Computer science is present in every aspect of modern society. An understanding of how computer hardware and software operate and relate to everyday life is an increasingly important area of learning for students. Problem solving, and computational thinking skills are developed in this course as students build and create software projects using their own ideas and imagination. The course looks to build on any coding skills that primary students might have acquired while offering insight into possible future studies in computer science and software engineering.
The short course aims to develop the student’s ability to formulate problems logically; to design, write and test codes through the development of programs, apps, games, animations or websites; and, through their chosen learning activities, to learn about computer science.
The course is delivered in three strands:
- Strand 1: Computer science introduction - In this strand, students explore the range of uses computers have in today’s world and learn to understand the hardware and basic software which operates them.
- Strand 2: Let’s get connected - This strand deepens the student’s understanding of the computer as a communications tool through the storage and manipulation of data.
- Strand 3: Coding at the next level - In this strand, students are introduced to more complex levels of coding where they can demonstrate their understanding through documentation, discussion and feedback.
Once students have completed all three strands they will complete one Classroom Based Assessment (CBA). Students will develop a final software project of their choice in teams of two or three. They will research and establish requirements; design, implement and test the software. They will document their work and their code and present the project to their peers for review. They will reflect on feedback and also provide feedback on other students’ projects.
This short course comes under the umbrella of ‘arts education’. Through movemnet, sound, symbol and image, the arts can transform a student’s creative idea into a work of expression that is communicated to an audience, usually in a group performance.
The course is delivered in three strands:
- Strand 1: Experiencing the arts – artistic performances are discussed and evaluated so that the student gets an idea of the actual experience of the arts. Students will gain an insight into what the art form is communicating, how it is communicated, and to consider their potential role in the final group performance.
- Strand 2: Planning and Preparing – The students plans and prepares for the performance they are going to be involved in. They consider their own strengths and those of others in order to make decisions on the performing/non-performing roles to be undertaken. Through individual and collaborative activities, students will develop the skills necessary to be successful in their particular role. This may be done through research, further observations and experiences, use of outside or in-school expertise, and regular attendance and practice at rehearsals.
- Strand 3: Participation and Performance – This strand brings the experiences of the arts as an observer and a participant together in the final group performance.
There is one Classroom-Based Assessment (CBA), the final performance, which is the culmination of work undertaken in the three strands of the Artistic Performance short course. The assessment considers technical control, creativity, interpretation and teamwork. As part of the Classroom-Based Assessment, students will need to include a reflection on their experience of engaging with the arts as they progress through the three strands. This can be presented in written, digital, visual or audio form, or any other format that is deemed suitable by the student and appropriate for capturing the essence of the reflection.
Physical Education (PE)
“Our school has a long tradition of valuing PE and its long-term health benefits for students. We offer a wide variety of physical activities to provide a breath of experiences to pupils. Both in-school and out-of-school wellbeing experiences are provided for students such as year groups kayaking trip/ Spikeball tournament to name a few. The PE Short course is a natural progression and extension to our well established and high -quality PE programme” (Ms P Czarnoleska, PE teacher).
The course is divided into four strands:
- Strand 1: Physical activity for health and wellbeing – aimed at building an understanding of and commitment to regular health-enhancing physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Strand 2: Games - Students are assessed on their ability to select and apply a wide range of movement skills and strategies creatively and effectively in an attacking and defending game scenario in one game.
- Strand 3: Individual and team challenges – This focuses on the building of a student’s competence and confidence in orienteering or aquatics or athletics.
- Strand 4: Dance and gymnastics – This focuses on the building of a student’s competency in and understanding of artistic and aesthetic movement, as they create and perform in a group in either gymnastics or dance.
PE is different to the other short courses in that a student presents two assessments and one of these two go towards their Junior Cycle Profile of Assessment (JCPA). In Presentation Tralee the two assessments are from Strand 3 (orienteering) and Strand 4 (dance). A reflection is also included as part of the assessment where students evaluate what went well and what they can improve on.