Greystones Community College

Junior Cycle at Greystones Community College

Junior Cycle at Greystones Community College

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The Junior Cycle at Greystones Community College

An updated Junior Cycle began its introduction into Irish post primary schools in 2014. It replaced on a phased basis the Junior Certificate programme in place since 1989. This new Junior Cycle encourages us to place the student at the centre of the learning process. It allows for new ways of learning and a broader range of skills to be properly assessed. It also encourages teaching, learning and assessment in dynamic and innovative ways with the school’s local context in mind.

“Junior Cycle places students at the centre of the educational 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.” DES, A Framework for Junior Cycle, 2015.

Principles, Key Skills and Statements of Learning

Junior Cycle has as its underpinning foundation a set each of principles, key skills and statements of learning. If realised, they will ensure that each student receives a rich educational experience that has a wide reach of learning experiences and new forms of assessment beyond the traditional written examination. All students in Greystones Community College will have access to a varied curriculum of knowledge, skills and values. This curriculum is underpinned by eight principles. These are the foundation stone of learning in all subjects, short courses and other areas of learning, including the wellbeing programme that students experience in Junior Cycle.

The eight key skills of Junior Cycle are as follows:

  1. Communicating
  2. Being Literate
  3. Being Numerate
  4. Managing Information & Thinking
  5. Managing Myself
  6. Working with others
  7. Staying Well
  8. Being Creative

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These key skills are carefully planned for across all curricular areas in Greystones Community College and experienced by students in many different ways.

Through engaging with these key skills students will:

  • be more actively engaged with learning
  • take greater ownership of their learning
  • have a critical engagement with digital technology
  • be encouraged to problem solve and think creatively

Furthermore, the twenty-four statements of learning describe what our students should know, understand and value having experienced their 3 years of Junior Cycle. Click here to view the 24 statements of learning.

Assessment in Junior Cycle:

The Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) will be presented to all students in Greystones Community College in the Autumn following third year. It replaces the Junior Certificate which we have become familiar with over many years. This JCPA will document learning in many ways, including the traditional examination results from the State Examinations Commission. It will allow for a celebration of a broader range of achievements and showcase each student’s success in a format not previously possible. The JCPA will document and showcase learning in the following areas:

  • Subjects
  • Short courses
  • Wellbeing
  • Other Areas of Learning

Subjects:

All subjects in Junior Cycle have undergone updating. Each subject has a specification based on learning outcomes which can be tailored to a student’s interests and abilities by their teacher.

The majority of subjects will include a written examination at the end of third year of up to two hours duration, with the exception of Visual Art.

The grade descriptors used for subjects has also changed to replace the A,B,C,D system of grades we have all become familiar with over many years.

The following descriptors will now be used:

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Furthermore, students will engage with two classroom based assessments in each subject, typically one in second year and one in third year.

The grade descriptors for these classroom-based assessment will also appear on each students JCPA and are as follows:

  • Exceptional
  • Above expectations
  • In line with expectations
  • Yet to meet expectations
  • Not reported (where a student does not submit a piece of work)

Short Courses

Students in Greystones Community College have the opportunity to engage in learning in a range of Short Courses. These programmes allow students to experience learning in new and creative ways. Assessment in all short courses is not through traditional examination rather through a nationally developed classroom-based assessment towards the end of the course.

At present the following short courses are currently on offer at Greystones Community College;

  1. Coding
  2. Digital Media Literacy
  3. Artistic Performance & Drama
  4. Philosophy
  5. Enterprise (at development stage)

Wellbeing

A new area of learning entitled wellbeing has been introduced as part of Junior Cycle. It includes Physical Education (PE), Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) and Social, Personal and health Education (SPHE). Students will also experience other aspects of wellbeing through timetabled engagement with the curricular area across their three years of Junior Cycle. This may evolve and change over time along with the requirements of our students in an ever-changing world.

Greystones Community College has further developed a bespoke range of wellbeing subjects that all first year students engage with. Each programme below has been designed by a wellbeing teacher at the school and students complete an 8 week module in each area:

  1. Natures Way: This course introduces students to the outdoors where they embrace the outdoor environment, contribute to the school garden and develop the wellbeing space outside in Nature.
  2. Mindful Meals: This course introduces students to the importance of healthy diet and lifestyle.
  3. Friends for Life: This course supports students with anxiety prevention, supports students with building resilience, confidence and empathy through dialogue and meditation.
  4. Life through the Lens: This course is literacy based where students delve into short stories to hear from people from minority backgrounds while highlighting inclusion and diversity.

The wellbeing programme aims to further develop all students’ abilities to be:

  • Aware
  • Connected
  • Respected
  • Active
  • Resilient
  • Responsible

Other Areas of Learning:

In addition to traditional curricular areas of learning, such as subjects other areas for example those in the extra-curricular and co-curricular areas will be experiences by all students and showcased on their individual JCPA.

Nov 29
2021
Enterprise Week
Dec 17
2021
Christmas Exams
Dec 22
2021
Christmas Holidays
Jan 12
2022
Board of Management Meeting
Mill Road, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, A63 RY64.
0870634196
Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board
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