In September 1998, we offered a new Leaving Cert programme to our post-Junior cert students here at Gort Community School. It’s a more practical programme, with a strong vocational emphasis. This is Leaving Cert Applied (LCA).

It has been extremely successful since then, with many young men and women graduating, who may otherwise have left formal education at a young age.

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. The programme puts an emphasis on forms of achievement and excellence, which the established Leaving Certificate has not recognized in the past.

The Leaving Certificate Applied was introduced to recognise the talents of all students and provide opportunities for development in terms of responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge. It is an innovative programme in the way students learn, in what they learn and in the way their achievements are assessed.

Our LCA students have work experience as an integral part of their course….presently LCA1(4th yrs) work each Friday throughout the school year, while our LCA2(5th yrs) students have two 2-week blocks. Work experience provides a very valuable experience in helping our students make their learning relevant and in making decisions about their future.

The Leaving Certificate Applied is intended to meet the needs of those students who are not adequately catered for by other Leaving Certificate programmes or who choose not to opt for such programmes.

The advantage of Leaving Certificate Applied is that it focuses on the talents of each individual student and helps students apply what they learn in the real world. The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called Sessions and achievements are credited in each of these Sessions.

The following courses are available in LCA at Gort Community School:

Mathematical Applications
English and Communications
Agriculture & Horticulture
Graphics and Construction Studies
Craft and Design
Hotel, Catering & Tourism
Information & Communication Technology (Vocational Specialism)
Introduction to Information & Communication Technology(Mandatory Course)
Visual Art
An Ghaeilge
Modern Languages
Social Education
Leisure & Recreation
Vocational Preparation & Guidance

Each of the above courses consists of a number of modules.
A module generally represents a half-year’s work and there is provision for some choice of modules.