Love the children … and make a great effort to improve their education
and raise it to as high a degree as possible. Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey



Junior Cycle


Visual Art at Junior Cycle aims to provide the student with a set of personal attitudes and qualities as well as skills and processes and a sense of the aesthetic. Through practical engagement in the areas of art, craft and design students will develop self-confidence, inquisitiveness, imagination, and creativity. They will also develop authentic, real-world problem-solving capacities and the capacity to work over time, as an individual and in groups, on the design and execution of artistic and aesthetic tasks. Within the safe space of the art class, students will experience the authentic visual art processes of imagining, investigating, experimenting, making, displaying and evaluating. They will sometimes fail and learn that failure can often be a hugely positive learning experience. Students will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to produce and to engage with authentic and original art, craft and design work. In so doing, they will begin to develop the visual literacy, critical skills and language necessary to engage with contemporary culture. This will further contribute to the students’ understanding of the rich and diverse roles of art, craft and design in historical and contemporary societies and cultures.


The specification for Junior Cycle Visual Art focuses on the students’ practical and cognitive engagement with art. Students will be enabled to progressively improve their skills as an artist/craftsperson/designer in a space that is safe for them to explore ideas and diverse processes both creatively and imaginatively. This can be achieved through the interconnected strands of the disciplines of art, craft and design. A student will experience learning in each of these three strands as they progress through their Junior Cycle.


Assessment for the JCPA

Visual Art is a practical subject. The assessment of Visual Art for the purposes of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) will comprise two Classroom-Based Assessments:

CBA 1 - 2nd Year - From process to realisation - Visual Art sketchpad + 1 realised work
Completion of the Assessment - end of April

Students, either individually or in a group, choose one scenario from a list prepared by the NCCA. They then generate ideas, experiment and develop these ideas in their Visual Art sketchpad, and realise an artwork through one of the three strands.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will mark the development work and realised work that is generated from the initial research, planning and experimentation in the second Classroom-Based Assessment. One piece of realised work undertaken in either Classroom-Based Assessment must be realised in three dimensions. There is no final examination in this practical subject.

CBA 2 - 3rd Year - Communicate and Reflect - Presentation
Completion of the Assessment - mid-November

Individually, students choose one scenario from a list prepared by the SEC and NCCA to generate ideas, experiments and other preparatory work in their Visual Art sketchpad. Students present this initial research and work through the two remaining strands not undertaken as part of the first Classroom Based Assessment. This presentation of ideas and preparatory work is assessed, and students reflect on the feedback they receive.

Art 013 MS Jan 2024.JPG

Artefacts for assessment by the SEC

After completion of the second Classroom-Based Assessment, students will reflect on and use the feedback from their teacher and peers, as the basis to create further significant developmental work in their Visual Art sketchpad as well as two realised pieces for the state-certified examination. The work submitted must also contain some initial research and experimentation work from the second Classroom-Based Assessment where appropriate, in order to clarify the development of the student’s ideas including the incorporation of any feedback they received which was useful in advancing their later ideas and work. This work will be marked by the State Examinations Commission.


Senior Cycle

The Leaving Certificate Art specification is presented in three inter-related and inter-dependent strands.

Research Strand

Students learn how to become a visual researcher. As part of the research process, they learn to select a stimulus, choose relevant primary sources and develop, rationalise and contextualise their ideas and work further.

Create Strand

Students engage in the process of making/creating art from conception to realisation using a range of skills and chosen material as appropriate. They create work based on a starting stimulus, respond to it and develop it as their work progresses.

Respond Strand

Students need to understand that in Art they can, and do, react to artwork, whether it is their own or another’s. They will learn to stand outside of their own work and to reflect on it critically. Students will also learn about and learn from aspects of Visual Studies, which will help to increase their knowledge of Art and so inform their opinions of their work and the work of others.



There are three assessment components in Leaving Certificate Art:

  • Practical coursework
  • An invigilated examination
  • A written examination.

Assessment Component



Practical Coursework

250 marks


Invigilated Examination

100 marks


Written examination – Visual Studies

150 marks



500 marks


Practical Coursework 50%

The practical coursework component is designed to test the student’s ability to use the knowledge, concepts and skills developed in their study of Art to produce a realised work, from a stimulus, over an extended time period. The use of primary sources, including observational drawings, life drawing and drawing from the imagination are important.

Students will receive the SEC coursework brief at the beginning of Term 2 (Year 2). In the brief, the SEC will outline the time period in which the practical coursework must be completed. During this period, students will be required to realise one piece of work and plan and develop work for the realisation of a second piece of work during the invigilated examination.

They will include an artist’s statement to explain what they have created, how it was created and why was it created.

The work completed in the school will be monitored by the teacher as the student’s own work and must be included with the realised work.

Art 019 MS Jan 2024.JPG

The Practical Examination 20%

The practical examination component will take place as soon after the completion of the practical coursework component as possible, and within 5 hours of a single day. Information on the examination will be included in the coursework brief issued by the SEC. Learners will create a second realised work for this examination, based on the same stimulus and the ideas and work they researched and developed during their overall coursework project.

They will include an artist’s statement to explain what they have created, how it was created and why was it created.

Written Examination 30%

The written examination will have a range and balance of question types suited to Visual Studies and the application of practical knowledge. The questions will focus on a broad understanding of Visual Studies and will require learners to demonstrate knowledge and understanding, and an ability to apply, analyse, evaluate and respond as appropriate.

The written examination paper will assess:

  • recall, knowledge and understanding of art and Visual Studies
  • application of practice, knowledge and understanding from different areas of the specification to familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • critical thinking, the ability to analyse and evaluate information and to form reasonable and logical arguments based on evidence.
  • problem-solving skills in relation to Visual Studies and the practical application of art
  • the ability to process information and articulate a personal understanding.

All questions will rely on the student’s understanding of Visual Studies and their critical and creative use of visual language to analyse artwork.

Career Possibilities

Careers possibilities for Art students include fine art, sculpture, animation, illustration, art teaching, computer design, architecture, fashion and textile design, interior design, graphic and digital design, film making, prop and costume design, photography and art therapy.

23 2024
Leaving Certificate 2024 Results
26 2024
1st Year Induction
27 2024
TY Trip to Carlingford
27 2024
1st Year Induction
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061

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