Friday 24 November 2017

From high notes to low ones in music and agriculture


Shane Hickey

THERE were diverging opinions about the agricultural science higher level paper, with teachers disagreeing about the fairness of the exam.

Jim Conway, from Tullow Community School, said overall the paper was "not that nice" and students would have found it difficult to answer some of the questions.

"It was easy to get 70pc but to get an A you had to push out the boat," the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) representative said.

However, Donal Power from the Institute of Education in Dublin said students were pleased with the higher level paper.

The short questions were "very fair" he said, with students having little difficulty in answering six of the 10.

"The questions were presented in a manner that reflected previous papers -- with the exception of the 2010 paper. With over 6,000 candidates sitting the agricultural science papers, this is the fastest growing Leaving Certificate exam," Mr Power said.

Peter Keaney, from Wilsons Hospital in Mullingar and the ASTI, said the paper was heavily biased towards biology and called for an update of the course.

Mr Keaney said the ordinary level paper was "very long" for students but that most questions were manageable.

Meanwhile, the music exam was broadly welcomed across the board.

Margaret Curran, a teacher at St Mary's in Nenagh said the higher level listening paper was straightforward.

"Some teachers and students may have been surprised that the long questions on the prescribed works featured the Bach concerto again," the ASTI representative said.

Fiona McManus, music teacher at the Institute of Education, said it was a nice paper with no surprises.

Irish Independent

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