Cycle programmes on offer in Calasanctius College please click here. Most of our Senior Cycle students opt for the established Leaving Certificate course. This is a two year programme of study which covers a wide range of subjects. Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Gaeilge and Maths can be studied at Foundation Level.

The Department of Education has announced plans to reform the Leaving Certificate and Senior Cycle from 2024 onwards. A process of review has been ongoing in recent years resulting in some subject syllabi being updated, new subjects being introduced to Senior Cycle and most importantly changes in the assessment methods being employed in certain subjects. Depending on the subject, assessment at Senior Cycle now takes many different forms and can be used in a variety of ways. However, there is no denying the influence terminal examination and the subsequent consequences of this exam in relation to participation in further/higher education, has on the teaching and learning that takes place in our classrooms. As a result, there are clear alignments in Senior Cycle assessment between school level assessment and the Leaving Certificate final examinations.

Assessment in the Classroom

As already stated, assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning and, as such, it is used to support and improve learning by helping learners and teachers to identify next steps in their learning. Assessment in our school is varied and broadly reflects the assessment types students will meet in their final exams e.g. oral, aural, project work, practical work, portfolio work, written work. It is hoped that regularly facilitating these assessment experiences for students at school level will better prepare them for the 'real' thing.

Similar to Junior Cycle, all Senior Cycle students (TYs included) sit the structured, formal whole-school assessment checkpoints that occur twice throughout the academic year; house exams where they go 'off-timetable' for one week to complete them. Regular lessons are replaced by timetabled exams and study periods which are designed to help prepare students for formal State exams.

  • Winter Check-in (November)
  • Summer Checkout (May)

Each year, following these exams periods, written reports are published to students and parents consisting of grades and feedback for improvement. It is essential that all reports are fully and thoroughly read by both parents and students, and we encourage you to discuss these at home as they focus on the next steps for further learning.

6th Yr students do not sit Summer assessments, but instead complete their mock exams in February as final preparation for their state exams in June. During the final term, teachers also provide opportunities for students to engage in mock orals, aurals and practical exams in preparation for their final exams. These experiences prove invaluable for students from a feedback perspective as they work towards fine tuning their coursework in the final few weeks.

Assessment in the State Examinations

Formal assessment in Senior Cycle, as used to test and certify achievement, is managed and administered by the SEC. A broad range of assessment methods are used across the range of Leaving Certificate subjects, including oral and aural examinations, coursework and practical examinations. At the end of Senior Cycle, students who have followed the Leaving Certificate (Established) take the Leaving Certificate examination. Student achievement in this examination is directly linked to processes of selection for courses of study in further and higher education. In addition to the examinations taken by other students, students who follow the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme take an examination paper and submit a portfolio in the Link Modules. Further information on the assessment of the various subjects is found in the syllabus of each subject.

General assessment information is available on www.examinations.ie

Contact
Oranmore
Co. Galway
H91 K7H2
Ireland


091 794 564

Location
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