Teaching computing skills in schools enters a new era this academic year but are parents ready for the change?
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More than three quarters of parents in Leeds are not aware (or are not sure) of changes to the computing curriculum which have now come into effect.
The new curriculum focuses on computer science, information technology and digital literacy and is set to be the biggest change to the way IT is taught since computers were first introduced into schools.
The latest survey by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT also reveals that 89 per cent of parents questioned in Leeds think learning computing will help their child be more successful in life - yet only 42 per cent say they would encourage their children to study the subject to GCSE or A level.
Bill Mitchell, BCS director of education said: ‘It’s great that parents recognise just how important computing is and that they think learning it will help their child be more successful, but the fact they are less enthusiastic when it comes to encouraging their child to take a computing qualification is a real worry.
Virtually everything we do these days depends on technology so it’s important children learn about it and can study the underlying principles that explain how computing works. There is a huge demand for people with the right skills to work in technology and it is vital that we encourage youngsters to consider careers in this field.’
The new curriculum has been specially developed to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need throughout the rest of their lives. Youngsters will learn how computers and computer systems work, how to design and build programmes, and how to develop their ideas using technology.
‘Interestingly, 60 per cent of parents questioned in Leeds also said they think we need more people who can invent technology to solve the world’s problems. These future inventors could well be their own children - if they are given the right support, encouragement and education.
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‘We know that pupils from primary school onwards enjoy and are good at computing and that it aids their intellectual development, literacy and numeracy skills. Learning the fundamental principles and techniques of computer science is also important for the development of the UK’s future engineers, scientists and creators of technology,’ he added.
For more information about the new curriculum visit: academy.bcs.org/parents