Good riddance to levels in ICT and Computing

P1020520Who’s afraid of life without Levels? Quite a few people if the number of schemes of work and assessment grids being developed that incorporate levels are anything to go by. Working without levels is clearly very hard: it is almost impossible to think, much less talk, about pupils’ progress without mentioning levels at some stage.

Yet this is precisely what the government expects.

Read More

Subtlety in the ICT Programme of Study

The ICT Programme of Study is both short and non-specific as far as the technology it references is concerned. It’s easy, therefore, to fail to appreciate some of the subtleties in it. This is especially true of the Attainment Targets towards the end of the document, in which often the same phrases are used and it’s difficult to identify why one skill is deemed to be higher or lower than a similarly-worded one.
Read More

ICT in the Rose Review of the National Curriculum

I wrote this document in May 2009. Since then, the proposed Level Descriptions have been changed. Here is a summary of the differences between this document and the revised changes, not in terms of the descriptors themselves, but my comments on them. Basically I have taken the view that a difference is only a difference if it makes a difference, so if the proposed level descriptor has changed, but its import hasn't, I haven't commented on it. In fact, as far as I can tell only two of the level descriptors have changed, and then only slightly.

Although this post is clearly aimed primarily at colleagues in England and Wales, it may be of interest to teachers from other countries too, as it shows what we're expecting young people to be able to do at different ages.

Also, it covers the whole of the programme of study for ICT, not just primary.

Anyway, here is a summary of the changes:

Level Changes in New Descriptor? Comments on Changes
1 Yes - shorter None
2 Yes - shorter None
3 Yes - the reference to editing and formatting has been removed It's now quicker to read, but I think it has lost some of its clarity
4 No Not applicable
5 No Not applicable
6 No Not applicable
7 No Not applicable
8 No Not applicable
Exceptional Performance No Not applicable

The level descriptors are © 2009 QCDA Copyright. I have reproduced them here in accordance with the QCDA's terms.