Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017 - Gael

Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017 - Gael
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
Gael-Choláiste Chill Dara
Seanbhóthar Luimnigh
Nás na Ríogh
Co Chill Dara
045 898294
rphost: eolas@gccd.ie
Spiorad Gaelach, spiorad Críostaíochta, úsáid na teanga agus an chultúir, cúram agus
aire, cothú agus tacaíocht, meas ar féinig agus ar uile, rannpháirteachas agus glacadh
páirt is ea spiorad Ghael-Choláiste Chill Dara.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
At this stage in your school career you, with your parents/guardians, will have to
choose the subjects you are going to take in the Leaving Certificate. It is important to
consider the implications these choices may have on your future third level and career
choices. You will be required to take seven exam subjects.
What you have to do is choose subjects which will give you a good balance, or mix,
in order to keep as many options open as possible, for your future career choice. Very
few young people of 15 or 16 years of age are sure of what they want to do after
school and may change their minds about possible future careers a number of times
over the next couple of years.
You can help yourself to make the wisest choice if you keep in mind that entry to
many courses and jobs from the Leaving Certificate often depends on the standard of
the results you achieve, rather than the subjects you achieve them in. It would also
1. What subject am I most interested in?
2. Which subjects am I likely to be best at?
3. How difficult is it to achieve really good results in each
4. What Subjects will I need?
The answers to numbers 1 and 2 will probably be quite closely linked. Generally, if
you are interested in, and like something, it is easier to do well at it. To see what
subject you will need, get a sheet of paper and list any career, third level course and
job areas you are even slightly interested in, find out the entry requirements, and list
them. This exercise has become increasingly important over the last few years.
When you have done all that, remember it is important to make a balanced choice of
If you do intend to specialise after leaving school, then you should, almost certainly,
choose some relevant subjects for the Leaving Certificate. This applies to Science,
Business, Languages, etc.
Entry requirements for Third Level courses are complex and vary from course to
course, so you must refer now to the relevant literature or go to the university web
site. Excellent websites are www.quailifax.ie., www.careesportal.ie and
Some very important points before we go on to the individual subjects:
Remember that the Leaving Certificate requires a great amount of hard work over two
years. You are fooling yourself if you think it does not. It is much easier to work hard
if you have chosen, in so far as is possible, subjects which you like. The Leaving
Certificate also requires a sense of purpose, motivation to get accepted for a certain
course, to get a better job, etc. A good level of education can only improve your
chances. To do well in the Leaving Certificate also requires some academic ability.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
Use what you have to its fullest, don't blame others for your lack of success, as when
it all boils down, you get from it what you put into it. Whether it is fair or not, what
you do with the next two years may determine what you do with the rest of your life.
The Subjects
Every student must do Irish, English, Maths and a European Language (French or
Spáinnis) and they must also choose three other subjects. Students will also have
non-examination subjects in Religion, Careers, Personal Development and Physical
Compulsory Subjects
French or Spanish
Option Subjects that may be available (depending on demand)
Home Economics.
Compulsory Subjects
The Leaving Certificate Gaeilge Syllabus builds on the knowledge acquired and
developed at Junior Certificate and Transition Year. Students will develop the four
skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing so that they can become active
members in a bilingual society. The course is divided into seven parts:
 speaking & listening 50%, students will be able to participate in a
conversation covering a variety of topics and will be able to understand
conversations, news items etc covering a variety of topics
 composition, students will acquire the ability to write in different styles,
essays, stories, newspaper articles and debates
 comprehension, students will be able to understand and answer questions on
the written language
 prose, students will study five different styles of prose and a drama
 poetry, students will study five poems at higher level with a variation of
themes, emotions and metre
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
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Students throughout fifth and sixth year will learn the many forms of language that
are required in preparing paper one of the Leaving Certificate. Material will range
from past papers and it will be appropriate in order to enable students answer
questions successfully and use their own judgment as to suitability. The course is
broken down into preparing all aspects for paper 1 and paper 2. A Shakespearian play
will be covered as well as a selection of poets and poems. Three stories varying in
film, novel and play will also be studied in great detail. Questions asked will reflect
those asked in the Leaving certificate exam and all the literary skills necessary for this
paper will be comprehensively covered also. It is a challenging course that is also
very interesting and yet contemporary. Essential aspects of this course are ideal in
preparing students for the outside world.
