Junior Cert: Science and religion papers prove doable

Science and religious education were the Junior Certificate subjects examined on Thursday at schools around the country.

Mairead Glynn said the higher level science paper should have allowed reasonably well-revised students manage it with ease.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) subject representative said a broad range of topics was examined.

Although one chemistry question was wordy, she thought that there was nothing too difficult in the exam, and her students at Tallaght Community School in Dublin mostly agreed.

Ger Curtin said that students had a fair tailwind behind them going into the exams, having already accounted for up to 35% of marks in science with the earlier completion of their course work.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) subject spokesperson described the higher level science exam as very manageable, as students could work their way through it and do quite well.

He said the ordinary level exam had a lot of visual aids to prompt students, including many good diagrams.

Many of the tasks to be expected at this level were required, such as drawing a graph and describing experiments.

Ms Glynn also found no surprises in the ordinary level paper, with a good range of topics from the syllabus covered.

Jane Craig Elliott of the ASTI said that the religious education exams at both levels were not too challenging.

The ordinary level exam had many of the traditional questions about stewardship and images of god in different religions.

Higher level students accounted for nearly 24,000 of the 27,800 registered to take the exams yesterday.

Ms Craig Elliott said the comprehension about stewardship introduced a different context to the usual understanding of the topic around care of the environment or resources.

The piece was about a child sharing the tiny piece of food she was given after queuing at a soup kitchen.

A question about religious festivals might have risked some students writing about Christmas but veering off the religious aspects, she suggested.

In the section on major world religions, Ms Craig Elliott was concerned that students of a Christian background might have struggled to know enough about prayers of other faiths to answer a question about the belief in one of them.

However, she said students had an option to pick another question to answer from that section.


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