Coláiste Pobail Ráth Dara

Rath Dara Community College

Strength through Cooperation



Courses available at Rath Dara Community College


English as an Additional Language (EAL)

EAL is offered as a support subject to students who do not have English as their mother tongue. Students are withdrawn from timetabled subjects for this support. The students are often exempt from Irish and are therefore withdrawn from this subject, so they do not need to miss any of their timetabled classes.

Students can take English Proficiency examinations and receive one of the Cambridge University English Certificate ssuch as the Key English Test (KET), the Preliminary English Test (PET) or the First Cambridge English Test (FCE). These are globally recognised qualifications which are very useful when applying for third level college, training or apprenticeships, and employment in any sector. Some third level institutions require that students who do not have English as their first language take one of these proficiency exams.

Students who have little or no English are given intense English classes to meet their individual needs and are therefore withdrawn from as many classes as possible until they are able to cope with the language. They are not withdrawn from practical classes such as woodwork, art and physical education.

Instruction given includes the four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Apart from beginner English, course books for the relevant Cambridge Certificates listed above are followed – KET, PET and FCE course books for schools. Beginners follow the ‘English in Mind’ student’s starter book which is specifically written for teenagers.

As EAL is primarily offered as a support subject, the majority of the material for these classes is taken from Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate course books. The material uses key words from each subject area to teach English grammar structures, tenses, and specific vocabulary. It was designed and written at Trinity College, Dublin and is available on their English language support website with links to all subject areas both at Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate levels : www.elsp.ie

Students can use the material and work independently online by following the links to the exam level, the subject and the modules within each subject. There is a key at the end of each work booklet with answers.


Curriculum Review Through Polish And English Languages

This year, for the first time, Polish students at Rath Dara Community College, were invited to participate in a new programme that County Dublin VEC is developing, in order to assist Polish-speaking students with their school studies.

A Polish-speaking tutor was provided to assist a group of Polish students in reviewing some of their ordinary schoolwork. The review took place, (through both the Polish and the English language), on Wednesday afternoons during the spring and summer school terms.

The programme took place in Luttrellstown Community College, in Blanchardstown village. Polish-speaking students from Luttrellstown Community College, Rath Dara Community College, Castleknock Community College, and Coláiste Setanta, were all invited to take part in the programme.

This was an great opportunity for students from Poland to have part of the school curriculum reviewed through both Polish and English. It is believed to be important for students to review the curriculum through their first language as well as the new language, if they wish to improve their understanding of school subjects. This also provides them with an opportunity to continue to develop an academic vocabulary in their mother tongue which is important if they hope to take Polish as a school subject at Leaving Certificate level.



Polska szkola w srody

Nazywam sie Bartek Tokarski i jestem uczniem klasy 3H. Jestem z Polski i jezyk angielski nie jest moim podstawowym jezykiem, wiec dyrektor szkoly zorganizowal ekstra zajecia z angielskiego. W kazda srode po zajeciach szkolnych jezdzimy na dodatkowe zajecia ktore odbywaja sie w jezyku polskim, jak i angielskim. Prowadzi je pani Kasia. Zajecia odbywaja sie w godzinach po poludniowych od 14:00 do 15:30. Uwazam ze to jest super pomysl, poniewaz powtarzamy materially z 1, 2 i 3 klasy na Junior Cert-y.

Written by Bartek Tokarski. 3H (EAL Class)

Wednesday Polish School

My name is Bartek Tokarski and I’m a student in class 3H. I come from Poland and English is not my first language. That’s why the principal of our school organised extra English classes. Every Wednesday after school lessons, we go to those extra classes which are in the Polish and also the English language. The woman that teaches us the classes is called Ms. Kasia. These classes run from 2 pm to 3.30 pm. I think that these extra classes are a great idea. We can refresh the material from 1st, 2nd and 3rd year which is very helpful for our Junior Certificate.

Translated by Oliwia Wegorowska. 3H (EAL Class)

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

The LCVP is a senior cycle Programme of the Department of Education & Science, designed to give a strong vocational dimension to the Leaving Certificate (established). The strong vocational focus of the LCVP is achieved by arranging Leaving Certificate subjects into Vocational Subject Groupings, (see Table below), and through the provision of two additional courses of study, in work preparation and enterprise, known as the Link Modules.

