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GCSE Computing Science

(11 Posts)
Impressedmuch Mon 23-Jan-17 22:27:22

Hi. I was after some opinions.

DD (Yr 9) wants to choose Computing Science as one of her options because she wants a challenge rather than to study it at a higher level. She's doing Maths, English, Science, French, History, and Philosophy and Ethics (RE) as her other subjects. She is currently a 6a in maths, almost a level 7.

Is anyone else's child studying it and do they enjoy it?

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 23-Jan-17 23:00:56

DS2 (Y10) is doing Computer Science GCSE (the OCR one). He enjoys it, and says he finds it quite easy, but the proof will be in the pudding when we see what grade he gets in the summer of 2018.

Bensyster Tue 24-Jan-17 10:08:06

Ds gets good grades but finds it a bit dull, so is choosing not to take it. I'm a bit relieved as the school really struggle to recruit Computer science teachers and they have spent at least 6 months being taught by an unqualified teacher who wasn't even an IT specialist - and this is at an outstanding school. In the event that the school struggle to retain quality teaching staff, dh and I can't even help as we didn't study as aspect of computer science at school.

swingofthings Tue 24-Jan-17 12:35:04

DD took it at GCSE. She really enjoyed it and was doing very well. She is G&T in Maths and finds it easy. However, she did find studying for the final exam quite demanding, a lot of memorising to do. She got an A (expected an A*) but many in her class who were expected A/B got a grade or two below.

DS is in Year 9, loved it last year and was performing very well. He also finds Maths very easy (expected the new level 8 at end of this year as he got a 6B at his SATs). He has however announced that he isn't doing that well this year, not enjoying it and doesn't want to take it as GCSE. A bit concerned at this as it is totally in his mindset, so waiting to get a better idea of what is happening when I meet with his teacher. I think it would be a pity if indeed he doesn't take it.

Impressedmuch Tue 24-Jan-17 13:03:50

Thanks for the replies. She's now veering towards BTEC in IT. Got a month or so to decide so we'll pull the qualification apart before she decides.

SaltyMyDear Tue 24-Jan-17 13:05:38

Computer science much better, and much more useful, than IT.

myfavouritecolourispurple Tue 24-Jan-17 18:56:31

It's an option at my son's school and I think it would be extremely useful. However, they say it's very hard and you need to be good at Maths. So he'd decided not to do it as his talents lie more with languages and humanities.

KittyVonCatsington Tue 24-Jan-17 21:41:57

The most important thing is to understand the difference between ICT and Computer Science so that you know you are making the right choice. If your DD is veering towards the BTEC in ICT then that's probably a good idea if she will enjoy that more.

Bensyster -it is a problem nationally due to the fact that Computer Science has been pushed so quickly but with very little funding and assistance given to existing teachers. I liken it to asking a long term French teacher being told they have to teach Spanish in a few months, having never spoken the language but being expected to get A grades (or 8/9 grades) regardless. I'm lucky as my degree is in Computer Science but I do feel for your DS and his fellow pupils who are ultimately being failed by this. However, the finding it 'a bit dull' is a battle as it certainly is not the all singing and dancing ICT products current students have gotten used to but the Maths and Physics of Computing instead. Hence the making sure pupils know what they are signing up for to begin with, is very important!

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 25-Jan-17 09:03:35

DS1 has taken the computer science option and absolutely loves it. He had a good maths result at the end of Y9 and the computer science teacher made it clear she was selecting on maths performance. It is very different to IT and DS wasn't prepared to even consider that one. However, another child I know told me she's loving it as well but doesn't think you need to be an absolute maths whizz to do it!
The teacher told me that the DCs who do really well are the ones who will spend some time every week on computer sites practising programming but DS1 doesn't seem to think this is an imposition whereas his attitude towards homework generally is to dash it off at lunchtime!

Lua Wed 25-Jan-17 13:29:18

DD is planning on doing it. She loves computer science club, hour of coding, cracking codes etc. She is fine with maths, but I think she likes it for the language side, not much explicit math. Coding is very much about learning a new language combined with good logic ability to make your codes concise.
I think given how the society is moving slowly but steadily towards AI is a good skill to have to keep doors open.

TheDonald Wed 25-Jan-17 21:29:26

DD is in Y10 and I was surprised when she opted for this last year. She's doing the new 9-1 Computer Science GCSE. The syllabus looked really challenging, and not a lot different to the MSc conversion course I did 15 years ago! She's really enjoying it and doing well as far as I can tell.

Her target is a 7, and she's already been getting a few 7s in tests and homework (although I realise a lot of this is guesswork on the part of the teacher) so I think her teacher will push her to aim for an 8.

She's good at maths, and is targeted an 8 in that, but has never really shown much interest in computers before beyond youtube and twitter!

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