The new 'Junior Cycle Student Award' (JCSA) programme commenced delivery in schools in September 2014.
The main points of significance in relation to the new JCSA programme are:
- A cap on the total number of subjects taken at Junior Certificate Level to eight
- Potential for Short Courses in 16 new areas including: Chinese Language & Culture; Leadership; Web Design
- Revised Assessment arrangements
- 24 Statements of Learning
- Focus on 8 Key Skills to be embedded in the learning outcomes and appropriate to the age of the learner
The key skills of Junior Cycle are:
Students starting Junior Cert in 2014
Students who commenced first year in post-primary school in September 2014 are taking part in the new JCSA.
The new programme is designed to help students as they grow up in a different and changing world and to face the future with confidence and belief in themselves. In 2014, students will study a new course in English and might also take some new short courses, if the school they attent opts to include them in their programme.
During the three years of Junior Cycle, students will learn in a wide variety of ways and there will be a strong emphasis on key skills, literacy and numeracy.
Students will get more detailed reports on their progress in junior cycle. The reports will look at how well they are doing in literacy and numeracy, and they will also be asked to comment on their own progress before the report is sent to their parents or guardian.
The big change is in the examinations. There will still be an examination at the end of junior cycle, in English for example (which is the first revised programme to be rolled-out), 40% of the marks will now be for work done before the JCSA exam, in second and third year. So, not everything will depend on how students do in the final JCSA exam.
|The New JCSA English Syllabus is available here.
In 2017, when JCSA students come to the end of third year, they will be examined in six to eight subjects, depending on the number of short courses that have been taken. These will include the new course in English, other new courses taken and any other Junior Certificate subjects the student is studying – all up to a limit of eight.
At the end of third year, students will receive a new qualification called the National Certificate of Junior Cycle Education.
|Detailed information on the new JCSA is available here.