Candidates taking the LCVP have a unique opportunity to develop their interpersonal, vocational and technological skills. These skills are equally relevant to the needs of those preparing for further education, seeking employment or planning to start their own business.

Programme Requirements

Requirements for the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, which is of two years’ duration, are as follows:

  • as an LCVP student, you must take a minimum of five Leaving Certificate Subjects (at Higher, Ordinary or Foundation Level) including Irish
  • two of the above must be selected from one of the designated Vocational Subject Groupings listed in the table below.
  • you must study the two Link Modules, namely Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education and
  • you will be required to follow a recognised course in a Modern European Language (other than Irish or English).

Students opting for an alternative to the Leaving Certificate Modern European Language or who are exempt from studying Irish must take an additional subject to ensure a minimum of 5 Leaving Certificate subjects.

Vocational Subject Groupings (for LCVP new entrants in 2003/04)
Specialist Groupings
1. Construction studies or Engineering or Technical Drawing (any two)
2. Physics and Construction Studies or Engineering
3. Agricultural Science and Construction Studies or Engineering
4. Agricultural Science and Chemistry or Physics or Physics & Chemistry (combined subject)
5. Home Economics and Agricultural Science or Biology
6. Home Economics and Art
7. Accounting or Business or Economics (any two)
8. Physics and Chemistry
9. Biology and Chemistry or Physics or Physics & Chemistry (combined subject)
10. Biology and Agricultural Science * (this option for examination in 2004 and after)Services Groupings
11. Engineering and Business or Accounting or Economics
12. Construction Studies and Business or Accounting or Economics
13. Home Economics and Business or Accounting or Economics
14. Agricultural Science and Business or Accounting or Economics
15. Art and Business or Accounting or Economics
16. Music and Business or Accounting or Economics
* It will be possible for students to take both Biology and Agricultural Science in the Leaving Certificate Examination in June 2004 and after.
Repeat candidates

Candidates repeating LCVP must meet all programme requirements in their repeat year. The Link Modules involves two years of study and portfolio preparation. Accordingly the portfolio element is not capable of being repeated within one year where a candidate is repeating other subjects. For assessment purposes the marks obtained in respect of a portfolio assessed in 2007 will be carried forward and aggregated with the marks from the written examination obtained in 2008. New or revised portfolios will not be accepted. A separate entry form will be forwarded to you on receipt of your application.


Assessment, Certification and Recognition

Assessment of Leaving Certificate Subjects

LCVP students follow the same subject syllabi and are assessed in the same way as their peers in the Leaving Certificate (established).

Assessment of the Link Modules

The Link Modules, Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education are treated as a unit for assessment purposes. Assessment, which is at a common level, comprises two elements, a Terminal Examination Paper and a Portfolio of Coursework.

The formal assessment of the Links Modules has two components :

  • A centrally set written examination (160 marks),with video, case study and syllabus section, taken nationally on the first Wednesday in May.
  • A portfolio (240 )marks prepared by each candidate using agreed and published guidelines.

The 2010 schedule of examinations requires the portfolio of coursework for the 2010 LCVP Examination to be completed on 21st April 2010. The 2011 Link Modules written examination is timetabled for 4th May.

Certification

LCVP students are awarded the same certification as is used in the Leaving Certificate (established). An additional statement of the grade received for the link modules is appended to that certification. Grades for the Link Modules are presented in the following categories :

  • Distinction (80 – 100%)
  • Merit (65 – 79%)
  • Pass (50 – 64%)

Recognition

LCVP students have the same opportunity to proceed to Universities and other Third Level Institutions as students in the Leaving Certificate (established).

The Links Modules result can be submitted for a candidates 6th subject in the Leaving Certificate for University and Institute of Technology CAO points purposes. For the purpose of assessment of applications, the CAO may be contacted with regard to the points assigned to the link module grades obtained.

Further information on LCVP is available on www.lcvp.ie.

Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)

What is the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct stand-alone, two-year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. The programme puts an emphasis on forms of achievement and excellence, which the traditional Leaving Certificate has not recognised in the past. Assessment for the programme is a combination of continuous assessment and written examinations.

Why was the Leaving Certificate Applied introduced?

The Leaving Certificate Applied was introduced to recognise the talents of all students and to provide opportunities for development in terms of responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge. It is an innovative programme in the way students learn, in what they learn and in the way their achievements are assessed.

Who would benefit most from the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is intended to meet the needs of those students who are not adequately catered for by other Leaving Certificate programmes or who choose not to opt for such programmes. Students with a good attendance record up to Junior Cert. who choose L.C.A. generally suit the course as there is a 90% attendance requirement.

What are the advantages of the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The advantage of Leaving Certificate Applied is that it focuses on the talents of each individual student and helps students apply what they learn in the real world.

The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called Sessions and achievements are credited in each of these Sessions. As the students receive provisional results at the end of each session, they know exactly how they are progressing.

There are work experience blocks in 5th and 6th year which can help focus students and encourage them to think about life after school.

What courses/modules are offered?

  • Vocational Preparation & Guidance
  • Mathematical Applications
  • English and Communications
  • Childcare/Community Care
  • Graphics and Construction Studies
  • Craft and Design
  • Engineering
  • Hotel, Catering & Tourism
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Active Leisure Studies
  • Information & Communication Technology (Vocational Specialism)
  • Introduction to Information & Communication Technology(Mandatory Course)
  • Drama
  • Visual Art
  • Gaeilge
  • Modern Languages
  • Social Education
  • Leisure & Recreation
  • Sign Language

Do students have a choice within the Leaving Certificate Applied?

Each course consists of a number of modules. A module generally represents a half-year’s work and there is provision for some choice of modules. Choice also may exist in relation to Vocational Specialisms.

Two courses are selected from the following list, this selection can change depending on the incoming students :

  • Agriculture/Horticulture
  • Hotel Catering and Tourism
  • Technology
  • Office Administration and Customer Care
  • Childcare/Community Care
  • Graphics and Construction Studies
  • Craft and Design
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Active Leisure Studies

Four elective modules must also be chosen.

What are elective modules?

Four elective modules (one per session) must be chosen from the specialisms listed above, excluding the 2 specialisms already being studied. (For example, if students are taking craft and design/hotel, catering and tourism for their specialisms their elective module will be selected from the remaining subjects above.)

Do Leaving Certificate Applied students receive a Leaving Certificate?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the programme will receive a Leaving Certificate from the State Examinations Commission. All credits awarded will be recorded on the Leaving Certificate Applied parchment. This certificate will be awarded at three levels :

Certificate Levels
Award Result Credits
Pass 60 - 69 % 120 - 139
Merit 70 - 84 % 140 - 169
Distinction 85 - 100 % 170 - 200

Candidates who acquire less than 120 credits will receive a Record of Experience. This will also apply to those who leave before the end of the programme.

The Leaving Certificate Applied assessment takes place over the two years under three headings :

  • Satisfactory Completion of Modules
  • Performance of Student Tasks
  • Performance in the Terminal Examinations

At the end of each Session a student is credited on satisfactory completion of the appropriate modules.

What is a task?

Student Tasks are assessed by external examiners appointed by the Department of Education and Science. These Tasks may be in a variety of formats – written, audio, video, artefact etc. Each student is also required to produce a report on the process of completing the Task. A task is worth 10 credits and there are 7 tasks to be completed during the 2 years.

Terminal Examinations are provided in the following areas :

  • English and Communication
  • Two Vocational Specialisms
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Language (Gaeilge Chumarsáideach & Modern European Languages)
  • Social Education

The written examinations will generally be held in the same period as the other Leaving Certificate examinations.
Practical performance tests are required for practical subjects like craft and design, engineering etc.
Oral examinations, as well as written/aural examinations, will be held in the case of all the languages including English and Communications.

