Great news for education professionals and students - AQA have announced details about the new GCSE Computer Science. The unique curriculum includes some exciting advances, such as development of mobile apps and web technologies, as well as learning computing theory and essential programming skills. These innovative skills will be significant for GCSE students to address the demands of the IT industry and other employers.
The new curriculum that will be taught from September is aligned with the existing Microsoft Technology Associate Qualification. This means that students are set up to achieve an industry-recognised qualification which will bridge the gap between full-time education and the business world, as well as offering a breadth of progression routes to higher level Microsoft certifications.
Furthermore, schools can leverage the current benefits within the IT Academy programme to support the adoption of the award including:
The course, which has taken over 18 months to develop, covers programming fundamentals such as how to interpret and create simple algorithms, develop prototypes and code solutions to a given problem. The practical element of the syllabus gives students the chance to create an appropriate software solution, which could take the form of a gaming, web or mobile application. They will put this learning into practice and design, by making and testing their own applications.
This announcement follows Michael Gove’s recent call for schools to teach ICT qualifications which are relevant to employers.
Geoff Coombe, Director of General Qualifications Development at AQA, said:
“Our new Computer Science GCSE gives students the chance to gain the latest computer programming skills and will stand them in good stead when competing for jobs in the future. Computer literacy still has its place, but we hope this innovative qualification will help take students’ abilities to a whole new level. The syllabus we’ve created is designed to take the growing importance of mobile and web technologies into account and ensure that students aren’t left behind.”
Steve Beswick, Director of Education at Microsoft, commented:
“As a business, Microsoft needs British school-leavers with programming and design talents not just for the jobs we need to fill now, but also to future-proof against careers which don’t even exist yet. Working with hundreds of schools and thousands of talented teachers through our IT Academy programme and Partners in Learning network, we know that computer science lessons have the potential to be experimental and genuinely engaging, but schools need the right type of curriculum to get results.’’