St. Finian's Community College



The Junior Certificate Schools Programme is a national programme sponsored by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Currently the programme is operating in 240 schools throughout the country.

Is the JCSP an alternative to the Junior Certificate?

No. The JCSP is not an alternative to the Junior Certificate Programme. The JCSP involves a different approach to the Junior Certificate Curriculum – one which is based on continual assessment. JCSP students are prepared for final Junior Certificate Examinations through the continual assessment approach.

Integral to the programme is a greater emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy skills as well as social skills. The purpose of the JCSP Programme is to offer students who are at risk of leaving school, due to consistent failure, positive experiences.

The Profiling System

Continual assessment is operated through the profiling system. Each subject area is divided into statements. Each statement is an area of learning. These statements are broken down into learning targets.

Teachers decide which statements the students will work on. Statements are presented to the class on the interactive white board. Students also have a copy of the statement in their JCSP Folder. Beside each target are three boxes- they each represent work begun, work in progress and work completed, respectively.

The students tick the boxes accordingly. Once 80% or all of the targets on a statement are completed the statement can be awarded to the student.

The JCSP coordinator liaises with JCSP subject teachers and organises a Statement Award Celebration.

The aim of the profiling system is to engage the student in the learning process. Students are aware of the learning targets and are aware that they are progressing. This provides the student with a positive experience of school.

Literacy and Numeracy

With its strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy, the JCSP Programme offers schools the opportunity to apply for certain initiatives. The JCSP Coordinator applies for these initiatives and once granted they are run in the school to promote and support literacy and numeracy skills.

The following initiatives have been implemented and continue to run successfully in the school:

JCSP Literacy Initiatives
  • Paired Reading
  • Key word Initiative – notebooks, wall charts, folder inserts, book marks
  • Reading Programme – the SRA Laboratory
  • Book Tokens/Buy a Book Initiative
  • Reading Room/Corner
  • Spelling Challenge – Look, Say, Cover, Write and Check
  • Initiative
  • Digital Story Telling/Comic Life
  • Calligraphy/ penmanship
  • Read Along/Audio Books
  • Make a Book Competition
  • Reading Challenge
  • Author in Residence
  • Who wants to be a Word Millionaire
  • Dictionary Initiative

JCSP Numeracy

Every teacher has a responsibility to encourage and develop numeracy skills- basic computational and estimation skills. To this end where numeracy arises in a subject area it is promoted.

Numeracy Initiatives

Some of the following numeracy strategies implemented in the school

  • Paired maths
  • Student withdrawal for support
  • Number millionaire
  • Key word approach
  • Flash master maths
  • JCSP Workbooks
  • Tan grams
  • Algebra tiles
  • Number shark
  • Numeracy Workout Software
  • Maths Games
  • Use of ICT

For more information about the JCSP log onto Enclosed are some photos of initiatives that are being currently carried out in the school along with photos of celebrations- profile and statements.

Castlefarm, Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
01 840 2623
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