Bolton School Senior Girls

Good ICT Teachers Already Ahead of the Curriculum

Welcoming Michael Gove's plans to overhaul the school ICT curriculum, the new president of the Girls' Schools Association (GSA) has said that any decent ICT teacher is already way ahead of the ICT curriculum in terms of day to day classroom practice.  

Computer science graduate Louise Robinson, who is a former computing teacher at Bolton School Girls' Division and new president of the GSA, said: "It's great that the education secretary has identified how inappropriate the curriculum is to contemporary life. However, up and down the country skilled teachers and their pupils are already way ahead of the basic curriculum. Good ICT teaching depends on inspirational, creative teachers as much as it does on a lively curriculum. A poor teacher will follow the curriculum doggedly. An excellent ICT teacher doesn't confine her lessons to how to use Microsoft Office, whatever the curriculum says. It's actually fairly commonplace these days for pupils to be designing their own websites and apps. As well as re-designing the curriculum, we need to make sure we have forward-thinking people to interpret and teach it."

Mrs Sarah Brace, Head of ICT at Bolton School Girls' Division added: "Within ICT we are always developing our curriculum. 

At key stage 3, there is currently a large focus on creativity, allowing the girls to spend a significant amount of time on animation, graphics and web development. We have had speakers in from major ICT organisations and are preparing a programming event for our Year 8 World of Work Day. Pupils are also provided with opportunities to develop a wide range of skills within the extra-curricular programme, including image manipulation, movie making and further animation work. 

Within the GCSE courses, we provide ample opportunities for pupils to go beyond the basic specifications. We give them the chance to develop a wide range of software skills and knowledge that will clearly enhance their employability. 

At A level we take this further giving pupils the chance to complete a major project that does not have to be based on a standard piece of software such as a database. It can be a program that runs on a PC, a mobile phone app or pupils could produce a game."

Across the quad, in the Boys' Division, Head of ICT Mr Peter Humphrey said: "Obviously we are unencumbered by the current National Curriculum; and, consequently, we pick those skills that we think important from it, and then go it alone. 

We are helped in this by splitting the traditional ICT content across Design Technology and ICT, with the inclusion of some logic and programming. There has been no GCSE Computing qualification for many years - this, rather than ICT based, would provide challenge for able and interested boys."

Year 8 girls use graphic tablets to design their own house

Year 8 girls use graphic tablets to design their own house

iPads are increasingly being used across the curriculum

iPads are increasingly being used across the curriculum