1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Computing - Compulsory Subject KS4 ???

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by christinejd23, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    The NC curriculum is so badly worded that you can teach anything.
    Academies can teach anything they like.
  2. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    5 years ago I can sort of understand, but now? How do you justify using a SoW that is in the national archives?
  3. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Well you have to be able justify it. If you're following the NC, it is pretty clear what you do have to do. KS3 for example makes programming a necessity
    • use 2 or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions
    and KS4 shows that there is a need to cover IT as well CS:
    • develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology
    As you point out though academies do not have to follow the NC though.
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Some schools use Scratch as the text based language and get away with it.
  5. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    It's interesting that this is often said, but where does that idea come from? There isn't a single occurence of the terms "ICT" or "digital literacy" in the National Curriculum - although admittedly I can see that they might have one bullet point each in the KS3 section (and possibly part of a second one for ICT, should any school actually use it "to achieve challenging goals").
  6. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Programming was always in the ICT National Curriculum too - in the "Developing Ideas and Making Things Happen" section. There's even talk of efficiency, subroutines, etc.

    When ICT was in its death throes, it became increasing clear to me that a lot of people who claimed to be ICT teachers had never actually looked at the National Curriculum.
    Dorsetdreams likes this.
  7. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Old level 5 and 6 descriptor
    5 "They(students) create sequences of instructions and understand the need to be precise when framing and sequencing instructions"
    6 "They(students) develop, try out and refine sequences of instructions and show efficiency in framing these instructions, using sub-routines where appropriate. "
  8. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    I suppose you could say that the old level 5 descriptor was talking about algorithmic thinking.
  9. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Yes - and the first point in the KS3 Computing curriculum, about abstraction, is really just the same as the modelling stuff in the ICT curriculum.

    In fact, there's very little that's new in the Computing curriculum - the only thing that I didn't regularly teach previously was binary (although I did from time-to-time if I needed an extra lesson).

    What's changed is probably the balance and possibly the purpose - ICT seemed to be about what things looked like, and Computing is more about how things work.
    dalersmith likes this.
  10. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Most explicit in the National Curriculum Computing Purpose of Study -
    Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world

    From the aims -
    • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
    • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
    In the attainment targets, there are examples of ICT or DL at each KS. (they don't use the term computer science in the AT for KS1-3 either).
  11. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Although efficiency does not have to relate to programming (and the examples given in the old ICT NC didn't). I could not see anything about subroutines in there, but programming could be implied from some concepts/processes. Although non-programming solutions could also cover them.

  12. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    I think the problems come when you regard the NC documents as limits on what you can teach.
    I've always regarded them as a baseline and have -since the early 90s - always taught lots of additional content and topics.
    Programming, I think , is key to understanding what computers do. So, way back then, I taught LOGO and BASIC to KS3. Adapting and review this content as machines, languages and times changed.

    I simply don't understand why schools are not currently including this aspect in their SoWs
    ParakeetGreen and border_walker like this.
  13. Mantiega2

    Mantiega2 New commenter

    There is no real point in NCCE training and preparing teachers if the schools are not offering the qualification. It's too late. If I understand correctly, only half of all schools offer Computer Science GCSE, and I imagine that a significant number of these are withdrawing the qualification and reducing time allocated at KS3. The re-branding of the subject has been an abject failure IMHO. Why are academies exempt from implementing the NC?
  14. ParakeetGreen

    ParakeetGreen New commenter

    I had a meeting with the principle of the school I work at and the reason is very simple:

    1. Poor grades at GCSE
    2. Low uptake
    3. Extremely challenging to hire expertise in this area against superior alternative career paths/remunerations.

    I proposed a solution and with luck we'll get some slack thrown our way to do what we know will work - but it will take time and a lot of work and to be frank the school system itself is the biggest problem to overcome.

    But as for compulsory: No thanks. Yet more meddling getting in the way of being effective. I pity the poor science teachers who are in effect teaching science to kids as if it's the modern religion and "NEEDS TO BE KNOWN". But like any other subject, when you have motivated kids and other operant conditions necessary for successful outcomes, it's a whole other story and science can be taught with the enthusiasm and verve of a Richard Feynman.

Share This Page