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Would a revamped Computer Science course be viable in most secondary schools?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Marcussmod, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. <font size="2">For me the answer is no. From 2014 English, Maths, Science, History, Geography and MFL will be mandatory has GCSE subjects. Computer Science will compete with DT, Art, Drama, Business, RE and ICT courses like imedia to name but a few</font>

    Any option subject if it is to be viable in schools must be a: popular e.g. students actually want to take to course b: It must have high pass rates in order to increase the school A*- C figure. From my past experience Computer Science will fail on both points a and b in most schools. The average child will find CS deadly dry and difficult. The demand will not be high enough to make it viable in most schools. In sort it will not have a market. I base this experience of teaching C.S. at GCSE level in Secondary Modern in Kent in the 1990's The new HT was keen to offer the subject. However the uptake and the pass rates were too low for the course to be viable. The Head of my current school agrees there would be a very limited market for CS in our school which has a very average intake in terms of ability.


     
  2. <font size="2">For me the answer is no. From 2014 English, Maths, Science, History, Geography and MFL will be mandatory has GCSE subjects. Computer Science will compete with DT, Art, Drama, Business, RE and ICT courses like imedia to name but a few</font>

    Any option subject if it is to be viable in schools must be a: popular e.g. students actually want to take to course b: It must have high pass rates in order to increase the school A*- C figure. From my past experience Computer Science will fail on both points a and b in most schools. The average child will find CS deadly dry and difficult. The demand will not be high enough to make it viable in most schools. In sort it will not have a market. I base this experience of teaching C.S. at GCSE level in Secondary Modern in Kent in the 1990's The new HT was keen to offer the subject. However the uptake and the pass rates were too low for the course to be viable. The Head of my current school agrees there would be a very limited market for CS in our school which has a very average intake in terms of ability.


     
  3. I can't speak for your previous experience, but with the prevalence of tools like Scratch, Alice, GameMaker, Kodu, Lightbot et al, opportunities for even simple bits of HTML and hopefully some enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers then there's a background there.


    I have Y7 kids coming in who have done limited amounts of coding and are asking me about lego robotics, Javascript and Scratch programming opportunities. It might take a bit of time and effort to build up an awareness amongst the students - and no-one is saying that every child should be doing this stuff. We managed a small group in the current Y11, none in the current Y10 but informal chats to a couple of Y9 classes suggest we should definitely manage to get a decent sized class at least for September.


    Absolutely be forthright with SMT/SLT that this isn't going to change overnight, but to say it's not even worth trying seems pessimistic at best.
     
  4. Yes, of course it's worthwhile and you should ty it if you can.
    But something tells me you are not in the ghetto, young man.

     
  5. The "ghetto" will do as badly as it does in everything else. But you don't drop English and Maths in favour of Lapdance Studies and Facebooking.
    The problem with ICT is the sheer awfulness of much of its implementation, which has been allowed to carry on (collusion between Government and Exam Boards) for a variety of reasons ; cheap GCSE ; staff who can't tell one end of a DVD from the other ; too much expenditure on hardware with nothing to do on it.
    Doesn't mean you have to dump all the IT in favour of Computer Science ; it's about getting rid of ICT being 4,137 lessons where pupils do a Powerpoint about Theme parks, or just mindlessly copying.
    Same thing needs to happen throughout the syllabus ; and the idiotic belief that the Children should run thing needs to be dumped as well. Gotta start somewhere, might as well start with the only subject worse than Shitizenship.


     

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