Past examination papers, practical examination assignment briefs, marking schemes and Chief Examiner Reports are available to download from the website of the State Examinations Commission at www.examinations.ie

What opportunities are available to students who have successfully completed the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The Leaving Certificate Applied has a strong vocational dimension which equips students with skills for the world of work and life-long learning.

Students wishing to further their education can do so by progressing into Post Leaving Certificate ( PLC) courses. These are one-year courses (two in some cases) in a very wide range of specialist areas. PLC courses are at level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications www.nfq.ie

Graduates of the Leaving Certificate Applied who progress to an approved Further Education Award (e.g. PLC) can become eligible for admission to some third level courses in the Institutes of Technology and following that to some degree courses in the Institutes of Technology and in the Universities. Check out progression route at www.fetac.ie/hels.

The Leaving Certificate

The Leaving Certificate (Established) programme offers students a broad and balanced education while allowing for some specialisation. The certificate is used for the purposes of selection into further education, employment, training and higher education.

The examination is the terminal examination of post-primary education. It is held at the end of the Senior Cycle in post-primary schools. The Senior Cycle caters for students in the 15 to 18 year old age group. The majority of candidates who sit for the examinations are recognised students in post-primary schools, are 17 or 18 years of age and have completed 5 or 6 years of post-primary education.

However, candidature for the examination is not limited to post-primary school students. A candidate following an approved course of study outside the State or who is attending an approved course of study organised under the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme , Adult Literacy and Community Education Schemes, the Department of Social and Family Affairs second-level scheme for the unemployed or an analogous scheme, may be admitted to the examinations on payment of the appropriate fee.

Subject Choice. The examination is offered in the following subjects and levels. For curriculum information for each of these subjects please click on this link to the website of the Department of Education and Science.

SUBJECT LEVEL
Irish Higher, Ordinary and Foundation
English Higher and Ordinary
Latin Higher and Ordinary
Ancient Greek Higher and Ordinary
Classical Studies Higher and Ordinary
Hebrew Studies Higher and Ordinary
Arabic Higher and Ordinary
French Higher and Ordinary
German Higher and Ordinary
Italian Higher and Ordinary
Spanish Higher and Ordinary
History Higher and Ordinary
Geography Higher and Ordinary
Mathematics Higher, Ordinary and Foundation
Applied Mathematics Higher and Ordinary
Physics Higher and Ordinary
Chemistry Higher and Ordinary
Physics and Chemistry Higher and Ordinary
Agricultural Science Higher and Ordinary
Biology Higher and Ordinary
Agricultural Economics Higher and Ordinary
Engineering Higher and Ordinary
Construction Studies Higher and Ordinary
Technology Higher and Ordinary
Design and Communication Graphics Higher and Ordinary
Home Economics Higher and Ordinary
Accounting Higher and Ordinary
Business Higher and Ordinary
Economics Higher and Ordinary
Religious Education Higher and Ordinary
Art (including crafts) Higher and Ordinary
Music Higher and Ordinary
Russian Higher and Ordinary
Japanese Higher and Ordinary

Subject Exclusions

Candidates may not take any of following subject combinations :

  1. Physics and Chemistry and either of the separate subjects, Physics or Chemistry.
  2. Economics and Agricultural Economics.
  3. Classical Studies and Latin.
  4. Classical Studies and Ancient Greek.

Subject Clashes

The State Examinations Commission makes every effort to arrange the examination timetable in order to minimise the potential for subject clashes. Sometimes students enter for subjects that are timetabled for the same time and date. Arrangements can be made to allow time to sit both papers. Please contact Entries Section for further information. Telephone 090 6442704 / 6442702 / 6442706. E-mail: entries@examinations.ie

Composition of the Examination

The examination incorporates written tests in all subjects. In addition, there are oral and aural tests in the subjects Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Japanese. There are practical examinations in the subjects Engineering, Construction Studies, Art and Music. There is Practical Course Work in the subjects Engineering; Construction Studies; Agricultural Economics; Agricultural Science; LCVP; History; Geography, Religious Education, Design and Communication Graphics and Technology. The new examination in Home Economics includes an element of assessed course work and also a Textile option.

