As part of the Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) the reporting process at junior cycle will culminate in the award of the JCPA to students. The JCPA is a new kind of award. It will replace the Junior Certificate from 2017.
The JCPA was awarded by the school students for the first time in 2017.
The JCPA, alongside other reporting arrangements in junior cycle, will offer parents/guardians a clear, broad picture of their child’s learning journey over the three years of junior cycle. During the years in which students are studying existing Junior Certificate subjects alongside subjects for which new Junior Cycle specifications have been provided, the results of both will be included in the JCPA. (See Sample below)
From 2022 all of the new Junior Cycle specifications will have been introduced and the JCPA will from that year include results in respect of those specifications. In the majority of cases, the JCPA will report on student achievement relating to subjects and short courses that are broadly aligned with Level 3 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
In a small number of cases, the JCPA may report on achievement for some students where the special/educational needs of these students are such as to prevent them from accessing some or all of the junior cycle Level 3 subjects and short courses. These students may be engaging with/participating in the Level 2 Learning Programmes (L2LPs), or part thereof, which are broadly aligned with Level 2 of the NFQ. The L2LPs are designed around priority learning units (PLUs) that focus on social, personal and pre-vocational skills.
The NCCA has also developed Level 1 Learning Programmes(L1LPs) to be made available to schools from 2017 on a trial basis. These programmes will address the learning needs of a very small number of students in the low moderate, and severe and profound range of general learning disabilities.
Rationale for the JCPA
The JCPA will capture student achievements in a number of assessment elements undertaken over the three years of junior cycle, including the grades in the state-certified final examinations at the end of the three years.
It will also report on students’ achievement in Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) in subjects and short courses, and in Level 2 Learning Programmes (L2LPs).
It will also provide an opportunity for the school to comment on student achievement, participation or progress in other areas of learning that may have been included in the school’s junior cycle programme. We can include broader aspects of reporting in this section or areas such as personal and social development. Students may engage in other learning activities set out in a school’s programme for junior cycle. These can include social, cultural, pastoral, scientific, entrepreneurial and other activities that can support the 24 statements of learning and the 8 key skills.
Sample Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement