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ICT and computing in secondary schools

The 2014 National Curriculum sees 'ICT' change to 'Computing'. The programme of study covers key stages 1 to 4.  The relevant sections for secondary schools are here

The computing curriculum is not just about programming.  Schools need to balance programming, creativity, digital literacy and e-safety but programming and computational thinking should be a major part of the curriculum. 

Programming languages
It is suggested that at around 40% of computing curriculum time is programming.  The National Curriculum staes that schools must cover at least 2 languages, one of which must be text based.  Text based languages include Python, Greenfoot, Java etc

Assessment in key stage 3
Attainment targets were disapplied in September 2012 but teachers are still expected to assess and show progression.

When planning assessment opportunities consider the following:

1. Purpose – What is the assessment for and how will it be used?
Does it form part of ongoing assessment for learning to provide individual feedback or targets so that the pupil knows what to do next? Related to this is the need to consider how the purpose of assessment affects the frequency of assessment. For example, there should be sufficient time between judgements to allow a pupil to show progress, whereas to be effective the assessment of ongoing work should be embedded in day-to-day teaching and learning.

2. EvidenceWhat are the best ways to gather the evidence needed to support the purpose of the assessment?
Assessment shouldn’t be limited to a narrow range of evidence. Any meaningful judgement of progress or attainment should be based on a range of activities, outcomes and contexts This could include assessing the learning as it’s happening through observation, discussion or focused questioning; involving pupils in the process through peer or self-assessment; or sampling a range of work over a period of time. If there are areas where you don’t have sufficient evidence you could either adjust your planning or use a more focused short task or test to fill the gap. The gathering of evidence also needs to be manageable. With care, the same evidence may be used for a variety of purposes.

3. Outcome – What form will the assessment outcome take and how will it be used?
Depending on the purpose of the assessment the outcome could be a level judgement of progress over time or a specific and measurable improvement target for the pupil. Effective use of the assessment outcome results in actions such as providing an instant response or planning for the longer term. The best means of communicating assessment outcomes should be considered. For example, it might be through written feedback or discussion. The outcome may also provide you with valuable information for your future planning, by identifying areas that need to be revisited by a class or individuals to secure understanding or by revealing gaps in curriculum coverage where there is no evidence of achievement in a particular area to assess.

Support materials
EIS subscribers will find a range of support materials for programming in the subscribers section which can be accessed with the school username and password.  Click here.