Information for 3rd Year Parents re Exams 30-04-2020

Information Letter for Parents and Guardians of Third year students in Coláiste Phobal Roscrea


Dear Parent / Guardian,

I am writing to you regarding the Junior Cycle Examinations for Third year students. As you are aware, the Minister for Education has announced that Junior Cycle Examinations have been cancelled and will not take place this year.

The State Examinations Commissions has clarified that there will be no state certified exam for third years this year. Furthermore, the Minister has yesterday given clearance for schools to come up with their own assessment criteria for students which may include data we already have on students.

In the interest of student health and well-being, Coláiste Phobal Roscrea will not run the examinations when the school re-opens, but will instead, run school-based certification assessments for Junior Cycle students during the end of year examinations period during May. These will take place from May 11th to May 22nd.

There will be no examination fee for these assessments.

The SEC has issued the following statement in relation to fees;

Junior Certificate/Cycle Fees : Students will not be required to pay an examination fees to the SEC in relation tothe 2020 Junior Cycle examinations, the SEC will be issuing a refund to all students who have already paid. There is no need to contact the State Examinations Commission as refunds will be made automatically. Further details will be sent to all schools inthe coming days.

The framework for the school assessments are outlined below.

Subject grades;

All practical oral and project assessment components have already been awarded 100% of the available marks in the relevant subjects.

70% to be given by your student’s teacher based on their professional judgement. This could be taken from averaging Christmas exam results, Mock exam results, other tests, e.g. class test or CBA already done where applicable, homework progress, class engagement all year or perhaps online engagement since March 13th.

30% for a teacher devised assessment to be done during the first three weeks in May.

The end of term subject grade will be combined with the 100% already given for oral, practical and project work (Where applicable) to determine the student’s overall final grade for each subject.

This overall final grade will appear on the students 3rd yr Report alongside their Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)

Classroom Based Assessments (CBA’s)

Where these have already been completed in 2nd and 3rd year, the grades will be included on the JCPA.

Where these have not been completed due to Covid 19 restrictions, teachers will either:

· Require students to complete a small project at home, or

· Assign a grade based on each student’s performance in class during 3rd year prior to school closure.

Each subject department will clearly outline to students what is required.

Grade descriptors for classroom based assessments are those used by the Department of Education and Skills as outlined below:

· Exceptional

· Above Expectations

· In Line with Expectations

· Yet to meet Expectations

All Third year students must engage in the process above for subject grades and CBA’s

Why have we taken the approach above?

As the Junior Certificate has been cancelled, there is no state based Certificate for Junior Cycle this year, which means that certification for all students in all schools will be school-based.

We believe that the approach taken by Coláiste Phobal Roscrea will help to keep 3rd Year students focused and engaged for these final weeks of the school term, thus delivering maximum benefit to the students. We believe that commencing the new school year with examinations for 3rd yr students who will by then be in 5th yr or Transition Year will not serve any purpose. We want to minimize disruption when we do return.

Their own health and well-being I believe would be better served if they did not have to face back to the scenario of exams.

There is currently no clarity about a return date for schools.

Kind regards,

Mr. Ml. O’ Connor