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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:00 pm 
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From an article by Nicky Morgan
This the second point in this article:
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... -show-2016



Computing in the curriculum
I want our next generation to have the skills to compete in the global jobs market. That’s why we have put in place a computing curriculum that gives them the basic building blocks but also seeks to give them specialist knowledge too.

So we are championing the teaching of coding throughout each key stage. Last month I had the pleasure of attending an Hour of Code initiative at Downing Street where the Prime Minister and I had a tutorial alongside children from Eastlea.

I won’t say which one of us picked it up quicker! But I will say that getting these foundations in place early on is vital.

I’ve just had a look at the BBC’s codeable micro:bit computers I saw at Downing Street that day. They are a fantastic way to spark an initial interest in technology in our young people.

We are committed to world-class computer science qualifications to give our students, as well as employers, the confidence they really need. That’s why computer science is at the heart of the new computing curriculum and I’m pleased to say that our reformed Computer Science GCSE and A level are on a par with the best in the world.

May I ask what the knowledgeable forumites think about the changes brought to the GCSE and A level in computing?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:24 pm 
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JaneEyre wrote:
May I ask what the knowledgeable forumites think about the changes brought to the GCSE and A level in computing?


A level CS or Computing syllabus has changed significantly this year the linear A Level course is quite maths heavy.

I have said before, CS will be more respected as a science subject than the traditional sciences within the next 5-10 yrs but maths. maths and more maths is the mother and father of all sciences!

All children should learn some coding-it's all about NVR skills and is vital to our future as a country-otherwise countries like India and China will wipe the floor with us.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:15 am 
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I agree. I am very disappointed that DD's school has done a reasonable job teaching some coding in Scratch, Python, etc but when it comes to GCSE they only offer ICT and not Computing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:11 pm 
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Reading Mum wrote:
I agree. I am very disappointed that DD's school has done a reasonable job teaching some coding in Scratch, Python, etc but when it comes to GCSE they only offer ICT and not Computing.


I was under the impression that ICT GCSE had been replaced by Computing / Computer Studies, but obviously I was wrong :? . Was it just 'guidance'?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:30 pm 
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Reading Mum wrote:
I agree. I am very disappointed that DD's school has done a reasonable job teaching some coding in Scratch, Python, etc but when it comes to GCSE they only offer ICT and not Computing.



I think with the new GCSEs that might change, we will find out in a month or two I guess. I've also been impressed that they have been learning to code. Even if they don't go the GCSE ICT/CS they all have to continue doing ICT as a core subject so may continue with the coding anyway. DD doesn't want to do GCSE ICT regardless, as she knows I've been doing coding as part of my job on and off for years. She currently wants to avoid doing anything remotely like what mum and dad do. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:48 pm 
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At the moment Universities prefer students NOT to have A level computer studies of they want to study Computing.


New computer studies taught from September 2016:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... -from-2015

Re: ICT
"The reformed computer science GCSE and A levels provide a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment. Students will develop the computational thinking skills needed for today’s economy – including coding and important information technology topics such as cyber security, networking and data storage. In the last year alone, the numbers studying computer science GCSE have more than doubled.

It is right that schools continue to focus on the digital knowledge that will best prepare young people for further study and employment. Ministers have therefore taken the decision not to approve two GCSEs and A levels in a similar qualification space. The IT GCSE and IT A level will not be redeveloped."

So ICT will go.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... tation.pdf


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:23 pm 
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Tinkers wrote:
Reading Mum wrote:
I agree. I am very disappointed that DD's school has done a reasonable job teaching some coding in Scratch, Python, etc but when it comes to GCSE they only offer ICT and not Computing.



I think with the new GCSEs that might change, we will find out in a month or two I guess. I've also been impressed that they have been learning to code. Even if they don't go the GCSE ICT/CS they all have to continue doing ICT as a core subject so may continue with the coding anyway. DD doesn't want to do GCSE ICT regardless, as she knows I've been doing coding as part of my job on and off for years. She currently wants to avoid doing anything remotely like what mum and dad do. :lol:


I am hoping there might be a few changes but I looked back through previous options info and it hasn't varied for some years. On the basis of last year's we are struggling to pick 1 of the optional ones, let alone 2. At this rate she might end of doing Art and Product Design (lots of coursework with these 2) just because the others on offer aren't appealing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:12 pm 
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Thanks to all for your feedbacks. :D

Catseye wrote:
A level CS or Computing syllabus has changed significantly this year the linear A Level course is quite maths heavy.

Thanks for your comments , Catseye; they allowed me to target more effectively my questions to a computing teacher I met yesterday at the BETT. :D
He used to accept pupils with a C in their maths GCSE onto the A level computing course; now he asks them for a B at least!


Catseye wrote:
Coding is vital to our future as a country-otherwise countries like India and China will wipe the floor with us.

He said exactly the same and commented on the U-turn adopted by the government on this matter! :lol: :lol:
I know a GS in our city who had kind of dismantled the 'ICT /computing' department a few years ago, ICT skills being taught discreetly in other subjects. :shock: A few years later, complete U-turn and computing is back from year 7! The school now offer a computing GCSE. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:55 pm 
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Quick question as we will soon get the GCSE option info.

Do you need a high spec pc at home for DC to be able to do ict/computing GCSE "properly". Am asking as DS is interested but we are a household of laptops and I'd hate him to choose this and then find we don't have high enough spec equipment.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:37 pm 
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doodles wrote:
Quick question as we will soon get the GCSE option info.

Do you need a high spec pc at home for DC to be able to do ict/computing GCSE "properly". Am asking as DS is interested but we are a household of laptops and I'd hate him to choose this and then find we don't have high enough spec equipment.


Not at all! It does help to have a high spec PC since you can run multiple monitors and compile code faster (for GCSE this would be negligible though). Really, as long as you have a 'newish' computer, whether it is a laptop or desktop, it will be fine. All you need to do is make sure you are running an operating system that can compile your language of choice, e.g. for vb.net you need windows, for swift/objective-c you need Mac OS X, however for alot of languages like java or python you can use any of the three major OSs (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).

A desktop is definitely the most efficient way of going about it since you can build a decent computer for ~£400-500 and that means it can be upgraded as the years go on overall saving money and being more flexible. However, a laptop would be useful since you could take it to school and use it when you don't have access to a school computer. Although depending on your school this may not be necessary.

If you think the benefits of a desktop such as expandability and being able to run multiple monitors more easily than on a laptop are worth it I would try and build or buy a desktop computer. However if you have newish laptops that are running the latest version of their respective Operating Systems then they will be sufficient.

Links:
For development in a windows or Linux envorinment you could build your own PC: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/ (this site will only allow you to build a computer where everything is compatible making it much less stressful).
For development in a Mac environment a mac mini would be perfect.

For laptops:
For development in a Mac environment a macbook air or pro would be more than enough.
For development in a windows or Linux environment any laptop by dell or Asus have a good reputation.

In summary, the equipment will not hold you back, programming tools are generally very efficient and require very little compute power unless you are working on massive projects. A more powerful PC can make you more productive but it does not allow you to do more than a lower end PC for the majority of things.

Note: Companies (such as apple) sometimes offer educational discounts too, so it's a good idea too look out for them.

Catseye Junior


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