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ICT 'poor in secondary schools', Ofsted says

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ajibb, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. I was wondering what people thought of this? I think it should say:
    "Computing & Media teaching poor.......basic office skills Outstanding!!"
    ICT has effectively become "Office Skills": Letter, Memo, Business Card
    I would love to teach more high level computing. However we are constrained by the fact that basic "Office Skills" courses have more of an impact on a school's league table.

    Let's get rid of ICT completely and let's re-brand ourselves as departments of: "Computing and Media".
     
  2. <font face="Arial">An interesting</font> <font face="Arial">recommendation</font> is <font face="Arial">that</font> the DFE <font face="Arial">"</font>set out clearly the pivotal role of ICT in school improvement and in preparing young people for higher education and for skilled work<font face="Arial">" </font>
    My favourite chunk is "The survey reinforced concerns raised in the last ICT report about the curriculum and the qualification routes experienced by many students in Key Stage 4. These often failed to meet the needs of students. In these schools, those students who had not chosen an examination course in ICT did not follow the National Curriculum programme of study. Where vocational courses were chosen, the modules selected by the school narrowed the learning and limited the achievement of the students. Important topics such as control technology or data handling were not given sufficient attention or were missed out completely. In 30 of the 74 secondary schools visited, nearly half the students reached the age of 16 without an adequate foundation for further study or training in ICT and related subjects. There were few examples of schools engaging with local IT businesses to bring relevance and context to classroom studies."
     

  3. "....Where vocational courses were chosen, the modules selected by the school narrowed the learning and limited the achievement of the students. Important topics such as control technology or data handling were not given sufficient attention or were missed out completely. "
    This is certainly my experience. There is no way that the majority of kids could do the harder units so in OCR Nationals we choose the easiest units. I think that we are failing to provide kids with the skills they need. To be honest after 4 years of OCR Nationals Unit 1 & 20 I feel pretty de-skilled myself.
    I welcome any shake up of the system that will make my job more interesting.
     
  4. "all you can find is a line that say 'poor in secondary schools'

    Thanks for the link. I've only had a skim through but I have seen quite a few concerns about ICT. I will read the report in detail but at first glance it seems to be implying that GCSE equivilancies do not allow teachers to offer higher order computing and media skills. This is true as the majority of pupils now study OCR Nationals:
    "In 2011, 212,900 students completed OCR Nationals, a suite of popular vocational qualifications, compared with 58,900 in 2008."
    The sheer number of pupils doing this course is evidence of a course that has been designed to be: A) Easy to pass and B) Make a lot of money for the exam board.
    Pressure is placed on teachers to run these types of courses for everyone even though they might not be appropriate for everyone. This is probably why OFSTED noticed that:
    "too much whole-class teaching was targeted at the average student&rsquo;s pace and capacity."
    and
    "there was insufficient challenge and pace for those students quick to learn and ready to move on"
    This is what happens when teachers are forced to teach courses that are designed to be easy to pass to large mixed ability groups. Teaching and learning inevitably suffer.

     
  5. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    So, with those kids who aren't up to GCSEs where the school puts them on the easiest course it can find which has so-called GCSE-equivalence, the school also puts them on the easiest modules it can find?
    No sh*t Sherlock!

     
  6. scruffycat

    scruffycat New commenter

    do not know what the fuss is all about. I quote:
    &ldquo;Academies do not have to follow the national curriculum. They can choose their own curriculum, as long as it is broad and balanced and includes English, mathematics and science.
    Yours sincerely
    Daniel Webb-Jones
    Public Communications Unit www.education.gov.uk&rdquo;
    So those that are not yet may have to do something in the new orders but the rest of us working under the new structures can do what we like. Ofsted will struggle to report it is not being done when you do not have to do it.
     
  7. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Well we do the Nationals and push the limits on it so depends what you do with the qualification. I want flexability for my students to do what ever coarse is fit for them and their employability if this be programming so be it if its "office" so be it and if its Media then thats fine and looking at the new nationals all these bases seem to be covered......oh and have I mentioned we have just been judged as outstanding in ICT by Ofsted!
     
  8. **** show-off.
     
