Fair papers ranging from Jesuits to Man U


JUNIOR CERT HISTORY - HIGHER AND ORDINARY:WHILE SOME students were none too happy at being asked to write about the Jesuits, overall the verdict on the Junior Cert higher-level history paper was positive.

“It was a typical higher-level paper,” said Teachers’ Union of Ireland subject representative Dermot Lucey. “It was very wide-ranging – you can’t cut corners in history – but it was very fair.”

The short questions were “very straightforward”, Mr Lucey said.

The “people in history” section offered students a range of topics. “They could write, among other things, about a named leader in a revolution, an archaeologist at work, a factory or a mine owner during the industrial revolution. The choice was very good.”

“I would have one minor complaint about that section,” said Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland subject representative Fintan O’Mahony, a teacher at Scoil Mhuire, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.

“Students were asked to write about a named Renaissance painter from outside Italy. Now I know they had the word ‘outside’ emboldened and in capital letters but I wish they wouldn’t do it. You’d have a very good student who could end up writing about da Vinci and getting nothing for it.”

Question 5, a documents question, is “usually very stiff”, Mr Lucey said. “But there was a good choice this year.”

The question was based on the Reformation and part (c) asked students to write about one out of three topics: the Council of Trent, the Court of Inquisition or the Jesuits. “A couple of our students were complaining about that one,” said Mr O’Mahony. “But it’s often on the paper.”

The ordinary-level exam was “equally good”, according to Mr Lucey. “The language was appropriate for the level and the documents used were interesting.”

Indeed, the documents included a personal account from a Manchester United footballer and an Irish song.

“It tested students on the key parts of the course,” Mr Lucey said. “Thumbs up all round.”