A way to do computer science

(32 Posts)
Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 16:43:03

Hi,
DD has come home today saying her ICT teacher was surprised she hasn't chosen computer science as one of her GCSE options (they've not officially been told they have their choices yet) and said it was a shame she isn't doing it as she is the best out of the whole year (not a MN brag but that's what she said).

Anyway, I've emailed the tescher to ask if there is any possible way of her doing it but without dropping her chosen subjects of geography, French and art. My idea was she could drop mandatory RE/Philosophy and Ethics or, because she's chosen triple science, that she could perhaps swap physics (her least fave science) for computer science instead,

Anybody know or think the above might be do-able?

pulpi Wed 11-May-16 16:47:46

Depending on which end of computer science she's interested in (programming, graphics, information visualization, human-computer interaction, etc), she might want to consider keeping physics as it could come in handy. Chemistry, on the other hand, not as critical for computer science. A good idea might be to take a look at potential universities and what kind of computer science she'd be interested in studying (assuming she's wanting to pursue it) and go from there.

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 16:52:28

She is currently thinking of a degree in animal behavioural science so computer science not necessarily crucial to her possible career however, she isn't set in stone on anything and loves computers. I really love the fact she is good at it and enjoys it and could be a great career path if she didn't choose animals and zoos.

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 16:55:05

I guess we thought of keeping chemistry because it's closer to biology and she is defo need to do biology at A level if she wants to go to uni to do animal sciences,

pulpi Wed 11-May-16 16:55:59

There's a huge push right now to get women involved in computer science. If she's keen on it and good at it, she can pretty much write her own ticket - especially in academia!

But if her love is animal behavioural science, then perhaps physics isn't near as necessary as, say, biology!

TeenAndTween Wed 11-May-16 17:07:05

Very very much doubt it would be possible due to timetabling.

Unless the teacher was willing to teach her in a twilight class after school.

But if your DD isn't keen enough to select it as one of her options, I don't see why a teacher should put themselves out for her either iyswim.

(Personally I think she should consider dropping art for CS smile)

titchy Wed 11-May-16 17:11:18

Assuming state school she won't simply be able to drop one of the sciences. She could do double science instead of triple, if triple is an option choice, rather than fast tracked. But then she'd be playing science catch-up for A levels having missed module 3 of any science A levels she chooses.

RE is compulsory in state schools, although an exam isn't compulsory and you can request your child is removed. But that would probably only free up an hour a week, which wouldn't be enough.

TeenAndTween Wed 11-May-16 17:12:48

To clarify re timetabling.

At DD's school the mandatory RE doesn't take as many hours as an option.
Also at DD's school, Triple science isn't timetabled as separate Physics, Chemistry and biology, just as 'Science'. they may concentrate on 2 subjects at a time, e.g. Start with Biology & Chemistry, then switch to Biology and Physics. etc. So it wouldn't be practical to drop one of the sciences and just do the other two.

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 11-May-16 17:15:25

In most schools, you can't pick and choose between the sciences. You either do three sciences or a double GCSE which is still made up of topics from three sciences. If she changed to double science to accommodate Computer Science, she would be giving up the equivalent of 1/3 of a Biology GCSE, 1/3 of a Physics GCSE and 1/3 of a Chemistry GCSE.

DS2 (Y9) is studying the new Computer Science GCSE (OCR) and is finding it interesting.

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 17:19:24

Hmm, lots to consider then.

She chose her current options because she loves them and is good at them. She did consider computer science but couldn't choose them all.

A friend just suggested her doing a computer science course online at some point instead. That's something I hadn't considered.

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 18:09:52

Such a shame the subjects aren't taught separately in triple science.
It would be annoying for her to play catchup for a level biology then if she had only done 2/3 of it as GCSE.

pulpi Wed 11-May-16 18:18:05

I'm learning a lot here - I had no idea that it wasn't possible to pick and choose which sciences you want to study! The differences between Canada and the UK continue to surprise me!

If your DD is interested in the design side of computer science, dropping Art might not be a good idea. I mention this only because a good friend of mine is an artist and a computer scientist - the two are definitely not mutually exclusive! Then again, art classes can always be picked up outside of school. It all depends on which aspect of computer science interests your DD.

Ricardian Wed 11-May-16 18:26:20

Such a shame the subjects aren't taught separately in triple science.

The whole point is that science isn't remotely as separate as that. X-Ray Crystallography: developed by physicists, used by chemists to solve biologists' problems.

sendsummer Wed 11-May-16 18:45:17

If she does want to consider an online course this one would be worth looking at www.cambridgegcsecomputing.org/faq

Is she excellent at ICT or computer science ? The former does n't really predict for enjoyment of the latter

bojorojo Wed 11-May-16 18:50:20

If she really wants Animal Behaviour, then Chemistry and Biology are the best options to take at A level. They probably would like Maths too. This is rather the oppposite of Computer Science that would like Maths and Physics. Keep all doors open now and see what happens for A level. She is not there yet and Computer Science could be picked up then as lots of schools do not offer it for GCSE. Also, ICT is different to computer science. Does she like Maths? That is a better indicator.

Napnah Wed 11-May-16 18:54:16

Dd2 loves computer science. School had allowed her to do it instead of compulsory RE (but personally I think RE is a good subject to do and if she'd wanted to do art I would have talked her out of that instead grin)

Napnah Wed 11-May-16 18:54:56

If you are thinking of science a levels you need triple science at gcse

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 18:54:58

She is excellent at ICT and yes, we realise it isn't ICT.
She loves the idea of robotics and computer game design.
I've sent her the BBC bitesize info on it.

I understand that all science is interlinked but for example, before my A levels, I wanted to do French, biology and Geography.....because I wanted to be a midwife. School said no to biology unless I did maths! I wasn't going to do maths. I got B at GCSE but I didn't want to do A level maths.
You don't need a level maths to be a midwife. I gave up on my idea of being a midwife because my parents didn't fight for me to not do maths or chemistry with the biology so I didn't choose biology.....I chose German and scraped a D at A level.

I know my DD isn't me but the way schools send kids along the path they don't really want, not allowing them to choose the GCSEs they really want, is really sad.

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 18:55:29

Napnah, in theory at DDs school, you don't.

Napnah Wed 11-May-16 19:12:54

I wouldn't recommend anyone take science a levels without triple science gcse

catslife Wed 11-May-16 20:35:23

Napnah it is possible to take A level Science subjects from Double Science but it is more work to catch up at the start of the course. It's only a problem if a ppuil moves to a school or college where everyone else has taken Triple Science.
As other people have said for Triple Science you have to study all 3 Sciences.This is because out there in the real world there isn't this division between the Science subjects. Many advances in Life Sciences involve Biochemistry for example and polymer/materials Science involves both Chemistry and Physics. Developments in Artificial Intelligence could involve Computer Science, Physics and Biology.
The greatest correlation for Computer Science is being good at Maths. At dds school the pupils doing best in this subject at GCSE are those who are in the top set for Maths not those who were "best" at IT. For degree level Computer Science, A level Maths is usually essential and they prefer Physics too. So if your dd doesn't really like Physics perhaps CS isn't the best way forward.

DixieNormas Wed 11-May-16 20:41:30

Ds2 has just had to change his options so he could do computer science, in the end he dropped French. It was that or triple science

his first choice was triple science, computer science, history and French but they dropped computer science from one of the option blocks

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 20:41:55

That's really useful. Thanks everyone.
I think DD should stick to triple science.

Ricardian Wed 11-May-16 21:03:10

The greatest correlation for Computer Science is being good at Maths.

Correct: the vast majority of selective courses either want A Level maths, or will want A Level maths within a couple of admission cycles. A couple already want further maths, and that can only increase. Without maths, your options for applying for selective CS degrees are somewhat restricted: there are some departments that don't require it, but my informed opinion is that the number will drop over the next few years and will ask for computing in place of maths anyway; it looks like, based on the first few cohorts, that getting an A in computing without also getting an A in maths is rare.

A level Maths is usually essential and they prefer Physics too

I'm not aware of any CS courses which require physics. Do you have an example in mind?

Verbena37 Wed 11-May-16 22:30:13

DD has decided herself that she is best off sticking to triple science. She probably wouldn't take computer science at A level and defo not maths and so wants to stay put with the options she has chosen.

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