Computer science will become an EBacc subject, the Education Secretary announced today. It will be added to the list of separate science options, making four separate sciences instead of the traditional three. OCR’s GCSE in Computing will specifically count towards the EBacc in performance tables.
OCR has led the way in developing qualifications in the subject. It has a GCSE and an A Level in Computing, as well as a brand new Entry Level qualification. Programming is also incorporated in Cambridge Nationals in ICT and will be in Cambridge Technicals in IT from September.
Following today's announcement, Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive, said:
“I welcome this move. The inclusion of GCSE Computing in the EBacc will support the growth of this exciting and creative subject in schools. There are many schools who have enthusiastically embraced teaching Computing already. Since we pioneered our GCSE in 2010, the number of entries has risen by over 3000%. Schools also need support to deliver computing. Training and resources are key ingredients too and we are proud partners in the Google Raspberry Pi initiative announced yesterday.”
Pupils at Brynteg School, Bridgend, one of the largest secondary schools in Wales, are following OCR's GCSE Computing course. The number of students choosing the course at Brynteg has doubled over the past two years. Head of ICT, David Pearce, explained what attracted him to the qualification: “What we didn’t want was a tick-in-the-box qualification. OCR’s GCSE Computing provides more of an holistic approach where students have to think and make their own decisions, including doing their own research.
“Several students from our first cohort have gone on to study A Level Computing and I expect this to be a growing trend.”