A Chairde,

Is mian liom bhur n-aird a tharraingt an soiléiriú seo a leanas a cuireadh ar leathanach Ceisteanna Coitianta an Rialtais le déanaí.

32. When does tuition to final year Leaving Certificate students cease, given that calculated grades are being put in place?

“As of 11 May 2020, tuition (whether online or in other ways) ceased for sixth-year leaving certificate students. This applies to the Leaving Certificate established, Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) and Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP).

No additional work will be accepted from students from this date. Teachers and students may not discuss the student’s achievement in the subject over the past two years. Nor can they discuss the student’s ranking in a class, or their estimated mark or the level at which an estimated mark is to be provided in a subject.

However, students remain students of the school until the end of the school term. In terms of the school’s role in supporting the wellbeing of Leaving Certificate students, the role of the Student Support Team as set out in the guidance issued recently to schools, should remain available until the end of the school term.”

Tá go leor ceisteanna fós gan freagra maidir le Gráid Ríofa. Bhailigh an ETB, comhlacht bainistíochta agus comhairleach ár scoile, ceisteanna agus buarthaí ó mheánscoileanna ar fud na tíre. Tiomsaíodh na ceisteanna seo agus tugadh aird an ROS orthu mar gheall ar a bhfreagra. Tá an Roinn ag freagairt ceisteanna i bhfoirm leathanach Ceisteanna Coitianta a óstáiltear ar shuíomh Gréasáin an Rialtais anseo. Molaimid daoibh an acmhainn seo a sheiceáil go rialta.

Is féidir le daltaí a dteastaíonn aon treoir agus tacaíocht bhreise uathu teagmháil a dhéanamh le comhairleoir treorach na scoile tríd Teams  chun cabhair agus tacaíocht a fháil nó féadfaidh siad ríomhphost a chur chuig caoimhe.uifhearail@gcc-cw.ie nó eolas@gcc-cw.ie freisin.

Coinneoimid ar an eolas sibh faoi aon fhorbairtí breise.

Is mise le meas,

Madailín Mhic Lochlainn .

School Uniforms Direct Pay a Deposit Scheme
During this difficult time, we are having to change the way in which we operate. We cannot provide our normal in-school ordering service and it is likely that there will be a slowing down of clothes supplies. The latter means that it may take us a little longer to restock products.
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Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources

Introduction

The purpose of this page is to provide as much clarity as possible on the decisions made about the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations.

Key decisions

The decision has been taken to postpone Leaving Certificate 2020 and to offer students a system of Calculated Grades. You can read more about calculated grades and how they work here: A Guide to Calculated Grades for Leaving Certificate students 2020 .

Information for Leaving Cert Students

You will have heard about the Government decision in relation to the 2020 Leaving Certificate.

In order to help answer some of the questions we have provided this guide to help explain why we have reached this decision, what it means for students, parents and teachers and how it will happen.

Our primary focus at all times has been what is in the best interests of students and those involved in running the exams. Fairness and equity is at the heart of this decision.

These are unprecedented times and we are having to take decisions like never before.

This guide will be updated from time to time so please check back.

1. What has been announced and why?

The 2020 Leaving Certificate written examinations previously scheduled to start on 29 July have been postponed. Students will now be offered Calculated Grades. They will also have the opportunity to sit the exams at a later stage when it is safer to do so.

After detailed consideration, it is the Department’s firm assessment that running the exams poses too great a risk to students, their families and those involved in running them.

The logistics of holding the exams, with all the precautions that would have to be put in place to prevent the risk of further infection, would mean that they would not be held under normal conditions.

2. Is there going to be a Leaving Certificate 2020?

Yes. All students will be given the option to receive a State Certificate of Calculated Grades in each subject. It will have the same status as Leaving Certificates awarded to students in previous years.

Students will also have the opportunity to sit the conventional Leaving Certificate examination if they wish at the earliest safe and practical time.

3. Why were the exams not moved online or changed to allow people to sit shorter papers?

Many different scenarios have been considered over a number of weeks, each with their flaws and faults.