The study of Mathematics at Leaving Certificate level builds and extends upon the
skills and learning attained at Junior Certificate Level and during Transition Year.
Topics such as calculus, trigonometry, complex numbers etc are covered and
knowledge gained at Leaving Certificate Maths is extremely helpful to any students
who are interested in science or engineering at Third Level especially at Higher Level.
Higher Level maths attracts 25 bonus points for all grades above a D at Leaving Cert
level. It is also compulsory for some Third Level courses.
There is regular homework and regular exams occur at the end of each chapter.
A challenging course suitable for the student that isn’t afraid of hard work! Listening,
writing, speaking and reading are developed on a daily basis using various sourcesmagazines, cds, internet and videos. An effort is made to promote an interest in the
language and culture in order to motivate the students.
An interesting course based on communication, grammar and culture of Spain and the
Spanish speaking world. Students will develop further their written, speaking, reading
and listening skills through a varied selection of resources such as
newspapers/magazines, video, music etc, we hope that students will further their love
for the Spanish language and culture through this challenging 2 year course.
Choice Subjects
This is a study of the physical aspects of the world. Classical physics is studied from
Issac Newton to the study of laser and partical physics.
A good ability in maths is necessary as well as an interest in solving problems in order
to enjoy physics.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
This is a study of the world of chemistry. The syllabus places emphasis on chemistry
in the world around us and in industry. Chemistry is a requirement to some veterinary
and engineering courses. A reasonable ability is maths (C or higher in the Junior
Certificate Higher Level) is recommended in order to enjoy this course.
Biology is a study of life. It covers the variety of life and the interrelationships
between organisms and their environment. The different body systems are studied and
how they interact in order to keep the organism alive. Experiments and field studies
will take place as part of the Leaving Certificate course. This is probably the longest
of the science courses
Stair changes substantially in style at Leaving Cert level. Rather than studying
information and figures almost as unquestionable fact, students are encouraged to
develop critical analysis skills. Using varying versions of history the Leaving Cert
student is challenged to interpret data, detect bias and argue the merits of a position.
For those choosing history, these life skills should stand them in good stead after their
school years.
Leaving Cert Stair deals primarily with 20th Century events, focussing not only on
political events but also on the development of society, economy and culture.
The four main topics which will be examined are as follows:
1. Ireland between 1916 and 1949
2. The United States and the World, 1945 to 1989
3. Northern Ireland between 1945 and 1989
4. Dictatorship and Democracy, 1920-45
Regarding 1-3 above, students will be expected to write four page essays in the exam
at higher level. At ordinary level, students will answer questions on documents and
write shorter accounts.
Topic 4 above, ‘Dictatorship and Democracy, 1920-45’, will be a documents-based
question next year and will involve interpreting various excepts from speeches,
writings, evaluating the accuracy and bias in each.
The exam described above accounts for 80% of the Leaving Cert marks.
The final 20% will be awarded for a Research Study undertaken by the student, under
the direction of the teacher, the bulk this work being done in fifth year. The student
chooses an aspect of history of particular interest to her/him, often of local
importance, and from any time period up to 1990, and researches it. The TY students
are currently practising this style.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
The course taught meets the demands and requirements of the new Leaving
Certificate Syllabus, at both ordinary and higher level. Students are required to cover
an investigative topic worth 20% of the Leaving Certificate, while also preparing for a
written paper worth 80%. Students will have the choice of studying an elective topic
covering a wide range of core material ranging from Geo-ecology, Cultures, Physical
Environment, illustrations, Graphs, Ordnance Survey and Photographs are also used
and studied in appropriate sections of the course. Preparation and focus is put on
Essay type questions and answers that reflect those asked in the Leaving Certificate
exam. Students will have a variety of resources at their disposal that help in learning
and interpreting information from maps and photos. The analytical skills from Junior
Certificate and Transition Year are built upon and successful approaches to the exam
style questions extends these skills.
An introduction into how the world of business operates. An interesting course that
refers to current affairs on a daily basis and is suitable for those interested in this.
Continuous assessment and regular study is vital due to the amount of information
that has to be processed.
The Leaving Certificate music course divides into three main sections.
