Fáilte & Welcome
Céad Míle Fáilte to all our readers, whether parent, student, teacher, past student or someone interested to find out about our fine College.
Junior Cycle - New Junior Cycle Framework Implementation
The Junior Cycle lies within the compulsory period of education and is usually taken bystudents between the ages of 12 and 15.
The new curriculum specifications for Junior Cycle subjects will be outcomes-basedand in most cases, they will be common level specifications. The exception to thiswill be the subjects English, Gaeilge and Mathematics where the specificationwill be at two levels, Higher level and Ordinary level.
The aims and intended outcomes of the Junior Cycle emphasise the importance ofstudents experiencing a broad, balanced and coherent programme of study across awide range of curriculum areas in order to prepare them for transition to Senior Cycleeducation. This is achieved by ensuring that students encounter an educationalprogramme that covers a number of areas of experience.
Junior Cycle Subjects - 2018 onwards
All First Year students are given a wide subject choice to include all of the following:Irish, English, Maths, Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish),Business, Geography, History, Physical Education, Religious Education, SocialPersonal Health Education (SPHE), Civics Social Political Education (CSPE), DigitalMedia Literacy (DML) and Wellbeing.
Students choose two subjects from the following options: Visual Art, Science, Music, Home Economics
● PE, SPHE, CSPE, DML & Wellbeing are not examinable subjects but will bereported on through the new area of Other Areas of Learning for the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement.
● A total of 10 subjects are examinable at the end of 3rd Year by the SEC.
● Religion is the last subject to be phased in, therefore it is specified at Higher andOrdinary level and will continue to follow the old syllabus for your daughters threeyear cycle.
● State Exams will be set, held and marked by the State Examinations Commissionin June of 3rd year.
● State Exams will be of two hours duration or less.
Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs)
Classroom Based Assessments provide students with opportunities to demonstratetheir learning and skills in ways not possible in a pen and paper examination, forexample, their verbal communication and investigation skills. CBAs will be undertakenin subjects in 2nd Year and will be facilitated by the classroom teacher. The CBAs willbe reported on in the JCPA using the following descriptors
● Above Expectations
● In Line with Expectations
● Yet to Meet Expectations
New Junior Cycle Grade Descriptors
The State examination that students sit in their subject at the end of their junior cyclewill also be graded differently. Instead of A, B, C, D, E, F and NG the following descriptors will now be used:
Distinction 90 to 100 %
Higher Merit 75 to 89 %
Merit 55 to 74 %
Achieved 40 to 54 %
Partially Achieved 20 to 39 %
(not graded) 0 to 19 %
For further Information:
OUR SELF-EVALUATION REPORT AND IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2018/2019
In the last year, we have looked at teaching and learning in our school to find out what we are doing well. This is what we discovered:
- We have a culture of active teaching and learning strategies being experienced by students. Both students and teachers contribute to meaningful learning experiences
- Learners demonstrate a positive approach to classwork and homework
- Instructional Leadership engagement is realised in our everyday approach to questioning, learning intentions, group work & co-operative learning strategies
- Results from SEC Exams are above national averages
- Framework for Junior Cycle has been actively engaged in by students, staff and parents. Three staff members are Associates at National Level and share their knowledge on a daily basis.
This is what we did to find out what we were doing well, and what we could do better:
The SSE Team in Dominican College conducted a Whole School Survey through the schools digital platform Google Forms. The number of responses were Students - 455, Parents - 285 and Staff - 47. The survey asked questions around the following areas: Junior Cycle Curriculum Development, Teaching and Learning, Friendship Week and continuation of our Literacy & Numeracy school Improvement Plans. A pre-arranged consultative visit took place with the Inspectorate in January 2018 and we took advice to narrow our focus by identifying needs of our students that would give them the greatest impact on their learning.
This is what we are now going to work on:
Our focus was identified as increasing the number of students who experience formative assessment and feedback in the classroom and strategies that could be used to meet that focus. This includes the development of a school wide policy on Assessment to include formative assessment and feedback.
- Develop a more cohesive approach to formative assessment and feedback in the school through the development of a Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy
- We engaged in Joint Professional Development as a Staff to provide formative assessment and follow up feedback to students through CPD sessions and clarification of best practice
- Develop the culture of student engagement in formative assessment by whole school approach, student reflection and feedback processes and in doing so develop their skills as independent learners in line with our school’s code of learning.
This is what you can do to help:
- Encourage your child to actively participate in all aspects of school life and classroom lessons
- Check in frequently with your child’s school journal
- Actively participate in follow up SSE surveys
Here is some information about how we are carrying out our work and about what the Department of Education and Skills requires us to do.
School time and holidays
The Department requires all post-primary schools to have 167 school days each year, and a 28-hour school week .
This year we had 167 school days. Our school week is 28 hours.
The Department sets out a standardised school year and school holidays .This year we took all our school holidays within the permitted time.
The Department sets out arrangements for parent/teacher meetings and staff meetings. This year we had parent/teacher meetings and staff meetings, all in line with the Department’s regulations.
Looking after the children in our school
The Department requires schools to follow the Child Protection Procedures it has set down. Our board of management has agreed in writing to do this.
All teachers have been trained and are aware of the Procedures and we have told all parents about them and how we follow them. A copy of our Child Protection Policy, Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment are available for all at our main school reception.
Our Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Dr Olive Laffoy Principal and our Deputy DLP is Ms Lorraine McCool Deputy Principal.
Enrolment and attendance
The Department requires schools to have and publish an admissions policy, to record and report attendance accurately, and to encourage high attendance and participation.
We have an admissions policy and it is published on our school website.
We reviewed our admissions policy on: at the BOM Meeting November 2018
We keep accurate attendance records and report them as required.
We encourage high attendance and details of this can be found in our Attendance Policy and
accompanying strategy on our school website.
Positive behaviour for a happy school
The Department requires schools to have a code of behaviour, and asks us to consult parents and students about it. We do this.
Our code of behaviour describes and supports positive behaviour. It is currently in review and we
encourage parental input at our monthly parent Association meetings.
We have a very clear and high-profile anti-bullying policy in our school.