There is no perfect solution to this unprecedented challenge.

Online exams;; shortened papers; fewer examinations – none of these options would have been as fair an assessment as the Calculated Grades model. They would also have been markedly different from previous Leaving Certificate examinations and they would not be what students had been working towards, or are familiar with.

Changes like those would have called into question the validity of the state examinations this year.

4. How will the system of Calculated Grades work?

Calculated Grades will be generated using a systematic statistical model. It will combine estimates of a student’s expected performance with the school’s statistical profiles of achievement in a subject and level, in line with national performance standards over time.

The first source of data will be provided by the subject teacher. It will then be aligned in the school, with teachers consulting on the results before the principal reviews the process applied to assure the fair treatment of students. The school then sends the data to the Department of Education and Skills.

A more detailed document A Guide to Calculated Grades for Leaving Certificate students 2020 will explain further how the system will work.

There will be strong oversight and control and a number of inherent quality assurance measures to ensure students receive as fair a result as possible.

5. What information will schools be asked to provide for each student?

Teachers will be asked to provide an estimated percentage mark for each student for each subject. Students will also be put in a rank order in their class.

Teachers are being asked to use draw on existing records and available evidence, to provide a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the most likely percentage mark that each student would have achieved if they had sat their examinations and completed coursework under normal conditions.

Teachers will NOT be simply passing on results from mock examinations or other tests.

Schools will then align this data before it is passed on to the Department of Education and Skills.

6. What evidence will teachers use to support their judgements?

Teachers will use a number of records of a student’s performance and progress; for example, classwork and homework; class assessments; examinations in school, at Christmas or summer, mock exams and also coursework.

A guidance document will be available for teachers.

7. Can I appeal the outcome?

Yes. The appeal will involve checks on school-entered data, correct transfer of that data to the Department, and a review that it was correctly received and processed by the Department. If a student remains dissatisfied at the end of this process they can seek verification of the Department’s processes by independent appeal scrutineers.

Under the Calculated Grades system, the percentage mark provided by the teacher cannot be reviewed.

All students will retain the option to sit a Leaving Certificate examination at a later stage when it is safe and practicable to do so.

8. Will students be able to see a record of the percentage mark that the school has given?

Yes. Students will have access to the school-based data in the event that they appeal.

In the detailed guidance that we are providing to schools and teachers we will be making it very clear that schools should not disclose the estimated marks or rank orders to students or to their parents/guardians.

9. Will teachers be using Junior Cycle results?

No. Junior Cycle results are not being used at an individual student level. They are only being used at a group level as part of the process of standardising across schools.

10. What if there is a conflict of interest, e.g. a teacher who teaches a relative or a friend’s son or daughter?

If a teacher has a real or perceived conflict of interest with a student in their class they must declare this to school principal.

There will be additional oversight by a nominated teacher and a deputy principal in such cases.

11. What actually happens in the statistical standardisation process?

After the estimated percentage marks are received from all schools, the Department will analyse them and carry out a process of standardisation.

We will compare the school’s profile of achievement at Leaving Certificate over the past three years to the national standards, to build up a picture of school performance. We will also review the performance of this year’s group of students against their overall performance at Junior Cycle.

This then allows us to check whether the estimated percentage marks in each subject from the school are reasonable, in light of performance in that subject in recent years. Therefore, the alignment of marks upwards or downwards will be based on more than one single piece of information.

12. How will the system ensure that student’s individual achievements are fairly rewarded?

The calculated grade system depends on the differences between students being accurately reflected in the school-based data. For example, if there is a student in a class group who performs better than the other students in the class group then this difference should be reflected in the estimated percentage marks assigned by the school.

However, we will also carry out other checks to identify any cases where there might be something unusual about an individual’s estimated mark. .We will follow up on these cases to check whether there is a good reason and give the school a chance to change the estimated mark if necessary.

13. Will marks or rank order change in the standardisation process?

We expect that some estimated marks may change, to at least some degree. Although some will change more than others depending on the quality of the data we receive from schools.

