Music hits the right chord with prepared students, says ASTI

THE composing section of yesterday’s higher level Junior Certificate music paper hit the right chord with well-prepared students, according to Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) spokesperson Mary McFadden.

She said they would have found the first two questions on their set songs and set works straightforward but comprehensive. While a recording of Australian folk song ‘Click go the Shears’ sung by Rolf Harris was entertaining.

The chosen songs/chosen works question was selected from the ‘orchestrally accompanied instrumental and vocal music’ category as described in the textbooks. But it was given a different wording on the paper, which Ms McFadden felt may have caused anxiety for some students. She also thought that a question asking candidates to identify which of four groups was heard playing from U2, The Corrs, Westlife and The Chieftains was more a test of general knowledge than of the syllabus but most students should have known the answer.

She said it was a relief to many that one of the dictation questions was very straightforward this year, and that the composing section was very fair.

Ms McFadden said the pictures of Irish instruments in the ordinary level paper were an excellent addition and the paper was very student-friendly.

David Madden of ASTI said the first question in the higher level Leaving Certificate construction studies paper asked about the roof of a typical house, something students would have practiced for. He said they had a good choice of topics, including one about a new house in the design of a traditional cottage, while sustainability and economic use of oil also featured.

Mr Madden said the ordinary level paper had a good spread of topics and students should have been prepared for the compulsory question which asked for a drawing of a foundation, floor and wall. He praised the clear instructions in questions which required scale drawings and freehand sketches.

The Leaving Certificate higher level economics paper was fair but quite tough, according to ASTI subject spokesperson Michael Corley. He said all the topics which appeared would have been expected, but all the questions were quite demanding, and the first section was very time-consuming.

Mr Corley said the ordinary level paper was quite satisfactory for most students, and in line with the formula of previous years.

Teachers’ Union of Ireland subject spokesperson Christy Morrin said the higher level technology paper taken by Junior Certificate students yesterday morning was along usual lines. He felt some students might have been confused by unfamiliar abbreviations used for two types of switch but that questions in the third section were lovely.

Mr Morrin said the ordinary level paper was tricky in places, including a question about a toy operated by a lever. He believed a of a remote control holder drawing was not an exploded drawing as described in the paper, which might have caused problems for some.

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