JCSP Policy/Plan

jcsp policy



st pauls plan


St Paul’s Secondary School Mission Statement

St. Paul’s Secondary School provides an inclusive climate of learning based on the key value of respect within a nurturing and stimulating educational setting. We are a secondary school of the community for the community. Each student is expected to strive to fulfil his or her potential. Each person is encouraged to develop personally, academically, spiritually, socially and culturally.

“When we aspire, believe and achieve, together we can succeed.”


 St Paul’s Secondary School Ethos

St. Paul’s Secondary School is a Catholic voluntary co-educational secondary school under the Trusteeship of the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. St Paul’s is a welcoming and inclusive school. It is the secondary school of the community, for the community. It is the natural extension of the family with brothers and sisters, neighbours and relations learning, sharing and growing together.

The school strives to maintain and promote an atmosphere of Christian care, concern and respect where our students grow into well-adjusted men and women. The school has a strong Christian tradition, in which the Sisters of Mercy have had, and continue to have, an important role.

Inbuilt structures and procedures in the daily life of the school offer the students opportunities to develop personal initiative and responsibility, together with a questioning mind, which will help them assess, with a critical eye, the wide and varied values of the world they live in today. In school they also learn the importance of personal commitment, punctuality, regular attendance, planning for the future and working as a team.

At St Paul’s the holistic development of each student is supported, promoted, encouraged and celebrated. On completion of their education students will be prepared for life, further education, work and the varied and exciting challenges of adult life. In preparation for life, students at St Paul’s will be taught essential habits, skills and values. Christian values and the key principles of “respect” and “doing one’s best” will remain central to what we are and all we do.

Through its curriculum, teachers and timetable, the school will provide a comprehensive education for its students. Subjects will be offered at all levels and programmes and specific courses of study will be tailored to the students’ needs. A wide range of additional academic opportunities will be afforded to students. Support, advice and guidance on further education and careers will be extensive.

Through its unique atmosphere, the school will help students develop into well-adjusted men and women. Through its pastoral care and guidance, students and their families will be supported through difficult times. The provision of physical education, sports and the promotion of healthy living will remain paramount. Through extra-curricular, subject and programme related activities students will have many opportunities to showcase their talents, perform or experience the arts. The School Charter sets out the conditions and the expectations for all the school partners to achieve St Paul’s Mission Statement through the school ethos.

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The Junior Certificate School Programme (JCSP) originated in a number of projects initiated by the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC) through its Curriculum Development Unit (CDU). The projects were concerned with identifying potential early school leavers and devising a programme suitable to their needs. In September 1996, following a pilot phase, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Department of Education and Science (DES) launched the Junior Certificate School Programme. Since its introduction the programme has expanded from 32 schools in 1996 to 240 schools in 2010. The programme has expanded on a phased basis, to all post-primary schools participating in the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) initiative.

Aims and Objectives

We aim to provide an intervention programme that is positive and effective in providing support for students, parents and staff and that will be dynamic and flexible in order to change, develop and adapt according to the needs of the student.

JCSP will support participating students who may be at risk of early school leaving and students who may be having difficulty engaging productively with the Junior Certificate Programme, in the following ways:

  • All students will be included in the programme on entering 1st year in our school, ensuring inclusive support in a mixed ability setting for all.
  • These supports include Literacy/Numeracy Initiatives, Recording Achievements/Profiling, Cross-Curricular Statements, Celebrations and Certification.
  • A targeted group of students will also be selected each year and these students will benefit from extra interventions/initiatives.
  • All students will be assessed and use will be made of existing assessments, in order to gain necessary information on literacy and numeracy levels of all students.
  • Parents, staff and students will receive relevant information on a regular basis.
  • Through JCSP activities, students and parents will further develop a positive attitude to learning and life in school.
  • Provision of opportunities of in-service training for staff both within and outside the school will be encouraged.
  • Students will develop academically, socially and personally as a result of participation in JCSP activities.
  • Resources and materials will be provided to students and teachers as required.
  • All students will be encouraged to participate in Cross-Curricular and Extra-Curricular activities both within and outside of the JCSP Programme.
  • Through participation in JCSP, students will develop confidence, and motivation to improve participation and performance levels while experiencing success.


JCSP support for reaching targets of DEIS Plan

Literacy and Numeracy targets will be set using Reading and Maths Age data, which is gleaned from entrance tests as well as annual testing, required for pre/post initiative evaluations. All JCSP initiatives will have as a main objective, improvements in the literacy and numeracy levels of our students.

Through the evaluations of JCSP initiatives, effects on attendance will be addressed. The attendance of all JCSP students will be monitored on a regular basis by the Deputy Principal and the H.S.C.L.  Students will be rewarded for excellent and improved attendance.

Through participation in JCSP Programmes and profiling of students in 3rd year, encouragement is given to all students to complete their Junior Certificate Examinations successfully and so improve progression throughout the Junior Cycle and retention rates to Senior Cycle and beyond.

Introduction of students to the JCSP Programme in 1st Year along with successful participation in JCSP initiatives and activities are hugely dependant on parental/guardian support. Partnership with parents/guardians is fostered and encouraged through all JCSP activities.

Engagement and Partnership with the community takes place through advertising projects, initiatives and accomplishments in local press and parish newsletters. Some initiatives will require input from the business sector e.g. Readalong/Book reviews. Other JCSP activities engage with the community, voluntary and 3rd Level sectors through initiatives such as library visits, science/maths workshops in I.T’s and Oral Language Development Initiatives.

Many aspects of JCSP will be implemented on a school-wide basis.

These include:

  • Teacher participation in profiling of students.
  • All Junior Cycle students participating in the JCSP Programme from Sept 2014.
  • E.A.R Initiative
  • Testing of Literacy/Numeracy levels of all Junior Cycle Students.


Selection of Students

Students participating in the JCSP come under at least one of the following criteria and may be at risk of leaving school early.

  1. Students who have an educational / psychological report.
  2. Students with literacy / numeracy difficulties.
  3. Students who come from a disadvantaged background.
  4. Students from minority groups.
  5. Students with a family history of early school leaving.
  6. Students with behavioural problems which may adversely affect their education.
  7. Students with attendance problems.
  8. Students referred by the principal / care team for any other reason.

All students entering years 1 or 2 will be part of our JCSP Programme.

A ‘Targeted’ group of students will also be selected by the core team, taking into consideration our selection criteria. These are:

Reading Age/Maths (Entrance Exams), Attendance (Primary/Secondary), Behaviour, Social, Diagnosed Difficulties, Family History of ESL, Family Issues.

The Core Team consists of the Principal, Deputy Principal, Heads of Maths and English, JCSP Co-ordinator and Learning Support Teacher.

Students may be drafted in or out of the ‘Targeted’ Group at any time throughout 1st and 2nd years as a result of decisions taken at Core Team level based on student’s performances/parent’s wishes etc.

Students will almost always work in mixed ability classroom settings; however withdrawal from base class may occur on limited occasions in order to work on particular ‘targeted’ initiatives.


Organisation of the Programme

The JCSP Core Team will consist of the Principal, Deputy Principal, Heads of Maths and English Departments, Learning Support Teacher and the H.S.C.L.

Meetings of this group will take place on a weekly basis, throughout the school year.

An agenda of each meeting will be sent in advance to all members.

Minutes of each meeting will be sent to all members.

The JCSP Co-ordinator will chair the meetings and set the agendas.

Staff will be informed of decisions made through staff meetings and forthcoming events/initiatives using JCSP notice-board, E-Portal and via regular communication with specific teachers.

The Principal and the Co-ordinator will be responsible for the application for JCSP Initiatives, following consultation with the Core Team.

The induction of new teachers to the programme will be the responsibility of the JCSP Co-ordinator.

Planning for initiatives and celebrations will be completed by members of the Core Team.

Support will be given to teachers in the process of completing and tracking statements along with Final Profiling in 3rd Year.

Subject Statement Profile Folders/Journals will be kept in the Reading Room for use by teachers and students when required.

A timetable of proposed initiatives will be available in Term 1 of the school year, similar to the following Programme for 18/19.


Months Initiative 1st Yr 2nd Yr 3rd Yr TY 5th Yr 6th Yr Teachers
Drop Read Everything and Mentor x x x x x x Form Teachers
SRA Reading Lab JCSP 1 JCSP 1 GD
History-Special Topic M Corrigan J Durney x SF
Literacy Board x x x x x x
Numeracy Board x x x x x x NMcG
Maths Week x x x x x x ED/TH/DW/NMcG
Author visit Targeted MB
Playing with Shakespeare Workshop x MB/CS
Vocabulary Enrichment Programme x MB/CS/CF/WH
Poetry/Book Mark Competition x x CS
Nov/Dec Drop Read Everything and Mentor x x x x x x Form Teachers
STEM Career Taster Workshop x x MD
Seannachai Initiative x
Maths Lab/Hand Held Devices JCSP 1 JCSP 1 NMG/MD/BON
Author in the Classroom x MB
Creative Writing Dave Rudden x x x MB/WH
Reading Room x CS/Meitheal
Student Folder-Photographs JCSP 1&2 JCSP 1&2 PM
Assembly Hall Reading x x x x x x PM
Irish History Live Michael Moylan x x x SF
History Week Curragh Museum JCSP 2 SF
History Week DEAR History x SF
History Inter Schools Quiz x SF
SRA Reading Lab x JCSP 1 GD
Creative Writing – Dave Lordan x MB/CS
Gafa Gaeilge Workshop R O’Laighleis x YQ/SF/EM
Literacy Board x x x x x x CS
Science Week Tech Create Workshop x x AD/DW/MD/LMcH
Numeracy Board x x x x x x NMcG
Vocabulary Enrichment Programme JCSP 1 JCSP 1 JCSP MB/CS/CF/WH
Christmas Competition x x x CS
Christmas Celebration JCSP 1 & 2 JCSP 1 & 2 PM
Catch Up Literacy Programme JCSP 1 SEN
Jan/Feb Drop Read Everything and Mentor x x x x x x Form Teachers
Spelling Challenge/Spellathon x x x WH/CF/MB/CS/AR
Book Review JCSP 1 CS
Hand Held Devices JCSP 1 JCSP 1 NMG/MD/BON
Music/Drumming JCSP 1 PM
Field Trip-Science Initiative JCSP 1&2 JCSP 1&2 MD/AD/LMcH/DW
English Pen Pal Initiative JCSP 1 MB
Reading Room x Selected Selected CS/Meitheal
Maths Lab JCSP 1 JCSP 1 TH/LMcH
SRA Reading Lab P JCSP 1 GD
History & Appreciation of Art
Art Students
Art Students SD
Vocabulary Enrichment Programme x JCSP 1 JCSP x MB/CS/CF/WH
Literacy Board x x x x x x CS
Numeracy Board x x x x x x NMcG
March/April Drop Read Everything and Mentor x x x x x x Form Teachers
World Bk Day Dress Up/Book Cover x x English Dept/Literacy Group
Assembly Hall Reading x x x x x x PM
Literacy Board (Photograhic Display) ……. x x x x x x CS
Numeracy Board x x x x x x NMcG/TH/DW/ED/LMcH
One Book One Year ” Room” x MB/WH
Creative Writing Dave Lordan x MB/WH
Spelling Challenge/Spellathon x x x AR/WH/CF/MB/CS
Art History Appreciation x x SD
TY Sound Engineering Unassigned


Teachers are encouraged to complete the statements with their students within the classroom on a regular basis.

Teachers in conjunction with their subject departments will select the subject statements to be taken by their students.

Completion of Subject Statements in this way can occur in conjunction with formal and informal assessments of the students and so enhance assessment for learning of the students.

Profiling of 3rd Year students will take place in Term 3 with the class teachers and the JCSP Coordinator facilitating the submission of subject and cross-curricular statements to JCSP National Headquarters.

A Final Profile Celebration will take place later in Term 3 where students will be awarded their ‘Junior Certificate School Programme Student Profile’. This will include Certification of participation in JCSP by Department of Education and Skills, a list of all statements achieved and an individual school reference.


Review of the Programme

Evaluation of the programme will occur at the end of each school year.

Evaluations of Initiatives involving input from students and teachers will be submitted to JCSP Headquarters annually.

An informal evaluation of the JCSP Programme will be conducted in the final Core Team Meeting of the year.

Parents will complete a questionnaire at the Final Profiling Celebration which will seek their opinions on the success or otherwise of the JCSP Programme in achieving its aims/objectives.


Junior Certificate Attainment JCSP Cohort 2012-2018


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Retention rates of JCSP Students to Junior Certificate level 




scoilnet maps
juniorcycle.ie (literacy/numeracy)