The ranking ordering of students by the school in their class grouping will be retained in the process, so students will keep their position relative to each other.

After this standardisation and all follow-on checks have been completed, the estimated mark supplied by the school is transformed into calculated mark. We then use this to generate a calculated grade.

14. How can you ensure that this system is fair, especially with the concerns about predicted grades?

The approach being adopted for the 2020 Leaving Certificate is not ‘predicted grades’.

It is a statistically-based calculated grades model. It has been developed in a way that will offer a fair and safe option to all students, to receive an assessment of their post-primary education despite the prevailing health crisis.

While it is true that there is no tradition of teachers assessing their students for the Leaving Certificate examination, the reality is that teachers have been applying their professional judgment to assessing students’ performance throughout their schooling, including during the two-year Senior Cycle programme.

International research has shown that it is possible to build in safeguards to maximise the accuracy of teachers’ judgements regarding student achievement and to minimise any risk of bias. It is also possible to construct mechanisms for national standardisation, as is being done in a number of countries. There is also research that tells us that teachers are known to be very good at rank ordering students and at making judgements in high stakes situations.

To safeguard fairness and integrity in this process at school level, teachers will receive detailed guidance which will enable them to apply their professional judgement to the available evidence of student performance.

School principals will have a critical oversight role and will be required to ensure fairness amongst candidates at school level and to approve the expected performance data.

15. What about students with reasonable accommodations? How will this be taken into account?

Where any reasonable accommodation has been approved by the SEC for any student, such as a reader or scribe, schools will be asked to base their estimate of the student’s likely performance on the assumption that this accommodation would have been available.

16. What about students who don’t attend or who are taking extra subjects outside school?

While these scenarios are the exception rather than the rule every effort will be made to calculate a grade, provided there is sufficient evidence available.

In the case of students taking a subject outside school, the guidance provides details of how schools should proceed if school management authorities are confident that there is sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgement.

For students in receipt of home tuition with an association to the school, the guidance will provide information for school authorities to engage with the home tutor in arriving at a decision. Whether a valid estimate of performance can be provided will depend on whether the home tutor is a registered teacher and where the school is satisfied with the evidence used to support the judgment.

17. Can I appeal the Calculated Grades?

Yes. Due to the nature of the model, the professional judgment of the teacher or the school will not form part of the appeals process.

Students unhappy with the calculated grade they receive will have access to a three-stage appeals process.

Stage 1: Checks will be undertaken to ensure that the process was completed correctly by the school and that the intended information was recorded correctly by the school and that the information was transferred correctly into the data collection system. There will also be a review to ensure that the review that the data was correctly received and processed in the calculated grade model.

Stage 2: Students can then seek a review by Independent Appeal Scrutineers.

Stage 3: Following this review, there will also be an opportunity to sit the written examinations later in the year when it is safe and practicable to do so.

In addition, there will be oversight by an independent international expert unconnected with the design of the calculated grades model to provide overall validation on the model, including the operation of the appeals system.

18. What if I apply to sit the exams, but then am unable to do so. Will I get a second chance at sitting them?

Unfortunately it is intended that there will be one sitting of the 2020 Leaving Certificate Examination for the 2020 examinations.

19. When will the grades be issued?

The plan is that calculated grades will be provided to candidates as close as possible to the normal results day.

20. How will the calculated grades approach work for the Leaving cert Applied (LCA)?

A broadly similar process will apply as applies to the LC established for the outstanding LCA assessments. Given the modular nature of the LCA the substantial amount of assessment that has already been taken and credited to the candidate, will stand and be combined with the calculated grades for the outstanding assessments.

21. Will the grades be the same as in other years?

Yes. Students will receive a provisional statement of results with grades in the same format as every other year.

Subsequently students will receive a formal final certificate confirming the grades.

22. What about the CAO process – how will it be affected by this change?

Students’ calculated grades will be transferred directly to the CAO, in the same way that examination results usually are. The CAO timelines will run as close as possible to normal to allow for students to take up offers and to transition to third level, further education or work etc.

