The first ever Leaving Cert exams in Computer Science will take place in June 2020.
A national pilot study involving 40 second level schools will commence in September 2018 leading into the 2020 Leaving Cert Computer Science examination. The exam will be computer-based and will constitute 70pc of the student’s total grade. The remaining 30pc will be awarded for a project completed in school.
The computer science course aims to teach students to be creative, adaptive learners and to employ flexible, solution-oriented thinking. It is the Government’s hope that the introduction of this course at Leaving Certificate level will help to drive interest in computer science courses at third-level and to reassure industry that the necessary workforce skills are being developed and talent needs addressed.
Welcome for new Leaving Cert exam subject
Geoffrey Browne, member of IT Sligo Governing Body, has been involved in the introduction of Computer Science as a Senior Cycle subject. Mr Browne is a member of the NCCA Development Group that developed the curriculum specification for Computer Science over the last year.
Commenting on the new Leaving Cert subject, Mr Browne said:
“As one who has worked in the Computer Science area for over 20 years and has been involved in the subject curriculum specification development, it is great to finally see Computer Science as a Leaving Cert subject.
“We now live in a digital age where computer literacy and digital skills are necessary in almost all careers and in our everyday life. There are exciting times ahead for students who opt for the subject and for those schools that offer it as a subject choice.
“Indeed, it’s also a very exciting time for IT Sligo in its continuance as a centre of excellence in the teaching of technology in the North West region.”
Third Level Courses to complement the new Leaving Cert subject
IT Sligo works closely with leading partners in the tech industry – such as Google and Intel – to develop content for different courses and to ensure its graduates meet skills needs.
September 2018 will see the launch at IT Sligo of a number of courses including: App Design, Games Development, Networks and Cloud Infrastructure, Data Centres Facilities Management.
These programmes complement the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science curriculum where students will be taught computational thinking and analysis; programming languages, how to modify computer programmes; how to design webpages, digital animations, simulations, games, apps and robotic.
John Kelleher, Head of the Computing and Creative Practices department at IT Sligo, adds his note of welcome for the new Leaving Cert subject:
“We look forward to the new computer science curriculum which will shed greater light on the diversity of modern computing.
“The programmes at IT Sligo reflect this well and ensure our graduates of pole position in the digital transformation currently underway.”