New to GCSE ICT?
This update provides guidance to schools and colleges offering GCSE ICT in September 2014.
Delivering GCSE ICT from September 2014
Some of you have asked whether it's possible to start GCSE ICT with Year 9 learners in September 2014, in light of planned GCSE reforms. Year 9 learners starting in September 2014 would cash in during 2017, later than the current certification end date of 2016. However, you can use our current specification until a redeveloped specification is available to replace it, which will likely mean extending the current GCSE ICT when it reaches its review date.
Delivering GCSE ICT for the first time
When teaching GCSE ICT, there's no need to register your learners in advance. This means you can begin teaching the course immediately (with the help of the resources below!)
To make sure we keep you up to date with relevant news on GCSE ICT, sign up for my ICT Subject Advisor updates by emailing TeachingICT@Pearson.com.
Support for Unit 1
Unit 1 - Living in a Digital World makes up 40% of GCSE ICT and is assessed through a 90-minute written examination. You can access all past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports on the you'll find them in the course materials for GCSE ICT.
Technology is constantly changing and improving. To make sure you're delivering the right content in preparation for the unit 1 exam, we release a new Technology Update (TU) each year. This clarifies what digital technology students are expected to learn about in the unit and relates directly to the content of the specification, which you should use in conjunction. You'll find this in the course materials for GCSE ICT.
We've produced a series of Teaching Blocks (TBs) which cover 60% of the unit 1 content. These TBs include lesson plans and resources and are a great starting point for those new to the course. These resources will guide you as you create further content tailored to your learners.
If you'd rather start the year with a complete scheme of work, you can buy 'GCSE ICT Active Teach' and the 'GCSE ICT Student Book' from the Pearson schools and colleges website.
These paid-for resources are completely separate from the free resources available and the two sets of resources do not reference each other.
Support for Unit 2
Unit 2 – Using Digital Tools makes up 60% of GCSE ICT and is assessed through a Controlled Assessment Brief (CAB). A new CAB is produced each year and made available for download on the in the course materials for GCSE ICT.
I've produced a Controlled Assessment Update to guide you through downloading and delivering the CAB. This will answer most controlled assessment questions and is an excellent starting point for colleagues new to unit 2. This is available in the course materials for GCSE ICT under Controlled assessments.
We've also produced a series of Skills Builders (SBs), which cover 75% of the unit 2 content. These SBs include lesson plans and resources and, as with unit 1, they are a great starting point. Again, this is an incomplete scheme of work and will require you to create some of your own content.
Each SB covers the skills needed to complete a CAB task. The only CAB task for which we haven’t produced a SB is task 4, the evaluation task.
We've provided a series of sample learner work, including moderator commentary, that you can use to inform your delivery of the CAB. These resources are also available to download in the course materials for GCSE ICT.
Double Award support
Learners working towards the double GCSE will be completing two additional units. Units 3 and 4 mirror the assessment and delivery structure of the first two units.
Unit 3 – Digital Design makes up 20% of the double GCSE and is assessed through a 90-minute written examination. You can access all past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports in the course materials for GCSE ICT.
We've produced a series of Teaching Blocks (TBs) to support double award delivery. These include lesson plans and resources and can be found in the course materials for GCSE ICT.
Unit 4 – Creating Digital Products makes up 30% of the double GCSE and is assessed through a Controlled Assessment Brief. A new CAB is produced each year and made available in the course materials for GCSE ICT. Sample learner work is also available here.
I am often asked how the GCSE ICT Double Award has been affected by recent Level 2 reforms. I can confirm that GCSE ICT is still available as a double award and learners who complete it will take two GCSEs forward in their academic careers. However, from summer 2014 all multiple award qualifications (including GCSE ICT) will count as one GCSE towards the five A*-C school headline performance measures.
You can contact Tom Hibberd, Subject Specialist for ICT, and myself, in a variety of ways. We also have a very active Facebook Community with almost 600 members, all of whom are delivering GCSE ICT and can be a great source of support. Please use the details below to ask any questions about the course that we haven't covered already.
Email me directly at TeachingICT@Pearson.com
Call Tom and myself on 0844 372 2186
Follow me on Twitter @PearsonICT
Join our growing community on the GCSE ICT Facebook group.
You can email me directly with questions about the content, delivery and assessment of the course. The principal examiner and moderator for GCSE ICT are also available to answer questions about GCSE ICT. Even if you don’t have a question, please take a moment to email me at TeachingICT@Pearson.com - sending a blank email will sign you up to my email updates.