BBC Basic in school

Here you can talk about anything related to BBC BASIC, not covered in another category
Repton
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue 22 May 2018, 13:51

BBC Basic in school

Post by Repton »

This is an exclusive . I am in the process of applying to be a computer teachers in schools. How can I get BBC Basic back on the agenda. The curiculumn states a selection of vb python or java

BBC Basic has some nice clean code for examples. Not sure if assembler knowledge is still mandated.

Any ideas.

RichardRussell
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 09:10

Re: BBC Basic in school

Post by RichardRussell »

Repton wrote:
Fri 08 May 2020, 11:27
How can I get BBC Basic back on the agenda. The curiculumn states a selection of vb python or java
Which examining board? As recently as 2016 OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA) were enthusiastic about BBC BASIC - they even used it in their coursework book - so although it is no longer one of their recommended languages they might not need much convincing! The other boards have, historically, been less keen on BBC BASIC for some reason.

OCR's rationale for using BBC BASIC was given as follows (page 211 of the above book): "The code samples included in the chapter have been written in BBC BASIC because of the similarity of BBC BASIC to pseudocode, which therefore makes it easiter to translate the logic into other programming languages". They might find it difficult to argue that it is no longer the case!

Personally (I am of course somewhat biassed) I don't think any other language offers the degree of cross-platform compatibility which BBC BASIC does in respect of 2D and 3D graphics, sound and physics simulations. In terms of motivating students, being able to write and test a program on a PC, and then create a standalone Android app which they can share with their friends, is hard for other languages to match.

If you want to do something practical, create a YouTube video which illustrates doing exactly that, from scratch, and then share it widely on social media. Good luck!
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Repton
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue 22 May 2018, 13:51

Re: BBC Basic in school

Post by Repton »

Its just like saying why do we still teach Shakespeare in English isn't it. The closet to 'Basic' is Python. The AQA awards 50% to actual proframming rather than the OCR which is a small fraction of the 20%. I learnt BBC basic at school and look where it has taken me.

These days you cant just teach what you want it has to get approval from who is head of department. At Oxford uni they teach the fundamentals rather than a particular brand.

RichardRussell
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 09:10

Re: BBC Basic in school

Post by RichardRussell »

Repton wrote:
Fri 08 May 2020, 16:45
At Oxford uni they teach the fundamentals rather than a particular brand.
Indeed, the philosophy used to be that it didn't really matter what programming language you learned first, since they were all similar in their fundamentals and once you had grasped those you could easily switch from one language to another. I don't know what has changed for the authorities now to be so prescriptive, probably just the current fad.

I could perhaps understand it if all dialects of BASIC were off the curriculum, because it undoubtedly has a bad reputation in some quarters. But if Visual BASIC is allowed because it has a number of 'modern' extensions, then so should BBC BASIC. Hopefully, once you get into the classroom, you will be able to broaden the students' knowledge by at least mentioning the existence of BBC BASIC and your experience of it.
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Repton
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue 22 May 2018, 13:51

Re: BBC Basic in school

Post by Repton »

Since actively researching the Teaching role you discover today the CS doesnt have the same level of autonomy as they used to and has to have everything approved by senior leaders.