  9. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    May see how many times I can mention it before Xmas lol need it after all the stress during the damn thing!
     
  10. smug ****!

     
  11. Now is the time to start valuing those visionary ICT teachers who have tried to impress luddite SLT with the facts - ICT is valuable and pupils will be enthused by good teaching by expert enthusiastic teaching by those ICT teachers who have industry experience and have taken the trouble to study the subject to Degree level and above.
    Yes , they may cost a little more to employ , but, think of the added value that they bring into the classroom , your school and contribution to the UK economy .
    A message for Luddite SLT - stop running down your ICT courses and your best subject and whole school assets - ICT teachers . What is cheap today will be expensive tomorrow - do you REALLY want our high tech jobs to be source abroad ? Do you care ? ............
     
  12. Well done. I was only rated "Good with outstanding" whilst teaching an OCR Nationals lesson. So I must be doing OK.
    I agree that OCR Nationals may be suitable for some pupils but surely not ALL pupils. If a course is chosen for an entire year group to do it tends to be the easiest and least demanding course available. This is my experience of OCR Nationals and probably a reason for my hostility towards it.
    I want to be offering Computing and a high end Media course. I accept that there is a place for a basic office skills course...but just offering a basic office skills course is not engaging the children and is merely de-skilling me.
    What we need is more choice for pupils not just "One course fits all".
    Yes there is choice within Nationals but I get mixed ability groups of up to 25 in whatever option band they didn't opt for: I can't take advantage of the variety. Wish I could.
     
  13. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Looking at the new OCR spec there is a lot of scope for different teaching - much of this rests on how much flex there is in teh timetable to split pupils depending on their interests - we may look at an office based/media group and then a programming/hardware group which will give a feed into our post 16 CSICO course!
     
  14. itgeek

    itgeek New commenter

    Who cares about Offsted they are just an occupational hazard, 20 years of inspections and schools and teachers are still satisfactory, unsatisfactory or whatever term is todays flavour, surely someone must soon start asking are Offsted satisfactory and up to the job or are they really inspecting the things needed as after twenty years standards are supposedly so poor, maybe inspections are incapable of raising them. Anyway getting off my soapbox by the time inspectors and governments have been through a four year inspection cycle and seen what is taught the recommendations to the exam boards will have been surpassed by technology. This is the real issue behind school teaching of technology (New OCR's any mention of mobile technology ?), unless it is taught by someone who is really up to date (probably without a life) and capable of jumping on every new bandwagon then schools will be behind. By the time the skills that are really in demand in IT are taught in schools the technology has moved on.
     
  15. Osfted in "The Importance of ICt" slated OCR nationals and DIDA. How can they then give outstanding. The docment made it clear these courses do not challenge students???
     
  16. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Depends how you balance your curriculum if you teach other ICT in KS4 and do a lot of cross curriculum as well as the other three areas (as its not just about curriculum) there is so much more that they look at - massive amount on e-safety! The KS4 course is just a part of any ofsted inspection!
     
  17. ....By the time the skills that are really in demand in IT are taught in schools the technology has moved on.

    Good point. Hard to keep up in 2.5 hours of PPA per week.
    Here's a suggestion then. Do we need GCSEs? Strikes me it's the exam boards slowing it down but making all the money at the same time. After all they have a vested interest in artificially extending the life of a qualification.
    I reckon we could go to employers and find out what they wanted and then deliver it. This would have the following advantages:
    1) reduce the cost of the exams bill to the government by approx &pound;8 million per year.
    2) Give employers what they want
    3) Encourage employers to recruit locally and build links with schools
    4) Mean that we don't have to be bored rigid looking a screenshots of spellchecks and memos.
    5) Possibly actually make "Vocational Education" actually vocational
    But....alas....it is a dream. No politician or educationalist would ever want to put their name to something that made things better.
     
  18. I certainly don't care about OFSTED. I found my last 2 inspections to be completely superficial. Let's face it they only come in to see if they agree with the SEF. This means that they only look at what they are directed to. No wonder they fail to spot so many things.
     
  19. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Don't do it if you are a HoD your job will be at risk!
     

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