OCR Computing and EBacc

OCR confirmation that their GCSE in Computing counts as Computer Science as far as the Department of Education are concerned…

Computer science will become an EBacc subject, the Education Secretary announced today. It will be added to the list of separate science options, making four separate sciences instead of the traditional three. OCR’s GCSE in Computing will specifically count towards the EBacc in performance tables.

I’ll grab a PDF copy JIC.

International Computing Curricula (or another reason why CAS is awesome)

The UKs Department of Education has published a draft programme of study for consultation – part of the curriculum changes for 2014. This includes Computing as a subject in Key Stages 1 – 4, distinct from ICT (see previous post on terminology).

What’s happening elsewhere? I started to look and found interesting things in Australia and the United States…

draws together the distinct but related subjects of Design
and Technologies and Digital Technologies

Computer Science: Principles is a new course under development that seeks to broaden participation in computing and computer science.

…before finding that CAS had got there already with a document of international comparisons:

This briefing note summarises how computing (i.e. computer science) is taught at (high) school in other countries.  We focus especially on what computer science qualifications are available to students.

Fizz Buzz

@danielstucke asked for little programming tasks around conditionals and loops.

I suggested the Fizz Buzz challenge.

is a group word game frequently encountered as a drinking game. Players take turns to count incrementally, replacing any number divisible by three with the word “fizz”, and any number divisible by five with the word “buzz”.


Before reading on, try it. Go on, write some code that plays Fizz Buzz.

Continue reading

GCSE Computer Science

There’s a raft of noise about new courses for September 2012 for ‘computing’ and ‘computer science’ (see Terminology).

  • WJECs new GCSE Computer Science specification is now available, including PDF versions of the specification and sample assessment materials.
  • Details of the AQA GCSE Computer Science course are available with supporting materials.
  • Edexcel GCSE in Computer Science. No documentation available. Originally slated for September 2012 start, the FAQ now says September 2013.
  • OCR GCSE Computing (first ran in 2010). And Susan Robson’s text book on Lulu.

For 2012 we’re already committed to providing the Edexcel GCSE in ICT and a Level 2 BTEC in Information and Creative Technology but I’m keen to develop the foundation to support delivering computer science so I’ll be watching how those courses develop with interest 🙂

Update [20120820]

(thanks @mylegoman)

Update [20120830]

(thanks @sccompton)