Strategies to Activate the Key Skills:

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Jigsaw Strategy

Classroom Strategies

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  • Jigsaw Strategy
  • Strategies to Activate the Key Skills:

  • arrow_drop_downIntroduction arrow_drop_down

    JCT recognises the importance of teaching and learning strategies in the classroom. They activate student’s engagement with learning. There are currently 21 strategies available for download in PDF format. Some of these strategies are also supported by video exemplars reordered in Junior Cycle classrooms in Ireland. Each video is about 4 minutes in length and is designed to support you in implementing these strategies. Best practice suggests that teachers explore these strategies within their subject department and experiment and embed their use with their students. This section will be regularly updated. If you would like to see the inclusion of a particular strategy, please contact info@jct.ie.

JIGSAW Strategymore_vert

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JIGSAW Strategyclose

This is a cooperative learning activity. Students form a home team and are set a home team problem. They break up into "expert groups" and gain expert knowledge that feeds into the overall problem. Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each student's part is essential for the completion and full understanding of the home team problem.

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ALL STRATEGIES

JIGSAW Strategy more_vert

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JIGSAW Strategyclose

This is a cooperative learning activity. Students form a home team and are set a home team problem. They break up into "expert groups" and gain expert knowledge that feeds into the overall problem. Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each student's part is essential for the completion and full understanding of the home team problem.

View More

Think. Pair. Sh... more_vert

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Think. Pair. Share.close

This strategy is designed to provide students time and structure for thinking on a given topic, enabling them to develop individual ideas and share these ideas with a peer.

View More

3-2-1 more_vert

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3-2-1close

This strategy gives students a structure to record their understanding of what they have learned.
It also gives teachers the opportunity to identify aspects of the lesson that need more attention, as well as areas of student interest.

View More

Assigning Group... more_vert

View More

Assigning Group Rolesclose

Group work allows students to learn interactively as well as develop interpersonal and collaborative skills.

Students expected to participate actively prepare themselves better for class.

View More

Anticipation Ex... more_vert

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Anticipation Exerciseclose

This is a comprehension strategy that is used before reading to activate students' prior knowledge and build curiosity about a new topic.

This strategy also stimulates student interest in a topic and sets a purpose for reading, listening or watching. They teach students to make predictions, anticipate and verify predictions. They will connect new information to prior knowledge.

View More

Blue Sky Thinki... more_vert

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Blue Sky Thinkingclose

This strategy is a means of kick-starting a student's imagination and compels students to provide a variety of options or ideas.

View More

Brainstorm more_vert

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Brainstormclose

Brainstorm is a process encouraging students to generate ideas in a creative manner.

It gives students a chance to tap into previous knowledge and form connections with the current topic.

View More

Classification more_vert

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Classificationclose

This strategy allows students to demonstrate an understanding of relationships between things and helps them clarify concepts.

Used collaboratively, students develop communication skills and can deepen their understanding of the topic in hand.

View More

Diamond 9 more_vert

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Diamond 9close

This is a collaborative strategy to help students prioritise key factors.

View More

Dotmocracy more_vert

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Dotmocracyclose

In this strategy students work together through group vote to make informed decisions, to prioritise and reach consensus. It could be used in a Tutor Class, Year Group or Student Council to come to a democratic decision.

Dotmocracy gives every student an equal chance to have their opinion recorded even in the largest of groups.

View More

Facts / Falseho... more_vert

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Facts / Falsehoodsclose

Gives all students an opportunity to evaluate a series of statements which the teacher and/or other students devise and decide on whether they are true or false.

View More

Peer Assessment... more_vert

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Peer Assessment Using Success Criteriaclose

. . . success criteria summarise the key steps or ingredients the student needs in order to fulfil the learning intention - the main things to do, include or focus on.

Shirley Clarke 2010

View More

Peer feedback more_vert

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Peer feedbackclose

Provides students with an opportunity to learn from each other and improve their own work.

This strategy complements Peer Assessment Using Success Criteria.

View More

Kahoot! more_vert

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Kahoot!close

Quizzes are an engaging way of activating prior knowledge and revising content. Kahoot! is a quiz based classroom response system. It displays the quiz in a fun and exciting way that is appealing to students.

