I hope you are well and safe. The last few months have been unprecedented in Irish life and no doubt in your own. As a student, you are experiencing school life like no others. Your final year in school was brought to a sudden halt on the 12th of March and you had to engage with distance learning with little choice if you wished to continue with your education in the most important year of your school life.
We know that for some engaging in online learning was extremely difficult because of circumstances; nevertheless you deserve great credit for preserving and maintaining your commitment to getting a Leaving Cert. You did this, at a time when there was great uncertainty around the Leaving Certificate and finally last Friday clarity was brought to how the Leaving Cert will be completed in 2020.
Whether you agree or disagree with the proposals there is a definite process now in place for awarding a Leaving Certificate. The process is explained in the document “A Guide to Calculated Grades for Leaving Certificate Students in 2020”. This document can be accessed on the school website.
The most significant part of the process is that your teachers will estimate the mark you would have got if you sat the Leaving Certificate and it will include all aspects of the subject.
We want to assure you that the principles of equity, fairness and objectivity set out in the proposals will be adhered to in St Peter’s. Teachers will use existing records and the available evidence of your work such as classwork, homework, school exams etc. to determine your likely grade. You will also be ranked in your class in each subject by your teacher.
Once your teacher estimates your marks they will then review the marks with other teachers teaching the subject at Leaving Cert this year. If there is no other teacher teaching the subject the marks awarded will be reviewed with the Deputy Principal. The teacher will then finalise the marks and ranking for all students in the class and submit the marks and ranking to the Principal.
The Principal cannot alter marks or rankings but must ensure that you have been treated fairly, that the same standards were applied to every student in the class and that all teachers of the subject applied the same standards. The Principal will then transmit the estimated marks and rankings to the State Exams Commission.
It is vital that you declare the level of the subject you want to be assessed at, particularly if you have been advised by your subject teacher to change levels. If you want to change levels before the marking begins then please contact Ms Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before Tuesday 12th May. If you wish to discuss options or levels before making a decision contact Ms Murphy at email@example.com
We have engaged with all your teachers and stressed the importance of the work they are about to undertake. They will be professional and fair to you. In the circumstances where your teacher has to estimate your marks it is not appropriate that you or your parents make contact with your teachers regarding this process. Your teachers have also been advised to refer all queries from students and or parents to management. Any queries on the process should be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. There are issues such as who will mark native foreign languages, that have to be established and we will immediately inform the relevant students when we get this information.
Finally and once again we want to reiterate the regard and admiration that all staff in St Peter’s have for you. We are extremely proud of the manner in which you have responded to the challenges put in front of you in recent weeks. Remember life itself was never more important and hopefully you will look back at this period as a time when you showed true grit and resilience in the middle of a global pandemic.
Derek Dunne Blánid Quane
Principal Deputy Principal