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The IGCSE is a Cambridge International program for 9th and 10th-grade students at international schools and is the most popular international qualification for students worldwide between the ages of 14 and 16 years.
This program develops the student’s knowledge, understanding, and skills in the following areas:
IGCSE or the International General Certification of Secondary Education, as the name suggests is one of the Cambridge Pathway and covers,
Cambridge Lower Secondary – for students between the ages of 11 and 14 years
Cambridge Higher Secondary – for students between the ages of 14 and 16 years
This can be perceived like the IB MYP, only difference being that IGCSE follows a specific curriculum whereas IB just provides the framework.
Hence IGSCE is taken under the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).
After completing the IGCSE levels- grades 9th to the 10th, IGCSE gets replaced by “AS” level (11th grade) and “A” level (12th grade)
The students need to clear the exams conducted by Pearson Edexcel International or CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education) to be able to take the “AS” or the “A” levels. They have an option to take the IB Diploma programme too. After the completion of IGCSE examination in the 10th grade, a student gets either a CIE certification or an IGCSE certification, which entirely depends on the school he/she is attending.
Students can choose from 70 subjects in any combination- it is taught by over 4700 schools in 150 countries.
Students pursuing this subject study the principles and practices of computing and thus gain confidence in computational thinking and programming. Using the computer code, they learn to program, thus learning the basic principles of problem-solving using computers.
IGCSE computer science qualification helps the students to realize the current and emerging computing technologies and the benefits of their use. They also recognise the ethical issues and the potential risks when using computers.
This course aims to develop:
There has been a steady increase in the number of students taking up the computing course over a last couple of years. The course is rigorous and demanding with heavy programming. The students need to be strong in analytical thinking and problem solving. And not to forget the assessments. With such a demanding subject.
One of the major challenges for teachers is how to meet the challenge of the computing curriculum and provide one which helps the student prepare himself for the world and in the bargain inspire others to take up this curriculum.
Ask the computing class what it is like inside the computer, and you will get a list of answers from wires, cables to chips. Very rarely there would be a student who has actually seen inside the computer. A real useful physical demonstration would be to collect these parts and actually assemble them in the class and getting the students too involved in connecting and assembling. Right from a smartphone to a game console, all have similar parts and thus the discussion in the class would be a great added value.
Every school would have network managers with a team. They are into solving computer problems, testing new hardware and writing their own programs as a daily routine. Get them to interact with the class about the school system and the network behind it.
A child often feels that there is no use of the computing in the daily life routines. This is a great place to start with a student who sees no relevance of computing in his own day. Right from the time he gets up, check a device for time, ask a device for the weather or music, send an instant message, pay for the lunch using a fingerprint, watch a homework video, take an online test and getting an instant score on the click of a submit button, play an online game, or order a takeaway, each one is relatable to the computing curriculum objectives. By choosing a project that can be related to a real-life problem, the student understands the purpose of computing and finds a better and more efficient ways to the problem he is solving.
In the present world, we hear a lot about cyberbullying, scams, fake news, and social media incidents that lead to physical danger in the real world. All these can be explored in the Computing curriculum and the technologies behind them. Thus, the ability to spot the problems and avoid them would inspire them to consider that as a career option. The computing is beyond the classroom theory, it’s a life skill.
There are good quality resources in the form of videos, lectures, papers, discussions out there to support the Computing curriculum. Cybersecurity, a good voiceover for a poorly animated YouTube video, ways we get hacked-all are great topics to drop in between a class session as a break. These remind the students that are looking at real world problems.
Computing curriculum can inspire independence in students. A student with the right skills and competent enough to apply them appropriately can use them to learn another subject. So, by being able to search out and make a decision on what he finds, he truly is the independent learner.
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