I don’t know about anyone else, but my stress levels (as I have written before) rise whenever I think about the new Junior Cycle MFL course and the assessment of it because I still feel I don’t have enough information or support to know if I’m doing the best for my students! That being the case, I have been delving into the online world of the JCT and the NCCA, having taken a few deep breaths first! I hope that the time I have spent compiling this post (about two hours, I’m horrified to say) will save you the same time trawling through these websites. It is appalling to me that there should be so much duplication of work happening across homes and classrooms unnecessarily. So here’s my little Día de Reyes (Epiphany) gift to you all! I hope it helps to make the return to school a tiny bit easier! Happy 2019!

Christmas is over…

You might want to scan through this glossary of Assessment terms from jct.ie before you get stuck into all of these documents!

Get an overview of the whole Junior Cycle MFL assessment scenario with the JCT’s MFL Assessment Screencast – about 10 minutes long.

Don’t have 10 minutes? Here were the key moments for me:

  • 4.09: Details of CBA 1
  • 5.36: Details of CBA 2
  • 6.32: Details of the Assessment Task
  • 7.22: Details of the Final Exam (35% = aural)
  • 8.02: Diagram which explains the different parts of assessment (quite useful).

Key reading is, obviously, the NCCA document on the Assessment Guidelines from 2017. Print a copy for everyone in your MFL department, unless they like reading long documents on screens! This helped me a lot to understand what was required, and includes the features of quality (what makes a piece of work “exceptional” etc), and what it is students need to do.

It turns out the JCT MFL website section has been updated – it would be SO great to receive notifications of updates!! So great. Here’s a screen capture of slide 26 of the presentation we’ll be seeing (some presumably have already seen) at our Cluster Days. It’s answered a lot of my questions about the CBA 1. Click on the slide to be brought to the presentation (it takes a while to load, but it will!).

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 15.37.29

Here’s the Learning Log from the Cluster Day on Assessment. I’ll be printing this too, though I know we’ll get a copy on the day. It includes information on Planning, the Language Portfolio, CBAs 1 & 2 and the SLARs.

In the NCCA Assessment Guidelines (link above), we’re told to familiarise ourselves with the Assessment Toolkit which seems to be at this webpage from the NCCA. It really seems like something that should be/should have been done on a whole school basis. Anybody had that experience? If not, like me, you can read (fairly quickly) through the documents which cover:

I’d be very interested to know if any MFL departments have chosen to bring their CBAs forward now that we are allowed to? Below is the (new) timeline from the JCT MFL website.

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 15.05.36

This circular 0079/2018 from the DES also contains useful information on Curriculum and Assessment, in particular holding the CBAs and the SLARs (p16 onwards talks about assessment arrangements for subjects).

Both the NCCA and JCT.ie documents talk about annotated examples of student work, but I can’t find them online. If you know where they are, do please send on the link and I’ll include them in this post.

I had been going to include SLARs in this post, but it’s already long enough as it is! I’ll post about SLARs when I get a chance to do so.



  1. Muchas gracias Susan! I feel totally at sea and confused with the new format and your post has thrown some much needed light on the subject

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