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GCSE Computing

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by silvio_uk, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. This year I have been drafted in to help out taking OCR GCSE computing as our IT teacher is going to be out for some time. We are teaching this as a 3 year course. Can anyone tell me a basic break down of the course in laymans terms? How many units? Is there a choice of units? any coursework? how many exams? Many thanks, I have not taught computing in nearly 15 years.
  2. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    A simple programming course, data types, selection , iteration and string manipulation.

    Programming tasks look to suit vb, I say this not being a fan of vb.

    Theory : CPU etc, data rep , simple logic gates.

    Research type task that supports theory

    Looks v straightforward.
  3. Thanks for the help guys.
  4. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    All I can say is that I'm getting rather concerned at the number of "we've never done computing before but teaching it from September" type messages around! I hope we're not going to get students taught by teachers who don't know the subject themselves, getting bad marks and making everyone give up this computing idea because it's too hard.
    I understand that for years ICT has been palmed off on anyone who can use a computer, but you can't treat computing that way, surely!
  5. 'xxxxxx will be really good at Computing, they're never off it at home'

    Sound Familar?
  6. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    Why do I need ICT, I can already use email and facebook...
  7. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    I've never taught Computing before and I put 3 students forward from after-school clubs last year. We worked through the CA tasks together and they ended up with an A*, an A and a B. Sure, it required a lot of work from me and from them but it isn't insurmountable. Some of these Computing "experts" need to get off their high horses - my background is Business Studies but my PGCE is in ICT.
  8. "We worked through the CA tasks together........it required a lot of work from me".
    Are you sure you've complied with the JCQ & OCR rules for the controlled assessment?
  9. I'm pretty sure that a lot of courses are easy to teach with 3 students, try teaching several large classes, then you may be better placed to comment on 'these Computing experts'

  10. Regardless of JCQ guidelines / class size considerations, there is probably some merit in that statement.
  11. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    ... with all projects identical(possibly with identical misunderstandings) and no student understanding. I'd keep your groups to a max size of 1.
  12. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    My PGCE is in ICT, which I did a couple of years ago, and I'd say the preparation it gave me for teaching computing is zero. My degree is in computing and IT, and I'm drawing on all that knowledge when I prepare for teaching computing. Three students, who are already probably working on the topic at home because they're engaged and interested, working through with help, are one thing: a large group of kids who are interested but never exposed to computing is another.
    Programming is a language: just as kids may only be learning one or two words in French to start with but should be taught by someone who knows the language well, I feel that they should be taught programming by someone who is familiar with the language at a higher level and has had experience of working through projects well before, rather than the people who say they're learning a language over the summer to teach in September. Sorry, but I'm just concerned that the attitude that anyone can teach ICT is drifting over into anyone can teach computing, while we're also getting the attitude computing is far too hard and only the very top students should be taught.
    Computing is a new topic at GCSE, and it's important that it's tackled right from the start so it doesn't crash at the first hurdle and get thrown out again.

  13. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Being new to a language isn't so bad, it's being new to programming that's the issue. Besides, I think I would try to start teaching programming in a non-language specific way, with algebra-style lessons on variables and discussions about why a program would need to repeat things and when it would stop, or why a program would need to make a decision.
    It's probably not so bad with exam courses, because there are specifications to follow, but my concern is KS3, where teachers need to do design the curriculum for themselves now that the National Curriculum has gone. There seem to be very few people with a broad view of what computing is, either in here or within the county - I've seen almost no discussion of non-programming concepts and tasks, for example - graph theory, Boolean logic, efficiency, etc.
  14. portandlemon

    portandlemon New commenter

    Too true. For some (not all), there seems to be the idea that just doing some Scratch, Alice, Codecademy etc will tick a "computing" box without appreciating computing isn't just programming and equally programming isn't just game making with fun environments.
  15. can you recommend a IDE for GCSE Computing pupils to use to build applications?
  16. rubikwizard

    rubikwizard New commenter

    Last year we used SmallBASIC which worked quite well. This year we are using BBC Basic.
  17. Can you do application development in small basic? How would you build the GUI?

    BBC basic sounds interesting
  18. rubikwizard

    rubikwizard New commenter

    Yes you can build GUIs in SmallBASIC. Have a look at the documentation. I have been really impressed with BBC Basic.It is fully compatible with the traditional BBC Basic but can also build full Windows applications. Download the free version and have a play with the example programs with it. The exemplar work supplied by OCR used BBC Basic. Note that the OCR GCSE does not require GUIs - text mode/console is absolutely fine.

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