Standard of picture leads discussion on prickly issue

AN OVERHEAD photo of a thistle presented itself as a thorny issue in yesterday’s agricultural science higher paper.

“Most students should have copped it but it could have been mistaken for a fern,” said Mullingar teacher Peter Keaney. “The photo, generally, was poor and misleading as it did not show the depth of the plant.”

Padraic Brennan from the Vocational School in Roscommon said the photographs used in papers, for the first time, were different from those in textbooks. “They could have been off-putting,” he said.

However, the agriculture science teacher said the ordinary level paper was pupil-friendly. “There was a good choice but several questions had stings-in-the tail.”

One of the questions focused on alternative reseeding methods other than ploughing.

“It’s an unfair question to ask,” said Mr Keaney from Wilson Hospital School “as 99% of reseeding is undertaken through ploughing”.

Agriculture science, Italian and applied maths brought the curtain down on Leaving Cert 2004. The Italian papers impressed teacher Robbie Cronin from Marian College in Ballsbridge.

“The lay-out in the ordinary level paper was very good and the questions very topical,” he said. The higher level paper, was also topical and interesting, he said.

“One of the issues was dating agencies and why younger people are finding that option more attractive when seeking a partner.”

The Dublin teacher said: “The paper, from my perspective was great.”

Aidan Farrell from Scoil Eoin CBS in Athy, Co Kildare, concurred. He said most students were very happy with the Italian papers.

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