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Why are other 'optional' subjects more popular than Computing/ICT

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ictLad, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Some interesting (and fair) points from some people. I like to think that I am pushing things in the right direction, numbers are up overall, and computing a level has been resurrected from the dead. However some problems are tough to overcome (a negative, uninspiring member of staff), but thats only a small part of it. What do other people do to promote their subject at GCSE (this is the area that bothers me the most if I am honest).
  2. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Oh should have pointed out the following really
    1) In year 9 we see the pupils on a rotational basis, overall we get half a year with them so when it comes to their choices we wouldnt have seen half of them since xmas
    2) Just prior to their choices I put on two lectures, one was to the entire year 9 and was on the magic of computing, the second was optional by a guy from Microsofts xBox team
  3. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I think you will find that is very far form the case, if I were a kid in your year 9 and there was a chance that I may end up with that teacher then frankly I would not go down that route. Bottom line is kids look at the teachers often more than the subjects, and a good teacher can make a dull subject interesting and of course vice versa.
  4. I think that's definitely the case; our ICT GCSE has been very popular in Y9 options this year, but it's very noticeable that there's been a much higher uptake from students in sets taught by certain staff, and I'm sure that's not limited to ICT.
  5. Probably school/exam board specific, but here are the reasons my friends cited not to take ICT when I was studying it for GCSE and A-Level:
    • Not relevent enough (blamed Office)
    • Too geeky (girls school)
    • Nobody else was taking it (A2 class had 1 student)
    • Boring coursework (MS Excel at AS, MS Access at A2)
    • Too much coursework (they were scared off by the 100-200 page projects that were common amongst candidates)
    • Low grades (The A-Level was a lot of work compared to other subjects, and the small class sizes skewed the results quite badly)
    I don't think this had anything to do with the subject teachers, they were very popular, but nobody wanted to take the subject.
  6. You could ask the pupils what their criteria are / were for chosing their subjects.

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