Leaving Certificate Applied


‘All creative people want to do the unexpected’ (Hedy Lamarr)

This time last year I was entering the unexpected completing my Junior Certificate and choosing which senior cycle path to take. Creativity is often about taking risks and stepping into the unknown. Choosing to do Leaving Certificate Applied has turned out to be the best choice yet. Leaving Certificate Applied differs from the traditional Leaving Certificate in that there is much more emphasis on continuous assessment. In other words, our overall grade does not depend on one final exam; we get the chance to improve our grade throughout the year.

The group spends four days per week in school and one day on work experience. There are many aspects to the LCA Programme which include Engineering, Hotel, Catering & Tourism, Social Education, Irish, Visual Arts, Religious Studies, Graphics & Construction, Physical Education and Career Guidance. During the week we learn about the world of work, life skills, communication skills, computer skills as well as improving our literacy and numeracy skills. A typical day starts at 9.00 pm sharp down in the LCA room. We each have our own personal laptop to use as well as a printer. Teachers often use the over-head projector for presentations and video clips to make our learning more interactive and interesting. Most of our classes are in this room; however, we do PE in the Gym, cooking practicals in the Home Economics Room, and Engineering in the Engineering Room. Because we have a small class we get to know each other and our teachers very well. The LCA Programme enables us to do more group work and presentations than the traditional 5th year programme. LCA has improved our confidence, computer skills, and general communication skills. All this prepares us for the world of work and college. We take our breaks with the rest of the school at 11.20 am and 1.20 pm. The biggest catch of LCA is that we must be in 90% of the time. This is not difficult in St Louis C.S. as each day is busy preparing for projects and generally enjoying school life.  Other days we are busy preparing for events.