It gives teachers the opportunity to ask thought provoking questions, find out previous knowledge or revise a topic in a fun way.

View More

KWL more_vert

View More

KWLclose

This strategy serves several purposes: it elicits prior knowledge of the text, it sets a purpose for reading and it helps students monitor their comprehension.

By being aware of students' interests and prior knowledge the teacher has the ability to create projects and assignments that are challenging and that the students will enjoy. A KWL chart is a tool that can be used to inform teaching as well as guide student learning.

View More

Through the Len... more_vert

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Through the Lensclose

This strategy involves students interpreting, summarising, comparing and contrasting information using a different form of representation, generating new information and knowledge by adapting, designing and representing information digitally.

View More

Mindmap more_vert

View More

Mindmapclose

This strategy gives students a structure to summarise and represent visually what they have learned. It improves long-term memory of factual information.

After teaching a topic coggle could be used to summarise, organise and visualise the topic. It could also be used as a brainstorming exercise to summarise prior knowledge at the beginning of a topic.

View More

Placemat more_vert

View More

Placematclose

This activity gives all students the opportunity to work individually, to share ideas and learn from each other in a cooperative small-group discussion

View More

Ranking Ladder more_vert

View More

Ranking Ladderclose

Provides all students with an opportunity to engage in thinking at the evaluation level of Bloom's taxonomy.

A Ranking Ladder requires students to place items on rungs of a ladder in order from least to most important, as a group activity it allows students to be challenged as to why they rank one item above or below another.

View More

Skype more_vert

View More

Skypeclose

Using Skype in the classroom is a way for teachers to introduce the world beyond the classroom walls to their students. It creates a global community of learners.

It can develop critical thinking, geography skills, listening and speaking skills. It can be both teacher and student-led. It encourages collaboration, communication and it a useful tool for research.

View More

Stop and Jot more_vert

View More

Stop and Jotclose

This strategy gives students the opportunity to respond to questions in writing. Asking students to think and write about what they are learning promotes retention and comprehension.

These checks for understanding help students make sense of what they are learning before moving on in the lesson.

View More

Survey more_vert

View More

Surveyclose

This strategy encourages students to gather information relevant to subject or topic in question. It is particularly relevant to the key skill managing information and thinking. The students learn to design quality questions and subsequently analyse the results in order to come to valid conclusions.

View More

Randomisers more_vert

View More

Randomisersclose

This strategy enables a "no hands up" approach to classroom participation. Each student is chosen at random using an instrument or application (e.g. lollipop-sticks or a random name generator) when student participation is required.

View More

Venn Diagram more_vert

View More

Venn Diagramclose

This strategy allows students to graphically display the similarities and differences between two items or themes. It works very well with groups allowing oral processing of learning. A very effective strategy for comparing and contrasting.

View More

Padlet more_vert

View More

Padletclose

This is an online application 'a blank sheet of paper' that allows students to express their ideas on a given topic. Padlet allows students to post content relevant to a topic e.g. images, text, video, audio.

View More

  • arrow_drop_downIntroduction arrow_drop_down

    JCT recognises the importance of teaching and learning strategies in the classroom. They activate student’s engagement with learning. There are currently 21 strategies available for download in PDF format. Some of these strategies are also supported by video exemplars reordered in Junior Cycle classrooms in Ireland. Each video is about 4 minutes in length and is designed to support you in implementing these strategies. Best practice suggests that teachers explore these strategies within their subject department and experiment and embed their use with their students. This section will be regularly updated. If you would like to see the inclusion of a particular strategy, please contact info@jct.ie.

JIGSAW Strategymore_vert

View More

JIGSAW Strategyclose

This is a cooperative learning activity. Students form a home team and are set a home team problem. They break up into "expert groups" and gain expert knowledge that feeds into the overall problem. Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each student's part is essential for the completion and full understanding of the home team problem.

