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07 June, 2017 - Ministers Bruton and Halligan wish students sitting State examinations good luck

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, and the Minister of State for Training and Skills, John Halligan TD, today (Wednesday) wished all students who are beginning the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations well.

Minister Bruton said:

“Thousands of students today will start their Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations.  I want to remind everyone sitting state exams that while these exams are important, they are just one pathway in education. A range of opportunities now exist which will help students to fulfil their ambitions. 

“In addition to higher and further education there are many alternative routes to rewarding careers now available.

“We are also developing a range of new apprenticeship and traineeship programmes in new sectors. Work is well advanced to extend the apprenticeship model into 25 new areas by the end of 2018, to provide new opportunities in sectors like international financial services; accounting; advanced manufacturing and in new craft and services areas.

 “For those sitting Junior Cycle English today it will be the first subject to be taken by students as part of the new Framework for Junior Cycle. Those students will already have completed work accounting for 10 per cent of their marks in English.”

“I am delighted that the new approaches to teaching and learning in the Junior Cycle are supporting students to actively engage in their learning and to develop the skills needed for the 21st century.

“It is very important that we recognise the important role of teachers and principals in helping their students prepare for state exams. We are fortunate in Ireland to have such a dedicated and committed teaching profession. Teachers perform a vital role in educating our children and make such an important contribution to the life of our state.

 

Minister of State Halligan said: 

“While this can be a stressful time, remember your family and friends are there to support you over the next few weeks. To parents, I would say reassure your child that the examination system is not designed to catch them out and that every question asked is something which they have covered with their teachers over the past two or three years. And remind them that there is a variety of course options open to all students which can ultimately bring them to their desired career area.”

Under the Framework for Junior Cycle, being rolled out up to 2022, students will no longer be assessed solely on the basis of a single terminal examination conducted by the State Examinations Commission at the end of Third Year. A new dual approach to assessment has been introduced aimed at supporting student learning over the three years of Junior Cycle, by giving greater prominence to classroom-based assessment and formative assessment. This will enable learners to demonstrate a much wider range of skills and abilities in their learning.

When fully implemented, the modernised Junior Cycle programme will provide each student, and their parents, with a much broader picture of the student’s learning in a new Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). The JCPA record will reflect all of the learning opportunities and experiences encountered during the three years of Junior Cycle and will provide opportunities for all this learning to be valued, acknowledged and affirmed.

Today’s Junior Cycle English examination will be a single two hour written examination. 

The Ministers also acknowledged the work of the State Examinations Commission (SEC) which is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the examinations which this year involves almost 121,500 students.

 

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

  • 56,580 students are entered to sit the Leaving Certificate, including the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.
  • 2,814 students are entered to do the Leaving Certificate Applied.
  • 62,076 students are entered to sit the Junior Certificate.
  • The examinations commence on Wednesday 7th June 2017 and will continue until 21st June 2017 for Junior Certificate and 23rd June 2017 for Leaving Certificate.
  • The results of the Leaving Certificate will be issued on Wednesday 16th August 2017 and will be available on line from 12 noon that day.  Junior Certificate results will be issued in September.
  • The examinations are overseen by the State Examinations Commission. More information is available at www.examinations.ie