23. Does the same apply for people looking to study in the UK or Europe?

The Department has been in contact with counterparts in the UK and across the EU to explain the position regarding the Leaving Certificate. Other countries are being asked for as much flexibility as possible for our students. These contacts will continue over the coming weeks. This is also a common challenge in the UK and across the EU.

24. When will third level courses start?

While we can’t be specific about that yet, it will be late September or early October. Third level institutions are in constant contact with the Department on a range of issues in relation to enrolments and courses for the 2020/2021 academic year.

25. When will the results of the appeals issue? Will it be possible to start college this year using the appeal results?

Work is ongoing with the higher education sector to integrate the timing of the first stage of the appeals process with the start date for college entry.

Students who receive an upgraded CAO place following Stage 1 of the appeals process may be able to take up their place in the 2020/2021 academic year.

Students who are successful at the Independent Appeal Scrutineer stage, and who receive an improved CAO offer at that stage, will receive a deferred offer to start their course in the 2021/22 academic year.

Students who opt to sit the Leaving Certificate examinations later in the year and who receive an improved CAO offer on foot of these results will also receive a deferred college offer to start their course in the 2021/22 academic year. If a candidate who has started first year of a course becomes entitled to a higher CAO offer and chooses to accept same in the following academic year, attendance for the first year on the new course would remain eligible for free fees and SUSI funding as appropriate.

26. Can I mix my 2020 exam grades and Calculated Grades in different subjects to get points for access to higher education?

Yes. In these exceptional circumstances, all of the results issued on foot of the examinations this year, calculated grades; appeals and the later written examination will be considered the results of the 2020 Leaving Certificate.

27. What are the detailed arrangements for the Leaving Certificate exams to be held later this year?

The SEC will set about putting the detailed arrangements for these examinations in place, guided of course by health advice.

28. What about the Leaving Certificate fee?

Where students opt to sit the conventional Leaving Certificate examination later in the year the examination fee will be waived. Anyone who has paid already will be refunded


08 May, 2020 – Minister announces postponement of 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations

All students to be offered the option of accepting Calculated Grades or sitting Leaving Certificate written examinations at a later date 

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today (Friday 8 May 2020) announced the postponement of the 2020 Leaving Certificate. 

Following a decision at Cabinet, all students are to be offered the option of receiving Calculated Grades for the subjects they are studying and the alternative of sitting the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations at a date in the future when it is considered safe to hold the examinations. 

The decision has been taken following an assessment of public health advice and other information and the implications for holding the exams from the previously rescheduled date of Wednesday 29 July 2020. 

Minister McHugh said: “I have made every effort to run the 2020 Leaving Certificate as close as possible to the way the examinations were originally intended to be held. 

“My desire had been to allow students to undertake the written and practical examinations in July and August but I have compelling evidence, based on medical advice and other assessments, that the Leaving Certificate examinations cannot be held in a reliable and valid manner, nor in a way that would be equitable for students.” 

Minister McHugh said: “The reality of the impact of Covid-19 has led to a decision that has never happened in our country before. I fully appreciate the magnitude of this issue, for the students and their families, for the teachers and for school principals. 

“This decision is taken with the best interests of students at heart. I have a responsibility to find a fair way to address the disadvantage that some students are facing and the impact a lack of time in school has had in recent weeks. 

“The system being put in place will allow a young person to progress to the next stage of their life in a timely fashion. 

“The fairest and most equitable way to do that in the current circumstances is to offer students the option of Calculated Grades for the 2020 Leaving Certificate but also to guarantee them the right to sit the examinations at a later stage when it is safe to hold them in the normal way. 

“The decision has to be taken now to remove the anxiety that many students have been experiencing over how the exams would look later in the summer.” 

Minister McHugh thanked the advisory group of stakeholders for their input in recent weeks in relation to the holding of the examinations. 

