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ICT curriculum - anyone agree state so much better than private now?

(16 Posts)
tiredaftertwo Tue 16-Jul-13 16:00:32

I think you are possibly right OP, BUT for a child who is really interested in computing, I am not sure that even the new GCSE will be what floats his/her boat. I think having a lunchtime club led by an enthusiast who encourages the children to go fast in the direction that interests them, having peers who are also interested, having an SMT that will take the ball and run with it if kids get together and say we want to do X project.... may be more important (though goodness knows how you establish whether that happens from outside!).

So I would look at the range of activities, and how the school responds to children with serious interests, providing breadth and depth outside the curriculum.

I just think classrooms with 20-30 people in and a large syllabus to cover (while necessary) are not necessarily the best place to pursue interests, particularly creative/technical ones and kids can achieve amazing things given a bit more time and space outside the classroom.

I suspect as soon as there is a 'decent' qualification on the table, everyone will play catch up, but I agree that a . Also remember that in the kind of schools you are talking about, children tend not to do loads of GCSEs and focus on the traditional academic ones, so other subjects do get less attention in the classroom, though not necessarily outside it. Their websites are often rubbish too smile.

Ladymuck Tue 16-Jul-13 13:43:11

Let's not overstate it. For the purposes of the EBacc, then 2 qualifications which previously didn't count at all, will now count:

"What is needed for the science element of the English Baccalaureate?
To get the science element of the English Baccalaureate you either need to get an A*-C pass in core and additional science or you must take all of the three single sciences and get an A*-C pass in two of them.

From 2014 computer science will be added to the list of separate science options (so there are now four separate sciences instead of the traditional three) in the EBacc. Pupils who sit any three of the four separate sciences and get at least a C in two of them will get the EBacc.

Please note that only the following two computer science qualifications will be eligible for inclusion:

AQA level 1/2 GCSE in computer science
OCR level 1/2 GCSE in computing"

I'm not sure that in practice this will have a huge impact. Pupils will either sit double or triple science. If you sit double science, then computing won't count towards Ebacc - you'll need to get your double science for that. If you sit triple science then arguably you are already likely to hit the Ebacc target without computing, and may want to keep your other GCSE options for something else. I doubt schools are going to make computing any more compulsory than it already is, though it will be interesting to see if that does change.

poppydoppy Tue 16-Jul-13 13:29:40

The new curriculum 3 different strands : Digital Literacy
Information Technology (IT)
Computer Science (CS)

It is the last which will be taught in schools from the age of 5 - Key stage 1 right through to key stage 5.
It will be compulsory up to Key stage 3. The new much tougher curriculum is already defined and being
officially rolled out in 2014.

The GCSE will no longer be a soft, idiot proof option. The government have made it officially the 4th science,
It will be tough course en par with all the other sciences now, apparently.

Blissx Mon 15-Jul-13 21:40:58

I can only speak for some of the private schools in SE London and these ones have historically thought very little of ICT and often have not had an ICT teacher as a specialist but one from another department instead doing token qualifications. Therefore, their move recently to Computing and ICT has been very slow compared to some grammars and comprehensives/academies. How do I know this? As a state school teacher, I have been going into numerous private schools in the South East in the evenings and training them on what they might like to include in their classes and how to introduce the GCSE and A Level in Computing. Their computing knowledge has been woeful but their enthusiasm and budget excellent. It will all catch up pretty quickly I'm sure, although the new PoS is still only in draft and could easily change for Sept 2014.

grubb Mon 15-Jul-13 19:28:29

Thanks all - off to look for that thread on ICT. I will dig deeper and won' t be put off by the website content. My ds is very interested in computing so I feel bound to find somewhere that will make the most of it. His dad is a developer and he seems to have inherited the brain smile

FormaLurka Mon 15-Jul-13 18:36:55

DS is in Year 9 at a private school. Apart from MS Office, they have learned to program (can't remember the language) as well as learned to use various software to do with web design, animation and film editing.

DS isn't so inclined but there is also a lunchtime IT club as well.

DD's private school, on the other hand, does 'secretary-type' stuff using MS Office.

So, it varies.

MrButtercat Mon 15-Jul-13 17:22:43

Errr there is a lot more to programming then app designgrin

Pretty much every part of your life will have been touched by code written by somebody somewhere.Kids are doing waaaaay too easy stuff at school just package after package.It's like teaching kids to read and not write.

The new curriculum which is long overdue is allegedly going to teach programming and debugging from rec.

MABS Mon 15-Jul-13 17:22:38

both mine at independent learn programming, think you need to actually speak with the schools to get a clearer picture of their IT.

Ladymuck Mon 15-Jul-13 17:13:48

I'm surprised if the gap is as enormous as you suggest given that the schools sit the same qualifications at the end of year 11 (whatever those will be by the time ours get there!).

Certainly I don't think that Dulwich et al produce a huge number of secretaries. My ds is in a private school, and his summer assignment seems to be around making money online - essentially through marketing and advertising as far as I see it (it's an English assignment, rather than an ICT assignment as such but seems to be mainly about use of blogs and social media to drive affiliated sales). I appreciate that writing apps is a skill, but isn't it possible that app-writing is essentially the word-processing of the future? Most of my small business owner friends outsource a lot of their web design etc to companies in the Far East who can churn out websites/apps etc for a low cost.

I haven't come across a London independent boys school that doesn't have at least one programming club, but I'm sure that there are some out there. Perhaps the school websites don't reflect all the ICT that happens (much of which is across the entire curriculum not just ICT).

whendidyoulast Mon 15-Jul-13 14:28:30

I don't think it's a state vs private issue. The curriculum is changing (about time too) and schools will have to catch up. Some will do this more quickly than others.

MrButtercat Mon 15-Jul-13 11:54:27

Said child at state primary.

MrButtercat Mon 15-Jul-13 11:53:51

Adeu but my 9 year old could have done all that 2 years go,Scratch isn't that challenging and he has already done it on IT courses.

Op you need to find out more re content.Programming could be anything.There was a thread on the new curriculum with loads of IT stuff on last week.

adeucalione Mon 15-Jul-13 11:26:17

At the independent secondary school my DC attend the pupils are programming from Y7. They also create games using Scratch, blog and complete a project using spreadsheets. If this is important to you I think you should speak to the Head of ICT at the schools you are considering, as the info on the websites might not be doing the curriculum justice.

poppydoppy Mon 15-Jul-13 11:14:11

Its all changing from 2014. The government are calling it the 4th science.

BadgerB Mon 15-Jul-13 10:40:41

My nephew, in Y4 at a local prep (not in the SE), is learning to program. Are you sure most seniors are so far out of touch?

grubb Mon 15-Jul-13 10:00:13

I'm just wondering if I am the only person thinking this (or who is sad enough to care...).

Next year, the new computing curriculum will be teaching programming and how computers actually work, rather than how to use MS Office, and basically a bunch of secretarial skills that people of my age (late 30s) picked up quickly as they went along back in the mists of time when computers suddenly became available to all... I think this is great, as it will allow those children who are interested a chance to get skills for - for instance - developing apps or setting up their own business. Essentially, they are learning to be the boss now, not the secretary.

However, we are considering where to send ds for secondary and found ourselves in a dilemma. We have noticed that the local private school is still stuck in the old mindset of teaching Powerpoint to all (yawn). I've had a quick look at the online info from supposedly top private schools I know elsewhere in the country - Dulwich College, Alleynes etc - and they all seem very old fashioned, too.

Has anyone else noticed this? Is it a general private school problem? Does anyone else care smile

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