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We need another option for year 9's to increase the uptake, can you help?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by celestineboy, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td class="post">I am concerned about the numbers of pupils not taking up ICT, especially with the year 9's about to take their options. After a discussion with my department we think we need to venture out and find something new to spark the pupils interest. Im hoping i can generate some ideas from your posts if you can help. We would consider doing something involving graphics - maybe using flash or fireworks, are there any courses out there that you know of. We would consider programming also (though are experience combined is limited), any feedback would be greatly appreciated as our Department seems to be dwindling due to lack of interest in ICT - Can anyone help, many thanks in advance and happy new year to all
    </td></tr></table>
     
  2. <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td class="post">I am concerned about the numbers of pupils not taking up ICT, especially with the year 9's about to take their options. After a discussion with my department we think we need to venture out and find something new to spark the pupils interest. Im hoping i can generate some ideas from your posts if you can help. We would consider doing something involving graphics - maybe using flash or fireworks, are there any courses out there that you know of. We would consider programming also (though are experience combined is limited), any feedback would be greatly appreciated as our Department seems to be dwindling due to lack of interest in ICT - Can anyone help, many thanks in advance and happy new year to all
    </td></tr></table>
     
  3. Spelling and grammatical mistakes not to mention apostrophe abuse. Please tell me you don't have any teaching responsibilities! Maybe you're a Year 9 pupil? If so, it's English you need to focus on!
     
  4. Spelling aside (and I don't want to be rude, but it bothered me too), you're being very vague. What do you do now? How many hours can you spare? Are you planning to target any new courses at specific cohorts of pupils or everyone?


    At our place, anyone can take GCSE ICT (WJEC, which includes some, but not much in the way of image editing and animation) and anyone can take OCR GCSE Computing (although we try to steer weaker kids away as they will simply find it too much of a struggle). In addition to that, those who are in the lower half of the year group ability-wise can opt for a double option of OCR Nationals or OCR iMedia - both of which have lots of room for creative stuff and both of which are somewhat under threat by the educational reforms that the government are throwing at us. We have no compulsory KS4 ICT course and we get a take-up of over a third of the cohort (80-100 pupils).


    If programming is something you want to introduce but you don't want to go down the full GCSE Computing course, you can do the OCR GCSE ICT with the programming module instead of the multimedia module. Sadly you can't replace the Office Studies module though...
     
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    A school I've been working in recently is introducing the BTEC Information & Creative Technology course, starting in Y9. Like others, it has a range of mix 'n' match modules that can shift the focus away from MS Office if you so wish. Maybe you could offer a programming/sequencing route for some and a multimedia/web design route for others?

    Personally I think you have the National Strategy to thank for dwindling interest in ICT beyond KS3, as it's reduced the whole subject to a grey Microsoft-approved mush.
     
  6. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    The BTEC in Information and Creative technology is yet to be agreed by OfQual. (as are most ICT qualifications of this type of course)
    I think the reason for the dwindling interest is the use of KS4 materials at KS3.

     
  7. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Fully acknowledge those spelling mistakes sorry; it had been a long day :)
     
  8. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Looking at the new Nationals spec (providing it gets through Ofqual or what ever they are called this week) I would think about that. Out take up on the old spec is very good and the new spec looks to offer creativity or programming or hardware so would cater for any student (though there are still teh compulsory units but we are never going to get away from that!
     
  9. Thank you all for taking the time to reply. Our department will be discussing all your sugguestions. [​IMG]
     
  10. clickschool

    clickschool New commenter

    In brief... start making ICT interesting and exciting from y7. A mixture of graphics, office etc within a plausible context, related to reality. Students should then be able to apply their ICT skills in other subject areas and see the full relevance of it. Employers are keen for applicants to have basic digital literacy skills.
     
  11. Start by overhauling KS3 into an exciting curriculum.
    KS4: Avoid OCR Nationals it is a derided qualification that has no value and is an unknown qualification currency in the wider community. As much as it sticks in my throat to say it, stick with GCSE options for a safer passage through these tory educational waters. Especially consider GCSE Computing if you are willing to take on the programming in earnest.
     
  12. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    Couldn't agree more. An exciting and varied KS3 curriculum lays a strong foundation for attracting potential future students. It's all about PR in Year 9. You need to raise the profile of the ICT department throughout the school. Newsletters, bulletin annoucements, after school clubs, lunchtime activities, awards and certificates, "ICT pupil of the month", attractive classroom displays, trips to local businesses etc.
    As also mentioned above you need to seriously consider including a computer science element to KS3 that can be a natural progression for those interested in a GCSE Computing qualification. Follow this with an A Level CS program and you have completed an entirely new offering that will appeal to a whole raft of pupils who would ordinarily have never chosen GCSE ICT.
     

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