St Vincent's Secondary School

ICT Developments

06-February-18

ICT in St Vincent’s
Information and communication technology (ICT) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. As a school we understand that the future is a knowledge-based world and we aim to equip our students to access and use technology to support learning. We believe that the learning experience and academic achievement of students can be enhanced by incorporating technology in the learning process. It also allows students to take more ownership of their learning and prepares them for the use of technology in learning and assessment in higher and further education.

iPad in Education - Preparing students for the digital world
St Vincent’s has always been a leader in harnessing the benefits of ICT in Education. Over the past four years we have introduced 1:1 iPad classes where we harness the potential offered by digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning and assessment in classes where both students and the teacher have iPads. Subject departments have collaborated to develop interactive iBooks for use with all junior cycle iPad classes. Through the extensive use of ICT, students are prepared for further and higher education, where they will use online resources, Virtual Learning Environment’s (VLE’s) and online assessment tools. We believe our iPad initiative gives our students a distinct advantage when they reach further and higher education. As a result of the school’s innovative use of iPads in education our deputy principal Mrs Linda McCusker has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished Educator and leads the iPad Programme in St Vincent’s.

We were delighted to be announced as an Apple Regional Training Centre in May 2018. Apple have selected a small number of centres who have a track record of excellence in the use iPads in Education to collaborate, share practice and to develop Apple Teacher skills across the North East Region. St Vincent’s will host and offer training sessions to our staff as well as other teachers in the region.

Coding
All 1st years and TY students study coding. It is also offered as a short course for 2nd and 3rd years. Students start their journey in coding by learning Scratch, Swift and by programming Microbits. In TY, students further develop the skills mastered in junior cycle by learning CSS, HTML and completing mini physical computing projects such as programming a fan, a stepper or a compass using inventors kits. Students also have the opportunity to code using iPads and Sphero and Lego Boost robots. St Vincent’s was selected by Google as one of five out of the 500 Irish schools, that applied to receive funding as part of EU Code Week. TY students took leadership roles in providing coding workshops for 467 local primary school students.

Computer Science
We are excited that St Vincent’s Secondary School is one of forty schools nationwide selected by the Department of Education to offer Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject for assessment in June 2020. This means that Computer Science is equivalent to all other subjects in terms of CAO points. Students will be expected to submit a individual final year practical project where they will use Computer Science to solve an everyday problem. They will become proficient in programming languages such as Python and Javascript. Part of their final examination will be conducted online. This will be the first Leaving Certificate examination to be examined using an online platform.

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
In the first two years offering the MOS Programme, St Vincent’s was recognised as a Centre of Excellence. This award recognised St Vincent’s as one of the top 25 centres offering the Programme in the UK and Ireland. In our third year we were awarded and Outstanding Centre of Excellence Award which identifies St Vincent’s as one of the top 5 centres offering the MOS Programme in Ireland. All 1st, 2nd and TY students study the MOS Programme. It is the world’s most recognised computing qualification for proving a person’s skills and abilities in Microsoft’s Office Applications. Students complete online learning and practice tests and once they have developed the skills necessary, they sit a certified examination. For the last number of years our TY students have been identified as in the top 20 performers in the MOS certified examinations and qualified for the MOS National Finals.The National Finals take place in Microsoft Dreamspace where students have the opportunity to take part in various workshops.

Virtual Learning Environment
St Vincent’s introduced a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) for all 1st year students in September 2018. The use of the VLE assists in catering for all learning styles. It allows students to personalise their learning, take ownership and responsibility for their progression as lesson materials and homework are hosted on the VLE and available to students and parents from home. This reinforces the teaching and learning in the classroom and provides students with opportunities for formative feedback, self assessment and peer assessment to guide them on their learning journey. Students can access this VLE from any device such as an iPad, tablet, smart phone, laptop or PC.

Enquire
Contact
St Vincent's Secondary School
Seatown Place
Dundalk
Co. Louth
Ireland


042 933 2790


Location
© 2018 St Vincent's Secondary School