The Link Modules, for many practitioners the defining curricular feature of the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP), were first introduced to schools in September 1994. Since then, they have been central to the programme and instrumental to its success in delivering on aims and objectives in the areas of activity-based learning, provision of core skills, cross-curricular learning, and education for enterprise and the world of work.
The National Council For Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) initiated a review of the Link Modules in November 1997, as part of its ongoing review of the LCVP. This has, in turn, been part of the NCCA's wider consideration of the development of senior cycle education in Ireland. The review drew on the expertise of the membership of the LCVP and Senior Cycle committees of the NCCA, on the views of teachers and principals, on the expertise and work of those involved in professional development of teachers implementing the programme, and on the evaluation of the LCVP by the Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Science.
A revised Link Modules descriptor was presented to the LCVP and Senior Cycle committees in April 2000, and approved by Council in October 2000. This descriptor was included in the LCVP Programme Statement published in September 2001 and introduced in schools, for the first time, in September 2002.
The following assessment arrangements apply for the Link Modules:
• the Link Modules are treated as a unit for assessment purposes
• assessment is at a common level (no higher or ordinary levels)
• students sit a terminal examination paper, representing 40% of the total marks, at the end of the final year of the LCVP
• students submit a portfolio of coursework, representing 60% of total marks, developed over the two years of the programme and submitted at the end of the final year of the LCVP
• grades awarded for the Link Modules are Distinction (80-100%), Merit (65-79%) and Pass (50-64%). Note: teachers should also refer to guidelines on assessment arrangements issued to schools from time to time by the examining authority