Computing - It's all in the gaming

13th August 2010 at 01:00
New school qualifications in computer gaming from Intermediate 1 to Higher are to be launched in September.

Their introduction has been led by Julie McLaren, principal teacher of computing and business education at Madras College in St Andrews.

At her previous school, Forrester High in Edinburgh, Ms McLaren consulted pupils when numbers studying the subject began to drop, and asked their advice on how to reignite their interest. A quest to persuade the Scottish Qualifications Authority to launch national qualifications in computer gaming then followed.

Speaking to The TESS in February, Ms McLaren said that the new courses would not be about playing games but about planning, designing, video- editing, animation, teamwork, giving constructive feedback and pupils creating their own game.

"We have one of the largest gaming industries in Europe, but falling numbers studying computing," she said.

The SQA said its new modules would strengthen Scotland's reputation as the country with the most developed computer gaming curriculum in the world.

Bobby Elliott, the exam body's qualifications manager, said the move could mean more girls being attracted to one of Scotland's boom industries.

As the courses have not yet been launched, the likely uptake is still unclear.

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