Last night was the “GCSE choices fair” at my school. Year 8 students and their families were invited to the Sports Hall where each department offering GCSE courses exhibited information and answered questions.
I invited a handful of existing students who are currently following GCSE Computing and Cambridge Nationals ICT courses to help. I was particularly conscious to make sure at least one of the (three!) girls currently studying Computing was with us, so that any girls considering the subject (particularly including those in my MLDP focus group) would have the opportunity to chat with a fellow student.
The student helpers were a real credit to themselves and to the department, confidently answering questions and explaining the difference between our IT courses at GCSE level.
I was really pleased with how many students expressed an interest in taking GCSE Computing next year, and amazed at how many girls seem to be keen to take it. I am starting to think that my intervention strategies are having a positive effect, but we will have to wait a little while longer to find out for sure!
I have three more activities planned before the end of my “narrowing the gender gap” project:
- Send an email to the parents of girls in my focus group, with more details of this project and why I am doing it.
- Meet in person with focus group parents at the forthcoming parents evening events.
- Ask the focus group students to complete a short survey so that I have some “pupil voice” evidence to support my project report.
I will be presenting the outcome of this small project at the finale of my MLDP course on 20th June, at which point I will also publish my findings here in case it can assist other schools address similar gender balance issues!