Six Limerick schools set to receive funding for new Leaving Cert subjects

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh is one of the first schools in Ireland to offer PE as a Leaving Cert subject Picture: Adrian Butler

Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh is one of the first schools in Ireland to offer PE as a Leaving Cert subject Picture: Adrian Butler

SIX Limerick schools who are among the first schools in the country to offer Physical Education and Computer Science as Leaving Certificate subjects are set to receive grants to support the rollout of the courses.  

The Department of Education has now announced €450,000 in grants to 104 secondary schools around the country which will implement PE and Computer Science as exam subjects this September. 

John The Baptist Community School in Hospital, Colaiste Mhuire in Askeaton, Coláiste Íde agus Iosaef in Abbeyfeale, Villiers Secondary School and Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh are among the first schools to offer PE for the Leaving Cert, with Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom among the first to offer Computer Science. 

“We know how important it is to be physically active and engage in sports, not only for our physical health but also as a means to encourage team building, develop confidence and for our mental health,” Education Minister Richard Bruton said. 

“The introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject is part of our ambition to make Ireland a STEM leader among our European colleagues. 

“The experience of these two new subjects will inform both the national rollout of these subjects but also, the possibility of incorporating digital technology more widely in the assessment of other subjects.”

The schools offering PE for the Leaving Cert will receive a grant towards the purchase of digital devices for use by students in completing the course assessment, as well for hardware required for uploading of material.

A grant of €350 per digital device will be payable, with one device for every two students who takes up the subject in September 2018. A payment of €750 per school will also be made for the uploading hardware. 

Schools offering Computer Science will receive a grant of €3,000 towards the purchase of digital connector devices. 

Physical education as an exam subject focuses on both theory and practice, including a written assessment worth 50% of students’ overall grade, plus a physical activity project and performance assessment.

Computer Science for Leaving Certificate will focus on the application of programming and computational thinking  to the solution of problems, and the impact of computing technology.