Our broad curriculum is designed to ensure that the needs of all our students are met.
Our innovative teaching approach, team teaching and a willingness to continuously review and improve our practices, all help ensure that we unlock the potential in all our students
Our students study the following core subjects:
Gaeilge (Unless Exempt)
Wellbeing (SPHE, CSPE, Life Skills, ICT)
Students pick one subject from:
In Coláiste Chríost Rí every student has the opportunity to do Transition Year. During the year students are given the opportunity and space to mature and develop at their own pace without the pressure of examinations. Involvement in work experience, drama, sport, outdoor pursuits in Cappanalea and ECDL to name but a few of the activities available to our TYO students, all help build self-confidence, resilience and offer students the chance to apply their skills in the world outside of school. Each student gets an opportunity to sample each LC option subject during TY.
A NCCA (National Council for Curriculum & Assessment) survey has shown that students who avail of this maturing year have a big advantage in the Leaving Certificate over their peers who do the examination in five years.
In Coláiste Chríost Rí all of our LC students’ study:
Gaeilge (Unless Exempt)
Each student chooses one subject from each of the following option lines
We are delighted that 85% of our 2019 LC class progressed to degree courses in UCC, CIT, UL & Mary Immaculata. Confirming our reputation for having a very strong academic programme.
Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme
LCVP is a Senior Cycle Programme of the Department of Education and Skills, designed to give a strong vocational dimension to the Leaving Certificate (established). The programme combines the virtues of academic study with a new and dynamic focus on self-directed learning, enterprise, work and the community.
CAT4, PPAD-E, Access (Maths), WIAT III, DASH (Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting), Access (Reading)
Here in Coláiste Chríost Rí our motto is ‘Inspiring Young Minds’. We strive to ensure your son is reaching his full potential in all areas; academically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We have a wide-ranging curriculum and perform regular and thorough assessments to firstly gauge ability, and secondly, to track academic achievement.
Throughout your son’s time here in Coláiste Chríost Rí he will sit most (or all depending on their needs) of the following assessments:
- Access (Maths)
- WIAT III
- DASH (Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting)
- Access (Reading)
Below is a comprehensive overview of what is involved in each assessment, why we use them and how they can help you son perform to the best of their academic ability.
CAT4: What is CAT4?
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is an assessment designed to help students and their teachers understand how they learn and what their academic potential might be. It assesses how students think in areas known to make a difference to learning.
CAT4 is designed to give schools a much broader, more rounded view of each child, their potential and how they learn. Results help teachers decide about the pace of learning that is right for a student and whether additional support or challenge is needed.
Tasks involve thinking about shapes and patterns (Non-Verbal Reasoning), words (Verbal Reasoning), numbers (Quantitative Reasoning) and some questions are answered by mentally generating and transforming visual images (Spatial Ability).
CAT4 is based on years of research and development. The current edition took five years to develop and involves testing and standardising students across the UK and Ireland. It is a well-known assessment in schools; teachers value its ability to provide an understanding of what a child is capable of rather than defining them by their understanding of a body of knowledge in particular subjects.
Here in Coláiste Chríost Rí, we do this assessment with all our incoming first years to best plan for them, and their learning needs for the coming year; and to make sure they have made the right decisions in relation to subject choice. Click here to view more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0DDUKuQtKc
How does CAT4 compare to an exam?
CAT4 is a timed assessment and is administered under formal conditions. However, each section of the assessment includes introductory information with practice examples, and these will familiarise the children with the style and format of the questions. These sections are not timed and may be repeated.
Should my child revise or train for CAT4? Can I get practice tests?
We strongly advise against any kind of practice ahead of a CAT4 test as this will alter the reliability of test scores. The point of CAT4 is that it is not a test of learnt knowledge and must be as unaffected as possible by external factors, such as practice. Think of it like an eye test; if you practice ahead of an eye test and memorise the card, your diagnosis may not be correct and valuable information may be missed. Practising the tests gives an inaccurate result of your son’s ability and could stop or delay them from receiving learning support in school.
CAT4 consists of four test batteries, each of which contains two tests for all but the youngest children.
These batteries and tests are described below.
Verbal reasoning battery
In the Verbal Classification test, each question presents three similar words. Students must identify the conceptual link between the three words and select from a list of five the one that best fits with the first three.
This test assesses general verbal reasoning and the ability to extract general principles from specific examples by identifying similarities and relationships between the concepts. Also assessed are general knowledge (for example, that an ankle is a joint), word knowledge (for example, that ‘cold’ can mean a virus or a low temperature) and language development (for example, that some words can be verbs or nouns, or how to use words like ‘although’ or ‘moreover’).
In the Verbal Analogies test, each question presents a verbal analogy in the form of ‘A-B: C-_’. Students must work out how the first pair of words is related and then select from five answer options the one that completes the second pair.
These questions involve two elements of reasoning. First, students have to look for similarities and differences between the first pair, for example the second thing is an element of the first or a descriptive term for the first. Second, they must duplicate that relationship starting with the third word presented.
Questions have been written to maximise the students’ flexibility in identifying and using concepts rather than taxing their background knowledge or vocabulary.
Quantitative reasoning battery
In the Number Analogies test, each question presents three pairs of numbers, such as ‘4-6, 8-10, 9-_’. Students must work out how the pairs of numbers are related and then complete the third pair by selecting the answer from the five options presented.
