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Short Course Development

Short Course Development

School Developed Short Courses

The NCCA will provide guidance and advice on the development of one short course per school at three key stages of the development:
  1. After the scoping document has been completed
  2. After draft one of the short course has been written, taking into account the NCCA feedback on the scoping document
  3. After draft two has been written again taking account of NCCA feedback
In developing short courses schools may devise some completely ‘from scratch’ or they may decide to work with external agencies such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or statutory bodies in the development of them.

Steps for schools to take in developing short courses for junior cycle

As your school prepares to develop a short course you are advised to take the following steps:
Step 1: Read and research

Step 2: Consider the proposed short course within the context of your school and the needs and interests of your students 

  • Consult with staff, students, parents, related subject departments and others about the proposed short course

Step 3: Look at the NCCA support materials for developing a short course

Step 4: Use the scoping document

  • Now you are ready to develop the short course scoping document for Level 2 and/or Level 3 where you bring together all the big ideas for this course in consultation with relevant others in your school community.
  • The school principal submits the short course to the NCCA via email to: [email protected] for review and advice BEFORE you go any further with the process. The submission form at the front of the scoping document and the completed document itself should not be longer than seven pages

Step 5: Develop, reflect and refine

  • The school uses the NCCA advice in developing a first draft of the short course and this is submitted to the same email address by the school principal
  • The NCCA will review the draft and again the school uses this advice to develop a final draft
  • The school writes the final draft and it is submitted for final review to the NCCA

Key advice:

  • It is a good idea to pilot the short course - or parts of it - with a small group of students and evaluate its success before offering it to a larger group
  • Schools who have developed their own short courses report that it is a rewarding process but that it takes time. Our experience of working with schools has shown that it could take up to 12 months to develop one
  • It is best to develop a short course in collaboration with others.  This allows for discussion and sharing of the planning tasks.  It also develops the capcity of the teachers involved to teach the short course when it is developed
  • Schools are advised to access the support for short course development provided by the Junior Cycle Support Service for Teachers (JCT).

Endorsement of short courses

It is not our policy to endorse educational materials or ‘packs’ relating to short courses, so we would request that you do not use the NCCA logo on published materials relating to this short course. However, you may wish to acknowledge the support of the NCCA in the development of the short course. If so, we would suggest you use the following wording: 
This short course has been developed in accordance with the NCCA template and guidelines.