Kilrush Community School

Junior Cycle

The introduction of the Junior Cycle began in September 2014. The vision of this programme is to place 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.

The Junior Cycle – Grading System

The manner in which the phased-in Junior Cycle subjects are graded has changed.
Traditional grades will now be replaced by the following:

Percentage (%) Grade
≥90% – 100 Distinction
≥75% < 90 Higher Merit
≥55% < 75 Merit
≥40% < 55 Achieved
≥20% < 40 Partially Achieved
≥0% < 20 Not Graded

Levels for Subjects

  • First, Second, and Third Year Students may still opt to undertake English, Irish and Mathematics at Higher or Ordinary Level while all other subjects must be taken at Common Level.

Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs)

  • Students will also have to complete two CBAs (Classroom Based Assessments) in each Junior Cycle subject. One of the CBAs will take place in Second Year and the other in Third Year. There is one exception however, with both CBAs in Irish taking place in Third Year.
  • CBAs will be undertaken according to a national timetable over a defined time period, as set by the NCCA. CBAs will be carried out in class and will be supervised and assessed by the student’s subject teacher. They will be assessed by the teacher, using the features of quality and assessment guidelines from the NCCA.

CBAs will be assessed using the following descriptors:

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In line with expectations
  • Yet to Meet Expectations

Assessment Task (AT)

This is a written assessment that requires the students to reflect on the skills, knowledge and understanding that they developed throughout their experience of the second CBA.

The assessment task will be completed during class time under the supervision of a teacher and will take place over two lesson periods.

For more information on the Junior Cycle click here for a short video that describes the Junior Cycle Journey

Understanding the Junior Cycle Information for Parents of Post- Primary Students

See link

Junior Cycle Certificate of Achievement(JCPA)

The certification for Junior Cert has changed, instead of receiving an official certificate containing just your JC results, you will be receiving a Junior Cycle Certificate of Achievement(JCPA). This JCPA contains:
  • The results of your JC State Exams.
  • The results/descriptors for your completed Classroom Based Assessments completed in school.
  • Information on ‘Other Areas of Learning’ you have undertaken during 1st, 2nd and 3rd year in school (see below).


Other Areas of Learning

An important aspect of your Junior Cycle is 'Other Areas of Learning'. This includes any extra curricular activities or school competitions you took part in over the three years of your Junior Cycle. Any school participation or achievement you have can appear on the certificate you are awarded after the exams at the end of third year. If you have not taken part in any activity so far, please look for the list of activities offered and get involved.

Suitable Achievements for inclusion as an OAL;

        • Awards you have won for sporting or cultural achievements at KCS.
        • Winning a prize for attitude, behaviour or attendance at a school award ceremony.
        • Being part of a school sports team / panel.
        • Member of the Students’ Council.
        • Entered a competition-BT Young Scientist/first year history competition.
        • Taking part in the organisation of a charity fundraising event in the school.

More Examples of OALs

        • Any learning experience you feel has benefitted you during time at Kilrush Community School.
        • Performed at a school musical, dramatic or dance performance.
        • Taken part in organising a school activity eg. mass, event.
        • Initiatives undertaken in class such as a geography/history project, winning a baking prize, completing a design in woodwork/metalwork, making models in science, writing a poem for Friendship week
        • Being a part of any school club

Reporting on Wellbeing in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)

Students’ achievements in short courses taken in KCS will be recorded on the JCPA in the section called ‘Short courses’. Students will have completed the classroom-based assessment (CBA) associated with the short course (CSPE, PE, SPHE) and other wellbeing related short courses.

KCS will also report on students’ learning in Wellbeing in ‘Other areas of learning’. In this section, we will be reporting on areas of learning beyond the subjects and short courses reported on in the JCPA. Students may also include a comment on their learning in Wellbeing.

Submitting OALs:

  • Your activities can be recorded on page XX of your school journal.
  • You should aim for 2 to 5 OALs.
  • Keep the word count under 120 words.
  • Link what you did to the key skills and statements of learning (see below for guidance)
  • Decide with your parents or guardians the 2 to 5 OALs that you want included in your JCPA. Remember to focus on the learning achieved (skills and knowledge) rather that the activity itself and link the OAL with a key skill.
  • Submit all OAL's in the Microsoft form here.
    • You can also choose from a range of OAL's as appropriate.
    • Remember this is going on your JCPA so use correct English and don't make any spelling or grammar mistakes.
    • Note you must sign in with your MS-365 account.




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Kilrush, Co. Clare, Ireland V15KT04
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