About - Running JCSP in Schools

Running JCSP in Schools

 

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What resources are available to schools?
Individual schools participating in JCSP receive an improved teacher allocation. The allocation is at the rate of 0.25 whole-time teacher equivalent (WTE) per group of 45 pupils participating in the Programme. Some of this time is used by the co-ordinator to co-ordinate the Programme. The rest is made available to the JCSP team of teachers to plan and evaluate their work and to profile students.

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Who looks after the Programme?
Each school has a co-ordinator for the Programme. It is the co-ordinator’s job to look after teachers’ and students’ needs arising from participation in the Programme. In general they support teachers informally, with photocopying and resources. They also arrange team meetings for planning and evaluation. They are involved with students in a number of ways; giving feedback on progress, organising activities and generally being a source of encouragement. Co-ordinators also look after parental involvement in the Programme, are a source of information for the principal and the entire school staff and liase with the JCSP Support Service.

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How many teachers are there on a JCSP team?
There is no set number. However it is the experience of teachers working with JCSP students that a smaller teaching team is more effective than a larger one. Many students go from primary school where they had one teacher throughout the year into secondary school where they can have a bewildering number of teachers on a daily basis. Many schools have found that reducing the number of teachers for JCSP students to 10, 11 or 12 has improved the school experience for those students.

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Does the JCSP team have time to meet?
Yes. Each team meets at least once a term, but in many cases more often than that. The teachers’ time for these meetings is taken out of the time allocation given to schools participating in the Programme by the Department of Education and Science.

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How often does the JCSP team meet?
Each team meets at least four times in a year: a planning meeting in September and three profile meetings held once towards the end of each term. However, many schools find more regular meetings of huge benefit. Some have meetings once a month while others have a core group of teachers timetabled to meet weekly.

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How are meetings facilitated?
The co-ordinator has responsibility for facilitating meetings. Arranging a venue, time, refreshments, preparing agendas, running the meeting and recording action plans and minutes is all in the remit of the co-ordinator.

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What help do teachers involved in the Programme get?

  • Support in planning a suitable curriculum
  • Time for meetings
  • A handbook of statements
  • School visits from the support service
  • Resources from the support service
  • In-service on topics such as: methodologies, subject areas, literacy, numeracy

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Does each subject teacher work on statements independently?
Yes and no. There are opportunities at the profile meetings during the year to talk to the other teachers on the team about what is going to be taught next. It is very beneficial for JCSP students when there are any areas where teachers can usefully overlap, as repetition and reinforcement need to be continuous.

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What is cross-curricular work?
Cross-curricular work is a linking of subjects. It is an approach to methodology which fosters learning by first-hand experience and the active participation of students in planning, decision-making and in evaluation. The aim of cross-curricular work is to provide students with an active, enquiring education which is grounded in the issues of everyday life so that they may become flexible and adaptable members of society. There are a whole series of cross-curricular statements that teachers can choose from.

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Who records the students’ progress?
Each teacher records the progress of their own students and finds time to give them feedback on their performance. Some teachers work collaboratively with students to record progress made.

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Who keeps the records?
Teachers keep their own records of students’ progress through targets and statements. At the same time each student records their progress in each statement in their JCSP folder. The co-ordinator has the official master record of progress. This is updated at profile meetings held once per term.

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Where are the records kept?
Teachers keep their own records. Student folders are kept in their classroom, the co-ordinator’s room, the learning support room or in the staffroom. The master record cards are kept by the co-ordinator. They may be stored in the school office.

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