Belvedere College - Criteria for Higher Level at Senior Cycle

Criteria for Higher Level at Senior Cycle

Criteria for Higher Level at Senior Cycle

Determining the appropriate level (Higher or Ordinary) for Leaving Cert. students of English.

Criteria for Higher Level:

The decision to place students in a Higher Level class at the beginning of Fifth Year will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Minimum C grade result in the Junior Cert.
  2. High marks obtained in the three assessments periods of Transition Year (ex750).
  3. A satisfactory performance in the end of TY exam (ex 250).
  4. Any mitigating circumstances (e.g. illness, prolonged absence)

The process:

Parents and students are informed by letter of the above criteria at the beginning of TY. This information is also included in the subject information for English on the College website .
New teachers are informed of the criteria through their induction material, and parents new to the College are similarly informed.

Students remain in their Form Class. There are six Higher Level classes. One Ordinary Level class is formed at the beginning of Fifth Year. A relatively small number of students are placed in this class at the beginning of Fifth Year.

Ordinary Level:

1.    Students who do not satisfy the criteria for Higher Level will be placed in an Ordinary Level class.

The total marks that can be gained in English in TY is 1000. Less than 500 (i.e. less than 50%) is regarded as a failure in any subject in TY. The English teachers will be focusing their attention on the student who does not work well in TY, rather than on a student who would be unlucky to gain just a D grade in the Junior Cert.

Interest in the subject, and a positive attitude towards the work of the English class is what we are striving to promote in all our students. We require of our students that they maintain academic momentum during Transition Year, and carry that positive attitude into Fifth Year.
2.     A student who has been placed in the Ordinary Level Class will be afforded an opportunity, throughout September and October, to demonstrate that he could be allowed move to the Higher Level class after Hallowe’en.

The decision to move will be based on the following criteria:

  • Having the required textbooks.
  • Punctuality and attendance at English class.
  • A positive contribution to the work in class.
  • Homework done consistently, and to high standard. Written homework will be given twice each week. On other evenings, reading or memory-work may be set.

A student who meets the above standards of performance, and who wishes to move to Higher Level, will be invited to sit a two-hour written exam at the end of October. The exam paper answers will be marked by an outside examiner who is familiar with the demands of Higher Level English in Senior Cycle.
A student must achieve a minimum of 55% in this written exam to be allowed move to Higher Level after Hallowe’en.
3.    Teachers of English in Fifth Year will be co-ordinating texts and course content in Ordinary and Higher Level classes in September and October, so that a student who moves to Higher Level will be at no disadvantage.

Students who are placed in the Ordinary Level will be informed, by letter, at the beginning of Fifth Year. This letter will refer to the procedures detailed earlier in this document regarding the possibility of moving from Ordinary Level to Higher Level after Halloween.
At the beginning of Fifth Year, Ordinary Level students will be reminded by their teachers of this possibility.

These procedures represent the policy of the English Department in Belvedere College SJ. They are fully endorsed by the Headmaster, Mr G. Foley. 

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