Grading

Results of the Leaving Certificate examination subjects are given in the form of grades. Each grade represents a percentage range of marks as follows :

Percentage Range Grade
90 or over A1
85 but less than 90 A2
80 but less than 85 B1
75 but less than 80 B2
70 but less than 75 B3
65 but less than 70 C1
60 but less than 65 C2
55 but less than 60 C3
50 but less than 55 D1
45 but less than 50 D2
40 but less than 45 D3
25 but less than 40 E
10 but less than 25 F
Less than 10 No Grade

The Transition Year Programme was reintroduced across the country in the mid 1990s. It’s overall mission is to promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of students. The Transition Year Programme at Rath Dara continues to provide students with a solid foundation for the Leaving Certificate course. It provides students with space in which to learn, mature and develop in the absence of exam pressure while also preparing them personally and educationally so that they can better withstand the pressures of the Leaving Certificate when they enter fifth and sixth year.

The programme is comprised of core subjects, exam subject modules and non-exam modules. The core and exam subject modules cover many areas – some directly related to the Leaving Cert courses, others encompassing topics and skills which will assist Leaving Certificate studies and other areas of development indirectly.

The non-exam subject modules work on the total development of the student providing introduction into such areas as information technology, health and fitness, cultural studies, outdoor education and drama.

The work experience element of the programme is a valuable part of the programme in that it provides students with skills in job seeking and then allows them to experience the world of full time work. The following are some excerpts from pieces written by students on their return from their work experience placements.

Special Event Days such as the annual trip to the National Museum at Collins’ Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol and the Health and Fitness Day also provide an educational and enjoyable aspect to the programme.

Transition Year students are also encouraged to become involved in charity work during Transition Year. Selected charities include Santa Bear Appeal for the CRC, Trick or Treat for Temple Street and Daffodil Day for the Irish Cancer Society.

Overall the Transition Year provides students with the chance to mature and learn new skills in advance of studying for the Leaving Cert.

Junior Certificate School Programme (JCSP)

Defining the JCSP

Every year a small group of students leave post-primary education without qualifications, some of them without attempting any of the State examinations. For many of these young people, their experience of school has been one of failure and alienation.

In this context the department of education set out to develop “an alternative pathway towards the aims and educational standards of the Junior Certificate” for those students most at risk of failure or early drop out. The resulting programme developed by the national Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in conjunction with the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) of County Dublin V.E.C., is known as the Junior Certificate Schools Programme. The JCSP has essentially been designed “to ensure that young people can benefit from their time in school and enjoy the experience of improvement and success.” This is to be achieved by providing a curriculum framework that will assist schools and individual teachers in adopting a student entered approach to the Junior Certificate especially aimed at those young people who show signs of school failure by early leaving.

The Approach of the JCSP

The programme involves:

Analysing students’ strengths and weaknesses and taking note of any recurring difficulties. Planning programmes of work which both build on students’ abilities and address the main obstacles which hinder their progress. Engaging in dialogue with young people and their parents regarding their needs and their progress in school.

The programme acknowledges that all students are different such as attempts to facilitate teachers in developing responses which are appropriate to a variety of different situations and requirements. In addition it provides an official record of skills, knowledge and achievement which students have attained at the end of their time in full-time education, validated by the Department of Education. This record is contained in a profile which is presented to students in either May or September.

The Overall Aim of JCSP

The programme sets out to make the experience of school relevant and accessible to those young people who find it difficult to cope with the school system and would benefit from special support in working towards the aims of the Junior Certificate. According to the White paper Charting our Education Future published in 1995 these general aims promote:

  • Competence and literacy, numeracy and spoken language skills which will allow them to participate as young adults in society.
  • Experience in various areas of activity – artistic, intellectual, scientific, physical and practical.
  • Formative experience in moral, religious and spiritual education.
  • Knowledge and supportive guidance in matters of personal health, sexual awareness and relationships.
  • Competence and understanding in practical skills including computer literacy and information technology.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of social, cultural and physical heritage and environment.
  • Understanding and appreciation of the central concepts of citizenship.

