Our English teacher Ms. Cullen is a facilitator for the Junior Certificate for Teachers (JCT) Team. This team, set up through the Department of Education and Science, trains teachers nationally in developing skills that enable them to implement the new Junior Cycle Framework. Below she writes about the team:

The main function of the Junior Cycle for Teachers team is the provision of continuing professional development (CPD) support for school leaders and teachers as they plan and implement strategies and practices to adopt the Junior Cycle Framework in their schools. The Junior Cycle for Teachers team is a CPD support service directed by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) which offers professional development support to post-primary teachers and school leaders in the context of “A Framework for Junior Cycle”. JCT assists schools in this work by making personnel and resources available to facilitate staff CPD and school programme development. 

 Junior Cycle for Teachers supports schools in the following areas: 

• Interpretation and implementation of strategies in the context of junior cycle curricular and assessment components including the principles, key skills and statements of learning

• Implementing effective evaluation and assessment practices to improve learning and teaching

• Planning for the Junior Cycle curriculum, including timetabling practices

• Quality assuring the curriculum, including moderation techniques

• Programme/curriculum development, including short courses and Level 2 Learning Programmes

• Developing standardised testing practices

• Information and communication technology (ICT) in the classroom

• Understanding and interpreting all aspects of A Framework for Junior Cycle

• Implementing strategies and practices that support Assessment for Learning

• Subject department and whole-school planning for Junior Cycle

• Building effective progression processes from primary to post-primary schools and from junior cycle to senior cycle.

• Moderation and quality assurance 

• Reporting to parents

• Short courses and Level 2 Learning Programmes

• Instructional leadership

Members of the JCT team provide professional development and support for post-primary teachers and school leaders in relation to all aspects of the Framework. A significant focus of this team is supporting schools to lead their own staff planning and development in the context of their implementation of the Framework. 

Members of the JCT team 

• contribute to the design, development and delivery of the CPD programme and supporting resources for whole-staff CPD to support the implementation of the Framework 

• meet with school leaders and teachers to ensure customisation of whole-staff CPD that is reflective of the school’s and the teachers’ needs 

• provide CPD, advice and support in relation to the Framework and facilitate teachers’ professional development using a range of delivery modes in the following areas:

 Pedagogical approaches that support active learning and the use of ICT as a tool for learning 

 Planning and implementing subjects and short courses as they are introduced in the school’s Junior Cycle programme 

 Building sustainable assessment practice 

 Supporting moderation practice 

 The administration and use of standardised testing to inform learning and teaching 

 Relevant digital content 

 Assisting teachers in the development of suitable strategies to support Level 2 Learning Programmes 

 Work with teachers and demonstrate exemplars of effective learning, teaching and assessment strategies, approaches and methodologies across a range of curricular areas 

 Support school-based collaborative continuing professional development in adopting whole-school, group and individual approaches to the Framework 

 Contribute to the maintenance and development of web-based support 

 Support the integration of ICT into learning and teaching and identify/develop relevant digital content