View More

ALL STRATEGIES

JIGSAW Strategy more_vert

View More

JIGSAW Strategyclose

This is a cooperative learning activity. Students form a home team and are set a home team problem. They break up into "expert groups" and gain expert knowledge that feeds into the overall problem. Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each student's part is essential for the completion and full understanding of the home team problem.

View More

Think. Pair. Sh... more_vert

View More

Think. Pair. Share.close

This strategy is designed to provide students time and structure for thinking on a given topic, enabling them to develop individual ideas and share these ideas with a peer.

View More

3-2-1 more_vert

View More

3-2-1close

This strategy gives students a structure to record their understanding of what they have learned.
It also gives teachers the opportunity to identify aspects of the lesson that need more attention, as well as areas of student interest.

View More

Assigning Group... more_vert

View More

Assigning Group Rolesclose

Group work allows students to learn interactively as well as develop interpersonal and collaborative skills.

Students expected to participate actively prepare themselves better for class.

View More

Anticipation Ex... more_vert

View More

Anticipation Exerciseclose

This is a comprehension strategy that is used before reading to activate students' prior knowledge and build curiosity about a new topic.

This strategy also stimulates student interest in a topic and sets a purpose for reading, listening or watching. They teach students to make predictions, anticipate and verify predictions. They will connect new information to prior knowledge.

View More

Blue Sky Thinki... more_vert

View More

Blue Sky Thinkingclose

This strategy is a means of kick-starting a student's imagination and compels students to provide a variety of options or ideas.

View More

Brainstorm more_vert

View More

Brainstormclose

Brainstorm is a process encouraging students to generate ideas in a creative manner.

It gives students a chance to tap into previous knowledge and form connections with the current topic.

View More

Classification more_vert

View More

Classificationclose

This strategy allows students to demonstrate an understanding of relationships between things and helps them clarify concepts.

Used collaboratively, students develop communication skills and can deepen their understanding of the topic in hand.

View More

Diamond 9 more_vert

View More

Diamond 9close

This is a collaborative strategy to help students prioritise key factors.

View More

Dotmocracy more_vert

View More

Dotmocracyclose

In this strategy students work together through group vote to make informed decisions, to prioritise and reach consensus. It could be used in a Tutor Class, Year Group or Student Council to come to a democratic decision.

Dotmocracy gives every student an equal chance to have their opinion recorded even in the largest of groups.

View More

Facts / Falseho... more_vert

View More

Facts / Falsehoodsclose

Gives all students an opportunity to evaluate a series of statements which the teacher and/or other students devise and decide on whether they are true or false.

View More

Peer Assessment... more_vert

View More

Peer Assessment Using Success Criteriaclose

. . . success criteria summarise the key steps or ingredients the student needs in order to fulfil the learning intention - the main things to do, include or focus on.

Shirley Clarke 2010

View More

Peer feedback more_vert

View More

Peer feedbackclose

Provides students with an opportunity to learn from each other and improve their own work.

This strategy complements Peer Assessment Using Success Criteria.

View More

Kahoot! more_vert

View More

Kahoot!close

Quizzes are an engaging way of activating prior knowledge and revising content. Kahoot! is a quiz based classroom response system. It displays the quiz in a fun and exciting way that is appealing to students.

It gives teachers the opportunity to ask thought provoking questions, find out previous knowledge or revise a topic in a fun way.

View More

KWL more_vert

View More

KWLclose

This strategy serves several purposes: it elicits prior knowledge of the text, it sets a purpose for reading and it helps students monitor their comprehension.

By being aware of students' interests and prior knowledge the teacher has the ability to create projects and assignments that are challenging and that the students will enjoy. A KWL chart is a tool that can be used to inform teaching as well as guide student learning.

View More

Through the Len... more_vert

View More

Through the Lensclose

This strategy involves students interpreting, summarising, comparing and contrasting information using a different form of representation, generating new information and knowledge by adapting, designing and representing information digitally.

View More

Mindmap more_vert

View More

Mindmapclose

This strategy gives students a structure to summarise and represent visually what they have learned. It improves long-term memory of factual information.

After teaching a topic coggle could be used to summarise, organise and visualise the topic. It could also be used as a brainstorming exercise to summarise prior knowledge at the beginning of a topic.

