Irish is a compulsory subject in Castleknock College. We endeavour to make the subject enjoyable and therefore cater for a wide range of capabilities. Each student is given the opportunity to study the language at a level that meets their ability. We offer both ordinary and honours level courses. The Junior Cycle comprises of a three year course. This is developed in transition year when students complete a programme consisting of four modules. This programme prepares our candidates for the Leaving Certificate where the emphasis is placed on spoken Irish.
First year students begin their study for the Junior Certificate on entry to school. At this initial stage our main aim is to settle each pupil into their class and cater for each student individually. We attempt to foster a natural interest in the language at this early stage. We utilise the framework set out by the Department of Education during assessment procedures. Throughout 1st and 2nd year, the pupils are exposed to culture and heritage themes through the medium of poetry, short stories and novels. By 3rd year, students are placed in a class that is specific to their needs where their level is carefully challenged and developed.
Following completion of the Junior Certificate, students continue their study of Irish. At this level the emphasis is placed on the spoken language. They further explore culture and heritage themes by completing four modules. Each module is seven weeks long. These short segments provide students with the opportunity to study various elements of the language for a manageable period of time.
The Leaving Certificate consists of a two year course. Again, the focus is on spoken Irish as the oral examination is worth 40 per cent of the total marks. By the time students reach Senior Cycle they have received the necessary groundwork to speak the language at a fluent level. As a result of this, each student is encouraged to undertake the state exam at higher level. Every candidate is individually invited to sit this oral examination. This is completed in a relaxed setting and it is the aim of the department that students achieve the best academic result they can in this exam. The written paper completes the remainder of the course. The students are prepared strategically in a manner they understand and enjoy.