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First computer science Leaving Cert exam set for 2020

Students at 40 schools will take the first computerised Leaving Certificate exam in 2020, writes Niall Murray

The schools have been chosen to roll out the computer science curriculum, from next September, when fifth-year students will begin the course.

It is focused on how programming and computational thinking can be applied to problems, and how computing technology impacts the world.

More than a dozen Dublin schools, and seven in Cork, have been selected to have their students take senior cycle computer science from next autumn. Its introduction was previously scheduled for 2019, but Education Minister, Richard Bruton, requested this be brought forward.

Students at the first-phase schools will do the first Leaving Certificate exam in the subject in 2020. The main end-of-course exam will be computer-based and worth 70% of the marks.

Another 30% of marks will be available for an assessment of coursework, as submitted in the form of a computational artefact, like a web page, digital animation, game, simulation, app or robotic system.

The marks in the assessment will also go towards students’ reports of the work and processes involved.

As well as learning about practices and principles of computer science, students will learn programming languages, and how to read, write, test and modify computer programmes.

The course also covers environmental, ethical, historical, and technological aspects of computer science, and its impacts on the development of society.

“There is a digital revolution taking place, which is having a transformative effect on our economy, workplace, and lifestyle. In order to be the best in Europe, our education system must respond to these changes,” Mr Bruton said.

“The introduction of this new subject will teach our young people flexible, solution-oriented thinking. It will teach them to be creative, adaptable learners,” he said.

The 40 schools are as follows: 

Abbey Vocational School - The Glebe, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal

Adamstown Community College -Station Rd, Adamstown, Co. Dublin

Breifne College - Cootehill Rd, Cavan, Co. Cavan

Bush Post Primary - Riverstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Carrigaline Community School - Waterpark, Carrigaline, Co. Cork

Castleblayeny College - Dublin Road, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan

Christ King Girls Secondary School -Half Moon Lane, South Douglas Road, Cork

Clongowes Wood College - Clane, Co. Kildare

Coláiste an Chraoibhin - Duntaheen Road, Fermoy, Co. Cork

Coláiste Bríde - New Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Coláiste Chiaráin - Croom, Co. Limerick

Coláiste Choilm - Ballincollig, Co. Cork

Coláiste Mhuire - Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Coláiste na Ríochta - Listowel, Co. Kerry

Colaiste Phadraig - Roselawn, Lucan, Co. Dublin

Coláiste Pobail Setanta - Phibblestown CC, Phibblestown, Dublin 15

Creagh College - Carnew Road, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Dominican College Sion Hill - Sion Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Ennistymon Vocational School - Ennistymon, Ennis, Co. Clare

Gaelcholaiste Mhuire AG - An Mhainistir Thuaidh, Corcaigh

Le Chéile Secondary School - Hollystown Road, Tyrellstown, Dublin 15

Loreto College Swords - Swords, Co. Dublin

Luttrellstown Community College - Mill Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

Mayfield Community School - Old Youghal Road, Mayfield, Cork

Moate Community School - Church Street, Moate, Co. Westmeath

Mount Sion CBS - Barrack Street, Waterford

Mount Temple Comprehensive - Malahide Road, Dublin 3

Presentation Secondary school - Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

Rice College - Castlebar Road, Westport, Co. Mayo

Sacred Heart Secondary School - Convent of Mercy, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

Saint Eunan's College - Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

St Aidan's Comprehensive School - Cootehill, Co. Cavan

St Brigids Mercy Secondary School Tuam -

Convent Of Mercy, Tuam, Co. Galway

St Joseph's Secondary School - Convent Lane, Rush, Co. Dublin

St Mary's CBS - Millpark Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

St Vincent's Secondary School - Seatown Place, Dundalk, Co. Louth

St. Finian's Community College, Swords -

Swords, Co. Dublin

Stratford College - 1 Zion Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6

Synge St CBS - Synge St., Dublin 8

Terenure College - Templeogue Road, Terenure, Dublin 6W