Junior Cycle

The New Junior Cycle is now part of the everyday experience of students in Our Lady of Mercy College. In order to support our students we need to become familiar with both the language and meaning of new Junior Cycle terminology.

There are four terms being used in school every day and which will help us to understand the final grade achieved in the Junior Cycle

  1. Classroom Based Assessment (CBA)
  2. Assessment Tasks (AT)
  3. Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)
  4. Features of Quality
  1. CBAs are an integral part of the New Junior Cycle. They provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and skills in ways not possible in a formal examination. CBAs take place during class time and are reported on in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). There are two CBAs for each subject, one in second year and one in third year (Gaeilge is the only exception to this with two CBAs taking place in third year). The grading system used for CBAs comprises a ‘Descriptor’ rather than a percentage. Descriptors are awarded to students based on subject specific ‘Features of Quality’ (please see point 4 below). Further information about the content of these CBAs is available on the JCT website
  2. The Assessment Task is a written task completed by students during class time and is sent to the State Examinations Commission for marking. It takes place immediately after CBA2 in third year and is based on material from CBA2. This task is worth 10% of the final Junior Cycle exam.
  3. The JCPA is the award that students will receive at the end of their junior cycle. This certificate will reward achievement across all areas of learning including achievements outside of the classroom e.g. music, sports etc.
  4. Features of Quality are statements that support teachers in making decisions about the quality of student work for the purpose of awarding a ‘Descriptor’. These ‘Features of Quality’ are available on our website under JCT and will help you to understand the grade your son has achieved.


Junior Cycle Curriculum

Core Subjects Optional Subjects* Wellbeing
Religious Education
French OR German
Home Economics
Careers/Choir/Computers (modules)

* students select 3 of these subjects to study in 1st yr and select 2 of those 3 to study in 2nd and 3rd yr.