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Blog » ICT Examination Courses for KS4 2015

ICT Examination Courses for KS4 2015

Monday 29th December 2014. UPDATED: Saturday 14th February 2015

If you're reading this, then you are possibly uncertain over which course to deliver to KS4 - especially with changes to what will count in the 2017 league tables. Of course it's not just about league tables, though as always we need to make sure that students achieve qualifications that have a sound reputation. This post might help you to decide what to deliver:

If you presently deliver Cambridge Nationals in ICT, it will still count in the league tables in 2016, but for no-longer. Interestingly, the course didn't make it to the government's 2017 list of technical qualifications approved for inclusion in league tables, but the BCS's ECDL course did. The latter is arguably a lot less rigorous than the Cambridge Nationals in ICT. Some commentators say that the latter is politically motivated as BCS made significant contributions to implementing the Computer Science Curriculum.

So, to get you started, why not consider...

VOCATIONAL OPTIONS

If you want something straightforward that has stood the test of time, go for BCS ECDL. The 'Office' style qualification is straightforward and teaches essential ICT skills. It has stood the test of time. If you use an online system available from the likes of 'Enlight', then there is no coursework to mark, and no exams. Although this might sound blissful, some teachers find the course somewhat dull. Others find it is acceptable. If you don't mind teaching Office skills, then it would be worth considering.

If you like hands-on multimedia style projects, then consider NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Creative Studies. It falls into 'media and communications' rather than ICT, though arguably includes enough IT content to fulfil Government requirements.

If you liked the Cambridge Nationals in ICT, then the nearest alternative is the Cambridge Nationals in iMedia.

Recent history suggests that continuing with OCR could be a turbulent journey. Their initial iMedia course caught the interest of schools (2008). They then introduced OCR Nationals in ICT, which was replaced by a newer version, which was replaced by Cambridge Nationals in ICT, which is coming to an end. Whilst the course has helped schools to offer more interesting vocational-based courses, it has not been without controversy - primarily because of the lack of control over authenticating coursework - partly caused by the pressure to get results.

ACADEMIC OPTIONS

GCSE options have been a little more stable than vocational options.

If you liked EdExcel's DiDA, then EdExcel's GCSE ICT is very similar - albeit with slightly less coursework and an exam element. The exam element rather cleverly focuses on IT in entertainment as well as business, which can make it more attractive than other GCSEs. Personally I feel that the EdExcel course has greater merit than AQA (My detailed comparison.)

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER...

You know your students best. Chose a qualification that will suit them. You must be good at embracing change if you like this job...