In addition to reinforcing the general aims of the junior certificate, this programme addresses the main obstacles which hinder some young people’s success in their second level career. These difficulties include:

  • The lack of certain basic knowledge and skills which are necessary for coping in the second level school. This includes competence in literacy and numeracy.
  • Difficulties with social interaction not only with teachers, but with peers. Students who have prolonged experience of failure in school often lack self-confidence and have poor self esteem. This can affect their academic performance as well as their social experience in school.
  • The number and variety of subjects and subject teachers in second level schools, which contrast with the more integrated experience of the primary school. The fragmentation of the subject centred curriculum can be especially problematic for some young people at the transfer stage between primary and post primary school.

The JCSP provides schools and teachers with a focus for identifying and addressing these issues before they develop into major problems. It will also assist teachers to take appropriate action if these are already causing young people to have difficulties with school.

The JCSP Curriculum Strategy

The Curriculum strategy for the programme involves:

  • Cross-curricular work which helps to locate discrete skills and knowledge in a meaningful context reinforces learning across subject boundaries and promotes team-work among teachers. It also continues the integrated thematic approach to the primary school.
  • Basic skills development relevant to many areas of the curriculum and which are important for managing daily life both inside and outside school. These include, but are not confined to literacy and numeracy.
  • Personal and social development which enhances self esteem and the ability to relate well to other people. All areas of the curriculum have the potential to contribute here.

The Junior Certificate

The Junior Certificate examination is held at the end of the Junior Cycle in post-primary schools. The Junior Cycle caters for students in the 13 to 15 year old age group. Students normally sit for the examinations at the age of 14 or 15, after 3 years of post-primary education.

However, candidature for the examination is not limited to post-primary school students. A candidate following an approved course of study outside the State or who is attending an approved course of study organised under the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme , Adult Literacy and Community Education Schemes, the Department of Social and Family Affairs second-level scheme for the unemployed or an analogous scheme, may be admitted to the examinations on payment of the appropriate fee.

Subject Choice

The examination is offered in the following subjects and levels. For curriculum information for each of these subjects please click on this link to the website of the Department of Education and Science.

Subject Level
Irish Higher, Ordinary and Foundation
English Higher, Ordinary and Foundation
Mathematics Higher, Ordinary and Foundation
History Higher and Ordinary
Geography Higher and Ordinary
French Higher and Ordinary
German Higher and Ordinary
Spanish Higher and Ordinary
Italian Higher and Ordinary
Art, Craft & Design Higher and Ordinary
Music Higher and Ordinary
Science Higher and Ordinary
Science (with Local Studies) Higher and Ordinary
Home Economics Higher and Ordinary
Materials Technology (Wood) Higher and Ordinary
Metalwork Higher and Ordinary
Technical Graphics Higher and Ordinary
Business Studies Higher and Ordinary
Typewriting Higher and Ordinary
Environmental and Social Studies (ESS) Higher and Ordinary
Technology Higher and Ordinary
Latin Higher and Ordinary
Ancient Greek Higher and Ordinary
Classical Studies Higher and Ordinary
Hebrew Studies Higher and Ordinary
Religious Education Higher and Ordinary
Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) Common

Other EU Language Subjects

Examinations in a number of other EU language subjects are also offered on a non-curricular basis and subject to candidates meeting certain criteria.

Please click here for further information.

Subject Exclusions

Candidates may not take any of following subject combinations :

  • Classical Studies and Latin
  • Classical Studies and Greek

Composition of the Examination

The examination incorporates written tests in all subjects except Art, Craft and Design. There are optional oral examinations in the subjects Irish, French, German, Italian and Spanish. There are practical examinations in Art, Craft and Design; Music; Home Economics Metalwork (Higher Level only). There is Practical Course Work in Art, Craft and Design; Materials technology (Wood); Home Economics; Religious Education; Metalwork; Environmental and Social Studies and Civic, Social and Political Education, Technology and Science.

Grading

Results of the Junior Certificate examination subjects are given in the form of grades. Each grade represents a percentage range of marks as follows.

Percentage Range Grade
85 or over A
70 but less than 85 B
55 but less than 70 C
40 but less than 55 D
25 but less than 40 E
10 but less than 25 F
Less than 10 No Grade