Computing to be part of ebacc.

(27 Posts)
GirlOutNumbered Wed 30-Jan-13 21:43:56

Yeah for me, as I'm an IT teacher. What do you think though? Happy to have your children study computing?

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 30-Jan-13 22:31:49

I think it's beyond ridiculous.

cricketballs Thu 31-Jan-13 17:43:27

care to explain your statement Russians?

Just in case you are confused - computer science is not IT.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 31-Jan-13 18:01:56

It seems a bit odd:
'Computer science will now be added to the list of four separate science options in the EBacc. Pupils who sit any three of the four sciences and receive a minimum of a C grade in two of them will fulfil the science requirement for the EBacc'

But most pupils either do double science award or all 3 of phys, chem, biol confused

GirlOutNumbered Thu 31-Jan-13 18:02:06

I'm interested in why you think it is ridiculous.

I think its essential and a good thing.

GirlOutNumbered Thu 31-Jan-13 18:11:54

Grimma - I didn't read this yesterday. So I was slightly wrong, I thought all students would have to study it, but actually it is just a further option that they could take. The old models of double or triple science will disappear now.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 18:16:13

I am not confused. I don't think that computer science is a vital GCSE. I DO think that arts subjects are vital and yet they are still amazingly not included. When I made my comment I didn't realise that comp sci is actually considered as a valid alternative to biology, physics or chemistry. Which makes it even more ludicrous.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 31-Jan-13 18:18:30

>The old models of double or triple science will disappear now.

will they - as from when? I hadn't heard that - do you have a link?

So is the idea that they should do at least 3 single sciences but one of those can be 'Computer Science'? Well, that sounds a bit strange - CS is a useful skill but its not actually a science. Its perhaps more analagous to a tech subject.

As it happens, my DD is in yr 8 just choosing her options and she'll be doing 3 sciences plus Computer science (and electronics) - its a good thing to do but not at the expense of one whole scientific discipline.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 31-Jan-13 18:21:58

BTW, I'm a scientific software writer.

The other issue is that not many schools are offering CS yet - nor should they unless they have suitable staff - some IT teachers may be able to teach CS, but not all.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 18:23:35

I think it's a retrograde step from a science POV but more importantly, the fact that they are thinking about this, and making changes for this, when ignoring the howls of despair from the arts world is just appalling.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 18:23:55

RE teachers are probably rightly pissed off too.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 31-Jan-13 18:26:46

Hang on a mo...they only have to get C in two of the three single sciences...so this looks like a route to doing a little science, badly. A C in CS and only one of the other sciences is not going to be particularly useful.

Russians - arts aren't so 'vital' because - to some extent - they can be done extra-curricular, or later (same with CS, to some extent though) - I agree its good for rounded education for pupils to do a mix though (DD will do Drama).

GirlOutNumbered Thu 31-Jan-13 18:28:01

I think it was easy for Gove to fit CS in, as he has put it under the science umbrella. Doing something with the arts is not so easy.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 21:05:45

Grima, well obviously if you want to make the arts the preserve of the monied, then sure. hmm

GrimmaTheNome Thu 31-Jan-13 21:17:16

I said 'to some extent' - I agree it's best if all pupils can get a balance of subjects, and you're right there isn't enough freely available outside school.

But the idea that ignoring two thirds of the major scientific areas - which is what this latest idea seems to allow - is a step forward seems mistaken.

two wrongs.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 31-Jan-13 21:17:41

(by gove, not you!)

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 21:22:41

I'm not suggesting that including Comp Sci in the Ebacc is good. I've described it as ludicrous and ridiculous in this very thread. And I didn't suggest that an arts subject should replace science either, I think there should be a mandatory arts subject as well, not instead. Although actually you might as well replace the MFL requirement with an arts subject because MFL has gone down the drain, whereas the arts curriculum has never been stronger. Plus, of course, if you want to take the view of education purely for the purpose of facilitating economic activity, the arts earn this country an absolute fortune. And it's the one area in which we are genuine world beaters. So there is a gradgrind argument for them as well as a philosophical one.

GirlOutNumbered Thu 31-Jan-13 21:27:53

I'm with you Russians. I'm so glad that schools will start offering computer science again, but I am not sure putting as a fourth science is the right way to go about it.

OneMoreMum Thu 31-Jan-13 21:47:04

At our options evening we were told computer science was only suitable for the most academic students, surely those are the ones that will easily achieve 2 GCSE passes in double or triple science already. Therefore adding it to the Ebacc really does nothing (except increase the kudos of the subject itself).
The whole Ebacc thing is stupid and restrictive, but if you're going to do it then surely an arts choice should be in there too?

ReallyTired Thu 31-Jan-13 21:53:24

I think its utterly appauling. In the past it was possible to do a PhD in computer without having a GCSE or even a degree in computer science. (For example if you had an excellent degree in Electrical Engineering, Physics or Maths)

It is not possible to do computer science as a degree without A-level Maths and Physics is strongly recommened.

I fear that allowing computer science to count in the Ebac will lead to children not doing science GCSE.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Feb-13 08:58:18

Russians - I may have been unclear - I pretty much agree with you, its Gove who has it wrong.

I too was thinking - given that some schools don't let children do many subjects - that substituting an Art for the MFL might be one way to do it. (and I don't see why RE isn't allowed as a humanity in the EBacc - dds school insists on a humanity but that includes RE - they put pupils' preference before Gove's)

Then again, why not include a tech subject (which to my mind is more where CS sits) - electronics, design - if you're thinking about facilitating economic activity (which I doubt Gove is doing) then having academically able kids doing those in addition to traditional subjects would make sense. (Just think what skills make Apple, for instance.)

But -other than as a quick league table guide for parents I don't see the point of the EBacc - an admissions tutor or employer is surely capable of looking at the subjects and deciding if its an appropriate range. Parents who are interested in properly assessing schools will get full subject breakdowns. 100% Ebacc signifies to me that a school may not be properly taking individual pupil's needs into consideration - less academic children shouldn't be forced down that route, and eg someone with dyslexia might really not be served well by having to struggle with an MFL rather than concentrating on English.

themonalisa Fri 01-Feb-13 20:11:49

I don't believe there will be enough highly qualified teachers to teach it. Many schools pad out current ICT teaching with teachers who have spare timetable periods.

ReallyTired Fri 01-Feb-13 20:42:56

I think the only way that children could get decent computer science would be to do lots of online courses and play round with a rasperbery Pi. Very few teachers would be able to teach computer science.

I fear that a crappy ICT GCSE will be taught instead of science.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 01-Feb-13 20:51:33

Why do you think there are not enough qualified teachers? I don't know any schools that pad ict out with other teachers with spare time.

I along with all of my ict teacher friends are trained to degree level in variants of computer science. The only reason we are not teaching it is down to the government and school managers telling us together cheap GCSE points via ICT.

Most ict teachers are screaming out to teach what we know.

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