View More

Placemat more_vert

View More

Placematclose

This activity gives all students the opportunity to work individually, to share ideas and learn from each other in a cooperative small-group discussion

View More

Ranking Ladder more_vert

View More

Ranking Ladderclose

Provides all students with an opportunity to engage in thinking at the evaluation level of Bloom's taxonomy.

A Ranking Ladder requires students to place items on rungs of a ladder in order from least to most important, as a group activity it allows students to be challenged as to why they rank one item above or below another.

View More

Skype more_vert

View More

Skypeclose

Using Skype in the classroom is a way for teachers to introduce the world beyond the classroom walls to their students. It creates a global community of learners.

It can develop critical thinking, geography skills, listening and speaking skills. It can be both teacher and student-led. It encourages collaboration, communication and it a useful tool for research.

View More

Stop and Jot more_vert

View More

Stop and Jotclose

This strategy gives students the opportunity to respond to questions in writing. Asking students to think and write about what they are learning promotes retention and comprehension.

These checks for understanding help students make sense of what they are learning before moving on in the lesson.

View More

Survey more_vert

View More

Surveyclose

This strategy encourages students to gather information relevant to subject or topic in question. It is particularly relevant to the key skill managing information and thinking. The students learn to design quality questions and subsequently analyse the results in order to come to valid conclusions.

View More

Randomisers more_vert

View More

Randomisersclose

This strategy enables a "no hands up" approach to classroom participation. Each student is chosen at random using an instrument or application (e.g. lollipop-sticks or a random name generator) when student participation is required.

View More

Venn Diagram more_vert

View More

Venn Diagramclose

This strategy allows students to graphically display the similarities and differences between two items or themes. It works very well with groups allowing oral processing of learning. A very effective strategy for comparing and contrasting.

View More

Padlet more_vert

View More

Padletclose

This is an online application 'a blank sheet of paper' that allows students to express their ideas on a given topic. Padlet allows students to post content relevant to a topic e.g. images, text, video, audio.

View More

Welcome


Donal O'Mahony
Donal O'Mahony
Deputy Director
Whole School Support and School Leadership

Welcome to the Whole School section of the Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) website.

Welcome to the Whole School CPD section of our website. JCT seeks to support all teachers as they implement the Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) in their schools. Whole School CPD has commenced in schools with a range of workshops including:

• Framework for Junior Cycle (2015)
• Assessment and Learning
• Classroom Strategies
• Statements of Learning
• Key Skills
• Level 2 Learning Programmes

I invite you to explore the site and in particular, you will find a copy of the PowerPoint slides, resources and handouts, which we used at the most recent workshops.

JCT has a team of regional leaders who are available to provide advice and support schools in their implementation of the new framework. Details of team leaders are to be found on this section of the site.

Currently the Whole-School CPD days are being rolled out to ETB schools only and I encourage all ETB schools to avail of this service.

If you require any further information, please contact JCT by way of our JCT Support Enquiry Form.

Kind regards
John Hennessy
Deputy Director (Acting)

You may also like to follow our activity on Twitter

Twitter image



Latest News

January 2016

The JCT Whole School Team have now delivered whole school CPD in over 130 ETB schools. We are now in contact with schools in the Community and Comprehensive sector.
The CPD workshops have been well received by principals and teachers

  • Framework for Junior Cycle: Context and Rationale

  • Key Skills

  • Assessment

  • Statements of Learning

  • Level 2 Learning Programmes

  • Short Courses

  • Strategies for Teaching and Learning

An important innovation is the development of the teaching and learning strategies section of our website to support the activation of the key skills in the classroom strategies




Keep up to date!  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q1. Why are we changing the junior cycle, when the current system is working well?

    There is significant evidence of the need to change junior cycle provision. For example, a significant number of first year students do not make progress in English and Mathematics click here A number of second year students disengage from their learning and in many instances, do not reconnect (click here). The experience of many third year students is dominated by preparation for the Junior Certificate examination where the emphasis is on rote learning and on rehearsing questions and answers for the examination click here

    Research has also shown that the quality of students’ engagement with the school, with teachers and with learning is central to developing the skills and competences that are necessary for students in today’s world.

