Junior Cycle Business is made up of three strands:
Personal Finance: students develop skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about managing their finances. This includes budgeting, saving, borrowing, insurance and taxation. They learn how to be a responsible consumer.
Enterprise: this encourages students to develop entrepreneurial skills. In second year, students complete a Classroom Based Assessment in Enterprise. This encourages students to spot a niche in the market and set up a business to fill that gap. They carry out market research by distributing questionnaires. They analyse the results of market research by designing bar charts and pie charts. They choose the correct price by covering costs and allowing for their profit. They decide where to sell the product to consumers. Finally, they reach the target market through various advertising media. Students have entered the Enterprise Competition run by the local Enterprise Office and have won several county awards as well as representing their school in the All-Ireland Final of the competition.
Our Economy: Students understand the dynamic relationship between local, national and international economic situations. Students learn about Demand and Supply of goods and services, the role of government in managing the economy, and about economic issues such as trade, employment and the EU. In third year, students give an oral presentation on any topic related to the business course. They design slides on Powerpoint to assist their presentation. They can use support materials to enhance their presentation. We visit the local bank and a business to give students the practical experience of business in the real world.
The exam is now set as a common paper. This ensures it is accessible for students of all levels of ability, while at the same time challenging the more academic students. Students have won awards for excellent results in Junior Cycle Business in conjunction with National University of Ireland, Galway.
Ms A. Fallon/Ms M. Duignan
Engineering is a technology-based subject, where students will learn the following skills:
• The properties of different materials and how they are made.
• Learn about basic electronic components and how to construct simple electronic circuits.
• Learn about basic mechanisms and how to construct basic mechanisms.
• How to read and follow a technical drawing.
• Skills in shaping, cutting, and joining materials.
• How to use a wide variety of tools and machines correctly and safely.
The exam in 3rd year has a project element worth 70% specified and marked by the State Examinations Commission. The remaining 30% is a theory exam set and marked by the State Examinations Commission.
Mr J. Fleming
French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the fifth most widely spoken language in the world.
France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 87 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit France and offers insights into France’s culture and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to French-speaking parts of the world.
In French, students are developing linguistic competence such as developing the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing the target language in a range of situations and contexts.
Students learning a language also develop other skills: they learn about cultural awareness and may develop an ability to see the world from different perspectives; they also develop creativity and problem solving as they find new ways of understanding and communicating a message.
Junior Cycle French focuses on three main strands: Communicative awareness, Language awareness and Socio-cultural knowledge and intercultural awareness. These three strands are incorporated throughout the learning of French from first year to third year. They are intertwined throughout all aspects of French learning. Junior Cycle French is a common level paper and there are two Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs). CBA 1 is an oral communication and occurs at the end of Second Year. CBA 2 is based on the student portfolio of work and is carried out around Christmas of Third Year. During Second Year and the first term of Third Year, students collect work they wish to have in their portfolio. This will mostly be work compiled from normal classwork-blogs, emails, letters, video recordings, cartoons, poems etc. Building their portfolio is a creative activity whereby students can display their individual strengths and interests. There is also an Assessment task that occurs after CBA 2, and is directly linked to CBA 2. It is set by the State Exams Commission and marked by them. It is worth 10% of the student’s overall grade. Like the rest of the exam, it is at a common level. The written part of the exam accounts for 90% of the overall mark, 35% of that consisting of an aural component.
Learning a language allows us to communicate and share knowledge with one another. You will not fully master a language unless you understand the culture, just like you will never fully understand a culture until you have immersed yourself in a study of their language.
Ms P. Maher/Ms M. Kavanagh
Graphics is a technology-based subject.
In the 1st year you will be learning how to communicate, draw and design with freehand sketching and more precisely using a range of technical graphics equipment. In 2nd year you will have the ability to move on to more complicated 2d and 3d drawings both on paper and on computer using computerised software such as SolidWorks and OnShape.
The exam in 3rd year has a project element worth 30% involving sketching, research and 3d computer modelling. The remaining 70% is assessed with a sit-down board drawing exam. In graphics you learn how to draw all types of shapes, objects and logos that you see in the world around you every day.
