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?

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 03-Feb-13 18:36:31

I don't think putting it as a 4th science is a good idea because it may cause problems at later stages.

I believe most universities would not consider a Computer Science/ Computing A level as a "science or maths subject" for admission onto a science degree as I don't think it will teach what they want science subjects to teach. Geography and Psychology A levels are included because they teach students a scientific way of thinking, familiarise them with the idea of scientific papers and citing references and usually include a statistics component. I am happy to be corrected if this assumption is wrong, however.

I think CS may well be useful to many students, and should be valued as an option, but I don't think it is comparable to Biology/Chemistry/Physics, as I don't think it teaches the same skills. I also think gaps in scientific knowledge can be problematic if you go on to study science at a higher level, and I think it's wrong for children to be shutting doors at the age of 14 or possibly younger.

I agree this could actually be a route to teaching less science. Someone with two Cs in Physics and CS won't have a broad knowledge of the sciences. In some ways, this may devalue CS as an option.

cricketballs Fri 01-Feb-13 22:20:22

well said Girl. Every school I have worked at has been fully staffed with people who are qualified to teach CS but have to deliver the crap forced on us by the curriculum/specs/league tables.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

(by gove, not you!)

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.

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

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.

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).

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

RE teachers are probably rightly pissed off too.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I think its essential and a good thing.

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

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

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

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.

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