Loreto Secondary School
St Michael's

Junior Cycle

Junior Cycle

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“Junior Cycle places students at the centre of the education experience enabling them to
actively participate in their communities, and in society and to be resourceful and
confident learners in all aspects and stages of their lives”

Please click on the following links for further information about how your daughter will experience the new Junior Cycle in Loreto.

In 2014, the new Junior Cycle was introduced into Irish schools. From 2020 onwards all subjects are under the new Junior Cycle. It places the student at the centre of the learning process and allows for new ways of learning and a broader range of skills to be properly assessed.

New Junior Cycle

Underpinning the new Junior Cycle are a set of principles, key skills and statements of learning. These will ensure that each child receives a rich educational experience that has both breadth and depth.

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Key Skills

Key skills help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world. They also support students in learning how to learn and to take responsibility for their own learning.

These Key Skills are found throughout the planning of each subject. To read the description of each Key Skill, please click HERE.

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Assessment in Junior Cycle

Assessment and reporting is strongly linked to the learning experience with a shift in focus to ongoing reporting and assessment to include feedback given at parent teacher meetings, teacher - student feedback, CBAs, the Assessment Task, OALs, Wellbeing and as well as a final exam.

From now on, Junior Cycle students will receive a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)instead of a Junior Certificate.

The JCPA which will reflect a wide range of achievements over the three years of junior cycle. The JCPA will report on a number of areas, including:

  1. Subjects (State Examination and Assessment Task)
  2. Classroom Based Assessments
  3. Other Areas of Learning (OALs) - includes extracurricular activities
  4. Other Areas of Wellbeing (OAWs) - includes activities in SPHE, CSPE, PE. Students beginning first-year in 2021 will have a CBA to complete in CSPE and PE during junior cycle

Students are invited to submit 3 ‘Other Areas of Learning’ and 3 ‘Other Areas of Wellbeing’ that are particular to their own personal learning experience in Loreto St. Michaels. It is important to encourage your daughter to participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, student leadership and various subject events throughout the year.

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This JCPA will reflect a much wider range of your daughter’s achievements over the three years of Junior Cycle in Loreto, St. Michael's.

Junior Cycle Subjects

All subjects are now under the Junior Cycle and each has its own specification replacing what was previously known as a syllabus. Each specification describes the learning that takes place as part of the student’s study of a subject in Junior Cycle. All new subject specifications have now been introduced. Students can study a maximum of 10 subjects for the JCPA.

Students will still sit state examinations in subjects at the end of their Junior Cycle. These will be graded differently. Instead of A, B, C, D, E, F and NG the following descriptors will now be used:

  • Distinction 90 to 100 %
  • Higher Merit 75 to 89 %
  • Merit 55 to 74 %
  • Achieved 40 to 54 %
  • Partially Achieved 20 to 39 %
  • (not graded) 0 to 19 %

Junior Cycle Subjects Wellbeing subjects
Irish Geography Religion
English Graphics Physical Education
French Music Civic, Social, Political Education (CSPE)
German Home Economics Choir
History Science Social, Personal, Health Education (SPHE)
Mathematics Visual Art Computer Modules
Business

Classroom Based Assessments

Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning and skills in ways not possible in a pen and paper examination, for example, their verbal communication and investigation skills. CBAs will be undertaken in subjects and will be facilitated by the classroom teacher during a defined time period within normal class time and to a national timetable. Students will complete one CBA in second year and one in third year.

Once the second CBA is completed students in third year will complete a written Assessment Task. This task, set by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), is undertaken during normal class time and will be sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) for marking. The Assessment Task will be worth 10% of the overall mark in the case of most subjects. At the end of third year, students will sit the final SEC examination in June. CBAs will be reported on in the JCPA using the following descriptors:

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In Line with Expectations
  • Yet to Meet Expectations

As CBAs are reported on in each student’s JCPA it is vital that students and parents note the dates of the CBAs and do their very best to ensure student’s attendance within the set timetable. If a CBA is not completed/submitted by a student in a particular subject, this will be recorded as ‘NOT REPORTED’ on their official Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). This means that the student did not complete the required CBA for Junior Cycle Assessment.

Subject Learning & Assessment Review (SLAR)

Following the completion of a CBA in each subject a “Subject Learning & Assessment Review” (SLAR) meeting is organised. During this meeting teachers compare their assessment of students’ work and ensure a common approach across the school that aligns to a national standard.

Assessment Task (AT)

In the third year after completing the CBA2 each student will complete a short classroom assessment called the Assessment Task. This is worth 10% of the final grade in that subject. It is marked by the State Examination Commission and takes place within the normal school timetable. Students should note that they must attend for their Assessment Tasks.

Short Courses

Schools may offer short courses on their Junior Cycle programme. A short course is designed for approximately 100 hours of student engagement across two or three years of the Junior Cycle. We are currently exploring short courses which are innovative and interesting to our students with a view to introducing them in the near future.

Other Learning Experiences

Students have the opportunity to engage with a range of other learning experiences in Loreto as part of school life and these can be recorded on the JCPA.

Other learning experiences play a critical role in ensuring that students are provided with a broad and personal educational experience, which is reflective of the individual learner and their own learning journey.

Assessment & Reporting in Junior Cycle - reporting underpins student learning

A new reporting structure at Junior Cycle will contribute to a more personal. educational and holistic development of students. It supports and underpins ongoing learning and assessment. The learning journey becomes essential so students learn HOW to learn as well as what they are learning.

  • Provides information to parents about their daughter’s achievement and progress in school
  • Supports students in their learning by suggesting next steps or providing feedback to help students’ self-evaluation.

As the Junior Cycle has a student centered approach, with a strong focus on the learner and their learning experiences, in Loreto we offer subjects which allow our students to reach their potential and grow their own natural talents.

All students study the core subjects of English, Irish, Maths, a Modern Foreign Language, History, Geography, CSPE, SPHE, RE and PE along with two other subjects of their choice. Click on any of the subjects listed below to see the new Junior Cycle Specification and what it entails for students,

All subjects other than those within our Wellbeing programme, will be assessed through CBAs (Classroom Based Assessments) an AT (Assessment Task, and a final exam.

CSPE, SPHE and PE fall under our Well being programmes and offer our students much support and knowledge in looking after themselves, their physical, spiritual and mental health and the world around them.

Oct 18
2021
Parent Teacher Meeting for 6th year students
Oct 25
2021
Midterm Break
Nov 02
2021
Parent Teacher Meeting for 3rd year students
Nov 25
2021
House Exams
St. Michael's, Navan, Co. Meath, C15YF83
046 902 3830
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