FAQs on ASTI Directive on Framework for Junior Cycle

Can I be involved in administering the Framework for Junior Cycle Assessment Task for English in my school?

At its meeting on March 10th 2017, ASTI Standing Committee decided to advise members to co-operate with recent guidelines issued by the State Examinations Commission for the completion of the Junior Cycle English Assessment Task https://www.examinations.ie/?l=en&mc=ex&sc=sp. The guidelines are in line with ASTI policy that teachers should not be involved with the assessment of their own students for the Junior Cycle. Previously, the Department of Education and Skills had indicated that only students who had completed Classroom Based Assessments could undertake an Assessment Task in English. Department of Education and Skills Circular 24/16 states that “students must complete their second CBA in order to undertake the associated Assessment Task”. The State Examinations Commission guidelines remove this requirement.

What does this mean for the ASTI Directive on the Framework for Junior Cycle?

The ASTI Directive on the Framework for Junior Cycle remains in place. The Directive prohibits any engagement with school based assessments for the purpose of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (i.e. the Classroom Based Assessments), attendance at in-service etc. Click here to view the ASTI Directive on the Framework for Junior Cycle.

As an English Teacher how can I fulfil the obligations of the English specification while at the same time adhering to the ASTI Directive?

The English specification contains three strands – Oral Language, Reading and Writing. ASTI members are required to teach the new specification. In this regard, they are required to teach the Oral Language as part of the specification. Students demonstrate their achievement in this strand by providing a maximum of 3-minutes presentation – as individuals or as a group -to their class on a theme of their choice. 

The ASTI Junior Cycle directive does not prohibit teachers from facilitating such student presentations as part of mainstream classroom activity. What is does prohibit is the awarding of the descriptors  - Exceptional, Above Expectations, In-line with Expectations, Yet to meet Expectations -  to such presentations as part of Classroom Based Assessment 1 and the recording and reporting of such descriptors in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement.

Similarly, the specification requires that students engage in a Collection of Texts as part of the Reading strand. The ASTI Directive does not prohibit teachers from facilitating students in creating a Collection of Texts as part of mainstream classroom activity. Rather,  it prohibits the  awarding of the  descriptors - Exceptional, Above Expectations, In-line with Expectations, Yet to meet Expectations -  to students’ texts  as part of Classroom Based Assessment 2 and the recording and reporting of such descriptors in the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement. 

Does the Directive prohibit me from using sample exam papers?

No. The use of sample exam papers may be used as this is not prohibited by the ASTI Directive.

Can I attend a cluster meeting in my area on the new Junior Cycle wellbeing programme?

No. These meetings relate to the wellbeing programme of the Framework for Junior Cycle. As such, attendance at these meetings is prohibited by the ASTI Directive. The Directive states that ASTI members must not “attend meetings associated with the Junior Cycle Framework proposals”.

Can I attend in-school meetings on the Junior Cycle Well-Being Guidelines?

The ASTI has become aware that some schools have been attempting to schedule meetings containing agenda items that are or could be construed as being in contravention of the ASTI Junior Cycle Framework Directive. For example, analysis of the 24 Statements of Learning at the core of the Junior Cycle Framework or the application of the Junior Cycle Wellbeing Guidelines within other subject areas. Point 3 of the ASTI Junior Cycle Directive states: "Not to attend any planning meetings or participate in any planning activities organised in connection with the Junior Cycle Framework Proposals."

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