Reformed Leaving Cert will focus on critical thinking and continuous assessment, minister confirms

Reformed Leaving Cert will focus on critical thinking and continuous assessment, minister confirms

The Government is “committed” to reviewing and reforming the Leaving Certificate and the post-primary curriculum, prioritising critical thinking, problem-solving, and continuous assessment.

That’s according to Norma Foley, the education minister, who addressed delegates at the annual Joint Managerial Body (JMB) education conference on Thursday.

Representing the interests of all voluntary second-level schools, this year’s conference focused on ‘A Senior Cycle for All’.

Opening the conference, Ms Foley told delegates the Government is committed to this, and to “a quality education within a quality education system”. The Programme for Government sets out the approach to education via a number of goals, she said.

These include improving the learning experience and success of learners, increasing the progress of learners at risk of educational disadvantage and of learners with special educational needs.

“Each of these goals will guide our approach to addressing the Programme for Government commitment to ‘review and reform the post-primary curriculum, prioritising elements such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and continuous assessment, so that they feature more centrally’,”  Ms Foley said.

Her comments come as students, teachers, and school-management bodies await the outcome of a review of the senior cycle.

Carried out by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), between 2016 and 2020, a report on the review was presented to the minister earlier this year. The review looked at education in fifth and sixth year, as well as assessment aspects. Separately, the Oireachtas education committee is also undertaking work on Leaving Cert reform. 

Ms Foley told the annual conference the review involved “a very extensive range of research, consultations, and communications with a wide range of stakeholders on all aspects of review and redevelopment over a number of phases”.

“The advisory report on the senior cycle review is the product of an enormous effort, working closely with many parts of society and, in particular, with those whose lives are lived in the school sector: Teachers and students,” Ms Foley said, adding that she thanked the NCCA this week when she met with its council.

At that sam

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