Weekly Updates 14th October

Dear Parents/ Guardians of our 1st year students. Please see below some important updates on the following:

  1. Date for 1st year HPV vaccinations
  2. Choosing their language of choice-1st years  (this week)
  3. Formative Assessment Report for 1st years

1)1st Year Vaccinations (Friday November 11th)

The HSE will run a vaccination clinic here in St Munchin’s College on Friday November 11th. The students will be receiving their Tdap and HPV (first dose) vaccines on that date. Below is the link to the information booklet on these vaccinations – this leaflet will be included in the pack that you as parents will receive with consent forms. Such forms will arrive in the school in the coming weeks and will be distributed to all first-year students. All forms must be signed and returned to the class tutor prior to the administration of vaccines on November 11th. While most of the boys feel fine following the vaccine, some feel weak and need to go home. Therefore, it is essential that on that day you are aware that we may need to contact you to collect you son.

2)Modern Foreign Language (Deadline for choice selection by parents on the app-Monday October 24th)

As you are aware, first-year students have been engaging with French and German every second week since the start of the year. At this point,  students now need to decide on the language they wish to continue with long term. This week beginning today Monday October 17th,  first year parents will have the opportunity to choose their son’s language of choice on the school app. The form will be available on the app from today, Monday,  October 17th. You will find it on under the heading “Consent forms”. Parents must fill the form before Monday October 24th. Any questions/queries in relation to language allocation must be directed to Ms. Shiels at lshiels@stmunchinscollege.ie.

Parents/ Students will know prior to the midterm break the language they have been allocated. Every effort is made to assign students to the language of their choice. We will inform the students and you the parents of the relevant textbooks that you will need to purchase prior to the midterm break. This will afford parents sufficient time to purchase the books during the midterm.  Following the break, the students will engage full time with their language of choice.


Options subjects (Art, Graphics, Technology, Coding/Digital Media)

All first years have the opportunity to sample a variety of different option subjects, Art, Graphics, Technology, Coding and Digital Media. As we approach the Christmas holidays, the boys will have sampled all options. At this point the boys will need to decide on what option subject is best suited to their strength and aptitude. The selection of options will be made the week prior to the Christmas holidays. In the same way as French/ German choices are made through the school app, so too will the above options.  More detailed information will be provided, closer to the Christmas holidays, in relation to the form and how students/parents should make an informed decision when choosing their chosen option.

3)Formative Assessment Report for 1st year students (November 18th)

On November 18th , the school will issue what is referred to as Formative Assessment reports to all 1st, 2nd and 5th year parents. The report will be issued through our online administration system, VS ware. All parents will receive an e mail and app notification from the school notifying them that the reports have been issued and are thereby live on VS ware to view and print. The report issued is a Comment Only Report and will not include any grades or percentages.. This report is one of the initiatives in our Assessment for Learning programme.  

How is this Report Different to Others?  

This report has no numeric result and no grade. It has the level at which your child is sitting the subject, all 1st year students are sitting subjects at Common Level for now. Next year they will be differentiated into higher and ordinary level for Maths and Irish. English is also differentiated at Junior Cycle into higher and ordinary level; however, we do not divide up the class groups for English i.e. the students will remain in their base class for English for their three years at Junior Cycle (regardless of the level at which they intend to sit their English exam at i.e.  higher or ordinary) whereas for Maths and Irish they will be taught in a higher or ordinary level class setting from the start of 2nd year. 

The only subjects that have levels attached to them at Junior cycle are the above core subjects of Maths, Irish and English. All other subjects are taken by all students at Common Level. 

This report will include a teacher AfL(Assessment for Learning) comment for each subject, and in addition has the level of effort your child is applying in that particular subject. 

Why is there no Result or Grade?  

In AfL (Assessment for Learning)  the focus is on providing the student with feedback on their learning. This feedback should help to inform, guide and shape future learning experiences. Effective formative feedback is given without results, as research has shown that students who were presented with grades and comments felt that the grade cancelled out the beneficial effects of the comments. The comments in this report are intended to help the student with the direction they need to move in to improve their learning and ultimately their results. Teachers have based their comments on various AfL assessment techniques which have been carried out in their classrooms since our return in August/September. The comments provided by your son’s teacher will help to guide and support him, in the areas that he may need to improve on between now and the Christmas tests. A more detailed explanatory letter has been attached to this e mail, to further describe Assessment for Learning as an assessment strategy. 

Have a lovely weekend,

Kind regards,

David Quilter     Lorraine Shiels