Monday, 10 November 2014

Computer Science

Janine and I attended a meeting today on Computer Science, on the proposed changes to the curriculum. It was held in a local high school and was led by a hard-working and well-meaning Computer Science teacher, and I certainly don't mean this blog to be some kind of professional character assassination. I won't be putting this post on my public blog for that reason. Having said that...

The Head of Computing (not ICT, you notice) had turned the KS3 ICT curriculum on its head, and devoted 90% of the teaching time to a computing based scheme of work, throwing a few token pieces of recognised NC work in year 9 for levelling purposes. The reasoning behind this was to better prepare the 20 or so learners that opted to study GCSE CS; that the remaining 120+ learners were being given a curriculum diet that was wholly unsuitable was ignored, not for lack of me trying to point this out.
As an ICT professional I was just flabbergasted by this approach. The Digital Leaders scheme has revitalised my love of teaching this subject. and believing I can make a meaningful difference to the lives of my pupils; this meeting sucked the life out of me.

I spent the morning at the SWGFL launch, and it showcased some fantastic resources and tracking tools (though I did take issue with their high regard of internet filtering systems, and took the opportunity to debate this with them). This afternoon was complete anathema to the idea of creating responsible and erudite digital citizens. If a Computing based KS3 curriculum is indeed on the middle-term horizon for Welsh schools, I may have to re-think my career plan.