Friday 16 November 2018

Students denied the chance to showcase their poetic licence

JC English and CSPE

Junior Cert students from St Brigid’s College, Co Galway, Rachel Nevin, Caoimhe Gilligan and Elaine Harverty. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Junior Cert students from St Brigid’s College, Co Galway, Rachel Nevin, Caoimhe Gilligan and Elaine Harverty. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Well-prepared Junior Cert English students who would have studied a number of poems might have been upset by the absence of a studied poetry question on this year's higher level paper, according to teacher Lorraine Tuffy.

In fact, there was no opportunity for students to showcase knowledge of poetic technique across the paper, she said.

"Omitting sections of the course is an inevitable consequence of the condensed, single two-hour paper as part of the new syllabus," said Ms Tuffy, of Jesus and Mary Secondary School in Enniscrone, Co Sligo, and Studyclix.ie.

She said students who engaged with the portfolio element of the English programme would have reaped rewards in the exam, in assessing the efficiency of a writer's style.

In the afternoon, students sat Civics, Social and Political Education (CSPE), a paper that required more knowledge than in previous years, according to the CSPE Teachers' Association.

It was "more challenging", said association representative Máire O'Higgins, but nonetheless, it gave the paper a welcome and said it "rewarded students who engaged in current affairs".

Fairtrade footballs, World Toilet Day, the Good Friday Agreement, Brexit and technology were among the varied topics.

Dermot Brennan, a teacher at Clonakilty Community College, Co Cork, noted a greater orientation towards civic and social groups, such as the Peter McVerry Trust and Barnardos, rather than politics, in Section 1.

He regarded the question on Brexit as "a bit challenging; it is complicated for politicians, never mind students".

Irish Independent

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