The following is a breakdown of the process to be applied for students to be given the option of Calculated Grades or to sit the examinations.

  1. The 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations, previously scheduled to take place in late July and August, have been postponed.
  2. There will be no Leaving Certificate fee this year. All exam fees which have been paid will be refunded.
  3. Teachers will be asked to provide a professional judgment of each student’s attainment which will be subjected to a rigorous in-school alignment process to ensure fairness.
  4. The school principal will approve the estimated scores being provided and the rankings of each student in each subject in the school.
  5. A special unit is being established within the Department of Education and Skills to process the data provided by each school and operate national standardisation, again to ensure fairness amongst all students.
  6. The Department will finalise the grades for each student which will be issued to each student as close as possible to the traditional date. Formal State certification will also be provided.
  7. Students will retain the right to appeal. This will involve checks on school-entered data; correct transfer of that data to the Department; a review that it was correctly received and processed by the Department; and a verification of the Department’s processes by independent appeal scrutineers.
  8. Students will also retain the right to the sit the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations at a date in the future when it is deemed safe for state examinations to be held.

Ends

Notes for Editors

There are two main phases in the process of arriving at a calculated grade: School-based and national standardisation

Both phases are underpinned by the principles of teacher professionalism, support for students, objectivity, fairness and equity, collaboration and timeliness. 

In addition, and in the spirit of fairness to all Leaving Certificate students, the option of sitting the Leaving Certificate examinations when it becomes feasible to hold them remains open to all students. 

The process of arriving at a Calculated Grade applies to:

  • Established Leaving Certificate – subjects
  • Leaving Certificate Applied – subjects, tasks and vocational specialisms
  • Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme – Link Modules.

Other materials being published include

–        A guidance document for the education system and others in relation to the system of Calculated Grades is available on the Department’s website here: https://www.education.ie/en/Learners/Information/State-Examinations/a-guide-to-calculated-grades-for-leaving-certificate-students-2020.pdf

–        A FAQs document is also being published on gov.ie/LeavingCertificate for students, teachers and parents

–        Advice from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) in relation to the wellbeing and mental health of Leaving Certificate students in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic

Chun aitheantas a thabhairt do Lá na Filíochta inniu, tá ceithre dhán á roinnt againn libh. Chuimhnímid ar Eavan Boland a fuair bás an tseachtain seo le dán ghearr draíochtúil uaithi, This Moment.
Comh maith le sin, tóg nóiméad chun trí dhán eile, a thugann cabhair dúinn chiall a bhaint as na dúshláin atá ós ár gcomhair na laethanta seo, a léamh. The Trees by Philip Larkin, Everything is Going to be Alright by Derek Mahon and A Time to be Slow by John O’Donohue.Agus ná déanagí dearmad, “If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.” Séamus Heaney.

To acknowledge Poetry Day Ireland today we want to share some poems with you. We remember Eavan Boland who passed away this week with her magical short poem This Moment. Also, take a minute to read three other selected poems which might help us to make sense of the strange times we find ourselves in. The Trees by Philip Larkin, Everything is Going to be Alright by Derek Mahon and A Time to be Slow by John O’Donohue. And don’t forget,  “If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.” Séamus Heaney.

 

The purpose of this page is to provide as much clarity as possible on the decisions made about the 2020 Junior Cycle exams. You can find out more information about actions taken by the Department in response to Covid-19 on www.education.ie/covid19

This page will be updated as new information becomes available so please check back from time to time.

What decisions were made regarding the Junior Cycle examinations?

  • On 19th March, following the initial announcement that schools would be closed until 29th March on foot of public health advice, the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, announced the cancellation of Junior Cycle practical performance tests that had been scheduled to take place from 23rd March to 3rd April.
  • In addition, the dates for submission of project work and coursework that was due to be completed on dates between 20th March and 24th April were pushed back to 15th May.
  •  
  • On 10th April, after it was announced that schools would remain closed until further notice, the Minister announced that the June Junior Cycle state examinations would be replaced with school-based exams and assessments to be held early in the new school year. The Minister said that discussions would take place with teacher unions and school management to allow these exams and assessments to be completed as school-based assessments.

