WHAT IS THE JCSP?
The Junior Certificate School Programme is a national programme sponsored by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. It originated in the early school leavers’ programmes initiated by the Curriculum Development Unit. Currently the programme is operating in 226 schools throughout the country. It is a social inclusion programme that is aimed at students who are identified as being at risk of being socially or academically isolated or at risk of early school leaving before the Junior Certificate has been achieved.
The Junior Certificate School Programme aims to provide a curriculum framework that assists schools and teachers in making the Junior Certificate more accessible to those young people who may leave school without formal qualifications. It attempts to help young people experience success and develop a positive self-image by providing a curriculum and assessment framework suitable to their needs. On completion of the programme students receive a profile which is an official record of their achievements from the Department of Education and Skills.
Is this an alternative to the Junior Certificate?
No, the Junior Certificate School Programme is not an alternative to the Junior Certificate. It is a framework that is designed to help schools and teachers develop an imaginative approach to the Junior Certificate course. All the students in the Programme must be entered for the Junior Certificate examination.
What is the difference between the JCSP and the Junior Certificate?
The Junior Certificate School Programme is a way of working within the Junior Certificate. It is designed especially to help young people who have had a difficult experience of school and may be potential early leavers. Through a system of profiling a student’s work in Junior Cycle classes, students are provided with opportunities to engage with the curriculum and to achieve success at school. They get an official certificate of their achievements, validated by the Department of Education and Skills, in addition to their Junior Certificate Examination Certificate.
JCSP in Colaiste Pobail Acla
We, in Colaiste Pobail Acla, believe every student deserves the right to access every benefit available to them in the school. We therefore include all our junior cycle students in the programme. In recent years, the JCSP has provided funding to allow students the opportunity to go on field trips in Business Studies and Geography, it has allowed the Woodwork, and Metalwork departments to get important materials and class resources for improved project work. It has allowed the Technical Drawing class to purchase drawing equipment for the students. It has given the French and Irish classes the means to purchase recording equipment for the improved delivery of some hard to grasp language topics. There is constant development of our literacy and numeracy policies which include links with the community and feeder schools. We have also been lucky enough to get significant funding for the upgrade and improvement of our school library.
Not all Junior Cycle subjects are involved in JCSP, the subjects that are currently involved are Irish, English, Maths, Geography, History, Science, Business Studies, Home Economics, French, Woodwork, Metalwork, Technical Graphics & Physical Education. There is the possibility of more subjects being included in years to come.