Margaret Aylward Community College
The Thatch Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9
Tel. 018375712 / 018367778 Fax: 018377718
Email: info@macc.cdetb.ie

Leaving Certificate Subjects

Irish

A great pride and interest in our native language underpins the importance of Irish in our school. A love of Irish is fostered in the Leaving Certificate syllabus. Aspects of literary works are studied as well as the skills of listening, reading, and writing. Irish is studied as a living language, rooted in the students' local environment. In sixth year learners' oral competency is assessed at Easter time in an oral examination worth 40%. The other three skills listening, reading, and writing are examined in June. Irish is assessed at Higher, Ordinary and Foundation level.

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English

Leaving Certificate English aims at enriching students' experience of language so that they can use it accurately, and appropriately, and so that they become aware of the power and the significance of language in their lives. Students engage in five designated areas of language; the language of information, argument, persuasion, narration, and the aesthetic use of language. The English syllabus allows for the use and interpretation of many genres, but the development of students' interest in literature is central to the course. Leaving Certificate English is examined at Higher and Ordinary level. Paper One examines the comprehending and composing abilities of the student. Paper Two examines the students' knowledge and response to a range of text including drama, fiction, poetry, and film. The syllabus requires an in-depth study of one core text, a comparative study of three further texts, and a study of either a number of poems at Ordinary level or of poets at Higher level.

History

Leaving Certificate history deals with the experience of human life in the past. Students study two topics from Irish history and two topics from the history of Europe and the wider world from the Later Modern 1815-1993 field of study. The study of some topics in greater depth emphasises the skills in working with evidence and research skills. Involvement in a research topic offers students an insight into the manner in which historians operate. Students engage in a documents-based study of a prescribed topic from their field of study. The syllabus is assessed at Ordinary and Higher level. There are two assessment components: a research study report (20% of the examination and submitted prior to the examination) and a written examination.

Geography

Geography at Leaving Certificate level is concerned with the study of people and their environment. A study of geography will help students develop an understanding of their physical and human surroundings. It examines the changing interrelationships between the physical and human worlds. Through their study of geography, students develop geographical skills that will help them make informed judgements about issues at local, national, and international levels. The syllabus is presented in the form of a Core (Patterns and Processes in the Physical Environment, Regional Geography and a compulsory Geographical Investigation), an Elective (Patterns and Processes in Economic Activity), and an Optional area of study such as Geoecology. The development of geographical skills permeates the geography syllabus. Geography is offered at Higher and Ordinary level. The terminal written examination has an assessment weighting of 80%. The Geographical Investigation has an assessment weighting of 20%.

French

Leaving Certificate French aims to develop students' communicative skills and their strategies for effective language learning and to raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity. Students should achieve basic communicative proficiency in meeting people and maintaining social relations, making plans and discussing future action, seeking and giving information on climate and weather, coping with travel and transport, buying goods and services, dealing with emergencies, facilitating or impeding an action, expressing feelings and attitudes, managing a conversation, engaging in discussion and passing on messages. Students learn about language from authentic French language material and from consulting reference materials. They learn about culture from reading modern literary texts and websites dedicated to language learning. Assessment is by means of examination and an aural and oral examination at Ordinary level and Higher level.

Home Economics

The Leaving Certificate Home Economics (Scientific and Social) syllabus is made up of three core areas, Food Studies, Resource Management, Social Studies and a choice of three electives, Home Design and Management, Textiles, Fashion and Design, and Social Studies. Assessment is in the form of a terminal written examination (80%), and an assessment of a practical coursework journal (20%) which is an integral part of the study of Home Economics. Home Economics is an applied subject combining theory with practice in order to develop understanding and solve problems. It is concerned with the way individuals and families manage their resources to meet physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and economic needs.

Biology

Biology consists of three units: The Study of Life, The Cell, and The Organism. Students explore the diversity of life and the inter-relationship between organisms and their environment. Students develop an understanding and knowledge of the unit of life - the cell - whose structures and processes are shared by all living organisms, and gain an insight into the function and role of organisms, including themselves. Students become aware of how humans use other living organisms and their products to enhance human health, and the human environment. Students undertake a range of practical work, laboratory work, and fieldwork. Biology is assessed at Ordinary and Higher levels.

Business

The Leaving Certificate Business course helps students develop an understanding of enterprise and the world of management. Business gives students a basic foundation for a wide range of careers such as advertising, law, enterprise, and international trade. Business provides students with knowledge for day-to-day tasks such as insurance, tax, wages and other key areas in life. Each student studies the skills and characteristics of an effective manager, and entrepreneur, while learning the steps involved in setting up your own business. This experience develops students' creative and organisational skills while improving literacy and numeracy with real-life examples. Business is studied and examined at Higher and Ordinary level.

Art

Leaving Certificate art is made up of four units linked together and based on the everyday visual experience of the student's own environment. The practical work can include Life Sketching, Still Life, Imaginative Composition, Design and Craftwork. Design and Craftwork involves students in such activities as fabric printing, calligraphy, lino-printing, weaving, pottery, modelling and carving, publicity design and puppetry. The History and Appreciation of Art affords students an opportunity of showing awareness of the place of the visual arts in our culture and community. Emphasis is placed on a selected field of interest such as art in Ireland or Europe. Students also visit local museums and art galleries. The syllabus is assessed at Ordinary and Higher Level.

Music

Leaving Certificate music develops skills in the three key areas of composing (building skills of reading and writing music, skills in melodic composition and skills to enable the provision of harmonic support), listening (studying four prescribed works, Irish music, and aural skills), performing ( sing or play either solo or in small groups, rehearse and conduct a musical group, or choose an exercise in musical technology as part of the practical component of the examination). Higher level students choose an additional study in composing, listening or performing. The Leaving Certificate practical examination is held in March/April and the written/aural paper is held in June.

P.E.

Physical Education promotes an appreciation of physical activity and the benefits of an active lifestyle for life. It provides an opportunity for students to develop personally, socially and physically in a safe, challenging and enjoyable environment. It offers students an opportunity to critically reflect on physical activity, the fitness industry, and their own lifestyle to participate in a broad well-balanced programme. At Senior Cycle pupils focus on more inclusive activities and the programme includes first aid, adventure activities, health related activity, leadership, organisation and wellness.