Poll: WHat programming language does your school teach at GCSE?

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General Chat Thread, Programming at GCSE - poll in General; If you're not writing web apps there's not much point programming these days. If I were picking something I'd start ...
  1. #16

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    If you're not writing web apps there's not much point programming these days. If I were picking something I'd start with Python, then add Django.

    Got some people using Scratch here, they've made some playable games. What people should do is advanced logo.

  2. #17

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    Can I ask, what are the options?

    I dont mean what languages, I mean, what GCSEs give the oppurtunity to teach any kind of programing?

    Phil

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    As of next year our schools introducing computing as a seperate aspect to ICT and starting it straight from year 7s. Currently it's only being taught to 6th formers who choose the computing option.

    This is the list of programs that will be in use for year 7 - 10:
    Scratch
    Small Basic
    Kodu
    Possibly but not certain on greenfoot as well

    Year 10+11s and 6th formers will be introduced to Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate focusing mainly on visual basic but allowing the brighter ones to do projects in C++ or C#

    Luckily the head of ICT here is well in to the whole programming aspect of IT, it's what he used to do in a previous job etc and he's a very passionate teacher (probably the only truly GOOD teacher i've ever seen). He's been running a computing course for the past 2-3 years here now for 6th formers and 2 of our students have gone straight from here in to working for a company called Renishaw who now work with us towards apprenticeships, and it's generally the best of his students that comes to help us out.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by BJG View Post
    This is kind of connected with the "Oftsted/ICT Poor" thread. The IT teaching staff were in a huddle this morning discussing this and wondering what programming language to teach. Would be interested to know what you people do...? I've included a few choices from the Tiobe index, but maybe that's not relevant here...?
    vb.net express, simple and free for students!

  5. #20
    CAM
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    Not sure what they do now but our old head of IT had them coding game in some C# derived language. They had a compiler with some pre-made functions the kids could use to make development easier.

  6. #21

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    We do a bit of Visual Basic with selected students in an extra curricular club. Not something we run for all KS4 students but certainly something we are starting to look at and possibly A Level.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    What seems to be lacking in schools when teaching programming is any real focus on programming methodology & system design. The choice of language is largely irrelevant once you have mastered these skills, although you have to be able to select the appropriate language for the task in hand. Programming languages come & go as technology & fashion move forward, but the basics don't change.
    I agree. I started with computers in the days of DOS commands, and even BBC Basic. Taught myself the rudiments of scripting and Basic programming. It still really helps to know command syntax and structure and processes. Even if you don't fully know the language, you can usually have a stab at something when you understand the principles.

  8. #23


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    Much as I love Perl, it is not a great teaching language, as the syntax is too wooly. Python, possibly. VB discourages thinking and being able to build "something from nothing". PHP... again, a bit wooly. Other than the "indenty oddness" of Python... i'd go for it every time.

  9. #24


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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    Much as I love Perl, it is not a great teaching language, as the syntax is too wooly. Python, possibly. VB discourages thinking and being able to build "something from nothing". PHP... again, a bit wooly. Other than the "indenty oddness" of Python... i'd go for it every time.
    The 'indentity oddness' of python works to its advantage as a teaching language. The fact that python enforces a strict structure actually teaches how to write readable code. I'm sure you'll appreciate that badly indented Perl can be illegible.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 15th December 2011 at 10:07 PM.

  10. #25


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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    The 'indentity oddness' of python works to its advantage as a teaching language. The fact that python enforces a strict structure actually teaches how to write readable code. I'm sure you'll appreciate that badly indented Perl can be illegible sometimes.
    Only sometimes?
    You're right, altholugh I find people who learn python sometimes struggle when they first get lumbered with {}, and moving between text editors can be a pain (soft/hard tabs for example) still, its a price worth paying for well indented code?

  11. #26


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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    Only sometimes?
    no I edited that bit

    I think it is a price worth paying.
    I use python, but only for basic scripts and applications so I'm ok with having to use a few spaces every now and again. I could see it would be a pain for a seasoned developer - for a novice it is an invaluable lesson. For a teacher it would save a huge amount of time.

  12. #27


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    You're probably right, who uses soft tabs these days anyway. Im sure I used to have a reason.

  13. #28

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    For those interested in getting Computer Programming back into schools take some time to join the CAS Group - Computing at School :: Computing For the Next Generation ... and mailing list.

    Get involved - if you are a technician ask your Head of ICT if you can run a programming club. More often than not you guys are a lot more competent in coding than us teachers. Put that knowledge to good use and get some kids into it. Of course you won't get paid but you may see the reason we go into teaching - happy kids getting experiences.

    Go on - you know you want to.

    Gareth

  14. #29


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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post

    Get involved - if you are a technician ask your Head of ICT if you can run a programming club. More often than not you guys are a lot more competent in coding than us teachers. Put that knowledge to good use and get some kids into it. Of course you won't get paid but you may see the reason we go into teaching - happy kids getting experiences.

    Go on - you know you want to.

    Gareth
    I put a few kids onto this: Google Code-in - Google Code
    one of them has already done three tasks - so should win $100

  15. #30

    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I put a few kids onto this: Google Code-in - Google Code
    one of them has already done three tasks - so should win $100
    Without sounding patronising - that's great stuff. More and more of that should be done in schools. As I said in my first post quite often it is the technicians that have the knowledge to do this. Yes us teachers can code but sometimes we have to be jack of all trades and masters of none. I can code VBA, Pascal and VB but to a level that suits just above my A-Level. Often I learn something off a pupil who may have streched their knowledge outside of school.

    The same for networking stuff. I'm often amazed at how many kids are interested but up until now we have not had the time to show them. Hopefully once some of our latger projects are out of the way maybe I will setup a lunchtime club to look at networking and setting up 2008R2 ADs etc. - Of course once again technicians have these skills - ask your school (if you are that way inclinded). Become a teacher for a lunch hour. I'm sure some of you will do better than some ICT teachers :-) (controversial).

    Gareth

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