Thursday 20 July 2017

'Too much emphasis on biology' and barley, beef gripe

LC Agricultural Science

Ellen Murray (17), of Our Lady’s College Drogheda, with mum Audrey after her last exam. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson
Ellen Murray (17), of Our Lady’s College Drogheda, with mum Audrey after her last exam. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson

A "bit too much emphasis" on biology in the Leaving Certificate ordinary level Agricultural Science paper raised some concerns among teachers.

Willie White, of the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers Association (IASTA), said students at this level prefer the agricultural-type questions, but "all in all they were happy".

James Hynes, of the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) and Clarin College, Athenry, Co Galway, agreed that the leaning towards biology would have made it "pretty difficult".

So did Peter Keaney, of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and Wilson's Hospital School, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, although he liked the "good illustrations" on the paper.

There was also a general consensus that the higher level exam was "very fair", with, what Mr Keaney described as, a "good mix of scientific and practical".

He also liked the experiments and genetics questions: "In recent years a lot of kids have drifted away from them but they were very straightforward this year."

Mr White said that in recent years there had been a few surprises on the higher level paper but there were none this year.

However, a number of teachers regarded the question on soil as "tricky".

Mr Hynes said that students also pointed out to him that "two of their favourite topics, beef and barley, came up as options in the same question and they could only answer one".

In contrast with ordinary level, there was little biology at higher level.

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News