JCPE - Junior Cycle Physical Education Support Service

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Assessment (NCCA/JCPESS Project)


In September 2005, the Junior Cycle Physical Education Support Service (JCPESS), in association with the National Council for Curriculum & Assessment (NCCA), established a pilot project involving 20 teachers for the purpose of developing physical education assessment. The project involved the creation of a physical education assessment-planning framework with various assessment instruments for use by teachers in conjunction with the revised junior cycle physical education syllabus. The work of the project focused on engaging a number of teachers in the development of assessment materials, the trialling of these in school settings and their subsequent refinement based on the feedback received from the teaching (and learning) setting.


In respect of learning and teaching in physical education, the project set out to

  • report on the effectiveness of Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies
  • examine the use of a variety of assessment instruments
  • identify, in particular, an approach to the use of portfolio assessment
  • explore the elements of effective recording and reporting
  • provide frameworks for planning.


The project was organised into two phases. The first ran from September to December 2005 and was primarily concerned with the use of planning approaches, the incorporation of assessment for learning approaches into teaching, planning frameworks covering all of physical education syllabus areas at junior cycle and planning templates for lessons. The second phase ran from January to June 2006 and the focus at this point was on the refinement of Phase 1 outcomes and the exploration of reporting options and the use of the portfolio.


Participating teachers were organised into three clusters aligned with the JCPE national programme. These were based in Cork, Navan and Mayo Education Centres. Teachers met at regular intervals for the purpose of reviewing their practice in the context of the project.



Participating schools


Mayo Education Centre Cork Education Centre
Dunmore Community College, Co. Galway Castletroy Community College, Co. Limerick
Rice College, Co. Mayo Christ King Girls School, Cork
Sacred Heart Secondary School, Co. Mayo Col an Phiarsaigh, Gleann Meaghair
St. Attracta's Community School, Co. Sligo Douglas Community College, Cork
St. Gerald's College, Co. Mayo Glanmire Community College, Cork
St. Joseph's Secondary School. Galway Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel
St. Nathy's College, Co. Roscommon St. Aidans, Dublin Hill, Cork
Navan Education Centre
Cnoc Mhuire Secondary School, Granard
Eureka Secondary School, Kells
Manor House Secondary School, Raheny
St. MacDara's Community College, Templeogue
St. Mark's College, Tallaght
Wesley College, Dublin



Project Outcomes


For the purposes of the project, ‘assessment for learning' methodologies were used within the Rich Task framework adapted by the JCPE Support Service. Teachers found that use of these methodologies helped structure their teaching, in a way that led to a greater focus on learning within the physical education lesson. The project was less successful in addressing portfolio assessment and recording and reporting issues.




Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:26

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JCPESS mailing list

icon_speechbubble The JCPESS is facilitating an electronic mailing or discussion list, to facilitate the exchange of opinions and ideas among physical education teachers. The idea is to provide a supported community where teachers learn from each other, can share resources, expertise and other benefits.

Click here for full details.

Contact now

JCPESS, Mayo Education Centre, Westport Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Tel: +353 94 9020789
Fax: +353 94 9020720


For links to useful websites and organisations, click here.