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Vocational options harder than GCSE

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by dalersmith, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    After getting a bit of a panning over my imedia results I thought I ought to do some digging around. Computer Science is hard most would agree, but this year only 50% of students that took imedia got a level 2. Computer science was 62% 4 to 9. I have been asked to look for a better alternative, but to be honest all of the vocational IT related courses seem to offer similar returns.
    It's a crazy old world, is there some agenda against vocational courses?
  2. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    I have no idea about the results or statistics, just asking questions and making an observation. My question would be, what percentage should get a level 2? Considering most schools will use the course for lower attainers, I know mine does, I would say 50% could be a good outcome.
  3. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    I see your point, but 10% get no outcome, if level 1 is fine the Cs performs better for low attainers.
  4. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    Is that not the point the government are after and the problem with P8. If all students get a level 2 it pushes up the top end for low attainers. Level 1 and 1-4 should be a good result for some students, we are forced to see it is rubbish; which is really sad
  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    I assume that "look for a better alternative" means look for a course which gets better results.
  6. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Indeed it does, however, I would rather teach all my students computer science. We have the smallest department in school, but asked to teach two subjects.
  7. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    This is why CS is disappearing from state schools.
    School management who are totally focused on results want more of a return in the form of league table points for their expensive subjects like CS.
    The management reaction is that you need to get better results. Would it not be nice if the management reaction was, "How can we support you to achieve better results in CS?"?

    You are a short step away from CS disappearing from your school options. I have seen it all before and is a major reason why I will never teach in England again.
  8. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    It does amaze me that you look back through old threads and the Nationals got panned in the old days for being a "mickey Mouse" course that everyone got through (panned on here as well). Now the courses get harder and smaller percentages get through due to more rigour and still people complain. For us IMedia is fine there are a spread of results the weaker students get below a C but then so they should...are we saying the courses should allow all pupils to get a C? We need to stop scamming the system and pupils get what they deserve. I have long said that league tables are the main problem with schools i this country as we are trying to beat everyone else no matter how we do it...get rid of these and courses and pupils would shake out to be and get what they deserve.
  9. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    I couldn't agree any more with @tonyuk however, it doesn't stop the pressure teachers are under to get students through. I do not mind the course, but something is wrong where the so called alternative vocational path is harder than academic. I agree they need to be rigorous, but let's be honest most school SLT still believe it is a mickey mouse qualification suitable for low ability to get top passes for tables. I have told my SLT for 3 years and still students are set targets well above all other subjects.
  10. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    That is still the issue I think for most schools that SLT still see it as an easy alternative and it is not. A few years of grades like other subjects and they will start to realise. Our targets are higher than other subjects but I can live with that just a case of fighting the corner. This all started with the GNVQ and continues with various other courses like the ECDL. If vocationals are to continue then they need to have a hell of a lot of rigour to fight off the government getting rid of them completely.
    Anyway do not worry it all goes in cycles so in another five years they will come up with a new subject called ICT and we will all have to do that as the country needs people that can use computers for "office" tasks (tongue firmly planted in my cheek).
  11. Cyberman

    Cyberman New commenter

    Hi there

    I completely understand and sympathise with your problem having "been there done that".

    To answer your questions in order

    1. Computer science is definitely one of, if not the "hardest" GCSE.
    2. You will no longer find any "easy" or leniently graded vocational ICT qualifications (or any other subject for that matter) that count in a school's KS4 performance figures.

    I have attached a presentation about the KS4 computing curriculum and the "approved" L1/L2 qualifications available. It also includes a part about KS4 performance measures and gaming.

    There are also links to some spreadsheet tools that will let you compare the performance of your GCSE computer science (or any subject) cohort to a similar national cohort and to set more realistic targets. I do not have one yet for the vocational technical awards yet, still trying to get the national data.

    Hope you find these useful to help explain to your SLT the reality of the situation.

    Attached Files:

  12. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter


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