IT Sligo is well-placed to serve student interest sparked by the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science Exam


IT Sligo has warmly welcomed the announcement that the first ever Leaving Certificate exams in Computer Science will take place in 2020.
A national pilot study involving 40-post-primary schools, including one in the North West, will commence in September and the first Computer Science examinations will take place in June 2020.

IT Sligo Governing Body member Mr. Geoffrey Browne has been involved in the introduction of Computer Science as a Senior Cycle subject – he is a member of the NCCA Development Group that developed the curriculum specification for Computer Science over the last year.

The computer-based exam will constitute 70pc of the student’s total grade, with the remaining 30pc awarded for a project completed in school.
The introduction of the subject at Leaving Certificate level will help to drive interest in computer science courses at third-level and reassure industry that the necessary workforce skills are being developed and talent needs addressed.

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 the subject will encourage more students to take up computing and STEM courses after leaving school, enriching the Irish workforce. The exam will serve as an ideal early taster for many of the innovative courses developed by IT Sligo.

The Institute works closely with leading partners in the ever-evolving tech industry such as Google and Intel to develop content for different courses and to ensure our graduates meet future skills needs. This September sees the launch of a number of programmes, which will be showcased at IT Sligo’s Open Evening on Tuesday, January 16.

They include:
· App design and User Experience
· Games development
· Smart Technologies
· Networks and Cloud infrastructure
· Software Development
· Data Centre 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 systems.

Commenting, IT Sligo Governing Body member Mr. Geoffrey Browne said: “As one who has worked in the Computer Science area for over 20 years and having 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. Exciting times ahead for those students whom 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.”

John Kelleher, Head of Department of Computing and Creative Practices at IT Sligo, said: “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.”