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Computing NEA

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by lovejoy_antiques, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter


    The 20hr nea assignment no longer counts towards the final grade. I'm in on supply covering a long term absence. As the year 11's have not yet started the NEA my plan is to get this started asap then move onto revision.

    I'm dealing with a bit of negativity from some students who have a 'whats the point' kind of attitude. I've told them that it's a requirement of the course and it needs to be done.

    Does anyone know what happens if the students do not submit anything?
  2. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    OMG they not still doing the NEAs are they? They don't count for anything so what is the point? As a supply teacher picking up the pieces, it will be a complete nightmare.

    I know the colleagues I'm still in touch with have got a great strategy. They just quickly get students to rehash previous years' projects. They give each student one old project minus anything that can be used to identify it, and basically get them to (cough) use it as the basis for their own project if they want and (cough) look at the code as an example to write the code for something. The keen ones still do their own project but most just do a rewrite. They get the students to sign in and out at lunchtime to do it so class time isn't wasted, to get the 20 hours ticked off.
  3. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    There are schools that have successfully got away with not doing the NEA because it is not marked. It would require full backing of your SLT and letter from the head, to explain the decision. You may even get away with mitigation as you are long term supply.
  4. Dorsetdreams

    Dorsetdreams Occasional commenter

    Sounds like a great way to lose your job.

    There would be a huge difference between some students not submitting anything (their fault) and no students submitting anything (your fault).

    In my experience, the most able students gain most from the project and produce most evidence; some very little. The exam boards must know this too. Just make sure you have some reasonable work to submit.
  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    The NEA serves absolutely no purpose. None.
    Any decent teacher will give students a programming project to do anyway. Same as IGCSE and IB.

    The NEA is a last vestige of a best-forgotten era. I wonder if there is a long-term plan to give it marks after the new OFSTED on steroids regime planned by bojo.
  6. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    The NEA died along time ago, it is now a compulsary 20 hours in class project.
    If they get caught you are in for a massive malpractice problem. SLT and you would be in a world of pain. I have no idea how this would play out but I bet the school would get hit with a massive JCQ fine and could lose access to that exam boads exams (i look forward to reading the article in TES :)). Whatever anyones decission is for completing or not completing the programming project, is it worth losing your job over?
  7. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I think the fact that there are so many people who say that a project whose marks aren't included in the overall result is a waste of time is a shocking indictment of modern schooling, where teaching to the test is the only thing that counts.

    While I would prefer a series of smaller tasks - e.g. a compulsory 20 hours working through the OCR Coding Challenges booklet - I can see that completing the task does have some benefit in helping students prepare for the programming questions in the written paper.

    I would also say that the current situation, where the project isn't marked, but can be discussed and used as a learning experience, is actually better than having a task that's done under high control, where the weaker students have to twiddle their thumbs for 20 hours.
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Why not dispose of the remaining NEA component altogether and leave it up to the teacher to decide how to cover the programming syllabus?
  9. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    Why not dispose of the remaining NEA component altogether and leave it up to the teacher to decide how to cover the programming syllabus?

    Are you crazy? You want to actually trust teachers?

    An NEA worth zero will be taken seriously by schools with the resources and teachers (private schools, for example) and will be gamed in schools like my last one that struggle to recruit proper Computer Science teachers, have ICT converts teaching or where the hardware and software is getting on, or where the subject has little curriculum time because of time pressures elsewhere.

    Of course no one likes the idea of teaching to the test. But when there is about 180 hours of syllabus material to get through, the guided learning hours are 120 hours, and you have perhaps 90 actual teaching hours, what is a standard school supposed to do? Fine if you are in Eton, though. Here we are, years now after the new specifications were introduced, and still no review, the same mess, no leadership and an NEA that is completely pointless and being circumvented by many schools.
  10. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    Regarding ICT coverts, surely that was inevitable when the government drops ICT and replaces it with computing? What were the existing ICT teachers supposed to do other than skill up and switch across? Leave the profession? Most should have a relevant degree anyway. I see a lot of child development and health and social care lessons being taught by ex pe teachers. I'm sure they are all teaching a subject bearing very little relationship to the degree they studied for! If I ever feel a fraud as an ICT convert I simply look at what's going on elsewhere in the school!
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Actually, in my experience, a lot of ICT teachers just started teaching CS with no training and strangely got terrible results. The teachers got the blame.
    Most ICT teachers, in my experience, do not have computing degrees. A few may have a degree with some element of I.T. but no programming.
  12. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    When I started teaching around 2004 there was a golden hello for ICT teachers and every school I either trained at or worked in had an ICT dept with at least 4 teachers in it. In the last few schools I have been in as long term supply I have been picking up the pieces after the schools sole computing teacher went off with stress (has happened 3 times now). In most schools the computing teacher now seems to be a one man band!
  13. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    You only have to read the recent forum posts on the CAS site, going round and round in circles, as well as the Facebook sites run by exam boards to see what a complete mess the subject is STILL in, after all these years. The NEA is a con, but many schools can and do get away with it. They have to at least try to game their way through it, to compete with the Etons of this world.

    My colleagues method, giving out past projects, one per student, for them to study, use or not use as they want, to use as a guide, while signing in and and at lunchtimes is perfect. It is a completely legit way of ticking off the 20 hours.
    dalersmith likes this.
  14. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    The switch was about a change in emphasis rather than a change in content, though - the only thing in the Computing curriculum that wasn't in the ICT one, as far as I'm concerned, was binary, and that's something that can pick up quite quickly (I occasionally used to teach it anyway to make the serial/parallel transmission things make sense).

    The real problem is that a lot of ICT teachers weren't ICT teachers. Before the demise of the subject it became increasingly apparent to me that most ICT teachers I talked to had never seen the National Curriculum - they were mostly delivering a specific KS4 qualification or elements of the KS3 Strategy and ignored the modelling aspects of the POS (which are really the same as the abstraction part of Computing) and the programming elements of Developing ideas and making things happen.
    dalersmith likes this.
  15. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    @JaquesJaquesLiverot totally agree
    If I said to anyone in the real world you have 5 years to upskill or you lose your job, they would have left or upskilled. We keep harping back to ICT teachers not having the skills, it is not an excuse anymore. The Computing NC has been out for 6 years, the Computer Science GCSE is in its 4th Year. 1 hour of training over the last 6 years is 312 hours of self learning.I bet if I spent that amount of time on learning physics, I bet I could teach that now.
  16. Dorsetdreams

    Dorsetdreams Occasional commenter

    Yes, I bet you could. You've mastered CS. Maybe you've enjoyed the change-over. I have.

    Sadly there were a lot of 'ICT' teachers with a totally different type of brain and much better spelling than me, who could never teach CS. Or Physics. Health and social care? Possibly.

    I hate to be negative but the whole training thing is probably too late: those capable of the change have probably worked it out for themselves by now: those who have not never will.

    OCRNATIONAL New commenter

    I think OCR have developed a new syllabus for first teaching from september 2020 and the NEA has been removed i believe.

    Programming skills are put to the test in paper 2 with a new section B part to the paper
  18. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    I enjoy the programming side of things. And to be honest welcomed a change. Ocr nationals seemed to be just making endless PowerPoints etc. However it depends on the intake of the school. The criteria to get on an ICT course used to be "do you own an X box?". Unfortunately we still seem to be getting those sort of kids put into computer science. When they realise they won't be making Fortnite in an afternoon they soon start playing up!
    dalersmith and Dorsetdreams like this.

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