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Computer Science outside of school? (Leaving Cert)

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  • 13-03-2021 6:24pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1


    Hi,

    I was wondering if it would be possible to do the Computer Science subject outside of school, since my brother's school doesn't teach it.

    The principal said it would be okay except for the fact it has a project aspect worth 30%, and they wouldn't be able to sign off on it since it's not being supervised.. something like that?

    I know other subjects can be done outside of school but I'm not sure if they have a project in them.

    Thanks!


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,382 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout


    Schools still have to apply to the DES to offer the subject, as you said there's a project to be signed off so you would need a teacher, probably in a school that offers it, and part of the exam is on computer so the school would have to provide a computer to a certain spc to do the exam on. It's not as straightforward to do it outside school currently as other subjects.


  • Registered Users Posts: 442 ✭✭trihead


    Other subjects do have projects which can be signed off by a teacher for an external student. However the LC computer science course is taught through 4 applied learning tasks (alts) which are done in groups which makes this subject unique. These are not marked but your teacher has to sign on to say they are done. This would prevent you taking it as a external student.

    Your brother could either move school (not ideal) or see if another local school would allow him to attend just for CS but it would be tricky enough to get timetables to align even if the school agreed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,601 ✭✭✭Treppen


    trihead wrote: »
    Other subjects do have projects which can be signed off by a teacher for an external student. However the LC computer science course is taught through 4 applied learning tasks (alts) which are done in groups which makes this subject unique. These are not marked but your teacher has to sign on to say they are done. This would prevent you taking it as a external student.

    Your brother could either move school (not ideal) or see if another local school would allow him to attend just for CS but it would be tricky enough to get timetables to align even if the school agreed.

    Could the external student find a few other externals to do group work? Like meet up once a week at a coder dojo for example.


  • Registered Users Posts: 968 ✭✭✭Str8outtaWuhan


    trihead wrote: »
    Other subjects do have projects which can be signed off by a teacher for an external student. However the LC computer science course is taught through 4 applied learning tasks (alts) which are done in groups which makes this subject unique. These are not marked but your teacher has to sign on to say they are done. This would prevent you taking it as a external student.

    Your brother could either move school (not ideal) or see if another local school would allow him to attend just for CS but it would be tricky enough to get timetables to align even if the school agreed.


    A quick look at the SEC documentation says none of this is necessary to sit the exam . The only issue would be the project sign off . Same situation as an AG sci, DCG, Engineering or Construction project. Friend is working for PDST in this area and most of the 6th yrs didn't complete their 4 ALT's in groups due to SD and lockdowns, no sign off required and SEC/DES do not provide any forms for the 4 ALT's to be recorded as done.


  • Registered Users Posts: 442 ✭✭trihead


    I would suggest contacting CESI - as they are the official subject association. They can advise. WWW.CESI.IE

    This year is obviously different with COVID and groupwork - so what is happening this year is going to be different from a normal year.

    Not sure if teachers will actually have to sign off in the future but it is mentioned in the subject specification so you don’t know.
    https://ncca.ie/media/3369/computer-science-final-specification.pdf
    P16

    Regardless of an ‘official sign’ off or not the school would still need to have room in the computer lab (mentioned above by another poster) - the exam is in May in the school computer lab so there would need to be room for the external student as well as the class (one sit of exam).

    Not saying it’s impossible but will be tricky.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,601 ✭✭✭Treppen


    I kinda get the impression that the department want to do away with extra subjects outside school timetable.
    We got rapped on the knuckles for having an extra subject outside timetable.
    Music can't be done outside for the junior cert anymore.
    Restriction of only ten subjects for JC.
    Introduction of class based work for CS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 academyofcode


    SeamusW wrote: »
    Hi,

    I was wondering if it would be possible to do the Computer Science subject outside of school, since my brother's school doesn't teach it.

    The principal said it would be okay except for the fact it has a project aspect worth 30%, and they wouldn't be able to sign off on it since it's not being supervised.. something like that?

    I know other subjects can be done outside of school but I'm not sure if they have a project in them.

    Thanks!

    Hi Seamus,

    From September 2021, we'll be offering facilities for students in non-LCCS schools to take the subject at leaving cert level. We have an expression of interest form on our website which you can add your details to if interested!