What has been announced on 29th April?

  • The Minister has now announced details of the school-based assessment and reporting arrangements for students who are concluding Junior Cycle in May 2020. These details were finalised following advice received by the Minister from an advisory group of stakeholders for contingency planning for the 2020 state examinations which he set up. The group membership includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the National Educational Psychological Service and the Department.
  •  
  • The Minister also announced that these assessments should be completed and marked by schools before 29 May 2020, and not early in the new school year as originally advised.

Why has the date for assessments now been moved forward to May 2020?

  • The advisory group of stakeholders reflected concerns regarding the potential stresses on students due to take school-based exams early in the new school year, arising from a perceived need by students to study for these exams over the full summer period. There was also a concern to minimise the disruptive impacts of the Covid-19 virus into another school year.
  •  
  • Having heard the advice of the advisory group the Minister agreed to bring forward the date for assessments to May 2020.

What are the details of the school-based assessments for May 2020?

The main details of the assessment arrangements are as follows:

  • The assessment of students’ learning achievements in each subject will take place at school level and will be based on the teacher’s professional knowledge of each student’s learning.
  •  
  • Schools will have autonomy to choose the most appropriate form of school-based assessments to put in place.
  •  
  • Schools may opt to use a range of evidence to inform their assessment of students’ achievements. These could include:
    • Evidence available from assignments, tests, tasks journals, projects, practical and other work completed over the course of second year and third year
    • Classroom-Based Assessments completed by students in second year and third year
    • School-designed examinations, tasks, projects, assignments, essay style questions, presentations, or other tasks chosen by the teacher from the range of approaches agreed at school level.
  • Each school should adopt a whole-school approach to the assessment and reporting on student achievement following consultation with teachers. The board of the school should communicate with parents and students in relation to its proposed approach and the timeframe for completion of assessments.
  •  
  • For each subject, the evidence of learning to be used and any method of assessment chosen should be decided by the relevant subject teachers in the context of the whole-school approach adopted.
  •  
  • Any additional assessment or other form of end-of-year assignment to be completed by students should be limited in scope and cognisant of the disrupted learning that students have experienced in 2020 and recognise that some students may be unable to undertake such additional assessments because of issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  •  
  • School-based assessments should be devised and marked by the class teacher. The assessment format chosen should be accessible to all students in the class.
  •  
  • Greater weighting should be given to work that was completed by students before schools closed on 12 March 2020. Cognisance may be given to work completed after that date but teachers should have regard to the impact that school closure will have had on students’ ability to engage with further learning after 12 March 2020. For example, some students may be unable to undertake any additional assessment tasks because of issues from the Covid-19 crisis. In such circumstances, the assessment of the students’ learning, and the report of their achievement issued by the school, may be based solely on work completed prior to 12 March.
  •  
  • Where relevant the method or format of assessment used should be inclusive of students with special educational needs (SEN).

What Reporting and Certification will Junior Cycle students get in 2020?

  • In 2020, the Junior Cycle learning achievement of students will be recognised through a specific form of certification designed to meet the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students’ certification will involve two elements:
    •  
    • A School Report setting out the learning achievements of students in Junior Cycle. Students should receive a written report from their school on the broad range of learning that they have achieved in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit at the end of Junior Cycle. This assessment of their learning will be provided by their teachers. The report will also provide an opportunity to report on other aspects of achievement including the wellbeing programme completed by students. Schools will have autonomy in how this assessment is to be arrived at and the format in which the report is provided. The report should be provided to students and their parents/guardians as soon as feasible following the completion of the school year 2019/20.
    •  
    • A State Certificate of completion of Junior Cycle from the Department of Education and Skills. Students should receive a State Certification from the Department that they have completed three years of Junior Cycle education in a number of subjects/priority learning. This will include the list of subjects, short courses and/or priority learning units studied and the level at which the subject was studied. This certificate will be provided early in the school year 2020/21.