    Furthermore, there is strong evidence that ongoing assessment of students’ progress and achievement over time, rather than the use of a once-off measure in the form of a final examination, can improve the quality of learning outcomes across the 3 years of lower secondary education. (Black and William 1998 click here). For all of these reasons, new approaches to curriculum and most particularly to assessment are necessary.

    The Framework for Junior Cycle will enable schools to offer their students a 3 year junior cycle experience that is both a progression from primary education and a preparation for senior cycle and life-long learning. By placing students at the centre of the educational experience, the Department of Education and Skills want to ensure that junior cycle education will improve learning experiences and outcomes (p1 “A Framework for Junior Cycle”).

    Schools will have greater autonomy in developing their own programmes for junior cycle. This will allow schools to cater to the specific needs of their students and the school’s context. It will support new forms of assessment which are designed to encourage better teaching and learning.

    The curriculum will, as at present, be comprised of subjects, but there will also be short courses. Short courses offer schools the opportunity, through curriculum and assessment development, to connect to their communities, consolidate and strengthen aspects of student learning and to include new and different learning experiences and digital technology in junior cycle programmes. Nine short courses have been developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), 7 at level 3 and 2 at level 2 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and these are available for schools to use in their new junior cycle programme. Schools will also be able to innovate and create their own short courses by way of an approved NCCA template.

    In addition, subjects and short courses provide students with opportunities to develop a range of key skills. Key skills help learners develop knowledge, capabilities and attitudes that support them in learning how to learn and in taking responsibility for learning. Students will rarely develop these skills in isolation; the richer the learning experience the more coherent and integrated the development of the skills will be. Literacy and numeracy, because of their foundational nature and central importance across the curriculum, are the most significant of these skills, but they are not distinguished from the other skills.

    The junior cycle curriculum focuses on 8 key skills:

    • Being creative

    • Communicating

    • Being literate

    • Being numerate

    • Managing information and thinking

    • Managing myself

    • Staying well

    • Working with others

  • Q2. If junior cycle is changing what about senior cycle?

    Developments at senior cycle are already underway. New specifications have already been prepared for the 3 science subjects, which will provide very good progression from the new junior cycle Science Specification. As with the junior cycle, developments at senior cycle see the further development of key skills and focuses on student-centred learning and new approaches to assessment.

    As well as the sciences, Leaving Certificate Economics, Agricultural Science and Applied Mathematics are currently under review. Other subjects will be reviewed as necessary, in line with developments at junior cycle, over the coming years.

  • Q3. What are the implications of the revised junior cycle for my subject area?

    Subjects continue to play an important role in the Framework for Junior Cycle. New curriculum specifications will be developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). The new curriculum specifications for 21 subjects will be outcomes based and in most cases, there will be common level specifications. The exceptions to this will be the subjects: English, Irish and Mathematics, where the specifications will be examined at 2 levels, Higher level and Ordinary level.

    Irish and Mathematics will be designed for a minimum of 240 hours of engagement across the 3 years. Key skills, including literacy and numeracy (where appropriate) will, in the future, be embedded in the learning outcomes of every junior cycle subject and short course. Thus, teachers will be clear on where the key skills fit into a subject, short course or priority learning unit and how to build the skills into class planning, learning and assessment.

    The specifications for subjects, Priority Learning Units and 9 short courses have been developed by the NCCA and are published on the NCCA’s Curriculum Online website (click here). These online curriculum specifications will include the learning outcomes, expectations for learners and examples of student work in each subject and short course along with a bank of assessment items for school and classroom use. The online facility will also include customised links that will give parents and students the opportunity to access these new specifications. Specifications are not only an important source of information for parents and students but, in addition, are a vital planning tool for teachers.

    Schools will have flexibility when including other subjects in their programme. Students will study a maximum of 10 subjects. The specifications for these subjects will be designed for 200 hours of learner engagement during the 3 years of junior cycle. The 200 hours should be viewed as a minimum and does not preclude a school devoting more time where it is needed or desired. The amount of time devoted to a subject can vary from school to school according to school priorities. Schools will have the autonomy to determine which subjects, short courses and other learning opportunities will be offered in their schools

    When are subject specifications being introduced?