    I can't add the link as I'm a new user to boards, but if you visit The Academy of Code website, go to 'courses' in the menu dropdown, you'll see LCCS 2021-2023 listed there.

    Shout if you have any questions about it :)

    Stephen


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,190 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious


    Is there a charge involved?

    Has this been given the OK by the Department?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 LOLLD


    I know this is an old post just bumping to see if any had any progress with this. I am interested in the same for my son in 2024. The school is not offering the course. He has been learning to code outside of school years, looking at the option for him to do computer science (leaving cert) outside of school in 2024.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,601 ✭✭✭Treppen


    Needs to get sign off on the group work project. If your own school days no, then only recourse is to contact other schools and see if he can do the group work there. That's my read on things anyway. I think it's coming to a crunch point all around the country with kids achieving at a high level attending CS Clubs. But not getting access to LC.

    Then again, it's the same with Music, Art or Sport which a kid mightn't have in their school.

    Will he fail the LC course if he doesn't have the ALT completed?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,382 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout


    Probably quickest to ring around to schools in your area to see if there are any schools offering it and see if you can come to an arrangement with a teacher there. My school is in the third phase of the pilot scheme and the fourth phase is just beginning so there should be close on 100 schools offering it at this stage if not more.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,382 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout


    I would say not, it's not examinable. The ALTs are there to learn the skills for working in groups/software development and the project for LC, which is individual.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭am_zarathustra


    Not 100% if this is helpful and it's only one data point but I'm aware of a case from last year where the project was not accepted by the SEC as no teacher could sign off it was the students work. They did make arrangements for the student to sit the exam but needed help from someone in another school, you'd need some experience of programming to even set stuff up for the exam or be quite techie.

    Can't see the ALTs being an issue, they aren't examined. They are great though, nice way to encourage real teamwork with defined outcomes but lots of freedom too.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 LOLLD


    Thanks everyone for your input



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,557 ✭✭✭tscul32


    @LOLLD did you come up with any solution? My son and two friends, currently in 5th year looking for the same. Academy of Code aren't running it any more because SEC has issues with project work and teachers not "knowing" students. Have a place in Limerick with online classes but must attend in person for one week every mid term which isn't ideal given we're in Dublin (and have jobs and other kids). Tried all (6) schools in the wider area with comp sci to see if we could get a teacher to come do an hour or two a week but no luck so far. Again, all kids coding for years, very passionate about IT, but school not offering it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭am_zarathustra


    For project work a teacher has to sign off, this is fairly standard. There is no other way to guarantee the work is the actual work of the students. The exam has to be facilitated in a school too. Very few schools currently offering it, terrible really, it's a brilliant course and a joy to teach.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,557 ✭✭✭tscul32


    So we ended up going with the Limerick solution, but it was only a one day course during the mid term and I assume the same for the rest of the hols and next year. Son's school will facilitate the exam, fully supportive, and the Limerick place has a teacher and principal top sign off on the practical work.

    On a separate note - you're a computer science teacher? Is it a good course? After all the messing about trying to find somewhere to do the course, I'm considering a PME myself to teach comp sci (and maybe maths), have (pretty old) degree in maths and IT. Would you advise for or against? Am in my mid forties so might be mad considering it at this stage 🤪



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭am_zarathustra


    I love it, great course. Modern, well thought out and very broad. You can be making a wearable device one day and fighting over the use of AI in warfare the next. The kids love it too. So much scope to persue their own interests in the ALTs and project.

    My programming was very specific to a purpose and not formally learned and I had no problem with the standard required, python is pretty easy to learn. I did a good bit of reading myself and found that the cpds were all excellent. Your background might be more useful than you think!

    No harm getting your degree checked by the Teaching Council, that's kind of the first step, you'll know what you can teach then (more to do with the maths than comsci, they seem to just be hoping enough STEM teachers will just upskill)



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,557 ✭✭✭tscul32


    Thanks for the reply. Request for transcripts has been submitted so just have to wait now. It was so long ago that I don't even remember what modules I did in either subject😂



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭am_zarathustra


    Fantastic, I really couldn't recommend it enough, I've taught so many subjects over the years and it really is the best. Hopefully you get good word back, we need more people who want to do the job!