You will learn how to break these complex shapes down to their bare geometric forms. You will also find that it can both help and be helped by the other technology subjects such as Wood Technology or Engineering. Graphics is a subject that has worldwide recognition and you can use it and the language it teaches you and it opens many career paths in the future.
Mr A. Burke.
In first year, we introduce students to both practical and theory elements of the subject. There is great emphasis put onto learning and understanding nutrition to encourage each student to live a healthy and sustainable life as an individual and a member of the school community. Cookery classes are a core element to first year Home Economics and each student will be given the opportunity to develop new skills and tackle new challenges. We master the basic skills through practice and application of skills in both theory and practical classes. Teacher demonstrations are core to delivering a practical lesson so students of all abilities can flourish in this environment.
In second year, we delve into our first Classroom-based assessment which is creative textiles. The purpose of this is to make a textiles item for an individual or the home. Students are given the opportunity to unleash their creative side whilst also learning key craft skills such a tacking and sewing on a button, a simple life skill that will stand to them in the future. Cookery classes are also completed in second year to improve practical skills learnt in year 1 of the course. Theory topics include Interior Design which gives students an opportunity to unleash their ‘Designer in Me’ side. This also gives room for learners to improve their technology skills by designing their own rooms using suitable app’s on their phones/laptops.
In third year, Home Economics focuses on examination preparation and CBA 2. CBA 2 is the food literacy skills brief worth 50% of their overall grade. Students apply the design brief process to prepare, cook and serve a meal suitable for a certain lifestyle, special diet, special occasion or age group. This encourages students to use their skills and knowledge about nutrition, special diets and recipe modification to create a nutritional but appetising meal. Once again, cookery classes are a core element to Junior Cycle Home Economics.
Home Economics is a worldwide recognised discipline and develops students’ essential lifeskills and personal independence. It supports the development of students who are critical, creative thinkers and encourages students to be problem solvers capable of making ethically and socially responsible decisions.
Ms B. Hannon/Ms N. McManus
D.C.S. offers Music to both Junior Cert and Leaving Cert levels.
- Music is an extremely important subject for all children to learn and can lead to better brain development, increases in human connection, and even stress relief.
- Music education is also important because it will give students a way to connect with other people. Children are naturally very social, and it’s important to encourage them to build relationships by providing them with experiences to share with each other.
- Music education integrates so many different subject areas all at once.
- Music will also teach children to develop time management skills and Music is an excellent way to relieve stress. This is significant for students who may feel overwhelmed by schoolwork and try to balance extracurricular activities.
- Musical training has shown to lead to improvements in a wide variety of different skills, including memory and spatial learning for example. In addition, language skills such as verbal memory, literacy and verbal intelligence have been shown to strongly benefit from musical training.
- Music can raise someone’s mood, get them excited, or make them calm and relaxed. Self-awareness and mood management skills are vital for all.
- Music fosters team-building skills and social awareness which endures a lifetime.
- Music also allows us to feel nearly or possibly all emotions that we experience in our lives. The possibilities are endless. It is an important part of their lives and fills a need or an urge to create music.
- Solo/Group Instrumental performance
- Solo/Group Singing
- Critical and focused listening skills
- Composition skills developed
- Musical genres and historical periods explored
- In-class ukulele, guitar & tin-whistle tuition and performance.
- Development of existing instrumental skills.
- Choral training and competition
- Practical Exam – 30% of JC grade: 50% of LC grade.
- Masses, Carol Services, Concerts, Recitals, Competitions.
- Involvement in School musical- always a favourite!
Ms A. Walsh
Visual art gives you the opportunity to combine conceptual ideas with practical solutions. The subject rewards skills and ideas and is versatile in allowing the student to adapt to their strengths.
Unfortunately, a lot of students coming into first year can be put off choosing visual art as they think they are not good enough, or do not have the skills, or simply see the superb, stunning work our art students create in the room and feel intimidated. I would say do not hesitate to consider visual art for the Junior Cycle! What I would like to remind you is that you did not suddenly start to walk, talk, write, kick a ball or drive…these are skills that took practice and persistence, art skills are the very same and if you approach art with the right mindset, you will flourish, as will your creations.
In first year, we cover the basics, we LEARN to draw, to develop our skills, to find our strengths and overcome our weaknesses. We do not expect you to come into the classroom with ability, just an open mindset and a can-do attitude. The beauty about visual art is that it can be tailored to a student’s talents and interests. Themes we issue help stimulate ideas, but those themes can easily be adapted to your own interests be they sport, animals, farming, family, friends, space…anything. Our art room sees a wide variety of ideas, all dictated by the student themselves. Not only do you get the opportunity to develop physical skills in art from drawing to painting, clay to lino, batik to graphic design among others over the course of the three years, but it also encourages critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills. It harbours an understanding and respect of materials and their uses, an appreciation of the world around you, to adapt a more tolerant and observant stance to your surroundings as well as facilitating you to be independent in your analysis of contemporary issues.
At the start of first year we combat drawing, the basis to all other disciplines. We appreciate drawing as an art form in itself but also to allow you to be comfortable in your drawing skills to help you create your future designs in different medias, e.g. drawing up your 3D design before transforming it into a 3D form with clay. Just remember that absolutely everything manufactured around you (your clothes, cars, buildings, furniture, computer games, phones, plates, bowls….) had to be designed and drawn up before being created- drawing is an important skill!
Of course, not everyone will have a love of drawing, that’s no problem because over the course of first and second year we get the chance to experiment with many different art disciplines- drawing, painting, clay modelling, ceramics, lino, graphic design, batik, 3D form and calligraphy to first find out how to do them but also to find out your preferences. Then after Christmas in second year we complete CBA 1 where we start with a theme and work through the creative process from idea, to development and through to the realisation of a final piece. In third year we start with our CBA2 where we get our themes and invest time into considering them, investigating them, completing artist research and ensuring we find our own personal unique approach before starting our final project where we create 2 finished pieces in different disciplines/medias alongside a workbook/ sketchbook.
That is our junior cycle project! It is 100% of your final grade. It’s purely practical- a good mix of ideas and skills and working with materials and in disciplines that you decide yourself you are comfortable in. There is no end of year written exam, the work is completed during the year, with plenty of time to complete and hopefully at the end of your Junior cycle year you have created work that not only fulfils the brief and gets you a deserving grade, but means you are also the proud owner of unique, personal artwork and are confident to continue your journey into senior cycle art!
I hope you will all spend some time and carefully consider visual art as one of your subject choices. I think you will enjoy it, learn new skills and benefit from a comfortable, stimulating art room environment with all materials supplied to give you a broad spectrum of artistic endeavours. Looking forward to seeing you all in September, and hopefully before that if public health restrictions allow.
Ms. S. O’Reilly
Wood Technology students will explore the natural and made world through the medium of design, seeking out opportunities to creatively and innovatively apply the material/resource in making and shaping their environment.
The sustainable use of and management of this natural resource is important as the world faces the challenges of the 21st century. You will learn to design small projects and the skills required to use tools and equipment to make your designs. You will mainly work with wood but also with other materials. You will learn about wood as a material and how it is produced.
How will I learn Wood Technology in school?
Some of the things you may do with your teacher and your classmates are:
• examine trees, their leaves and seeds and be able to recognise their varying characteristics
• investigate how trees affect the environment around us
• learn to sketch freehand
• learn how to problem solve and use a design process to design projects
• develop your craft skills to allow you to make projects
• prepare a design folder to accompany your project.
What will I learn in Wood Technology?
Some of the things you will learn include:
• how to design a project given a brief description of what you are to make
• how to use the internet for research purposes
• how to use freehand sketching to communicate your ideas
• how to prepare a design drawing/plan of a project you design
• how to read design drawings and make small projects from these drawings
• how to safely use a range of hand and power tools in producing your design.
How is Wood Technology assessed?
Wood Technology is assessed at a common level. On completion of the Classroom-Based Assessments, students undertake a project. The project is completed after the second CBA in third year. The brief for the project is set and marked by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). The project accounts for 70% of the final SEC grade with the written exam accounting for the other 30%.
Mr C. O’Gara/Mr A. Burke