The junior cycle places a strong emphasis on assessment as part of the learning process. This approach requires a more varied approach to assessment in ensuring that the assessment method or methods chosen are fit for purpose, timely and relevant to the students. Assessment in Junior Cycle SPHE will optimise the opportunity for students to become reflective and active participants in their learning and for teachers to support this.
Essentially, the purpose of assessment and reporting at this stage of education is to support learning. The SPHE course supports a wide variety of approaches to assessment. It is envisaged that most assessment in SPHE will be formative in nature and students will provide evidence of their learning through multiple means of expression, including oral, written, visual, digital and art-based pieces. In these contexts, students, with their teachers and peers, will reflect upon and make judgements about their own and others’ learning by looking at the quality of particular pieces of work, and they will agree the next steps in their learning based on feedback they give and receive. In this way, ongoing formative assessment can support the student in their learning journey and in preparing for the Classroom-Based Assessment related to this course.
Student progress and achievement in short courses, both in ongoing assessments and in the specific Classroom-Based Assessment relating to this course, will be communicated to parents/guardians in interim reporting and in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA).
To support this, teachers and schools will have access to online assessment support material in addition to the guide to the Subject Learning and Assessment Review (SLAR) process. The contents of the online support material include a range of assessment supports, advice and guidelines to enable schools and teachers to engage with the assessment system and reporting arrangements in an informed way, with confidence and clarity.
In addition, specially developed materials to support SPHE teaching and learning are available in the 2023 SPHE Toolkit.