NCCA Leaving Certificate Computer Science Seminar

Dublin Castle

29th August 2017 

This event was really important to me. I have been a secondary school for seven years, and when I was a training teacher, my plan (even seven years ago) was to hopefully one day teach computer science at second level. Little did I know at the time, that it may happen sooner than even  I imagined (as optimistic as I am). Times have changed a lot in this respect, when I was completing my HDip in education, the IT training consisted of using web searches, and web quests. A little from what I imagined the IT course should entail.
                       Alot has happened since then (2009), the new Junior Cycle (replacing the Junior Certificate), saw the introduction of a coding short course. I applied in every way I could to get involved, and end the end I made in onto the last forum discussion on the draft specification. I knew this was where I wanted to be. Some of my suggestions (be it minor) even made it onto the final short course specification. I also managed to get very involved in the Further Education introductory programming modules. I joined NITTA and I have worked with the Further Education Support Service (FESS), to deliver CPD on programming modules. I really am humbled by how lucky I am to be able to express my ideas to people who share my deep rooting passion for teaching coding.

As I thought I could not get any luckier, I applied to attend the Leaving Certificate Computer Science Consultation Seminar, hosted by the NCCA, in Dublin Castle. This was invitation only where I was definitely boxing above my weight when it came to established computer science educators, all in the same room! The seminar was opened by Minister Richard Bruton, followed by an address by the NCCA chair, Brigid McManus. Following this we were split into separate rooms to discuss and give feedback on the new module and proposed topics. We discussed: overall impression, structure, the learning outcomes, assessment and support. While there were many items discussed at length, and hopefully several changes to made, overall it is an amazing start to something I only once considered a small possibility of before I retired! Anyone can access the draft specification Here.