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Assessment is an integral part of the teaching/learning process. It seeks to establish the extent and quality of the student learning which has taken place. Assessment of student learning and achievement should provide information that informs future learning strategies and motivates the student in that context. At junior cycle, assessment modes and methods used in physical education will contribute directly to the formative development of the learner. The assessment modes and methods employed will also be consistent with the practical nature of physical education at this level.


Assessing student achievement


The assessment of student achievement in physical education at junior cycle provides an opportunity for the utilisation of a variety of modes and methods of assessment. A range of assessment modes is outlined below while further suggestions on methods of assessment will be provided in the Teacher Guidelines. It is accepted that varying school circumstances will give rise to a variety of approaches to assessment. However, the assessment modes and methods utilised should reflect the practical nature of physical education.


In recording student achievement over the duration of junior cycle, it is recommended that all Assessment material be compiled and stored in the form of a Student Portfolio. The portfolio will contain assessment evidence obtained from the assessment approaches outlined below. The contents should also reflect achievements and attainments in other forms, to be agreed between the student and the teacher. The portfolio will provide useful information to the teacher, school and parents, but will ultimately be of most value to the student as a record of personal achievement. It should be used very much as a vehicle for the formative assessment of student progress.




Formal assessment by the teacher

This structured assessment can be used at the end of a year, term or other significant period/unit of work. It will evaluate student performance of activities against a pre-determined set of criteria. The assessment might comprise the performance of teacher-prescribed tasks or completion of written assignments, or a combination of both.


Informal observation by the teacher

This assessment is ongoing as part of the teaching and learning process. The teacher continually makes judgements as to the progress and performance of the student in the lesson. The teacher will, where appropriate and practicable, record a number of these informal evaluations.


Peer assessment by students

The syllabus aims to extend the full range of skills displayed by the student. One way to improve the skills of the student in the area of analysis of performance is to facilitate the operation of peer assessment in the physical education lesson. It is important to note that this assessment activity should proceed on the basis of parameters and criteria agreed by both the student and teacher.


Self-assessment by students

It is widely accepted that students should take greater responsibility for their own learning and, by extension, for the assessment of what they have learned. As part of the process of self-assessment, students will be encouraged to reflect on their experience of physical education. Students might focus on a year or a term to identify, inter alia, areas where they experienced difficulty.


Recording individual achievement

Because of the congruence between physical education and physical activity outside of the formal class setting, participation in the latter area should be recorded as evidence of achievement in the student portfolio.


Frequency of assessment

To allow for adequate time to explore the areas in sufficient depth and detail, it is suggested that four activities be taught in each year of the junior cycle. In each year at least one formal assessment process or event should take place. The scheduling of other assessments is a matter for the individual teacher, having regard to particular circumstances.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 09:57

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