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Our Lady's College, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth

Junior Cycle Programme       

Vision of Junior Cycle 

“Junior cycle places 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.”   NCCA 


Junior Cycle is underpinned by eight principles of Junior Cycle

  • Learning to Learn 
  • Choice and Flexibility 
  • Quality 
  • Creativity and Innovation 
  • Engagement and Participation 
  • Continuity and Development 
  • Inclusive Education 
  • Wellbeing



8 Key Skills 

Eight key skills permeate across the entire curriculum. Through engaging with the key skills students will:  

  • be more actively engaged with learning 
  • take greater ownership of their learning 
  • have a critical engagement with digital technology
  • be encouraged to problem solve and think critically and creatively



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24 Statements of Learning   

The twenty-four statements of learning describe what your child should know, understand and value having participated in junior cycle.  



In Our Lady’s College, students’ study 9 subjects, 2 Short Courses and Wellbeing, all students working towards their Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement from 1st to 3rd year. 


Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement – JCPA 


Each student will receive a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement in the school year following the Junior Cycle exams.  

The JCPA will record:  

  • Results of Classroom Based Assessments 
  • Results of the Junior Cycle exams,  
  • Other Areas of Learning 
  • Wellbeing.  


Classroom Based Assessments 

All subjects and Short Courses have Classroom Based Assessments.  

Classroom-Based Assessments provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and skills in a way which would not be possible in a formal examination. 

The tasks of the CBA will cover a broad range of activities including  

  • oral presentations,  
  • written work of different types,  
  • practical or designing and making activities,  
  • scientific experiments,  
  • projects  
  • other suitable tasks. 

Classroom based assessments take place during normal class times for that subject. 

Each subject has 2 CBAs – one in second year and one in third year (except Irish where both are in third year).  

Short Courses (IT and one of Coding, Artistic Performance or Philosophy) have one CBA, this CBA takes place in 3rd year. 


Assessment Task 

For non-practical subjects following CBA 2 in 3rd year, students will reflect on the learning that has taken place on a written assessment task. This is set by the NCCA. The booklets are completed in class time. The booklets will be sent to the State Examinations Commission for marking. The Assessment task is worth 10% of the final exam. 

Practical Exams  

Home Economics and Music have a practical  


Dates For Classroom Based Assessments 

2nd Years  

Classroom Based Assessments take place from January to May of 2nd year.  

  • English, French, Geography, German, Graphics, History, Maths, Religious Education and Science are completed over a 3 week period. 
  • Business Studies is completed over 4 weeks
  • Art, Home Economics and Music are completed over 16 weeks.

3rd Years 

 Classroom Based Assessments take place from September to Easter 3rd year.  



Classroom Based Assessments have 4 descriptors that are awarded based on the nationally agreed Features of Quality for the CBA. These descriptors are reported directly from the school to the Department of Education and will appear on the students Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement.  


Descriptors for Classroom Based Assessments 

Yet to meet Expectations 

In line with Expectations 

Above Expectations 



Junior Cycle Exams 

Junior Cycle written exams take place for the 9 subjects being studied in June of 3rd Year and are worth 90% of the final grade (the remaining 10% is awarded for the Assessment Task). English, Irish and Maths can be taken at Higher or Ordinary level. All other subjects are taken at a common level. All subjects will be marked according to the new grading system.  


Exam Grades 

≥ 90 to 100       Distinction 

≥ 75 and < 90   Higher Merit 

≥ 55 and < 75   Merit 

≥ 40 and < 55   Achieved 

≥ 20 and < 40   Partially Achieved 

≥ 0 and < 20     Not Graded (NG) 


Other Areas of Learning 

The school will report on learning that has taken place outside of the subjects studied for Junior Cycle Exams.  

Examples include  

  • Student engagement with co-curricular or extra-curricular activities offered by the school such as participation in the school’s sporting activities or debating etc. 
  • Specific learning opportunities that do not form part of subjects or short courses, for example: leadership training; activities relating to guidance or membership of school clubs. 
  • Membership of their school’s Student Council. etc 

We encourage all student to get involved in Extracurricular activities within the school.  



Wellbeing is a new area of learning in schools. Wellbeing consists of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) and Physical Education (PE) and Guidance.  

Students will reflect on the learning that has taken place in these classes using the Wellbeing Indicators.  

This reflection together with the reflection on Other Areas of Learning complete the Junior Cycle of Achievement.  


Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement - JCPA 

Each student will receive a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement in the school year following the Junior Cycle exams.