How are Adult Learners affected by the announcement of 29th April?

  • The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will put in place specific arrangements for adult learners who have the flexibility to study a subject or subjects at Junior Cycle level within one academic year.
  •  
  • These arrangements will ensure that these adult learners will be provided with an opportunity to take the final examination in the subject(s) for which they are entered. These examinations will take place in autumn 2020 and the specific timing will be determined as soon as possible. Further details will be provided by the SEC.

Why were the Junior Cycle state exams replaced with school-based exams?

  • The decision to replace the Junior Cycle state examinations with school-based examinations was made to prioritise the running of the Leaving Certificate examinations and the possible need, for social distancing reasons, to make as much space available in schools for students sitting the Leaving Certificate examinations.

Will Junior Cycle students have to pay exam fees now that the June Junior Cycle state examinations are replaced with school-based exams and assessments? What about students who have already paid their fees?

  • Students won’t be required to pay examination fees to the SEC in relation to the 2020 Junior Cycle examinations and those who have already paid may apply to the SEC for refunds. 

Updated: 29 April 2020

29 April, 2020 – Minister McHugh announces revised arrangements for Junior Cycle 2020

– All third year Junior Cycle students to be awarded certificates for the completion of Junior Cycle by the Department of Education and Skills

– Schools given autonomy to assess students and all students to receive a report on achievement

– Adult learners to be given opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations in autumn

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Wednesday 29 April 2020) announced revised arrangements for this year’s Junior Cycle.

The decision was taken following recommendations from an advisory group of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures and the decision that the Junior Cycle State Examinations will not run this year.

Minister McHugh attended the meeting of the advisory group and thanked the members for their work.

“In this difficult time for students I have listened to the very strongly-held and well-articulated views of students, parents and other stakeholders,” Minister McHugh said.

“This decision has been made with the health and wellbeing of students, parents and teachers at the forefront of our thinking.

“It gives students and their families more clarity and certainty. It also gives schools freedom to decide how best to assess the progress of students following three years of hard work and learning.”

Under the revised arrangements and in light of the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work and achievement of third year Junior Cycle students will be recognised with a state certificate from the Department of Education and Skills.

As soon as possible after the end of the current school year, students will receive a written school report on their learning achievements in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit

Schools are also being given autonomy to decide whether to run school-based assessments and what form they take. Options to consider include school-designed examinations, tasks, projects, assignments, essay style questions, presentations, or other tasks agreed at a local level. Guidance for schools on reporting to students and parents, developed with the advice of the advisory group of stakeholders, will be published by the Department.

The State Examinations Commission is also being asked to put in place specific arrangements for adult learners to give them an opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations for which they are entered in autumn 2020.

Ends

The Department of Education and Skills has today (Wednesday 22 April 2020) hosted its second meeting with a range of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures.

Representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Educational Psychological Service, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and the Department took part and further meetings are scheduled as part of consideration and planning of revised arrangements for the examinations, taking account of public health advice.

The Higher Education Authority is also observing at the meetings with the intention of feeding back to consultations it is involved with across the third level sector.

Among the items discussed today were the package of supports being put in place for students for continuity of learning including –

–       An additional €10m fund for IT equipment for schools

–       Guidance for schools on continuity of teaching and learning for students with special educational needs and those who are at risk of disadvantage

Also discussed were:

  • The practical arrangements for project work, coursework and practical examinations for the Leaving Certificate;
  • development of a range of supports for students’ wellbeing’; and
  • issues concerning the Junior Cycle.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said: “I am grateful to the advisory group for their efforts and focus on issues relating to the Leaving Certificate and continuity of education. Some of these are quite complex and require detailed consideration. I know that the group is also aware of the need to provide our students with as much clarity on these issues as soon as possible. The group will continue to work intensively on these issues in the period ahead.”

