Planning for the Computing curriculum

At first sight, it seems bizarre that despite the fact that many teachers urgently need professional development, and time, in order to be ready to teach Computing, headteachers are not always allowing them to attend courses during school time. A business planning approach by ICT leaders in school could help.

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Articles you may have missed

Although I slowed down over the Easter break – at least in terms of writing blog posts – I did write a few articles. Here is a selection that you may find interesting and useful. While you’re reading those, I shall be working on the next edition of the newsletter Digital Education.
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6 Ideas for teaching the Computing curriculum

Aspirations in Computing StudentsI thought these posts from the archives might be interesting: 6 ideas for teaching the Computing curriculum. Unfortunately, being mathematically challenged, I originally inadvertently designated two of them as “#2”. That’s why I never became a maths teacher. However, I have since renumbered them, so they start at zero, which is, computationally speaking, a pretty good thing to do. Anyway, although the series refers to the “forthcoming Computing curriculum”, the ideas themselves are still useful I believe. I hope you agree.
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My Informatics scheme of work part 1

Social computingI thought it would be interesting to dig out my scheme of work for Information Technology – as it was then then – from 1997. It was based on the Informatics scheme of work published by the now defunct organisation Acitt. Acitt was a subject association for ICT Co-ordinators. I helped to shape the Acitt scheme of work, but the one I used myself was a variation, adjusted to meet the circumstances pertaining to my school. I’ve reproduced it below.
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Ideas for the computing curriculum: #4 Fun and pointless? Why not?

ideaIn this series I’m going to be making some suggestions, putting out some ideas. These are based on presentations I’ve given. I can think of how these ideas, or their implications, might be applied in the classroom. However, I think it better if I stand back and let you do that part of the work!
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New ideas for a new Computing curriculum

RM MugI had the pleasure of attending one of the RM Technical seminars recently, and it was well worth the time. The event was divided into several strands. I chose the Curriculum and E-safety option rather than one of the more technical ones.

As well as a very entertaining keynote lecture by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, there were three sessions:

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Assessing Computing: Grids and Badges

section of progression pathways gridSince Michael Gove, England’s then Education Secretary, announced that Levels were not fit for purpose – the purpose being to assess and describe students’ proficiency in National Curriculum subjects – there has been a proliferation of attempts to assess Computing without using Levels. Many of these have taken the approach, quite naturally, of devising a progression grid of some sort. All the ones I’ve seen break the grid down into the Computing Programme of Study’s component parts
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How can teachers get to grips with computer programming, and where do we start? By Lawrence Williams

Pupil using Scratch, by Lawrence WilliamsMany teachers have been utterly dismayed by the seemingly impossible demands of the new Programmes of Study for Computing. How can we all suddenly develop a wide range of new skills in Computing? Can our pupils, aged from only 5 years, really understand, write, and debug computer programmes? It seems an impossible task. But help is at hand…. And from a teacher of English, with no Computing training! (Though with some experience in using ICT.)

Lawrence Williams explains.

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