“I’m going to have to do loads of learning!” laughs Donna Hay, subject leader for ICT at Abbeywood Community School in Bristol. It’s a sentiment that’ll be echoed by ICT teachers around the country as they get to grips with the new GCSEs in computing.
Hay is in a better position than many. A computer science graduate with 13 years experience as a programmer in industry means she understands the fundamentals behind what she’s teaching. Just two lessons in – her school is using the AQA’s GCSE specification - and she’s had her students programming Bigtrack trucks to make them go “whizzing round the classroom”. She’s under no illusions however about the amount of time and preparation she’ll have to put in to make the most of this GCSE for her pupils.
“I graduated in 1992 and the world has moved on. I’m really out of date. So I’ve got a lot of upskilling to do, and we only saw the AQA curriculum late in the summer term,” she explains.