Abbey Community College
Together Towards Excellence

Junior Cycle

Junior Cycle

Abbey Community College takes a broad and holistic view of education. Passionate about lifelong learning, we believe that success at examination level is crucial to developing the skillset that our students will need to become independent thinkers and self-disciplined learners. Our students are encouraged to take higher level in all their chosen subject areas and consistently achieve high grades across the board.

In accordance with the Department of Education guidelines on the new Junior Cycle (, our Junior Cycle students study all the core subjects and select three of the elective subjects for their Junior Cycle examination. Underpinning the new Junior Cycle are a set of principles, key skills and statements of learning. These ensure that your child receives a rich educational experience and a varied curriculum of knowledge, skills and values.

Core Subjects

English Irish Maths
Science History Geography
Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish) Religious Education Wellbeing*

Elective Subjects

Visual Art Music Business
Home Economics Wood Technology Engineering


Wellbeing includes Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE), Physical Education and Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE). Wellbeing modules are in place for Second Year and Third Year.

Junior Cycle Information for Parents/Guardians

Junior Cycle Ongoing Assessment Explained...

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)

2016 marked the end of the Junior Certificate for the State Exams Commission, now students receive the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement Award (JCPA). This JCPA reflects on a wider set of your child’s achievements over the three years at Junior Cycle. The JCPA reports on the following:

  • Subjects
  • Classroom Based Assessments
  • Other Learning Experiences.

During the three years at Junior Cycle, students will sit Classroom Based Assessments (CBA’s). These CBA’s allow your child to experience subjects and topics in many different ways, most importantly, they allow students to demonstrate their learning through methods that would not be possible to assess with pen and paper. CBA’s are in every subject, CBA 1 in Second Year and CBA 2 in Third Year. They follow a national timetable and are awarded Descriptors by their classroom teacher. The descriptors are as follows:

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In Line with Expectations
  • Yet to Meet Expectations.

These descriptors are reported on through school reports and are also on your child’s JCPA when they complete Junior Cycle.

Once the CBA’s are completed in third year, students then complete a written Assessment Task. This task is set by the NCCA, undertaken during normal class time and then sent to the State Exams Commission for marking. These Assessment Tasks are worth 10% of the overall mark received by the students in their final State Examinations Assessment which they sit in June of Third Year. The grading system for these exams has also changed. The old A, B, C, D, E, F, NG system has changed to the following:

  • Distinction 90-100%
  • Higher Merit 75-89%
  • Merit 55-74%
  • Achieved 40-54%
  • Partially Achieved 20-39%
  • Not Graded 0-19%

Finally, students will have the opportunity to engage with a range of other learning experiences as part of their of the Junior Cycle programme. These learning experiences can range from debating, science and electronics societies, art competitions and music or poetry performances or competitions. These experiences play an important role in ensuring your child receives a broad and balanced educational experience. These other areas of learning are also reported on through the JCPA.

Abbey Road, Ferrybank, Waterford, Ireland.
051 832 930
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