Woodwork ‘fair’ but technical graphics ‘long’

File photo

There were examinations of technical and vocational skills in both of yesterday’s set of Junior Certificate exams.

The afternoon required almost 18,000 students to follow up on practical projects completed earlier this year for material technology (wood). The higher level written woodwork exam was one of the nicest and fairest in many years, said Patrick Curley, Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) subject spokesman.

He commended the excellent graphics and emphasis on skills and techniques typically used by students in woodwork rooms and in preparing their projects. A higher-level question about the intarsia technique of making pictures from contrasting solid woods would have been very popular, he predicted, as would an ordinary level option to answer about wood-turning in the making of a tea-light holder.

Junior Cert technical graphics provided what Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland subject spokesman Seamus Cahalan thought was a very difficult exam for higher level students to complete.

Other than a question about an ellipse, Mr Cahalan said the questions in the longer section were too long and complicated. He said that even strong students would have struggled to finish the paper due to what he said were unnecessarily repetitive parts at the end of many questions.

While drawing the ellipse and the parabola in the final question were both straightforward, he said too much work was required in the remaining parts for the marks that would have been given. Mr Cahalan thought short questions in the first section worth 30% of marks were realistic and fair, but a number of obstacles on the long questions made it difficult for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

Teachers’ Union of Ireland subject spokesman Gavin Berry said the first sections of the higher and ordinary level exams were fine, examining a wide range of students’ skills.

He was much less critical than Mr Cahalan of the second section at higher level as he felt that, other than a tricky third question, it was a decent enough test.

At ordinary level, Mr Berry said, the second long question based on an art shop logo in the shape of a painter’s palette was quite technical. However, otherwise, he thought, it too was quite a good exam.

Mr Cahalan thought ordinary level students had some tough questions, saying that a number of questions featured a lot of dimensions to try and decipher or to find themselves.

A computer-aided design question was very fair, but he thought the design question was very difficult.

More on this topic

Readers' Blog: Demoting geography is a backward step we will regretReaders' Blog: Demoting geography is a backward step we will regret

Thousands of Junior Cert students risk missing out on marks in teacher protestThousands of Junior Cert students risk missing out on marks in teacher protest

ASTI dispute Junior Cert reform training figuresASTI dispute Junior Cert reform training figures

ASTI directives 'putting relief teachers at a disadvantage' against TUI membersASTI directives 'putting relief teachers at a disadvantage' against TUI members


Lifestyle

The long-tailed tit’s nest is an architectural marvel.Richard Collins: Altruism of the long-tailed tits or not

The flight that brought us home to Ireland after our seven months sojourn in the Canary Islands (half our stay intended, half not) was the most comfortable I’ve experienced in years. With a large plane almost entirely to yourself, you could again pretend you were somebody.Damien Enright: Wonderful to see the green, green grass of home

IRISH folklore is replete with stories of priests praying for fine weather to help farmers save their crops in wet summers. However, the opposite could soon be happening when divine powers may have to be invoked to provide rain. And not just for farmers.Donal Hickey: Praying for rain — in Ireland

Geography is often the defining factor for the destiny of an island. Those islands that lie close to the shore have often been snapped up by interests on the mainland and their morphology changed to something completely different.The Islands of Ireland: Tarbert morphed onto the mainland

More From The Irish Examiner