Tuesday 16 July 2019

'Challenging' paper gives hint of the future

Junior cert Home Economics/Religious education

Religious Education (RE) higher-level candidates had an opportunity to get their teeth into discussing “what is legally permitted may not be regarded as morally right”, one of six essay choices. (stock photo)
Religious Education (RE) higher-level candidates had an opportunity to get their teeth into discussing “what is legally permitted may not be regarded as morally right”, one of six essay choices. (stock photo)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The Junior Cycle exam reforms have not yet hit home economics, but teacher Margaret Kent detected evidence in yesterday's higher-level paper of the sort of thinking skills that will be required in the future.

The ASTI subject representative described it as a "challenging paper that demanded a very good knowledge of the whole course".

Ms Kent, of Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, Co Cork, noted that "this is its second-last year and they are beginning to use the type of questioning that we can expect in the new Junior Cycle. Right across the paper, they were asked to integrate knowledge from different areas of the course in each question".

Among her other observations was an entire question on diabetes. "We would not have expected a whole question on a health condition. That is more Leaving Cert," she said.

Ms Kent complimented the "nice graphics and contemporary questions" on the ordinary-level paper and said students would have liked it.

She also welcomed the use of an image in a question about eggs, which would be helpful for candidates for whom English is a second language.

Religious Education (RE) higher-level candidates had an opportunity to get their teeth into discussing "what is legally permitted may not be regarded as morally right", one of six essay choices.

Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) subject representative Stephen O'Hara, of Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Co Cork, was struck by it.

He said that "sometimes people say RE is removed from what is going on in world around us, but this was such a topical question".

It was an example of "a connection being made with senior cycle, allowing high-achieving students to go for such questions while also giving enough scope on the paper for others to succeed".

Half of the marks on the paper were devoted to section four and Mr O'Hara described it as "very manageable. In the past it has been pitched too high, but not this year".

Irish Independent

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