The SEC is responsible for the Final Examinations within Junior Cycle. The SEC has noted that concerns have been raised that some Junior Cycle students may not to date have had the opportunity to complete all elements of the SEC’s Junior Cycle Final Examination in English in 2017, which comprises an Assessment Task worth 10% of the marks which will be undertaken in schools and a Final Examination in June. Both elements are marked externally by the SEC.
Post-primary schools were advised by the NCCA in March 2017 of revised dates for a second calendar window for the completion by third year students of the Junior Cycle English Assessment Task. The NCCA’s advice can be accessed here Junior Cycle Assessment Task update_2016. The new window for the Assessment Task, which forms part of the Final Examination and which is marked by the SEC, will be in the week beginning 2nd May 2017.
This new calendar window and SEC guidance set out here are intended to ensure that all students have an opportunity to undertake the Assessment Task, and, in this way, to complete all elements that are to be marked by SEC within the 2017 Junior Cycle English Final Examination, i.e. students will have access to 100% of the marks available in the SEC Final Examination.
Completion of the Assessment Task in English involves candidates engaging with stimulus material and questions (provided by the NCCA having been developed in conjunction with the SEC), and then completing a booklet provided by the SEC within the set timeframe. The NCCA and SEC materials require candidates to refer to their Collection of Texts, which they have undertaken as part of the reading strand over the period of their study of the Junior Cycle English subject specification. This Collection of Texts is also used for the purpose of Classroom Based Assessment 2 (CBA2). However, it is not necessary for the student’s work in CBA2 to have been assessed by the teacher in order for the Assessment Task to be undertaken.
In order to meet the necessary deadlines, NCCA has advised schools that the latest date for the completion of the Collection of Texts by students, on which the Assessment Task is based, is Friday 7th April, 2017. This Collection of Texts must be completed by students in order to undertake the Assessment Task. The NCCA will publish the May 2017 Assessment Task online on 24th April. When published, a link to the Assessment Task will also be available here.
The SEC does not require access to the Collection of Texts undertaken by students in order for it to mark the completed Assessment Task. Completion by students of the Assessment Task is a separate classroom-based activity designed such that students undertake an externally-designed task under school supervision for assessment by SEC. The marks to be awarded by SEC for the Assessment Task contribute to the grade awarded for the Final Examination and will be reported on by the SEC in the provisional statement of results in September 2017 in the first instance. Subsequently, the grade awarded by SEC for this Final Examination will be reported on as part of the State-certified element of the JCPA.
The arrangements for the management and operation of the Assessment Task are in line with those applying in schools for the conduct of externally-assessed coursework in a range of subjects across both Junior and Senior Cycle, such as Junior Certificate Science or Leaving Certificate History and Geography. The class teacher role in relation to the completion of the Assessment Task is to engage with their students in relation to the NCCA stimulus material and questions in relation to the task, and then to supervise the class in completing the SEC-provided booklet. Class teachers have no role in marking this work.
These longstanding arrangements provide for school supervision and authentication of the completion of work for external assessment by the SEC. For the avoidance of doubt, SEC reiterates that the question of appointing external supervision for the completion of the Assessment Task in English does not arise.
The completed Assessment Task booklets will be securely stored by schools for return to the SEC for marking. In the normal way, schools will be required to complete an undertaking to authenticate that the completed Assessment Tasks are the candidates own work and have been completed in accordance with the NCCA and SEC guidelines.
Students who have already completed their Collection of Texts and the Assessment Task in the original calendar window in December,2016, should not undertake a second Task.
SEC Circular S20/17 provides this guidance to schools along with details of the arrangements for completing the Assessment Task in the April 2017 window (the relevant completion dates shown in this circular have been updated in the NCCA notice to schools dated 20th March, 2017). Copies of the circular and the approval forms for schools to confirm the completion of the Assessment Task have been posted to all post-primary schools. The circular is available here
S20_17 Junior Cycle English Assessment Task - April Completion Window
For further information from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on Junior Cycle English, click here