The questions in this test assess the same basic reasoning processes that are assessed in the equivalent Verbal Analogies test, as well as basic arithmetic knowledge (for example, that 6 is twice 3), accuracy in doing simple arithmetic and flexibility in identifying and being aware of numerical relationships (for example, that 7 might be twice 3 plus 1 or 4 times 2 minus 1).
In the Number Series test, students must work out the rule underlying the number series progression in each question and then select the next number from the five options presented.
This test assesses the same underlying basic reasoning processes and number facility as Number Analogies.
Nonverbal reasoning battery
In the Figure Classification test, each question presents students with three separate figures. They must identify the conceptual link or underlying characteristic that all three figures share. They then have to select the one figure from five answer options that goes with the first three.
This test assesses the ability to identify similarities, differences and relationships between elements.
In the Figure Matrices test, each question presents a figural analogy in the form of ‘A-B, C-_’. Students must work out how the first pair of figures is related and then select from five answer options the one that completes the second pair.
The tests in the Nonverbal Reasoning Battery do not make use of words or numbers, and the geometric and figural elements used bear little direct relationship to formal educational instruction. The tests emphasise the discovery of, and flexibility in, manipulating relationships expressed in figural designs.
Spatial ability battery
In the Figure Analysis test, each question presents students with a square that is repeatedly folded and then has one or more holes punched through it. Students have to work out what the final product would look like when unfolded and select this from the five answer options provided.
This test assesses visualisation processes; the ability to create a complex mental image, retain it in mind and manipulate it before comparing the imagined result with other presented material.
In the Figure Recognition test, students are shown five complex designs as line drawings with a target shape below. Students have to identify which of the five designs contains the exact same size outline of the target, including each side in full.
This test assesses visualisation skills, particularly the ability to create and retain a firm mental image of a shape that represents angles and lengths accurately.
PPAD-E: What is PPAD-E
The Post-Primary Assessment & Diagnosis – English (PPAD-E) is a set of assessments designed to measure a students’ literacy in English. We use this assessment with all our first-year students at the beginning of the school term. The PPAD-E is helpful for screening literacy difficulties and monitoring the progress of students.
What does the PPAD-E consist of?
There are 5 subtests in the PPAD-E: Spelling, Reading Comprehension, Writing Samples, Reading Speed and Single Word Reading. All but the Word Reading test are group administered.
The Spelling test is 45 single words to be written down (administered in ascending order of difficulty).
The Reading Comprehension is a selection of 8 cloze test passages appearing in order of ascending difficulty with five blanks to be filled in per passage.
The Writing Sample requires the student to write two paragraphs of writing in response to prompts (one fictional and one informational). Students have 5 minutes to write each paragraph and the sample is then evaluated on the following four dimensions:
- Ideas, voice, creativity/engagement
- Vocabulary used and quality of expression
- Spelling and punctuation
The Reading Speed test requires students to read 90 sentences and mark them as true/false.
The Single Word Reading test requires students to read 65 words aloud presented in four-word lists of ascending difficulty.
Access Mathematics Test (AMT): What is the AMT
AMT is a standardised assessment administered to all our first-year students to gain insight into their maths ability. This test allows us to plan and provide (if necessary) additional resources in numeracy. It can help us assess a student’s progress, analyze performance, and identify specific areas that may be limiting a student’s overall success.
What does AMT consist of?
The AMT assessment covers all strands of maths, in line with the national curriculum. This includes questions on numbers, fractions, measurement etc.
WIAT-III: What is the WIAT III
The Weschler Individual Achievement Test (3rd edition) is used by second year students. A student’s scores may suggest they need additional support and/or access to educational services. It can also be used to support an application for reasonable school accommodation and/or state examinations.
What does the WIAT –III consist of?
The WIAT- III features both reading and spelling subtests.
The Reading subtests include Early Reading Skills; Word Reading; Reading Comprehension; Oral Reading Fluency
The Spelling subtest consists of student writing down single words (administered in ascending order of difficulty)
DASH: What is DASH
The Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH) is a reliable, age-appropriate measure of handwriting speed for children. DASH helps identify students with handwriting difficulties and provides relevant information for intervention planning and school and state examination level.
What does the DASH consist of?
The assessment includes five subtests, each testing a different aspect of handwriting speed. The subtests examine fine motor and precision skills, the speed of producing well-known symbolic material, the ability to alter speed of performance on two tasks with identical content and free writing competency.
Access Reading Test (ART): What is the ART
The ART is a standardised assessment administered to all our fifth-year students to gain insight into their reading ability. This test allows us to plan and provide (if necessary) additional resources in literacy. It can help us assess a student’s progress, analyze performance, and identify specific areas that may be limiting a student’s overall success.
What does the ART consist of:
The ART is designed for wide-range assessment and pinpoints strengths and weaknesses in four key reading skill areas: Literal Comprehension, Vocabulary, Comprehension requiring inference or prediction and Comprehension requiring analysis.
The Literal Comprehension subset requires students to obtain information directly from instructions and factual records.
The Vocabulary subset asks students to choose alternative words which are closest in meaning to given words
The Comprehension requiring inference or prediction and opinions subset requires matching opinions to ‘talking heads’ or matching a quotation to an inference.
The Comprehension requiring analysis uses questions with an agree/disagree/does not say style of answering to check if students understand meaning within a passage.
How to Apply
If you’d like to request an application pack for our school please contact the office by phone or email.