Junior Cert milestone passed – with glory!

By Aura McMenamin

Over 60,000 school students across Ireland reached an important milestone in their education as they collected their Junior Cert results on Wednesday.

This year marked the first that the new English curriculum was introduced, which sees students being assessed for their performance in class as well as in their exam.

junior cert collage

English is the first and only subject this year to be graded differently with the assessment task, which will be rolled out across subjects in future Junior Cert cycles.

Ninety per cent of their grade comes from their exam in June, while in-class assessments make up 10 per cent of their grade. Instead of receiving As, Bs and Cs, students are now graded by ‘descriptors’ such as a Distinction, Merit, or an Achievement.

According to local schools, students handled the change quite well.

Louise Ronan is the deputy principal at Coláiste Bride in Clondalkin. She told The Echo: “There were lots of smiling faces. There wasn’t any uncertainty [for us] with the new grading system for English.

“We thought this allowed students to shine in other ways – oral presentations and other assignments.”

More students at Old Bawn Community School in Tallaght took up the subject than in previous years, according to principal Paul Crone.

Mr Crone said he and staff at the school analysed results on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Crone said that despite their initial concerns over the new grading and assessment, students had scored exceptionally well.

He said: “Three out of four students went through the higher level – that’s 75 per cent of students doing higher level English.

“The new English concerned me, but we’ve doubled the number of students achieving over 55 per cent in the exam. It allowed students more scope to score higher.”

Kishoge Community College opened its doors in 2014 to 50 students, with this year’s Junior Cert cycle being the first ever in the school.

So how did they fare? Principal Niall Hare reported: “We’re delighted with the results. The students achieved exceptional results across the range of subjects with many results well ahead of national averages.

Mr Hare said the introduction of a coding module had been embraced by students: “This year sees a new subject, coding, being assessed for the first time.

“Kishoge has positioned itself as one of the leading schools in the country for this new subject and again our students have performed extremely well.”

St Joseph’s College in Lucan boasted excellent results from high achievers. Principal Bernadette Fitzpatrick said that three students achieved 9As and 10As in higher level subjects.

Ms Fitzpatrick said: “With these results the students have an excellent foundation for Senior Cycle and I’m looking forward to seeing them further excel as they go forward into the next stage of their education.”


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