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TitleThe Junior Certificate School Programme - Building on Success
LanguageEnglish
File Size3.8 MB
Total Pages140
Document Text Contents
Page 1

The
Junior
Certificate
School
Programme

November 2005

The
Junior Certificate

School Programme
Building on Success

Page 2

Published by
Department of Education and Science

© Department of Education and Science

Design by Metaphor

Junior Certificate School Programme

Page 70

ordinators that they feel that attendance and retention had improved as a result of the JCSP.
Comments made by HSCL co-ordinators in this respect include:

“Because students enjoy tasks, they come to school more often and are less likely to drop out”

“Some students are staying on for LCA who might otherwise have left”

“Retention to senior level has improved since JCSP is meeting the needs of students”

“Very high attendance in general by JCSP students”

“Retention is good. Attendance varies”

“Attendance has improved because JCSP students feel a sense of ownership of their work”

“Retention rates are significantly higher, as we have a special class following JCSP”

Much of the evidence on improvements in student attendance and retention rates is
anecdotal, as schools do not generally isolate and subject the relevant data to analysis. To
assess the long-term success of the JCSP at improving attendance and retention, schools
should keep records of students’ progression after completion of the junior cycle. This
information could be used by a school to inform its planning or self-evaluation process. It
could also be aggregated nationally to measure more precisely the success of the JCSP at
improving student attendance and retention. (This issue is given further consideration in
chapter 10.)

7.5 Summary of findings and recommendations

7.5.1 Findings
The following is a summary of the main findings in relation to students’ participation and
retention in the JCSP for those schools that participated in this evaluation.

� Some schools have been resourceful and innovative in overcoming the reluctance of
parents to engage with schools and with the JCSP, others have not been so successful.

� Although JCSP postcards can have a beneficial effect on JCSP students in building their
self-esteem and helping to predispose them positively towards school, not all schools make
use of them.

� While guidance and counselling play a significant role in the JCSP provided by many
schools, in nearly one-third of the schools inspectors recommended a role, or a greater role,
for guidance.

� Currently, much evidence on the improvements in students’ attendance and retention is
anecdotal.

Junior Certificate School Programme

70

Page 71

7.5.2 Recommendations
The following recommendations are made with regard to improving procedures concerning
students’ participation and retention in the JCSP.

Recommendations for schools

� Schools should foster regular contact between home and school. Also, all teachers should
use JCSP postcards in a systematic way.

� Schools should adopt a positive discipline approach in their code of student behaviour.
� Schools should develop and implement a pastoral care policy or strategy for JCSP students.
� Schools should provide JCSP students with guidance, including career advice, and

counselling.
� Schools should implement effective systems for recording and monitoring attendance and

punctuality in the JCSP.

Recommendations for policy-makers and policy advisers

� Guidelines on the provision of guidance and counselling within the JCSP should be
developed for schools.

� School records of students’ attendance and their destination after completing the junior
cycle should be aggregated nationally in order to determine the success of the JCSP at
improving attendance and retention.

Building on Success

71

Page 139

Building on Success

139

Table 8C Time per week allocated to subjects in second-
year JCSP: proportion of classes for which data is available

Table 8D Time per week allocated to subjects in third-year
JCSP: proportion of classes for which data is available

Subject Time (minutes)
1–120 121–180 181–240 241–300 300+

English 4.0 24.0 56.0 12.0 4.0
Mathematics 4.0 28.0 52.0 12.0 4.0
Irish 20 12 8
Irish
cultural
studies

28 20 8

Modern
language

12 8

Science 24 24
Technology/
technical
graphics

16 4

Metalwork 16 32
MT wood 8 40 8
Art and craft 36 44 8
Drama,
dance,
choir

12

Music 34 8
Social
education

12 12 4

CSPE 68
SPHE 48
PE 76 8
Home
economics

28 44 4

Business
studies

8 4

Computer
studies

48 8 4

Geography 32 16
History 36
Religion 88 4
Reading 8

Subject Time (minutes)
1–120 121–180 181–240 241–300 300+

English 4.0 20.0 44.0 16.0 16.0
Mathematics 4.0 28.0 56.0 8.0 4.0
Irish 20 24 8
Irish
cultural
studies

36 4

Modern
language

12 4

Science 24 12 4
Technology/
technical
graphics

12 8

Metalwork 12 28 12
MT wood 12 44 8
Art and craft 16 68 4
Drama,
dance,
choir

0 0 0 0 0

Music 16 8
Social
education

4 8 4

CSPE 68
SPHE 40
PE 80 8
Home
economics

24 40 12

Business
studies

8 16

Computer
studies

48 4

Geography 32 4 4
History 24 12
Religion 84 8
Reading 4 4

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