Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC), Getting the GCSE Computing Syllabus Right

I’ve just read the new sample GCSE paper which has been revamped following the recommendations from the Royal Society and the Computing at School Working Group about computing education in the United Kingdom.

In the new revamped GCSE the student is assessed on the following:

  1. Understanding Computer Science (45%) – 90 minute examination to assess understanding of the theory content of the specification.
  2. Solving Problems Using Computers (30%) – 2 hour external assessment to assess the practical application of knowledge and understanding through a series of on-screen tasks.
  3. Developing Computing Solutions (25%) – externally assessed and externally moderated 15 hour controlled assessment to develop a piece of work using programming software following a task brief issued by WJEC. There will be a choice of two task briefs.

For me, this represents a sea change in the direction of the academic subject at this level and is very strong statement of intent by the WJEC on how seriously they view the subject’s implications for helping our children develop and seek careers.

Here’s a link to the sample WJEC GCSE Computing paper