Sunday 18 August 2019

Welcome for 'exciting paper that challenged young people to think creatively'

Leaving Cert English

Rosie Cousins and Emma Dunne, from Dundalk. Picture: Arthur Carron
Rosie Cousins and Emma Dunne, from Dundalk. Picture: Arthur Carron

One teacher went so far as to say that the Leaving Cert higher level English Paper One would "energise students at the start of the exams".

Jim Lusby, of the Institute of Education, Dublin, described it as both "stimulating and exciting" and one that "challenged young people to think critically, creatively and carefully". Kate Barry, of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), said her students came out of the exam with smiling faces and were "very happy".

Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) subject representative Liz Farrell described it as "very much to plan and nice one to settle them in".

Mr Lusby concluded: "On the basis of Paper One, the well-prepared, well-read and independently minded student will look forward eagerly to the challenges of Paper Two."

Ms Barry, who teaches in Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, Co Cork, said the paper was well balanced with a nice selection of questions, and comprehension texts that were "appropriately challenging".

Ms Farrell noted the reference in the comprehension section to texts students had studied for Paper Two, but, where "last year, they would have been shocked, this year they were expecting it".

She described the selection of essays, which included the option of a speech, on the theme 'We are a self-obsessed generation', as nice.

The Ordinary Level paper, on the theme of social media, was also well received by teachers. The set texts included a YouTuber's description of social media experience, reflections on the selfie, and blog posts from the Friends of the Earth website. Ms Barry said the essays were "a bit more specific" than at higher level, but maybe that is good because it gives more guidance.

She said a question on volunteering, "offered good scope. There is a very broad range of candidates taking ordinary level and it is good to have a wide variety of questions for better able ones to have something to get working on".

Ms Farrell, of Coláiste Eoin, Hacketstown, Co Carlow, said the paper "couldn't have been nicer".

Irish Independent

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