JCSP – Junior Certificate Schools Programme

The Junior Certificate School Programme (JCSP) is a national programme under the auspices of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). Currently, the programme is offered in 223 schools throughout the country. JCSP operates within the Junior Cycle curriculum and is an intervention into the Junior Cycle and not an alternative to it.  

The JCSP aims to help make the curriculum more accessible and relevant to those young people who would benefit from a different approach to the Junior Cycle. 

The JCSP approach involves:
  • analysing students’ strengths and weaknesses and taking note of any specific recurring difficulties.
  • planning programmes of work which both build on students’ abilities and address the main obstacles which may hinder their progress.
  • engaging in dialogue with the young people and their parents/guardians regarding their needs and their progress in school

Aims of JCSP

Junior Certificate School Programme aims to help young people experience success and develop a positive self image by providing a curriculum and assessment framework suitable to their needs. On completion of the programme students receive a profile which is an official record of their achievements from the Department of Education and Science.

The JCSP motto is that every student will have a positive educational experience through a combination of learning in the classroom and also learning outside the classroom. 

Every year a number of students are chosen from each year group to participate in JCSP. In addition to working on specific statements of learning in class, JCSP students also take part in a wide variety of initiatives each year. Currently there are 65 students at Junior Cycle in The Royal and Prior participating in and benefiting from  the Junior Certificate Schools Programme.

JCSP Initiatives

JCSP Initiatives for 2020-20201:

  1. Celebrity Chef

A local chef comes into the school for two days and works side by side with students in second and third year. This year we focused on a comparison between homemade and shop bought. The majority of students agreed that homemade tasted nicer as well as being cheaper to buy. We also looked at food labels,what is in your food as well as the traffic lights on food labels. This is one of the most enjoyable initiatives in JCSP.

  1. Oral Language Development

To be used with all 1st and 2nd Year students

  • This initiative was chosen to give students the confidence to deliver oral presentations as part of their CBAs.

  • A local speech and language teacher will be employed to make the initiative interesting and engaging.

  1. Literacy Initiative: Reading Medley

The aim of this initiative is to encourage reading for fun among students. There are three parts to this initiative

A) Paired Reading Initiative

This is a two part, short term reading initiative:

  1. 1st Year JCSP students are paired with a TY mentor for 6 weeks. They will work with the TY student 3 times per week for 6 weeks.

  • Transition Year students will be trained as reading tutors with JCSP students.

  • Students are awarded for successfully taking part in this reading project.

  1. The second part of this initiative creates a link between the local primary school and the Royal and Prior School. Our students visit a chosen primary school class.

  • Students are paired with a primary pupil to read a novel too. On completion of this initiative the primary school pupils are presented with the book and all pupils involved receive certificates.

B) Book in the Bag

All students in junior cycle will have a book in their bag, which they may have an opportunity to read during the day. We will DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) at various stages throughout the year.

All classrooms will have a mini library which students may have the opportunity to read during their day.

C) Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge is a short-term reading intervention. Students are challenged to read a book a week for six weeks.

Parental involvement is an element of this intervention. Reading Challenge motivates students to read and review books; they also track their reading and are awarded for successfully meeting the reading challenge

4. Paired Maths

JCSP students will visit a local primary school. Students will take part in a variety of active maths games with our students acting as the tutor. This initiative lasts for 6 weeks. Students will receive a certificate for taking part.

5. Material Technology Initiative

Second year students will work with the Material Technology teacher to recycle wood as part of our sustainability theme. They will use the wood to make mini farms which will be given away.

Christmas/Summer Celebration

Each year we host a Christmas/Summer celebration. Pupils display some work they have completed over their time in the school both practical and written. Parents and teachers are invited to attend the celebration. Students’ have the opportunity to display their best work and to share what they have learned in school. We are committed to recognising our students’ hard work and commitment to achieving their best.

Students may also use their cooking skills from celebrity chef to provide some refreshments on the day.