Main group photo: Students who have received their JCPAs following completion of their Junior Cycle in June 2018. Photo includes: Mr. Seán Mulholland (Year Head), Mr. James O’Shea (Class Tutor), Ms. Siobhán Sheerin (Deputy Principal), Ms. Betty McLoughlin (Junior Cycle for Teachers), Mr. Patrick McArdle (Principal), Ms. Lynda McKeown (Class Tutor) and Ms. Lisa Smyth (Class Tutor)
OTHER AREAS OF LEARNING
Photo includes: Students who received special recognition for their achievements in Other Areas of Learning: Antra-Elvita Kamkovska, Caitlin Crudden, Courtney Molloy, Eva Molloy, Hannah Kellett, Haylie McQuaid, Kevinas Sadauskas, Katie Murphy, Caoimhe McCarra, Oisin McElroy, Shane Murray, Deividas Kaklauska, Erika Sarksniovaite, Conor Smyth. Also in photo is Mr. Seán Mulholland (Year Head), Ms. Betty McLoughlin (JCT Regional Leader), Mr. Patrick McArdle (Principal) and Ms. Siobhán Sheerin (Deputy Principal)
CLASSROOM BASED ASSESSMENTS
Photo includes: Students who received special recognition for their achievements in Classroom Based Assessments: Tadhg Murphy, Jessica Rice, Dearbhla Deeney, Hannah Brady and Katie-Anne McQuaid. Also in photo is Mr. Seán Mulholland (Year Head), Ms. Betty McLoughlin (JCT Regional Leader), Mr. Patrick McArdle (Principal) and Ms. Siobhán Sheerin (Deputy Principal)
JUNIOR CYCLE PROFILE OF ACHIEVEMENT – HIGHLY COMMENDED AWARD WINNERS
Photo includes: Students who received special “Highly Commended” awards for their achievements within their JCPAs: Conor Brennan, Emma Ward, Paddy O’Donoghue-Drage, Colleen Moffett, Ethan McKenna and Kyle Crean-McKenna. Also in photo is Mr. Seán Mulholland (Year Head), Ms. Betty McLoughlin (JCT Regional Leader), Mr. Patrick McArdle (Principal) and Ms. Siobhán Sheerin (Deputy Principal)
Beech Hill College recently awarded their Junior Cycle class of 2018 with their Junior Cycle Profiles of Achievement (JCPAs).
Mr. Patrick McArdle (Principal) welcomed everyone to the awards ceremony including the recipients who are now in Transition Year or Leaving Certificate Applied 5th Year. He said that “today is a very special day for Beech Hill College in terms of the New Junior Cycle for both our teachers and of course our current TY and LCA1 students who completed their Junior Certificate/Cycle last year in June 2018”. He went on to extend a very warm Ceád Míle Fáilte to Ms. Betty McLoughlin, Senior Official within Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) a department of Education & Science support service for teachers. He also acknowledged the absence of the late Ms. Mona Clarke who he described “as a friend, a colleague, a teacher, a former year head and a former guidance counsellor”, he went on to say that he was sure that she was there in spirit and was bursting with pride to see the young men and women of her Year Group being awarded today. He said that a candle would be burning throughout the awards ceremony to represent “all of those who have gone before us but who are still in our hearts, in our prayers and in our memories”.
Mr. Seán Mulholland (Year Head) explained that the Junior Certificate has now been replaced by a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement, or the JCPA. The JCPA captures, recognises and rewards a much wider set of student achievements including Classroom Based Assessments and Other Areas of Learning. The JCPA therefore gives a much more comprehensive picture of all the learning that has taken place over the entire three years of Junior Cycle rather than focusing solely on one final examination.
He explained to all present that all of the different subjects that are currently on offer will remain in place, innovative teaching methods practiced in classrooms will not change, and the State Examinations Commission (SEC) will continue to set, administer and correct external exams. The new Junior Cycle takes all of these good aspects, builds on them and leaves us with a modern and progressive system of education for our young people. He said that “here in Beech Hill College, we have embraced the reform measures within Junior Cycle in terms of our Classroom Based Assessments, Assessment Tasks, Formative Assessment, Effective Reporting and so on up to and including moving from what was a 36 minute class period to our current 58 minute class period in 2017. Teachers have also undergone comprehensive training to help them in implementing the various changes and to ensure that all students got the very best advice and support within their subjects thereby ensuring that they can indeed “be the best they can be” as suggested by the Beech Hill College motto.
