St Aloysius College, Athlone, was one of only five schools throughout the country to be awarded the prestigious 21st Century School of Distinction Award by Trinity College’s ‘Access 21’ programme at a ceremony held in Google headquarters last week.
The Trinity Access 21 Programme aims to effect change in the Irish education system by preparing teachers to teach computer science and related topics using 21st century teaching methods, in particular team-based and collaborative learning in the classroom.
The 21st Century School of Distinction Award recognises and showcases the hard work that schools nationwide are undertaking to transform their schools, develop strong college-going cultures, engage with the community to support educational uplift and promote innovative approaches to teaching and learning, including in the areas of CS and STEM.
The award was presented to St Aloysius College by Professor Paul Reville from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and director of Harvard’s education redesign lab.
Cliona Hannon, director of the Trinity Access Programmes, said: “There is a great desire among teachers to bring computer science and STEM subjects into the classroom, but many face barriers such as a lack of resources, training, and a rigid school timetable that does not facilitate the collaborative approach to learning.
“It is extraordinary to see the scale of enthusiasm, commitment to change and innovation happening in schools like St Alyosius and it gives tremendous hope that we will see an increase in progression to post-secondary education as well as an increase in digital skills among our young people that will help ensure their success in the digital age.”