GCSE ICT course structure

I’ve taught the Edexcel GCSE ICT every year since I started. My first mentor told me to do coursework unit after coursework unit until the last half term and then to bang through the theory as quickly as possible.

Being an NQT, I did as I was told. And the results have been pretty solid (>90% C grade or above last year and expect to do well this year too). It does create a bit of stress though, and students do worry about the theory side of things.

So in one of my free periods a few weeks ago I put together a broad Scheme of Work in which one of the 5 lessons per fortnight is dedicated to theory – and split the Learning Objectives from the syllabus up into good sized chunks.

I’m now sat here starting to plan each theory lesson (or at least the first term’s worth) and  can’t decide if I’m doing the right thing. Our results are clearly good. The students DO pick up bits of theory during the coursework – I do actually teach them something! And this is going to be a hell of a lot of work to plan many more lessons in a very independent learning style – especially when you consider that this is the last cohort due to the new GCSEs the following year.

I think that it would be a really worthwhile exercise and potentially a very interesting way of tackling the course – but is it worth all that effort to totally rewrite all the SoW and resources for one year when the current method is clearly working? I’m very tempted to say no.

What to do, what to do… Sleep on it I think. Thoughts and opinions, as always, are very welcome.

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One thought on “GCSE ICT course structure

  1. Sheila says:

    I taught Edexcel GCSE for years and got pretty good results. I am now teaching CIE IGCSE, which has 2 practical exams. It’s much easier to manage, than the coursework option and of course no grading coursework but I find it quite boring and the students definitely don’t learn as many practical skills. I think theory is always going to be a problem. I set exercises for homework and then give the students regular assessments, it works well with the dedicated students but the others…Personally I think the majority of ICT exams need a real overhaul as they don’t really cater for the applications student’s use and the skills they need.

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