Firstly, there is the ‘practical examination’ which makes up 50% of the marks. This
consists of the student playing a maximum of six pieces on their chosen instrument as
well as a very enjoyable Music technology section where they demonstrate their
ability to use Music notation software. Secondly, there is the listening section where
students study the scores and listen to music from major composers such as Mozart,
Berlioz as well as modern Classical composers such as Raymond Deane. Thirdly, in
the composition section students study harmony and composition and learn how to
write in musical notation a melody or harmonic passage.
The Leaving Certificate art examination comprises of four sections)
1) art history 2) life drawing 3) Design 4) Painting (their are nine parts in total)
1) In Fifth Year students learn how to write art history essays as in the exam they
must write an essay on each of the following topics (i.e. 3 essays in the exam)
Art in Ireland
Art in Europe (1000 A.D. to the present)
Art Appreciation
2) They will practice life drawing- drawing a person
In the LC they will make a 15 minute full body sketch and a
30 minute detailed sketch- either full body or head with shoulders
3) Design paper: Students study how to design and make objects in their 5th year.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
One week before the exam: they make an A2 support study sheet after reading a story
which inspires them to design a book cover/ mosaic/ tapestry or sculpture.
In the exam they make an A2 development sheet working on their original ideas
And then make the finished design on paper- as it should look if it was physically
4) Imaginative Composition or Abstract Composition or Still life painting
Students choose one of the above and make a painting.
They read a story which inspires them to make a composition using a variety of
materials (but not oil paint) It can be from their mind (abstract) taken from the story
(imaginative) or a drawing of objects mentioned (still life)
Home Economics
Essentially what is involved with the Leaving Certificate Home Economics
programme is building on what the students have already learned in the Junior Cert.
The core of the course is mainly theory and 60% of the exam is based on these
 Food – Nutrition, diet, preparation, cooking, technology.
 Social studies – The family, Marriage, The family in society.
 Home management / Consumer studies – housing, home management,
consumer studies, textiles and technology.
Another 20% is based on an elective study. In the school we generally do the social
elective. This covers the community, education, child development and the changing
world. The reason we do this section is because students find it easier to relate to the
topics and link them with everyday life.
The final 20% of the course is based on a journal the students have to write up based
on cookery assignments the department send out. These journals are sent off the
Christmas before the Leaving Cert.
Non-Examination Subjects
In 5th and 6th year we continue discussing the topical subjects students will have come
across in their lives such as, abortion, morality, suicide, endangering the environment
and life after death. This gives students a opportunity to discuss these issues. The
Leaving Certificate RSE (Relationship and Sexuality Education) programme starts in
5th year. Students will receive all the facts and it will give them a chance to discuss
their feelings surrounding the subject.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
Fifth Year Career Guidance class:
Students will explore their career choice options using websites such as UCAS,
Qualifax, FÁS and CAO and reading about specific courses from college prospecti.
They will visit an open day in Dublin and will attend in-school talks from college
speakers. We also encourage students to consider continuing their college education
through the medium of Irish in degree courses in NUIG, Maynooth and UCD. Part of
this year is helping each individual figure out their strengths and their aspirations for
the future. They do aptitude tests to help them determine their interests and academic
strengths. Learning about study skills is a large part of this year. Every student has to
assess their own circumstances and how they spend their time. In preparation for
exams students create a study plan to help them target subjects they need to spend
more time studying.
Sixth Year Career Guidance:
Students will apply to college or apprentice courses. This is a decision which affects
not alone the student but also those who support them. Therefore I will meet
guardians and students to discuss career choices from September to December. In
December, ideally, students will send away their CAO forms, this will save students
from extra stress, because language orals and mock exams start after Christmas.
(*They have the opportunity to send a “change of mind form” after their mocks if
they change their subject levels.) The class will learn how to cope with exam pressure
by preparing study timetables, using study groups and learning what individually
reduces their stress levels. They will also learn about loans, grants and how to budget
for college life.
Physical Education
This subject is divided up into different exercise blocks which aim to allow students
gain new skills in new sports while building rapports with classmates and learning
about teamwork and value of team. Health and body strength are a focus, with
modules on diet, exercise, nutrition, balance etc. Variety of activities may include
volleyball, dance aerobics, athletics, basketball, soccer, swimming etc.
