Religious Education aims to develop knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values to enable young people to come to an understanding of religion and its relevance to life, relationships, society and the wider world. It aims to develop the students’ ability to examine questions of meaning, purpose and relationships, to help students understand, respect and appreciate people’s expression of their beliefs, and to facilitate dialogue and reflection on the diversity of beliefs and values that inform responsible decision-making and ways of living.
The specification for junior cycle Religious Education is built around three inter-connected strands:
- Exploring questions
- Expressing beliefs
- Living our choices
This strand develops students’ ability to understand, respect and appreciate how people’s beliefs have been expressed in the past and continue to be expressed today through lifestyle, culture, rites and rituals, community building, social action and ways of life. It enables students to appreciate that people live out of their different beliefs—religious or otherwise. It also focuses on understanding and appreciating that diversity exists within religions.
This strand enables students to explore some of the questions of meaning, purpose and relationships that people wonder about and to discover how people with different religious beliefs and other interpretations of life respond to these questions. It focuses on students developing a set of knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values that allows them to question, probe, interpret, analyse and reflect on these big questions, in dialogue with each other.
Living our choices
This strand focuses on enabling students to understand and reflect on the values that underlie actions and to recognise how moral decision-making works in their own life and in the lives of others based on particular values and/or beliefs. It also enables students to engage in informed discussion about moral issues and respectfully communicate and explain their personal opinions, values and beliefs.
Assessment for the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)
The assessment of Religious Education for the purposes of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) will comprise two Classroom-Based Assessments, A person of commitment and The human search for meaning, and a final examination. In addition, students complete a written Assessment Task related to the second Classroom-Based Assessment, which is submitted to the State Examinations Commission for marking along with the final examination.
Classroom-Based Assessment (CBA)
Classroom-Based Assessment 1: A person of commitment
Students will, over a specified time, research and present on a person whose worldviews or religious beliefs have had a positive impact on the world around them, past or present.
Time: Towards the end of second year
Individual or group report that may be presented in a wide range of formats.
Classroom-Based Assessment 2: The human search for meaning
Students will, over a specified time, explore artistic, architectural, or archaeological evidence that shows ways that people have engaged in religious belief/the human search for meaning and purpose of life.
Time: Term two in third year
Individual or group report that may be presented in a wide range of formats
The Assessment Task (AT)
On completion of the Classroom-Based Assessments, students will undertake an Assessment Task. This will be completed after the second Classroom-Based Assessment and will be marked by the State Examinations Commission.
"True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness."