JCSP - Statements, Learning Targets and Profiling

JCSP - Statements, Learning Targets and Profiling

 

 

 

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What is a statement?
A statement describes an area of knowledge, a concept or a skill. It states that a student knows, understands or can do something e.g. ‘The student can carry out a simple research project and display the results appropriately.’ Statements are divided up into learning targets.

 

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How do the statements relate to the Junior Certificate syllabus?
The subject statements reflect areas of the Junior Certificate syllabus while explicitly stating the basic skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the examination. The syllabus is divided into short-term achievable goals.

 

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What are learning targets?
Learning targets are specific short-term goals which, when combined, lead to the successful completion of a statement. They outline the steps to be followed and the material to be covered if the student is to achieve competence in the more long-term goal: the statement.

 

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Do all students do the same learning targets at the same time?
It varies. It depends on the class, the subject and the teaching style of the teacher.

 

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Is there a set time for completing a statement?
No, not at all; some statements such as those related to projects may be achieved in a relatively short time, while others may be worked on over the three years.

 

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Is there a maximum or a minimum number of statements that can be chosen?
No, there is no set number of statements. Students can work on any number of statements. Ideally, at any one time the total number of statements each student is working on should be small. If these are achieved or are going well, additional statements can then be selected.

 

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How many statements should teachers begin with?
Choose a small number of statements to work towards. Only achievable statements should be chosen. Some teachers may select just one statement to work on.

 

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How do teachers decide which statements to work on?
First establish the abilities and needs of the individual or class group and then set realistic and achievable targets. Take into account the necessity to get a good grounding in the basic skills and knowledge needed for progress in subject areas. Choosing statements based on those needs will help build the Programme. It is important that only achievable statements are chosen. Remember, the statements chosen are not additional to the Junior Certificate course; rather they will form a framework for planning and teaching a syllabus.

 

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What is the best way to record student progress?
Many schools have developed their own version of student folders with copies of the statement and learning targets. These are kept in school and reviewed regularly in class so that the students can keep track of their own progress using the three-box system to record progress.

 

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Who awards the statements?
Any teacher on the JCSP team who has worked through a statement with a student can recommend awarding that statement to the student. The JCSP team considers the recommendation at a profile meeting and decides on the award of the statement.

 

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When is a statement awarded?
In general students can be awarded a statement when they are competent in at least 80 per cent of the learning targets in the following four areas:

  • Frequency – almost always carries out task: 80 per cent plus of times
  • Accuracy – accurate enough for a given purpose
  • Independence – almost totally independent
  • Sustainability – retains the knowledge or skill for about a month

An important element in awarding statements is the teacher’s professional judgement.

 

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What is profiling?
Profiling is the process of gathering positive information about what the student has achieved and recording what the student can do. Through profiling a student can gain recognition for subject work completed in preparation for the Junior Certificate exam and also for skills and abilities which they may have developed and which may not be directly examinable in that exam. The Student Profile Handbook contains a bank of learning targets arranged into statements that reflect areas of the syllabi of the Junior Certificate.

 

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What is a profile meeting?
A profile meeting is a meeting of the JCSP teaching team. It is usually organised by the co-ordinator with the objective of updating the records for a particular group of students. Teachers discuss the progress of each student to date and recommend which students have completed enough work to be awarded statements.

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What is a student profile?
A student profile is a positive record of statements that a student is working on or has achieved. This profile is compiled throughout Junior Cycle.

 

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What is final profiling?
Final profiling occurs at the end of 3rd year, just before the Junior Certificate exam. Its purpose is to record, for the last time, the progress made by students about to sit the exam. The team of teachers agree on the total list of statements to be awarded to each student. Subsequent to the Final Profile meeting the co-ordinator sends this information to the JCSP office. Here a presentation folder is compiled for each student which includes:

  1. A certificate of participation validated by the Department of Education and Science
  2. A list of statements completed by that particular student

The presentation folders are returned to the schools where the co-ordinator adds in a reference for the student. The students are then presented with their Final Profile at a graduation or award ceremony in their school which is usually attended by staff and parents.

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At what stage are the statements for the Final Profile decided upon?
The final decision as to which statements are to be awarded is made at the Final Profile meeting in the last term of third year.

 

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JCSP Statements

All JCSP statements have been written by practising teachers. Essentially a statement affirms that a student knows, understands or can do something. Each statement is defined or described by a series of learning targets. Learning targets are specific, short-term goals that lead to a statement. These outline the steps that are followed and the material that should be covered if the student is to achieve competence in the long-term target, the statement.

Click here to go to a full list of statements: