This site has been put together by a small group of teachers and teacher educators convened by the DfE's Teaching Agency and chaired by Bob Harrison. Our aim has been to curate a collection of resources for use by those training teachers to deliver the new primary computing curriculum, whether for trainees' individual use, for use in lectures and workshops or for trainees to use as resources for their own lessons when working in school.
What you see here should not be interpreted as either fixed or definitive. If there are errors or omissions, please get in touch with Miles Berry, suggesting a change or asking for editing rights so you can make the change yourself.
Useful starting points are our guidance notes, links for the Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 draft programmes of study, or our collection of other resource sites.
What are the issues?
1. Across the curriculum the draft Programmes of Study suggest that material which was previously taught by subject specialist teachers in key stage 3 will be delivered in primary classrooms from September 2014. In most instances this will be taught by class teachers who have developed a good understanding of primary pedagogy and classroom/resource management skills; facilitating learning through their organisation and presentation of materials and meeting the learning needs of children from 3 to 11, rather than having deep factual subject knowledge in all subjects within the curriculum. Developing subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and curriculum understanding in computing therefore competes within the training year with a range of other curriculum developments. However, the developments in the specification of the computing curriculum reflect much of the current practice of many primary teachers in that they emphasise the use of programmable toys, logic activities, sequencing of materials, reflecting on out-of-school experiences and presenting complex ideas in simpler forms, in particular, the visual form.
2. Primary phase teacher training in 2013/14 will need to produce trainees ready to deliver the new curriculum. Indeed NQTs and trainees on placement may be the only staff members in the school to have received any training in the new curriculum. New ITT criteria will come into effect in September 2013 such that primary trainees will spend at least two thirds of their time in school. Whilst training to teach the new computing curriculum, they will be working in schools with teachers not yet trained to deliver it.
3. Primary trainees face additional challenges in teaching computing. Whereas the typical trainee with a degree in, say geography, might have come across many of the concepts in mathematics, history, science and art a few years back in school, as pupils they are unlikely to have been taught computing and what they did do is also unlikely to have been computer science.
4. It is the calling of those training to teach in primary schools to develop and foster in their pupils the appropriate skills and social abilities so that the children enable their optimum, according to age, ability and aptitude. Trainee teachers assess and record progress; they prepare pupils for tests; they build on earlier learning and develop ways to encourage it further; and, they challenge and inspire pupils to help them deepen their knowledge and understanding. We are challenged with the question, “How can trainers work with trainees with a such vocation and simultaneously give them the skills, concepts and knowledge they need to enable children to make progress in computing through a broad and balanced curriculum?”
What have we done?
5. Over a series of three meetings and many hours spent online in a Google group, colleagues created a smorgasbord of links based on keywords and phrases within:
Draft ICT Programme of Study http://academy.bcs.org/content/draft-ict-programme-study and
Draft National Curriculum for Computing http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/nationalcurriculum2014
These are arranged by topic and are intended to meet the challenges of:
a) Developing trainees’ personal understanding, knowledge and skills of the main topics;
b) Providing material to mount group and workshop sessions; and,
c) Putting on lessons for pupils to teach key topics.
In addition the group recognised that pupils will also need to be able to evaluate sources of content, understand the difference between their private, personal and public online persona, communicate in a wide range of contexts and, most importantly, stay safe online.
Who we are.
6. The volunteers from industry, teaching and training who have met and contributed to the plethora of material were:
7. The group is grateful to Claire Riley and Microsoft who arranged accommodation and Mike Harrison and Jackie Behan from the Teaching Agency who provided support, acted as secretariat and funded T&S for the events. We are also grateful to ITTE for promoting the resources through their website http://www.itte.org.uk.