Busi­ness as usual with exam again rel­e­vant and in­ten­sive

■ Art papers, worth a third of marks, deemed fair as end in sight for Leav­ing Cert stu­dents

Irish Examiner - - News - Niall Mur­ray Education Cor­re­spon­dent

The sec­ond week of Leav­ing Cer­tifi­cate 2018 moved closer to an end with ex­ams in busi­ness and art.

Teach­ers’ Union of Ire­land (TUI) busi­ness spokesman Ruairi Far­rell said the higher-level exam was as time-in­ten­sive as usual, but it con­tin­ued to demon­strate the rel­e­vance of the sub­ject to real life.

There was an ap­plied busi­ness ques­tion about a fic­tional bike-hire busi­ness aimed at tourists, which Mr Far­rell said should have pre­sented no prob­lem to most stu­dents. The ear­lier sec­tion on short ques­tions had some wordy parts, but stu­dents could pick and choose within the sec­tion.

The long ques­tions sec­tion fea­tured nice ex­am­ples of suc­cess­ful Ir­ish and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies, which Mr Far­rell felt stu­dents would have related to.

He said that Su­per­mac’s, Ryan air, Aldi , Cad­bury, and Net­flix were all the kind of firms which busi­ness teach­ers would re­fer to in class­room.

He said the sec­ond and third sec­tions of the exam were based around three main units of the course, so stu­dents’ knowl­edge of the en­tire cur­ricu­lum was tested. He said that if they took time to read through the ques­tions care­fully, they should have done fine.

As­so­ci­a­tion of Sec­ondary Teach­ers Ire­land (ASTI) sub­ject spokes­woman Mar go Mc­Gann said her stu­dents at St Au­gus­tine’s Col­lege in Dun­gar­van, Co Water­ford, would have par­tic­u­larly liked the ap­plied busi­ness ques­tion as the bike-hire busi­ness com­pany was as­so­ci­ated with a green­way just like the one re­cently opened be­tween the town and Water­ford City. She said it was a nice, mod­ern ques­tion for stu­dents any­where in the coun­try, with a good test about dif­fer­ent types of mar­ket­ing.

Ms Mc­Gann said some ques­tions needed to be read care­fully to avoid pro­vid­ing un­wanted in­for­ma­tion, like one which asked for grounds of fair — rather than un­fair — dis­missal. She thought many stu­dents would have been fa­mil­iar with Su­per­mac’s from a re­cent TV in­ter­view by its founder Pat McDon­agh, and said it was good to see an in­come and tax cal­cu­la­tion come up even if a hol­i­day voucher in ad­di­tion to salary might have com­pli­cated mat­ters.

For or­di­nary-level stu­dents, Mr Far­rell said that a stu­dent-friendly pa­per was wide-rang­ing and touched on all as­pects of the course. He felt that any stu­dent who had the self-con­fi­dence to do so would have taken to the exam with ease.

The af­ter­noon art papers were worth just over one third of to­tal marks, as stu­dents had com­pleted course­work ear­lier this year.

ASTI spokes­woman Jean Bourke said the higher-level writ­ten exam was fair with a good choice of ques­tions in all three sec­tions. Stone work, manuscripts, and Bronze Age met­al­work fea­tured in the early Ir­ish art ques­tions, and a Eu­ro­pean art ques­tion on Gothic build­ings al­lowed stu­dents show off their knowl­edge. They could show their draw­ing skills and de­sign abil­i­ties in a ques­tion about land­scap­ing pub­lic parks and green spa­ces.

The TUI’s Clodagh O’Hara re­ported pos­i­tive stu­dent feed­back, par­tic­u­larly on the ques­tions on Ir­ish or Eu­ro­pean artists. She thought they would be very pleased with ques­tions on Bronze Age arte­facts, high crosses, and Ge­or­gian Ir­ish ar­chi­tec­ture, and said the ex­hi­bi­tion and film cos­tume de­signer ques­tions would also have been pop­u­lar.

Ms O’Hara thought or­di­nary-level stu­dents were given a fair pa­per with­out any sur­prises.

Ju­nior Cer­tifi­cate stu­dents from St Raphael’s Col­lege, Loughrea, Co Gal­way, Aoife Nee, Noelle Gavin, Ni­amh Burns, and Leanne Law­less with teacher Mairead Dempsey af­ter their home eco­nomics exam.

Pic­ture: Pa­trick Browne

Leav­ing Cert stu­dents Shauna Glad­ney, Michaela Wa­ters, El­liemay Wal­lace of Abbey Col­lege, Water­ford.

Pic­tures: Hany Mar­zouk

St Raphael’s Col­lege stu­dents Ni­amh Duffy, Hazel Walsh, and Orla Whe­lan.

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