Are you about to embark on the journey of the junior cycle and starting to prepare for junior cycle English? You, along with many other students in Ireland will be taking part in what many have come to know as the “new junior cert”.
But, what is the Irish junior cert? How is the junior cert English marking scheme set up? What is the Junior Cert curriculum? Keep reading to get more information about the Junior Cycle English Assessment and everything you need to know to thrive.
Junior Cycle Evolution: A Brief Overview
Junior Cycle is the first stage of the education programme for post-primary education within the Republic of Ireland. The Junior Cycle caters to students aged from 12 to 15 years and students normally sit the exam at the age of 14 or 15, after 3 years of post-primary education.
The evaluation, commonly known as Junior Cert or Junior Certificate, was introduced in 1992 but is now being replaced by new specifications and curriculum reforms which were first introduced in 2004 and are expected to be completed by the year 2022.
This replacement has caused some questioning among students looking to pass the evaluation since they are not quite aware of the new junior cycle.
According to the official jct.ie website: “The junior cycle allows students to make a greater connection with learning by focusing on the quality of learning that takes place and by offering experiences that are engaging and enjoyable for them, and relevant to their lives.”
That said, there are numerous resources that you can look into both on and offline to help you get the best qualifications during your years of Junior Cycle and when talking specifically about Junior Cycle English, Supeprof is here to give you the best tips and connect you with private tutors all across Ireland that specialize in the new Junior Cert curriculum.
Junior Cert English: the New Junior Cycle Test
For students to successfully complete their Junior Cycle Test, they need to complete an examination that takes place after three years of the course. The exams always start with English, then the other core subjects and finish with the subjects that have the fewest candidates.
English is one of the main requirements for the Junior Cycle and one that can be taken at a Higher or Common Level.
Junior Cycle English focuses on the development of language and literacy in the following strands: Oral Language, Reading, and Writing. This means that students learn what would be considered a ‘fully integrated experience of oral language, reading, and writing.’
The goals of Junior Cycle English include the following:
- To allow students to be creative through language and to gain enjoyment and continuing personal growth from English in all its forms
- To help students develop control over English using it and responding to it with purpose.
- Build skills of oral language, reading, and writing.
- Engage personally with and think critically about an increasingly broad range of spoken, written, and multimodal texts
- Develop an informed appreciation of literature
- Use students’ literacy skills to manage information needs and be able to synthesize and communicate appropriately
- Gain an understanding of the grammar and conventions of English
Junior Cert English Marking Scheme
With the transition from the previous Junior Cert, the marking system for the New Junior Cycle English has also evolved. The new Junior Cert is marked out of 200, of which the Final Examination is 180 marks (90%). The remaining 10% is achieved before the exam through an Assessment Task.
You will also have to complete two Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) which will be reported on separately in your Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) which is released a month or so after Junior Certificate results.
Finally, it is important to bear in mind that the new Junior Cycle’s Final Examination Grades are different from the old grading system so, if you are aiming for a certain result, you should take this into account.
You will get your CBA results in your JCPA in October, after your results. They will be reported using the following scheme: Exceptional, Above Expectations, In-Line with Expectations, and Yet to Meet Expectations.
JCT Oral Assessment: Everything You Need to Know
The CBA 1 (Oral Assessment) consists of a speech on a chosen topic submitted at the end of the Second
Year. This counts toward your JCPA, but not your final Junior Certificate grade. So, what is the purpose of this CBA? The main idea is for students to develop their research and communication skills.
You can choose any subject that you want and should carry on an ‘exploration’ over three school weeks where you will have to search for information online or through surveying, reading, and note-making. A good idea is to pick a subject you are passionate about so the speech will be smoother.
Another thing that might help your performance in this CBA is that the speech can be made in a number of formats like drama performances, recitations, a presentation, an interview… try to make it as fun and natural as possible for you.
While this CBA can be a challenge for those with fear of public speaking, it will only last three minutes in front of a teacher with a camera and can also be done in a group.
JCT Written Assessment: Tips to Ace it
The second CBA you need to take into consideration is the written assessment. This CBA is also part of your Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement and the Assessment Task, which goes toward your Final Grade.
It consists of pulling together your best pieces of writing by compiling a collection of your work in a variety of genres. The idea is for you to choose pieces you have written over your writing career in secondary school. This compilation is expected to be presented around Halloween of the third year.
You will be expected to present at least four pieces of work, each from a different genre which may include functional writing pieces, autobiographies, poetry, drama or film script, etc. Your teacher should be able to advise you about which pieces out of your selection are the best to submit. You should also do rough drafts to make sure the end-product showcases your best abilities.
Once you have selected your pieces, you will also have to do a Student Reflection Note where you’ll be asked why you chose this genre and why it showcases the best of your writing abilities.
Junior Cycle English: Private Tutors
Entering this stage of your academic journey can be a tough transition but it’s definitely not one that you should face alone. While your teachers and classmates are there to support you, there is also one extra resource you can access and take advantage of taking lessons with a private tutor.
Whether you are trying to get the best possible score in your exams or simply feel more confident in your CBAs, a private tutor could be the perfect way for you to get ahead and really thrive in your academic stands.
Why are private English tutors such a good idea? The first reason has to be with the amount of personalized attention and time that you will get from them. The school environment doesn’t allow for teachers to actually focus on one student’s progress the way that the student might need and the school plan, having a general approach for all the student body, isn’t ideal to cater to your academic needs.
This is why contacting a private English tutor in Ireland could be your winning card for Junior Cycle English. Say you are struggling with the written side of things but thriving in your oral comprehension. While the curriculum or syllabus in a regular classroom might have a more holistic approach, your private tutor will be able to focus exactly on the subject you need help with, making sure that you are well-rounded all across the board.
Contacting a private English tutor to help you with Junior Cycle English is quite simple: all you need to do is check out our website and look at the different profiles available to you. All of the tutors have different profiles, backgrounds, teaching experiences, and availabilities so make sure to ask for more information and get to know them a bit better before committing to your lessons.
Some questions you could ask are:
- What is your experience as a private tutor?
- How long have you been teaching Junior Cycle English?
- Do you offer online classes?
- What is your hourly rate?
Once you’ve gathered the information, you can also look at other students’ reviews to see what they think about the said tutor. Don’t miss out and get prepared to get your certificate with an English tutor now!
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