Secondary ICT Update:
Autumn Term 2012
Welcome back to an exciting term of ICT and Computing! We trust you had an enjoyable summer break.
National results for ICT and Computing as follows
- GCSE ICT (74.7% A*C)
There has been an increase in participants by 6069 but a slight drop in overall performance by 2.5% from 2011.
- A-Level Computing (60.8% A*-C)
Participation has dropped once again to 3809 with only 297 girls taking part . There was a slight drop in performance by 2.3%.
- A-Level ICT (64.1% A*-C)
There has been an increase in performance by 2% but participation has decreased by 872 since 2011.
Full break down of provisional GCSE results:
For a full breakdown of provisional GCE results visit:
I will provide you with an LA update as soon as these results become available.
Local ICT Curriculum group
Following various requests a local ICT Curriculum group has been set up. The aim of this group is to develop an exciting, challenging and engaging ICT curriculum for schools in the region that continues to ensure ICT as a subject is cutting edge. We have some industry IT professionals that have agreed to support development of this local curriculum. See attachment for further information about the objectives and plans for the group.
The local ICT curriculum group meetings will be held on the following dates. If you agree to participate it is important you turn up to all.
- 20th September - Evening (4.30-6pm), School of Education, University of Hertfordshire
- 15th October - Evening (4.30 - 6pm)
- 3rd December - Full Day ( 9-4pm)
- 11th February - Evening (4.30 - 6pm)
To register your attendance please sign up via:
Schools that contribute to development of the local ICT curriculum will receive a copy of the completed curriculum and a years updates.
Thanks to the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire for facilitating the first meeting.
I look forward to seeing you there.
NQT Programme/ New ICT or Computing teachers/ New Starters
You may be aware that DfE have changed the funding arrangements for NQT training. We will still be putting on collaborative training and support for ICT NQTs. The senior mentor in your school should receive information shortly about ICT NQT training. If you want to know more about the ICT offer please let me know.
If you have any new ICT starters or teachers that do not receive my updates. Please ask them to drop me an e-mail and I will add them to the mailing list.
Carole Bennett has recently put together a fantastic video that discusses the changing context and content of ICT in schools. It is a great clarification of the role we have to play in ICT education. It also provides a great insight into what technology will be like in the future.
Thanks to those of you that participated in the Computing 101a/ Foundations of Computing during the Summer Term. During this term we will be holding a series of short twilight training sessions providing you with ideas of great projects, approaches to teaching as well as hints and tips to use the software.
The first three sessions will look at Scratch and Alice. The second group of sessions will look at Smartbasic and Visual Basic.
These are being held on October 8th, 15th and 22nd (4.15 - 6pm) and November 12th, 19th, and 26th. These sessions will be held at the School of Education, de Havilland Campus - University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield.
To book a place:
During the Summer Term of 2013 we hope to deliver ‘Foundations of Computing/ CS101a’ and ‘Developing Computing’ as a single module. We are hoping to reduce the cost significantly.
CAS Update: 18 October 2012
Just a quick update on activities in Computing At School. You might have become aware of the ‘Computing At School Network of Excellence’. Very few schools applied in our region. I have been informed by CAS that they are still taking applications for schools to participate. The term ‘network of excellence’ does not mean you have to be great at ‘Computing’ but willing to give Computing a go which most of you do anyway. There is some funding available for participating schools to develop computing. If you are interested drop me an e-mail and I will point you in the right direction.
The next CAS hub is being held on the 18th October at Queens’ School, Bushey (4.30 - 6pm). AQA Will hopefully be speaking about their new GCSE in Computing. Lego hopefully will be putting on a hands on workshop. Please be prepared to bring something along to share. It makes a big difference to the hub.
Register your attendance now at:
Many schools have Microsoft One Note as part of their Microsoft Office ESS/OVS licence agreement. Have you ever considered using this as a digital textbook with young people in your ICT lessons? Microsoft have recently put together a video outlining how it can be used in schools.
Alternative to learning platform - Thoughts welcome...
Microsoft as part of their Office 365 offer are providing schools with the opportunity to have a Microsoft Sharepoint site. There is lots of work to be done to set up, modify and support the Sharepoint site. Warwickshire have offered a service to schools which includes training, support and customisation of Sharepoint in order for it to be used by schools.
If you think a similar style of offer might be of interest in Hertfordshire, please let me know.
Moodle User group
Thanks to everybody that has participated in the Moodle User Group during the last school year.
The next Moodle User Group meeting will be held on Thursday 11th October. Please let me know if you would be willing to host this meeting.
Please feel free to discuss Moodle issues on the Secondary ICT & Computing Google Group if you feel that would be useful.
It is a great opportunity to find out about tips, tricks and share ideas.
For more information about the group visit:
Blender & Teaching Communications
During the recent CAS conference in Birmingham I gave a talk on how you might approach teaching Communications for the GCSE Computing qualification. While preparing for my talk at the CAS conference, I came across a fantastic short animation produced by a 15 year old on how a firewall works using Blender.
My materials (including the video), teaching resources and presentation can be downloaded from:
If you are using Blender and would be interested in collaborating with other schools using the software please let me know.
Microsoft Kodu Update
Microsoft have just released an update to Kodu. Special Mars edition.
To download the latest version visit:
A list of latest features can be downloaded from:
Just a bit of an update on my Raspberry Pi progress.
I picked up a Raspberry Pi starter kit that consists of a case, breadboard, lots of resistors, led’s, capacitor and a few push buttons. There is Python script in order to programme and use these.
For a traffic light demo visit:
There are quite a lot of Raspberry Pi books popping up now. IT would be great if their was one with subject knowledge and activities for young people!
During the ICT Festival I am hoping to run a Raspberry Pi Jam. Hopefully we will manage to arrange a Saturday morning Raspberry Pi Jam to.
You might also be interested in reading the latest ‘MagPi’ there is a really interesting collaborative steady hand project you could consider working on with your design and technology faculty.
Best of luck for the term!
ICT Curriculum Adviser - Standards and School Effectiveness
Tel: 01438 843377