Junior Certificate Cycle
Pupils in the Junior Cycle are offered the following range of subjects:
Mathematics, English, Irish, French, German, Latin, Science, History, Geography, Business Studies, Religious Education, Civil, Social and Political Education, Computer Studies, Music and Musicianship Art, S.P.H.E. and P.E.
This programme ensures that a pupil who has completed the Junior Cycle will have all avenues of career development open to him.
First Year students have a choice between Latin, Art and Music.
In 2nd Year they then need to choose 2 subjects from the 3 listed below.
After 1st Year, Music can be taken as an extra subject outside of school hours, usually before the school day commences.
Transition Year in Christian Brothers College provides students with an opportunity to lay solid foundations for their Leaving Certificate whilst also providing them with an opportunity to mature. Firstly, the year is about inculcating a sense of core values in the students and by the time they finish Transition Year it is hoped that they have a good moral compass or a simple sense of what is right and wrong. The year is also about challenging themselves, trying new things and embracing change. Another focus is personal maturity in the context of improving communication skills and self confidence. The year also develops social maturity by creating an awareness of the world outside of the school and improving the students' people skills. The programme involves modules on leadership, decision making, renewable energies, personal finance and enterprise and key life skills such as certification in first aid, safe driving, iWorks and a cookery course. Transition Year affords plenty of opportunity for travel with two tours offered to the students, a ski trip for the more active students and an educational tour which is full of exciting activities and events.
The Gaisce, the Presidential award, is another key component of the year. The bronze award challenges the students in three key areas – personal skill, community involvement and physical recreation. The students must commit to doing one hour per week in each of these areas over a 13-week period. The award culminates with the students doing a 35km hike over the Kerry Way and an over-night stay in Kenmare. The award encompasses all that is good about Transition Year in that it
challenges the students and it makes them make a commitment over a long period of time.
TY is compulsory in CBC. In May an Open Night for TY parents is held in the school. The evening may also be of help to parents of incoming TY students as a means of learning about what the coming year has to offer for their sons.
The work experience component of TY is usually scheduled to coincide with the 2 weeks of orals for the LC.
Leaving Certificate Cycle
Leaving Cert Subjects are selected in Transition Year (TY).
It is vital that the decision regarding subject choice be given a lot of thought as it will have implications for your son's future Third Level and Career Choice. CBC offers many exam subjects in the Leaving Cert cycle and each student must take seven subjects. Students are advised to choose subjects which give a good balance, or mix, in order to keep as many options as possible open regarding their future career. You can help your son to make the wisest choice if you keep in mind that entry into many courses and careers from the Leaving Cert depends, very often, on the standard of the result achieved, rather than the subjects taken.
To help your son make up his mind, ask the following questions:
- What subjects is he most interested in?
- Which subjects is he likely to succeed most in?
- What subjects does he actually need to do the course he wants to follow at Third Level?
- Identify people he can ask to help him with his decision such as teachers, family members and friends
To help your son decide what subjects to take, you should look at what careers or Third Level course he thinks he will follow after school. Write these down and put the entry requirements next to them. This will give you a fair idea of what subjects he should be picking.
Students must take:
English, Irish, Maths
Students will have to choose between: French or German
The following subjects are to be ranked in order of preference:
Accounting, Art, Applied Maths, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, History, Physics
This will be used to generate lines of choices to give as many students as possible their optimum preference. The aim is to give every student all of their choices but sometimes this is not possible.
A choice that gives a lot of options is:
English, Irish, Maths, Foreign Language, Chemistry, Physics
Another subject from those on offer such as:
Business, History, Biology
Mr. Pól Ó Seanacháin works with all classes but primarily with the Senior Cycle within the school. In the educational and vocational area, speakers from colleges and agencies visit the school and give detailed information regarding courses and future careers. Fifth Year students attend Careers Exhibitions as part of the careers programme. Tests such as the Careers Interest Inventory (CII) are given to the students to help highlight career interests. Guest speakers are invited to the school on a regular basis to help the students explore the wide variety of choices now available to them. Advice on study
methods and time management are discussed and explored with students. Leaving Certificate students all meet with the Guidance Counsellor on an individual basis to discuss future courses in a wide range of third level institutions. Classes are given weekly to the Leaving Certificate classes to inform and arrange visits to Careers Exhibitions, Open Days and Speakers. The CAO is explained in detail to all Leaving Certificate students, including practice runs on the CAO Demo model and CAO updates are given to the students. A formal presentation on the CAO process is given to parents and this has proved to be extremely informative and useful. Students applying for courses which require interviews are taken in small groups to practice and receive information on the importance of planning and preparation before interviews and how best to perform.
College Entry Requirements
1. Students must matriculate in order to get into a Third Level College (meet their entry requirements).
Matriculation is the minimum academic qualification needed to get into a particular College. The requirements for the NUI universities vary from those in the IT sector.
2. Course Requirements/ Subject Requirements
Once the Matriculation requirements are met, students will have to look at each course they are thinking of doing to see what the exact requirements are. The NUI colleges are UCC, UCD, NUIG, NUIM & RCSI.
You can check the exact requirements on the various college websites or prospectus. There are links to these websites from the CBC website, in the careers section. Keep in mind the option of studying abroad, particularly the UK. There are now great opportunities to study further afield in Europe, through English.
It is the responsibility of each student to verify the entry requirements to the College or course in which they are interested. Since the Leaving Certificate cycle is three years, it is important to remember that course requirements can change so it is important to keep up to date on entry requirements. It is advisable to aim far higher than the points required for a particular course.
The points received in the Leaving Certificate Exam are allocated on the basis of the best six results received in the exam. If a student is sitting more than six, they will still only be awarded the total from the best six.
Even if a student passes six subjects, but does not meet the specific entry requirements they will not be able to go to their institution of choice.
Points must be achieved in one sitting. A student cannot carry points over from one sitting of the exam to another.
Entry to courses is competitive, students who achieve the highest points will get into a course first and the institution will work its way down the list until all the places are filled.
The number of points required for a course is not decided in advance by the colleges, but it varies from year to year depending on demand.
The Leaving Certificate exam is the terminal state exam students will sit and is the entry point for careers in Public and Civil service.
The Leaving Certificate requires a great deal of work over an extended period of time. As well as picking subjects he is interested in, your son will have to keep his interest in these subjects over a three-year period. With this in mind he should try to pick the subjects that he is most interested in. He should discuss his academic potential with his individual subject teachers regarding whether or not he will be suitable to follow a particular course.
The CAO (Central Applications Office) is an organisation which is responsible for managing student applications to University and Colleges when they are in 6th Year.
Almost all of the colleges in Ireland submit what courses they are going to offer in the following year to the CAO. The CAO then processes applications on behalf of these colleges to ensure that students get to go to the colleges they prefer.
Students may choose from the entire range of courses mentioned in the CAO Handbook. All of the courses are categorised either as 'Level 6/Level 7' or 'Level 8'. These levels are part of the National Framework of Qualifications which goes from Level 1 to Level 10.
Students may apply for up to 10 courses in each of the above categories, a total of 20 courses, listing courses in order of preference.
Once the CAO processes the choices of every applicant, together with the Colleges, they decide what level of points to attach to a course each year. These points are based on the demand for the course and the level of academic requirements. The points are made known in August each year and a few days later the CAO offers places to students. CAO application commences in February each year. CBC holds an information session for parents.
It is worth visiting college Open Days where you can get many useful tips and advice about your son selecting the right course.