    The new curriculum specifications for subjects are being introduced on a phased basis. This process began with the implementation of English in 2014. The specification for each subject will be available in schools a year prior to its implementation with first year students. The phased introduction is as follows:

    Subject Year of Introduction Year of Certification
    English 2014 2017
    Science and Business Studies 2016 2019
    Irish, Art Craft Design and Modern Languages 2017 2020
    Mathematics, Home Economics, Music and Geography 2018 2021
    Technology, Technical Graphics, Metalwork, Materials Technology (Wood) Religious Education, Jewish Studies, Classical Studies, History 2019 2022
  • Q4. What are the implications of the revised junior cycle for assessment in the different subject areas?

    The junior certificate examination will be replaced by a new model of assessment that includes a final State Examinations Commission (SEC) examination in each subject, together with Classroom-Based Assessment (CBA) components. Short courses will be assessed through similar CBA’s in second and/or third year of the junior cycle.

    Subject Specifications, Assessment Guidelines and an Assessment Toolkit will support learning, teaching and assessment in the revised junior cycle. These can be found on www.curriculumonline.ie

    Subject specifications will have a number of features in common. They will:

    • be outcomes based

    • reflect a continuum of learning with a focus on learner progression

    • set out clear expectations for learners

    As the new subjects are phased in, the following arrangements for assessment will be put in place.

    • Students will engage with a State certified external examination in June of third year. This will continue to be set administered and corrected by the SEC and will include an Assessment Task worth 10% of the final mark, completed by the student in class time during third year. There will be particular arrangements around the Assessment Task within the Technology subjects.

    • Students will engage with two Classroom-Based Assessments, one in second year and one in third year. CBA’s will provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and skills in a way that would not be possible in a formal exam. CBA’s will facilitate formative feedback to students during their engagement with the CBA and at the end of the process. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is responsible for the Assessment Guidelines, features of quality and annotated examples of student work in relation to the CBA’s.

    • Immediately after students complete each of the CBA’s (to a national timetable determined by the NCCA), a Subject Learning and Assessment Review (SLAR) meeting in held. Teachers will share and discuss samples of their assessment of student work and build common understanding about the quality of student learning. Teachers will be supported in this process with annotated national exemplars of student work. This process over time will help develop greater understanding of standards and ensure consistency of judgement about student performance.

    These new assessment arrangements will be quality assured through the work of practicing teachers, the Inspectorate, the NCCA, SEC and ongoing Continuing Professional Development provided by Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT).

  • Q5. Does each individual subject have to address all 24 statements of learning?

    The learning at the core of Junior Cycle is described in the twenty-four statements of learning. The twenty-four statements, underpinned by the eight principles, are central to planning for, the students’ experience of, and the evaluation of the school’s junior cycle programme. Schools will ensure that all statements of learning and the eight key skills feature in the programmes offered to their junior cycle students.
    The detailed learning outcomes will be clearly set out in subject and short course specifications.

  • Q6. Is it necessary to engage with the key skills in subjects where the specification is not yet published?

    Yes. As teachers, we are responsible for the development of the key skills of all the students we teach, whether or not our subject specification is published.

    As subject specifications are phased in, there will be support for the key skills particularly relevant to that subject, but in the meantime, all teachers should be exploring how they will embed key skills in their practice.

    To this end, the Whole School Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provided by Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) includes a two-hour workshop for teachers on key skills.

    JCT is also developing a number of strategies, supporting teaching and learning around key skills, which teachers and students can use in the classroom.

    The NCCA has also developed toolkits relating to 6 of the key skills. (click here) Through engagement with SSE, your school has an existing literacy and numeracy policy with link teachers now being trained by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (click here).

  • Q7. Does the DES Inspectorate expect to see evidence of key skills development embedded in a teacher’s planning and practice?

