Kilkenny City Vocational School

Junior Certificate

Junior Certificate

Junior Cycle in Kilkenny City Vocational School


The Junior Cycle is a three year programme from 1st to 3rd year. It features newly developed subjects and short courses, a focus on literacy, numeracy and key skills. It incorporates new approaches to assessment and reporting. Students also engage in an area of learning entitled. Students will encounter a wide range of teaching methodologies and approaches to learning that will actively engage them across the curriculum.

In accordance with the Department of Education guidelines on the new Junior Cycle (, our Junior Cycle students study all the core subjects and 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.

Junior Certificate Subjects

All students take a core-programme that incorporates the following subjects:

Core Subjects:








Wellbeing includes Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE), Physical Education, Computer Studies and Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE).


Religious Education in KCVS is as a multi-belief, non-denominational school. Religious Education at KCVS is a study of the ethics, values & beliefs systems of world religions.

In addition, students are guided to select a study programme from a wide range of subjects including:

Art, Craft & Design

Business Studies



Materials Technology (Wood)

Technical Graphics



Home Economics


  • Students partake in all relevant state exams in all subjects – Assessment Tasks, CBA’s and Written Exams.
  • CBA – Classroom Based Assessments. As the name suggests they happen in the classroom during normal class time. They resemble the learning that happens on a daily basis. Each subject has their own particular CBAs
  • Assessment Tasks - students will complete a written Assessment Task (AT) in third year on what they have learned and the skills and competences that they have developed through CBA2. The Assessment Task will be marked by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).
  • The dual approach to assessment is designed to recognise and value the different types of learning that take place in schools and will allow for a more rounded assessment of the education of each young person.
  • School assessments will also take place regularly throughout the 3 year cycle

Standardised Testing

  • The following standardized tests are completed at Junior cycle level
  • Cat 4 Pass – Cognitive Abilities Test 4 – identifies students developed ability and likely academic potential. It identifies strengths and weaknesses across 4 areas – verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and spacial reasoning ( for FIRST years only)
  • NGRT – New group reading test – assesses literacy
  • PTM – Progress test in Math’s – assesses mathematical skills & knowledge
  • PASS - Pupils attitudes to self and school. This explores student’s thoughts and feelings as potential obstacles to attainment.

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 are variety of different components across many subjects . 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.

A comprehensive guide can be found by accessing the following link:

CBA Calendar 3rd Years

CBA Calendar 1st and 2nd

JC Results


New Street, Kilkenny
056 7722468
Kilkenny & Carlow ETB
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