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GCSE Programming Languages

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by mkl446, Apr 22, 2019.


What is the main programming language you teach for GCSE Computer Science?

  1. Python

  2. Java

  3. C

  4. C#

  5. C++

  6. Visual Basic

  7. Something else (please comment below!)

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. mkl446

    mkl446 New commenter

    I would like to do a little bit of fact finding. I am curious what is the most commonly taught programming language at GCSE. I have worked in a few different schools now and have been jumping between Python and Java. I have noticed (to me personally) more schools appear to be Python-based, but I would like to find out!

    Please vote in the poll and post any comments/opinions you have about programming languages you have taught or currently teach at GCSE.
  2. 3monkey

    3monkey New commenter

    From September, nothing.

    1) My school is stopping offering GCSE and A Level from this September.
    2) The department is being effectively closed except for a bit of KS3, and we were all given 'At Risk' redundancy notices a couple of weeks back.
    3) I am filling in my 6th application form for a job abroad today :)

    It was hard getting a class through a GCSE Computing and teaching them how to program, when there wasn't enough time to cover all the subjects, when ability ranged from 'practically unable to read and write' to 'better than the teacher will ever be', when the class was so large you couldn't spend more than 2 minutes with a child before others started demanding help or playing up, and when there were always three or four out of the class who would muck about without fail when this subject needs concentration, smaller classes, a willingness to try and fail and many other skills many pupils just don't have. This GCSE is too hard and I'm glad I won't have to teach it anymore - after 3 years in my academy, I've reached the end of the road with teaching these impossible courses in the UK. Lots of topics need to be cut from it, classes should be smaller, it should only be for pupils who are predicted a grade A or B in Maths and only be taught in schools where children can behave.
  3. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    I totally agree with 3monkey. Every word. if only a small percentage of the 80 mil got to the chalk face it could have been so different. Instead the "consultants" got their snouts in the trough and the money evaporated. Stealing money intended for the education of children. How do they sleep at night?

    Schools only opt for python because there is so much free teaching material available. For those who have to teach programming with zero knowledge or understanding of programming this is a godsend.

    python is a terrible language to use to teach programming. No data types and no arrays are reasons enough to not use python.

    My personal preference is to use VB to begin with then C# for OO.
    border_walker likes this.
  4. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    Python isn’t a toy language, it has its flaws but real work can be done with it.
  5. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    Python isn’t a toy language, it has its flaws but real work can be done with it.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Python can be used to do real work. No argument from me.

    However, it should not be used to teach people how to write computer programs. It is too idiosyncratic, too unlike most commercial languages. Lack of arrays and proper data types alone make it unsuitable.
  7. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    Fair point, but there aren’t enough ‘good enough’ languages out there Java has ruled for a long time but it is slowly dying out thanks to Oracle’s licensing.

    I’ve not got much experience witnessing C# but maybe a new language like Swift or Rust could be taught, for the more able students maybe C++ if they’re feeling extremely brave.
  8. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    From a purely programming point of view Python is not a great language for learning certain programming constructs. However, the ease that it can be learned makes it a good language for schools to teach, we have a dichotomy, between ease of use for teaching and teaching all programming fundamentals. I teach Python, why? Simple, it is the language that I was taught at Uni alongside Java, C and C++. As such I teach programming concepts, then I teach a language, I do not teach the language in isolation. I have also taught Java in schools, but only because I had plenty of time in KS3 to do so, most schools are down to an hour a week in KS3 if they are lucky, not much space for learning multiple languages, let alone one.

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