Financial support schemes have been rolled out for six post-primary schools for new Leaving Certificate subjects this September.
Donegal TD Joe McHugh has welcomed the new grant supports for schools taking part.
“The financial support for these schools in Donegal will bring an entirely new and modern dimension to education and open new avenues for the futures of our students,” Mr McHugh said.
“The grants will ensure the best resources are dedicated towards promoting health, fitness and wellbeing of the next generation and give others a head-start in the world of technology.”
The six Donegal schools taking part in Phase 1 of the new Leaving Certificate Physical Education subjects are Carndonagh Community School; Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town; Moville Community College; Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, Buncrana; St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny; and Deele College, Raphoe.
Saint Eunan’s College, Letterkenny and Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town will also be supported for taking part in Phase 1 of the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject.
Mr McHugh, Government Chief Whip, said: “As a teacher before entering politics I know from experience the value in giving pupils the best to keep pace with the modern world.
“We know the importance of being physically active, taking part in sport and improving fitness for physical health, mental health and team building.
“The focus on supporting schools that are promoting Leaving Cert Physical Education demonstrates the priority this Government places on improving the health and wellbeing and lifestyles of our children.
“In a similar way the introduction of Computer Science at Leaving Certificate and the resources that we are helping to provide shows the ambition of this Government to give the next generation the chance to put their best foot forward in the hugely important STEM subjects.”
Mr McHugh also praised Cabinet colleague, Minister for Education Richard Bruton for his continued commitment to introducing Computer Science and Physical Education as Leaving Certificate subjects.
The Donegal schools offering the new Computer Science for Leaving Certificate from September will each receive €3,000 towards the purchase of connector devices, totalling €120,000 in grants for these schools.
And schools in the county offering Leaving Certificate Physical Education will receive a grant towards the purchase of digital devices for use by students in completing the course assessment components and for hardware required for central uploading of material. A grant of €350 per digital device will be payable, with one device for every two students commencing the subject in September 2018. A payment of €750 per school will be made for the uploading hardware.
Mr McHugh said the grants for Donegal schools will also complement other recent financial supports to embed digital technology in teaching and learning.
The once-off grants for the new Leaving Cert education will also be combined with Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), a comprehensive continuous professional development (CPD) programme to support the implementation of these new Leaving Certificate subjects.
The CPD programmes which commenced earlier this year and will continue over the coming two years, will support the introduction and embedding of these new subjects.
Mr McHugh said: “What we are doing here is supporting our future generations while also preparing teachers and their schools to deliver these new subjects over the next two years.”
Notes for the Editors
Leaving Certificate Physical Education
The specification for Leaving Certificate Physical Education (LCPE) will provide learners with an opportunity to study physical education for the Leaving Certificate examination, providing an additional optional Leaving Certificate subject.
The specification is presented in two strands.
Strand 1 Topics:
· learning and improving skill and techniques,
· physical and psychological demands of performance,
· structures, strategies, roles and conventions,
· planning for optimum performance.
Strand 2 Topics:
· promoting physical activity,
· ethics and fair play,
· physical activity and inclusion,
· technology, media and sport.
There are three assessment components in LCPE:
· Physical activity project – 20%
· Performance assessment – 30%
· Written examination – 50%
The digital devices will be used for the completion of the physical activity project and performance assessment components of the examinable subject.
Leaving Certificate Computer Science
The specification for Leaving Certificate Computer Science (LCCS) for Leaving Certificate focuses on how programming and computational thinking can be applied to the solution of problems, and how computing technology impacts the world around us.
Students will learn:
· computational thinking,
· how to analyse problems in computational terms,
· programming languages and how to read, write, test and modify computer programs,
· creative design,
· design computational artefacts such as web pages, digital animations, simulations, games, apps and robotic systems,
· the ethical, historical, environmental and technological aspects of Computer Science, and how it impacts the social and economic development of society.
There are two assessment components in LCCS:
· Final year project – 30%
· Written examination – 70%