Personal Development
The students build upon the knowledge gained in Transition Year and they are
prepared for life after school.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
Study and Homework
Gael-Choláiste Chill Dara expects the highest standards of work and study from
students as they progress towards the Leaving Certificate Examinations.
Full attendance at school, concentration in class and private study/homework are
essential for the successful student.
Senior students are expected to apply themselves taking a mature approach to work
and study with a high standard of self-discipline.
Senior Cycle students are encouraged to take on responsibility for their own study.
In particular
• The place of study should be comfortable and quiet with no distractions such as
mobile phones, TV, MP3 players etc.
• In fifth /sixth Year the student should be more independent in his/her application
to study (as opposed to homework) and give study the priority it requires.
• Students should keep notes organised in separate folders according to subject.
• The student should plan study on a weekly basis. Setting targets for study serves
as a useful way of gauging progress and acts as a motivator.
• It is expected that work will be completed on time and to the best of the
student’s ability.
• The student should keep a balance between study, social interaction and
participation in extra-curricular activities. The right balance and a healthy
approach to exercise and sleep will contribute to academic success.
• Part-time work is not recommended and can adversely affect progress in school.
• Students are encouraged to liaise with their teacher for advice, in the first
instance, if they are experiencing difficulties. Students and/or parents should
contact the Tutor.
The Purpose of Study and Homework
1. To reinforce and practise what is learnt in class
2. To prepare for tests and examinations
3. To encourage independent study, learning and regular reviewing of work
4. To get feedback from teacher
5. To allow for the completion of class work and coursework
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
Time (approximate) spent on Study and Homework
5th Year 15 - 18 hours effective work per week
for example: 2½ - 3 hours each evening and 3 hours study at the weekend
6th Year 18 - 22 hours effective work per week
for example: 3 hours each evening and 3+ hours study at the weekend
Some students will manage more than this.
But remember:
The top grades demand this time commitment (at least).
Effective study means you are alive, alert and efficient.
The Leaving Certificate is a 2 year course and requires substantial
effort and dedication over the two years.
Revision and study during holiday time will be necessary
In subjects where there are projects and practicals it is important that deadline dates
are noted well in advance and the deadlines for these are met. This prevents an
overload of work closer to the written examinations.
Absence from Class
If a student is absent from class it is the responsibility of the student to catch up on
work that has been missed.
Extra-curricular activities should not be used as an excuse for not producing work. If
a student has a concern then he/she should consult with the subject teacher. In the case
of longer planned or un-planned absences the student or parent should consult with
the tutor.
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
Advice for Students
1. Form good habits
a. Prepare and follow a study timetable from the outset.
b. Study at same place each day/evening
c. No TV, mobile phone or computer distractions
d. Decide on time required for each homework or assignment
e. If you have additional time look ahead to work set for later in the week or review
and study earlier work
f. Take short breaks & reward yourself when work is finished
2. Get organised before you start – have a clear desk or table
a. Student diary
b. Text books, copy books, note pads, files
c. Pens, pencils, drawing equipment, calculator dictionary etc
3. Use your Student Diary
a. Write down homework as it is set
b. Tick off when you complete homework
c. Look for opportunity to do long-term work
d. Note important dates for oral, practical and project deadlines
4. Get motivated, set goals, plan ahead
a. The key to motivation is to set realistic goals
b. Set daily, weekly, monthly goals – Make sure these are realistic
c. Enjoy the sense of achievement as you reach these targets
5. Time management
a. Do work at same time each evening; get into a steady routine
b. Allocate time for each assignment
c. Take short breaks (and keep them short!)
d. Use any “leftover” time to review work (ie Study!)
 Summarise topic in notes or bullet point form
 Summarise a chapter
 Select questions from revision exercise at end of
topic or chapter
 Highlight headings, key facts, dates etc in book
 Read
6. Tackling a test or exam paper
a. Read all of question or paper before you start
b. Allocate time for each question – spend more time on questions worth more marks
c. Answer your “best” question first
d. Correct test or exam as soon as possible
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
Ar thuras léinn is feasa
Points Table
Points will be calculated using their six best results (25 marks extra for honours
Leaving Certificate Programme 2015-2017
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