In relation to Junior Cycle exams, the Minister said: “The best way to address this issue is to allow the group have further discussions, in a spirit of partnership in the best interests of this year’s Junior Cycle students. I would urge schools to await the conclusion of these discussions with the education partners before taking any decisions regarding assessment arrangements for their Junior Cycle students”

A Thuismitheoirí/ Chaomhnóirí, a chairde,

Tá súil agam go bhfuil sibh féin agus bhur muintir  go maith i láthair na huaire agus gach duine slán sábháilte. De réir cosúlachta beidh an scoil ar oscailt arís i ndiaidh na Cásca  ar an 20ú Aibreán .

Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thógáil le cur in iúl daoibh cad atá ar siúl  againn anseo i nGaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, le cinntiú go leanann Múineadh agus Foghlaim ar aghaidh tríd na laethanta aisteacha seo.

 Tá seoladh ríomhphoist scoile agus cuntas ar Microsoft 365 ag gach dalta sa scoil. Tá gach múinteoir tar éis obair ranga a chur in airde do na hábhair go léir anseo. Tá na múinteoirí i dteagmháil leis na daltaí go rialta agus an córas Teams nó ríomhphost in úsáid acu. Is féidir leis na daltaí a gcuid oibre  a sheoladh chuig na múinteoirí agus an obair a fháil ar ais ó na múinteoirí nuair a bhaineann siad úsáid as an gcóras seo . Ba chóir go mbeadh na daltaí ag leanúint leis an obair agus ag leanúint treoirlínte na múinteoirí. Táimid go léir ag obair i slite nua agus tuigimid go mbeidh deacrachtaí ag dul i dtaithí ar an gcóras nua.

Dá réir táim ag moladh go suíonn sibh síos le bhur bpáiste(í) agus go mbreathnaíonn sibh ar a c(h)untas Microsoft 365. Tabharfaidh seo deis duit an obair atá ann go dtí seo a fheiceáil.

Tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach go dtugaimid aire dúinn féin agus dá chéile sa tréimhse seo. Caithfidh muid cothromaíocht a fháil idir obair scoile, am sóisialta, aclaíocht agus a  bheith ag cabhrú mórthimpeall an tí. Níl sé éasca do chlann ar bith i láthair na huaire agus muid ag iarraidh dul i dtaithí ar an saol nua le COVID-19. Tá nasc le roinnt acmhainní ar shuíomh idirlín na scoile

Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a ghabháil leis an bhfoireann go léir, tá sár-obair ó bhaile á dhéanamh acu ar fad. Míle buíochas daoibhse a thuismitheoirí, a chaomhnóirí as bhur gcomhoibriú agus bhur gcuid tacaíochta .

Guím gach beannacht ar mhuintir Ghaelcholáiste Cheatharlach sna seachtainí deacra atá os ár gcomhair amach. Is féidir libh dul i dteagmháil liom trí sheoladh ríomhphoist na scoile – eolas@gcc-cw.ie.

                                                                                *****

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all well and in good health. It now seems that schools will remain closed until after Easter.

I would like to explain the procedures we have in place to ensure that both teaching and learning continue during these strange times.

Each student has a school email and Microsoft 365 account. Every subject teacher has been posting resources and assigned work for each class group. Teachers are in contact and can be contacted by students through Teams or by email. Work can be submitted, corrected and returned through Teams. Students should be logging in, following teachers’ instructions and keeping up to date with assignments. This is a new method for all of us and it will take time and patience to get to grips with it.

I suggest that parents take time to sit with your student and look through their Microsoft 365 account and  the work that has been set to date.

It is very important that we look after ourselves and after each other during this time. Striking a balance between school work, social time, exercise and helping around the house is vital to the wellbeing of all of us as we deal with COVID-19. Please note there are  links to many useful resources on our website page .

I would like to thank  the teachers for their dedication and hard work as they work remotely to ensure that the students’ learning continues. Parents thank you for your cooperation and support as always.

Continued good health to you all and to your families. If anyone at any time needs to contact me please do so at eolas@gcc-cw.ie.

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Madailín Mhic Lochlainn,

Príomhoide.

 

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