In June 2012 a group of teachers and educators met, at the behest of ICS Skills, to start a process of creating a syllabus in computing for the junior cycle of Irish 2nd level schools.
To this process members of the Syllabus Working Group brought their passion for the use of Information Technology in education in all its forms.
As a pilot programme ICS Skills ran two modules – Digital Media and Computational Thinking – in 45 second-level schools around the country between September 2012 and May 2013.
Arising from pilot's success and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from schools ICS Skills is now offering an expanded version for September 2013.
The new ICS Skills Computing Curriculum consists of four modules totalling a minimum of 100 hours class-time.
Schools are free to implement the computing curriculum in whatever way they wish. For example, they may choose to spread it over one or several years, and take some or all of the modules.
ICS Skills Computing Curriculum will formalise as well as enhance and augment the good work being done in this area by many schools.
The ICS Skills Computing Curriculum is complementary to programmes like ECDL, which aim to teach basic digital literacy to all students.
An introduction to digital media that enables students to express their creativity by using hardware, software, text, images, audio and video to create a digital story.
Developing logical thinking, abstraction, generalisation, and pattern recognition skills using Algorithms, Flowcharts, Pseudo code, Logic and Programming.
A progression from Digital Media 1, students employ advanced techniques in using multimedia effectively to tell multi-dimensional, non-linear stories.
Students explore, use and program small microcomputers such as the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and Genie Boards.
To support the delivery of the Computing Curriculum ICS Skills will develop teacher and student resources, run briefings and support the community of computing curriculum teachers.
Schools can choose to use some or all of the resources available to suit their requirements.
Resources available from ICS Skills include: