A new ICT curriculum is on the cards for the UK, which could change this subject from one perceived as relatively dull and for boys only to one fit for the 21st century, creative, pervasive and designed for all – from children at key stage one through to mobile app programmers working at A-level standard and beyond.
Nine months ago Michael Gove, the education secretary, scrapped the existing curriculum for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and proposed giving schools the freedom to create their own curricula for the subject.
This new draft, which has not been endorsed by the Department for Education, is one of the results, representing the expert advice of a working party that coordinated input from a range of stakeholders.
The rough draft is innovative, refreshing, and exciting. Bill Mitchell of BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT), which along with the Royal Academy of Engineering has worked on the new curriculum since August, said at a recent Google and Guardian event in London: "What we are trying to do is get a curriculum that sets the destination of travel."
And the draft ICT programme of study is doing just that, looking ahead to the end goal for each key stage. Digital literacy, computer science, and information technology rather than just ICT should all be taught from the start of a child's education at KS1 (children aged five to seven years old) through to KS3 (ages 11 to 14), like the sciences at primary school, say BCS and the Royal Academy of Engineering, while KS4 students (aged 14 to 16) should be able to specialise in an area of ICT, again as is possible in the sciences.
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