    Yes. The Inspectorate will expect to see evidence of key skills development in planning and practice. This is already happening in relation to the implementation in schools of the national literacy and numeracy strategy. The development of students’oracy, for example, is already well established, not just in English, but across all subject areas. This is also true of teachers who practice an investigative approach with their students, whether in maths, the sciences, history, geography etc.

    Remember, key skills are very much about how the students participate and engage with learning. The emphasis is on the process of learning. The Inspectorate has cautioned against key skills moments, encouraging ongoing integration of the key skills into the classroom, short courses and other learning experiences.

    This is a process that is starting and the Inspectorate is aware that it will develop over time. JCT will work closely with teachers and the Inspectorate and put in place any supports in relation to key skills tha t are necessary during the implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle

  • Q8. Are short courses compulsory?

    No. In the new junior cycle, the programme a student follows must be consistent with and allow access to the 24 statements of learning. Some schools are already including short courses in their junior cycle programme and are invited to embrace the flexibility that short courses and other learning experiences can provide.

    Schools obviously need to plan very carefully how they will provide access to the 24 statements of learning for their students. When the school is inspected or evaluated, or perhaps when parents read the published programme, the failure to address the statements of learning will be evident and be brought to the attention of the school.

    When the question ‘what will be different about the new junior cycle?’ is raised, one of the responses is, that it offers schools exciting new possibilities to plan learning programmes that are varied and interesting for students. By providing a range of subjects and short courses selected to appeal to and challenge students, there is a greater likelihood of students engaging more fully in their learning and assessment.

  • Q9. What training and resources will be made available to schools and teachers?

    In the 2013/2014 school year, there was a focus on supporting school leaders and teachers as they prepared for the introduction of English and a new junior cycle programme in 2014

    As schools embark on the design, planning and development of approaches to the Framework for Junior Cycle, JCT will make available support materials, which supplement and draw on materials that have already been developed by schools themselves. These will focus on the fundamentals of the new Framework, including its principles, key skills and statements of learning. Over time, JCT personnel will also become available to schools to work with whole staff, school leaders, subject departments, individual teachers and other education partners, on areas which schools identify for further development.

    It is recognised that school leaders are key partners in the school change process. School principals and deputy principals will be responsible for providing appropriate leadership as their school introduces the Framework. To assist in changes already, or about to get underway, JCT will make Continuing Professional Development (CPD) available to school leaders in areas such as, change management, curriculum leadership and planning, including short courses and priority learning units, timetabling and educational assessment, including moderation.

    As various aspects of the Framework are introduced in schools, teachers will be invited to avail of CPD opportunities in areas such as, teaching and learning strategies, short courses, priority learning units and subject specifications. The new focus on assessment, including moderation, will be a challenge for schools and will be a main focus of CPD. The Framework contains a schedule for the phased implementation of subject specifications. The CPD programme will prioritise subject teachers for engagement in CPD as each subject is introduced. Teachers will generally be provided with 3 full days’ CPD during school time.

  • Q10. Who was consulted about this revised junior cycle?

    On April 21st 2010, the Minister for Education launched the consultation process on junior cycle reform. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) produced a document entitled Innovation and Identity: Ideas for a new Junior Cycle (click here) and invited feedback from teachers, parents and all interested bodies.

    A large volume of submissions were made by teachers, parents and a variety of interested parties and a list of these individual submissions can be viewed online (click here). In February 2011, the NCCA published Junior Cycle Developments Innovation and Identity: Summary of Consultation Findings’ which can also be accessed online (click here). This consultation process was a cornerstone in the final formulation of A Framework for Junior Cycle.

    The NCCA also gathered feedback through its work with network schools which trialled aspects of the new junior cycle. Teachers can still give feedback on the draft subject specifications which will be presented one year prior to their introduction for first year students.

Regions

Map Legend:


Region 1- North East:
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Region 1 - North East:
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Region 2 - East:
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Region 2 - East:
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Region 3 - South East:
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Region 3 - South East:
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Region 4 - North West:
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Region 4 - North West:
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Region 5 - West:
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Region 5 - West:
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Region 6 - South West:
Education Centres


Region 6 - South West:
Regional Leader