The time is approaching for Junior Cert and Transition Year students to consider subjects and educational routes for Leaving Cert. Schools will be issuing forms in the coming weeks inviting students to apply for Leaving Certificate Established, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and Leaving Certificate Applied.
All three routes stand alone and all will offer the same opportunities long term. The three paths are often compared to travelling by bus, train or car; all modes of transport will bring you to the same destination, you just need to decide which mode is best for you.
Route 1 – Leaving Certificate Established (LCE)
LCE would be the most common Leaving Cert Programme and like both other programmes it runs over a two year period. Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Two subjects, Irish and Mathematics, can be studied at Foundation Level.
The three core subjects of English, Maths and Irish are generally compulsory for LCE. Each school will offer a number of optional subjects to choose from. Not all schools will be in a position to offer all subjects. Students usually take between six to eight subjects, and sometimes more. For detailed information on leaving cert subjects click here.
Route 2 – Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)
LCVP has extra career preparation and enterprise subjects. LCVP students take at least five subjects. These include English, Irish, plus two subjects from specified vocational subject groupings, and a Modern European language (other than Irish or English). LCVP students also take three Link Modules on Enterprise Education, Preparation for Work and Work Experience.
The LCVP combines the academic strengths of the Leaving Certificate (established) with a dynamic focus on self–directed learning, innovation and enterprise. During this two year programme students complete a portfolio of work that accounts for 60% of their overall grade. The terminal exam, which takes place in May of the 6th year, accounts for the remaining 40%. Participants in the programme are encouraged to develop skills and competencies fundamental to both academic and vocational success.
Distinction, merit and pass grades are awarded to successful candidates. CAO points are awarded for these grades (Distinction 66 points, Merit 46 points and Pass 28 points). The points awarded for LCVP can count as one of the six subjects that qualify for CAO points.
To find out more information on LCVP click here.
Route 3 – Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)
LCA is a distinct, self-contained Leaving Certificate programme. It is strongly 'vocational' which means that it's more job and employment focused than the other two programmes. It is designed for those students who may not wish to proceed directly to third level education although many may continue their education using the Further Education & Training (FET) route.
It is a perfect choice for those whose interests, needs, aspirations and aptitudes are not adequately catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes. The Leaving Certificate Applied is structured around three main elements – Vocational Preparation, Vocational Education and General Education - which are interrelated and interdependent. This programme is characterised by educational experiences of an active, practical and student-centred nature.
Students engage in personal educational goals as well as participating in group assignments. The two year programme is broken down into four semesters in which students can work towards credits. The course is based on a foundation of continuous assessment and terminal exams. Credits are awarded for completion of Key Assignments, tasks and achieving 90% attendance. Students are also awarded credits for performance in a series of interviews where they are required to talk about and reflect on their learning experiences. Students are required to complete eight weeks of work experience over the duration of the two year course.
For more information on the Leaving Cert Applied programme click here.
Third Year students can postpone making a choice on the above courses if they choose to complete Transition Year. Transition year is a time to learn more about yourself and develop life skills that will be important for you in the years to come. It is characterised by a combination of traditional classroom work along with activities designed to get you to work (and play) alongside your classmates. It's also a great year to check out what sort of things you are good at, and even check out possible career options.
For more information on Transition Year click here
The CareersPortal Team