Ms. Siobhán Sheerin (Deputy Principal) also addressed the audience and explained that subjects will continue to be included and expanded according to a set national time frame with the full range of subjects being offered to all our new incoming First Years next September studying a total of 11 new Junior Cycle subjects. Each subject she said has new “specifications” that will focus on learning outcomes and features of quality. These will focus on learning that activates and develops key skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes among Junior Cycle students – again supporting students to excel in everything they do.
Ms. Sheerin went on to say that the first subject to be introduced as part of our New Junior Cycle here in Beech Hill College, was English which was introduced in September 2014 and is now being studied alongside Science and Business Studies by our 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students. More recently Gaeilge, Modern Foreign Languages (French) and Visual Art has been introduced in September 2017 and are currently being studied by First & Second Year students. In September of last year she said, we introduced new subject specifications in Maths, Music, History, Geography and Home Economics and these are currently being studied by our First Year students. She also went on to say that Beech Hill College is now the first Monaghan Post Primary School to introduce a “Lithuanian Language and Culture” short course formally recognised by the National Council for Curriculum Assessment which takes place on Wednesday afternoons.
Mr. McArdle (Principal) addressed the assembly again and explained that there are many new and exciting changes within Junior Cycle reform including a growing emphasis on the area of learning called “Wellbeing”. Wellbeing within Junior Cycle he said is delivered via subjects that teach us about taking care of ourselves for example S.P.H.E., C.S.P.E., P.E. and guidance. He explained that one famous educationalists describes true Wellbeing as “human flourishing, that ensures that students become competent, caring, loving and loveable young men & women who acquire the knowledge, skills and value to help them navigate the world around them”. As part of the approach here in Beech Hill College we have introduced a Wellbeing programme that is now across all 3 years, covering all sorts of topics from friendship, anti-bullying, personal hygiene to road safety. Mr Mc Ardle made specific reference to the recent celebration of “Wellbeing Week” in the college involving meditation sessions, yoga sessions, hiking on our greenways, walking registrations, trips to the cinema, drumming sessions and many more activities. He congratulated all the students for fully embracing the Wellbeing activities particularly he said, our current TY students for hiking a total of 9km in the rain but each and every one of them doing so with a smile on their face.
Mr. Seán Mulholland welcomed Ms. Betty McLoughlin (JCT) to formally recognise, affirm and celebrate all of the achievements made by the TY and LCA students. Betty is both nationally and internationally renowned for her work in the area of Wellbeing, and has worked in conjunction with the NCCA to prepare documents and guidelines for teachers across Ireland and beyond.
Ms. Betty McLoughlin addressed the audience and said that it was with great pleasure that she attend to formally present the JCPAs to this group of students. She complimented Beech Hill College on all of the efforts that have been made to fully embrace Junior Cycle reform. She said that Wellbeing is at the heart of many of those measures and that it is obvious from her visit to the College that Wellbeing is also at the heart of Beech Hill College. She spoke directly with students and explained the importance of being aware of their own feelings, the importance of being “physically active” and the importance of being resilient and seeking help if/when it is needed. She went on to say that the JCPA is a very significant document celebrating a broader range of achievements for all our students including Classroom Based Assessments and Other Areas of Learning. Ms. McLoughlin was then invited to present the official JCPAs to each student who completed their Junior Cycle in 2018. A number of other awards were presented to students – special recognition for achievements in “other areas of learning” were presented by Ms. Sheerin to Antra-Elvita Kamkovska, Caitlin Crudden, Courtney Molloy, Eva Molloy, Hannah Kellett, Haylie McQuaid, Kevinas Sadauskas, Katie Murphy, Caoimhe McCarra, Oisin McElroy, Shane Murray, Deividas Kaklauska, Erika Sarksniovaite, Conor Smyth.
Mr. Mulholland presented special achievement awards to a number of students who excelled in the Classroom Based Assessments, those students were: Tadhg Murphy, Jessica Rice, Dearbhla Deeney, Hannah Brady and Katie-Anne McQuaid.
Highly commended awards were presented to Conor Brennan, Emma Ward, Paddy O’Donoghue-Drage, Colleen Moffett, Ethan McKenna and Kyle Crean-McKenna for their success in the examinations, classroom based assessments and other areas of learning.
Mr. McArdle took the opportunity to thank Ms. Betty McLoughlin for coming to celebrate with Beech Hill College and all those who had made the awards ceremony possible. He expressed his appreciation to all the teaching and support staff for their hard work over the years with this particular Junior Cycle group of 2018. He said that he hoped that all students will take inspiration from the achievements of the Junior Cycle class of 2018 and wished everyone well in their future studies here in the College and beyond.