The silence that has descended on this blog has partly been down to another little change in direction for me as I have taken over leadership of our ICT & Business Studies department. As a Mathematician by nature this has been an interesting few weeks!
Out top priority is to try and deliver an ICT curriculum that is fit for the year 2011. Something that enthuses our pupils with the subject of ICT and offers them valuable qualifications that will stand them in good stead for their futures.
This seemed a simple task – how wrong I was!
Current ICT Curriculum:
We have traditionally put all our students through the OCR Nationals in Year 9, picking up the equivalent of 1 GCSE for each of them (well most of them). I’m no great fan of this qualification, in particular Unit 1′s trudge through Office products and folder structures. ICT is an optional subject at our school, those pupils who choose to continue it at KS4 complete the full OCR Nationals Level 2 course picking up the ‘equivalent’ of 4 GCSEs. I know there are some good units in there, but we’re increasingly finding that students are then having issues with our local colleges who do not value the OCR Nationals.
I must have read every specification out there for ICT based qualifications at Level 2 – not the most exciting of tasks I can assure you!
Other key reading this week has included two new reports:
The Next Gen report from Nesta “sets out how the UK can be transformed into the world’s leading talent hub for video games and visual effects”. Written by key players from both industries it’s a wide ranging review of the educations system from Secondary School through to University. It’s quite critical that our education system is not providing these industries with people with the required skill sets, and that this runs all the way back down to the skills we are providing pupils with at school.
Some key excerpts in relation to school based ICT: