Junior Cert Latin and Classical studies: Students receive 'fair' papers
Junior Cert students who had studied Julius Caeser and the Iliad wouldn’t have been disappointed by “fair” papers in Latin and Classical studies, according to one teacher.
Jim O’Dea, from Rathdown School in Glenageary, Co Dublin, predominantly praised both papers and in higher and ordinary levels.
The only small criticism Mr O’Dea, a representative of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland offered, was that the “background for some of the passages for translation (in the ordinary exam) would not be as familiar as the passages at higher level.”
Mr O’Dea said Latin was: “A very fair and balanced paper. Well prepared candidates will have had a good opportunity to display their skills and learning.
“The paper featured interesting passages for comprehension and translation relating to the Trojan War, Odysseus and Hannibal.
“Pupils should have been quite happy to see Julius Caesar as one of the options for the main history question and there was also a nice question on Roman Baths.”
Similarly, in general the ordinary level paper was “reasonable,” Mr O’Dea added.
The Classical studies higher level paper was “Very much along expected lines and quite a fair paper,” Mr O’Dea said.
"This paper should have posed no great difficulty for the majority of candidates sitting it. The Iliad and Aeneid questions were particularly straightforward.
"The marks in section b of the various topics were broken down for the most part but there were two topics where this was not done.
“Pupils tend to get higher marks if the questions are subdivided rather than giving a lot of marks for a general question where students may not cover all the angles and lose marks accordingly. “The illustrations/pictures on the paper at both levels were of a high quality.”
Mr O’Dea said the ordinary paper was also “a very fair paper.”
He reminded pupils new to the subjects in future that there would be some major changes afoot.
"From next September the new Classics course comprising Classical Studies, Latin and Greek will be introduced in first year in second-level schools, marking the beginning of the end for Classical Studies, Latin and Greek as we know them up to now."