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,557 ✭✭✭tscul32


    Thanks. I'd gone back and forth over the years about it, but would have only had maths and wasn't 100% on being a maths only teacher. But with Comp Sci now as a subject.... I've 14 years experience as a software engineer. I've also always had an interest in education - spent a year teaching english at third level in France, worked as an SNA (currently in JI, definitely helped me choose post primary😁), I'm a cub scout leader. I really enjoy working with (older) kids and in schools, love the buzz about them. It was the vp in my son's school joked about me going back to college and solving the issue with the school having no comp sci teacher, and it just got stuck in my head. I'm also ready and in need of a new challenge.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭am_zarathustra


    A school will snap you up with maths and com sci and most dips are working their own hours or plenty of sub hours so you'll be earning a bit too!

    If you are in the east feel free to pm me of your do go through with it, I can get you a list of schools that offer it!



  • Registered Users Posts: 7 cuba1234


    Hi there, we are in the same situation and would love to know more about the Limerick school that is faciltiating. My son is still a few years off but we are in the middle of deciding on a secondary school for him but our local (and preferred) school does not offer LCCS. So we are looking for an out of the box solution, He is currently with academy of code and i just found out today that they no longer offer LCCS courses :( Many thanks



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,557 ✭✭✭tscul32


    It's with Kilmartin Education Services - https://kes.ie/home.html

    My son attends a weekly online (MS Teams) grind at €30 a go and then a 1 day revision session each holidays. So far he's done Halloween and Christmas, we've the February one booked and I assume there will also be one at Easter. Then thevsame again next year. We drive from Dublin the night before and get a hotel for €90 - 100, then drive back after the class. The tutor is Barry Ryan and he seems to be pretty good. Son's school will have to host the exam which they are on board with, 3 of them doing it and Kilmartin will sign off on the project work. It's a considerable investment of time, effort and money, so he'd better do well, but the tutor has said he only gets H1s so that's a positive. My son has been coding for years and that's what he wants to do in college so it makes sense to do it.

    It was academy of code I had planned on him doing it with but they had to shut it down.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭am_zarathustra


    How can they sign off on project work? It has to be done over 10 weeks in school in front of the teacher?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7 cuba1234


    This is just amazing!! thanks so much. My son is only 11 and we are at the early stages of deciding on a secondary school but like your son he has been coding with the academy of code for the past 2 years and has a love and passion for it , my husband works in IT so he is taking after him. I'm happy to invest the time and money to do this for him. I hope his school sees sence and will offer LCCS in the future but I just needed to know there was a work around if that didnt happen. This is so great to know and I'll keep an eye on the web site and touch base with them once my son starts secondary school. The very best of luck to your son with the LC. Many thanks, again.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,382 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout


    Was just about to post the same thing. Also the 'teacher only gets H1s'. The subject has only been in existence for 3 years, all of which have involved predicted/adjusted grades. Doubt he gets 'all H1s'.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,382 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout


    Plenty of schools would be happy to offer Computer Science, but don't have anyone to teach it. People who have a CS degree work in industry and if they are good at it can make better money there. So most teachers will come from upskilling.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,557 ✭✭✭tscul32


    I don't know how they are doing it all but they have apparently cleared it with the dept of Ed. I suspect the 20 in person hours from the revision courses each year is counting as the work in front of the teacher. The H1s thing was more tongue in cheek.

    Agree about it not being the school not wanting to offer the subject but the lack of teachers. A large amount of the upskilling teachers would be from STEM subjects where there is already a shortage so they may not have the time to teach Comp Sci too.

    And that's one of the reasons I'm currently in talks with the Teaching Council to see if they'll allow me to pursue a PME qualification with my pre-ECTS degree. Not sure I'm getting anywhere unfortunately.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭am_zarathustra


    I know students stung by this before as recent as last year having been given assurances so I'd be looking for a letter from the dept to confirm. I can't let lads well able to do work at home to code as I'd have no idea whos work it was. 10 week project, 3-4 hours a week with a very specific write-up and signoff? I'd be very careful with this!

    The H1 thing is nonsense



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