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New Countdown to Computing project: we are recruiting now
11 Apr 2014

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Countdown to Computing is a new project run by CAS over the next twelve months, and funded by Microsoft. We are recruiting:

  • A full time project coordinator for six months, gross pro-rata £55k depending of experience (i.e. gross circa £25 for six months including NI and pension contributions)

  • Two regional CAS coordinators full time for twelve months, gross including any employer contributions circa £40k depending on experience.

  • Two teachers to author ‘out-of-the-box’ CPD courses on consultancy-based contracts worth circa £6k to £9k.

The posts will start as soon as possible.

For further details please contact bcsacademy@hq.bcs.org.uk quoting ‘Countdown to Computing Project’ in the subject header. Note an automated rule will forward emails to the appropriate person based on the email header. Deadline: April 25 2014.

To help schools introduce Computing from this September Microsoft have given CAS an incredibly generous grant to enable us to double the number of CAS Hubs and double the number of Lead Schools in the Network of Teaching Excellence. The grant will also fund over 40,000 free hard-copies of a shrink-wrapped CPD course, which will be designed so that a teacher with moderate prior computing knowledge can run it as a self-contained CPD course for their colleagues. The intention of the course is to help teachers design, develop and deliver their first term of Computing from this September. The course will be CAS-Hub friendly, so that an enthusiastic teacher or teachers could run the course through a CAS Hub in a variety of delivery models depending on local circumstances. The free CPD course resources will include hard copies of all printed materials and DVDs containing multimedia, software tools and solutions, and videos of teacher-led tutorials and workshops. As much as possible existing well-regarded teaching resources will be used as the basis for CPD course materials to avoid reinventing the wheel. The course will be designed in two parts, one for primary and one for secondary. The CPD course resources will also be made available online for free so that those who were not lucky enough to receive a free hard copy can still access all the materials.

The grant will also fund several major regional conferences to showcase the resources and act as a catalyst to encourage schools and universities to engage with the materials.

All applicants must have:

  • extensive experience of either working in or with schools

  • appreciation of the new statutory Computing curriculum

  • a proven record of meeting deadlines to time and budget

  • a positive attitude that is contagious

  • those interested in authoring must also have evidence of a track record of delivering outstanding lessons as measured by peer observations, and a sound understanding of current pedagogical best practice

Applicants applying for the two regional CAS coordinator roles must have as well as the above:

  • a track record of working with a diverse range of stakeholders over a spread of geographical locations

  • an ability to think on their feet and use their initiative under rapidly changing external circumstances

  • demonstrable appreciation of the CAS ethos and how our community works

Applicants applying for the six month project manager role should have as well as the above:

  • a track record of working with a multiplicity of stakeholders within large scale projects

  • extensive budget management and line-management skills

  • ability to manage multiple sub-projects with complex resourcing and time constraints

  • extensive experience of coordinating multiple regional launch events

We are flexible on salary arrangements for the project manager and CAS coordinators. We can hire either on a consultancy basis where individuals are paid a gross figure and are responsible for their own pension and NI, or we can arrange fixed term contracts where employer contributions are taken from the gross amount of funding available in the grant as salary. If colleagues wish to arrange for a secondment from their school we are also happy to consider that provided all financial arrangements with the school are handled by the applicant. In those cases it is entirely up to the teacher and their senior management team to negotiate the division of funds between them.

So much going on!
19 Mar 2014

Hubmeeting

CAS Master Teachers and volunteers are running over 60 events before the Spring term finishes!  These include regional hub meetings, twilight CPD courses and full day courses and conferences.  With events happening from Teesside to Penzance there will be one near you …

Here is a snapshot of these events.  Go to our events page to find them all!

So much going on!
19 Mar 2014

Hubmeeting

CAS Master Teachers and volunteers are running over 60 events before the Spring term finishes!  These include regional hub meetings, twilight CPD courses and full day courses and conferences.  With events happening from Teesside to Penzance there will be one near you …

Here is a snapshot of these events.  Go to our events page to find them all!

CAS Working Group Meeting April 17-18 (Cambridge)
14 Mar 2014

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The next CAS working group meeting will be on April 17 - 18 at Microsoft Research, Cambridge

Every six months we hold a Working Group meeting at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. It is a meeting for the CAS Management Board but open to all who wish to get more involved with the work of CAS both nationally and in their community.

Thursday April 17th:

  • 12.30pm Buffet Lunch

  • 1.00pm Session 1

  • 7.00pm Dinner

Friday April 18th

  • 9.00am Session 2

  • 1.00pm Buffet Lunch

  • 2.00pm Close

If you would like to come please write to me (simon.humphreys@computingatschool.org.uk) and I will provide further information.

Many thanks

Simon

CAS Conference (Birmingham) June 21st 2014
06 Mar 2014

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URGENT: Due to rooming difficulties at Birmingham we have been forced to change the date of the Birmingham Conference.

The main conference day will now be on Saturday, June 21st, but we will also put on a special day of hands on CPD on Friday, June 20th.

I apologise if this will cause difficulties for any who have already arranged their time off school to attend the conference. I regret this has delayed publicising the booking form for the conference but this will now follow shortly.

Network of Excellence Update - February 2014
06 Mar 2014

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Simon Humphreys, CAS National Coordinator

The Network of Excellence has set ambitious targets for the Master Teacher programme and we are delighted that, to date, we are exceeding the targets established with the Department for Education.

This is really encouraging! We always planned a steady growth to the numbers of teachers joining the programme and find ourselves in the wonderful position of being over-subscribed. The latest cohort of master teachers is busy planning their CPD events and we look forward to seeing these take place this term and the next. With over 870 schools registered to the Network, with one third Lead Schools it is clear schools are recognising the challenge of the new computing curriculum and the support available through the NoE and wider CAS community.

I am grateful to the lead schools who have completed their activity audit recently – new certificates will be arriving shortly (I promise). It is so encouraging to hear of all the activities taking place around the country. CAS frequently uses the phrase “There is no them – only us”. Schools and teachers supporting each other in this way, sharing their expertise and getting together is exactly what this means. The CAS Regional hubs are an example of this. There are now 94 hubs in the UK - there will be one near you! Full details are available on the CAS forum (http://community.computingatschool.org.uk). If you’ve not been to a local CAS hub meeting do find out when the next one is taking place even volunteer to share at the meeting what your school is doing in the run up to September.

I am delighted that we have been able to launch the pilot of the BCS/CAS Certificate this term. There are 50 teachers going through this evidence-based certificate. It will help them achieve recognition as a competent teacher of computer science. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this as we want to make it available for all.

Each quarter we submit a progress review report to the Department for Education. The latest report is available to read here

Finally, we are conducting a short survey about the Computing At School community and CPD opportunities and needs. The survey will remain open for the whole of February 2014. We would be very grateful if you could spend a few moments helping us better understand the needs nationally by completing it.

Onward and upward!

Working with primary schools in the North East
12 Feb 2014

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St Cuthbert’s Primary Computational Thinking Project - cross-sector partnership on the new curriculum

Nick Cook, Newcastle University

In Newcastle, the St Cuthbert’s High School Primary Computational Thinking Project is into its second term. The 3 year project aims to cultivate computational skills and develop effective team work and problem solving skills through collaborative learning and activity based work. The project team spends each Wednesday afternoon in one of St Cuthbert’s feeder primary schools and leads workshops with the primary teachers in Key Stages 1 and 2. The lessons include computational thinking with Beebot and Lego mindstorm and programming with scratch.

The project is led by Patsy Walsh, Head of ICT/Computing at St Cuthbert’s High School, with funding from Newcastle City Council. The team includes St Cuthbert’s staff and sixth form students and final year Newcastle University Computer Science students. The school and university students take a lead role in the workshops.

The partnership has been welcomed with enthusiasm by primary staff and students. As one of the primary teachers says: “… children have responded very well and have embraced the project, even completing their own independent work at home … the team have planned out the programme in very detailed steps which has allowed the more able children to progress independently at their own pace without adult intervention, while still allowing the less able children to be … scaffolded in their learning. I also feel quite confident that I could … develop a programme linked to scratch to deliver in school in the future. The St Cuthbert’s students along with the University students conduct themselves in a very professional manner when in school and enhance the quality of the partnership. In our recent OFSTED inspection, the partnership work was praised by the team.”

In addition to primary computing provision, the project is providing the students from St Cuthbert’s and the University with valuable leadership and team working skills.

As the project progresses, the work in the schools will be reinforced by other activities such as development of resources and CPD for teachers.

We will showcase the partnership at the Computing At School (CAS) North East Primary Conference, 2 April 2014, at Newcastle University :http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/outreach/cpd/primary-conf/.

The Network of Excellence on the CAS Community website
11 Feb 2014

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Since 22nd November 2013, registration for the Network of Excellence has been implemented as part of the CAS Community website. This means that visibility of the 900-odd registered schools is enhanced, with all NoE members able to see all the schools registered.

The average number of monthly registrations is also increasing – perhaps because CAS members are curious about the NoE link on the menu-bar which takes them directly to the registration form. Once you have registered, the same NoE link becomes your door into the NoE world on the website.

Currently, you can list all the schools, lead schools and view details of Master Teachers. You can also filter schools and Master Teachers to just those you have some contact with. Contacts are created using your school details page, if you are the school’s main(lead) contact you can add other CAS members and/or non-CAS members as contacts for your school. If you are adding a CAS member, use the CAS login email address of that person so that the system can recognise them. You can later change the email address for contact purposes without affecting their login email.

Shortly, the CAS Community site will be further upgraded to enhance functionality for the NoE (and the community functions as well). Schools will be visible on the map, so when you get a chance, please edit your school details and save the location information. This will also enable us to calculate and show the nearest Lead School to users on their user profile page. And, if your user profile Institution can be recognised as a registered school, that will be visible too. Lead schools will be indicated with a badge on the school list, and can be viewed separately on the map.

Future enhancements will include a new ‘NoE Home’ page which will provide links to schools, Master Teachers, events, news etc; improvements to the ‘making contacts’ functionality to allow you to put yourself on the contact list of your local Master Teacher/Lead school and more…

Catriona Lambeth
NoE Developer

National CAS Survey February 2014
30 Jan 2014

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Computing At School and the Network of Excellence team are conducting a short survey about the Computing At School community and CPD opportunities and needs. The survey will remain open for the whole of February 2014. We would be very grateful if you could spend a few moments helping us better understand the needs nationally by completing it.

To fill in the survey click here. It should not take long to complete, although there are some optional longer questions for teachers. The survey is open for all, including CAS members from England, Wales, Scotland, NI and elsewhere.

For one lucky person each week, there will be a prize of a £25 Amazon voucher!

The summary data received will be published by CAS in the spring and will be followed up with a further survey in 18 months time.

Thank you!

SwitchedON Spring 2014
17 Jan 2014

Newsletter-spring-2014

The latest issue of the CAS magazine, SwitchedON, has been released. As ever, it is packed full of interesting content and well worth a read. Download it for free here.

Thanks, as always, are due to editor Roger Davies. He is always happy to receive submissions for the next issue, no matter how small, which can be sent to newsletter@computingatschool.org.uk.

Barefoot Computing Project - Secondments sought
17 Dec 2013

Barefoot

The Barefoot Computing project is recruiting 2.5 FTE teachers to be seconded onto the project during the period April 1st 2014 to April 1st 2015. The project is funded by DfE and run in partnership by CAS and BCS. The posts will start on April 1st possible after that date.

Salaries will be in the range £39k to £45k pro-rata, on top of which employer NI and pension contributions will also be paid. In order to attract outstanding candidates we expect to pay competitive rates. It will be up to school management teams and applicants to decide how to share funding if the agreed secondment salary is above the applicant's current salary.

These jobs are available to primary or secondary teachers currently in post, teachers who are looking for a career break, or not currently teaching due to a career break that has been less than or equal to two years. In cases where applicants are not currently in post, employment would be through fix term contracts.

The purpose of the posts is to develop cross-curricular, computer science exemplification teaching resources for primary schools. The development work will be directed by primary curricular experts working for the project and overseen by the project steering committee. These exemplifications will illustrate how teaching computer science can enhance progression in other subjects in the primary curriculum (such as literacy, art, maths, and history, for example). They will be designed so they can also be used as self-study guides for primary teachers who do not have suitable prior knowledge and have little spare time. The idea is that a teacher can successfully use them in the classroom whilst concurrently studying them to enhance their own subject knowledge.

Applicants must have

  • extensive experience of either working in or with primary schools
  • appreciation of the primary curriculum across multiple subject areas including at
  • least computing, English and maths
  • a sound understanding of current pedagogical best practice in primary schools
  • a track record of developing high quality classroom resources covering aspects of computer science appropriate for primary level or above (e.g. such as maze solving classroom resources using Scratch at KS2), and evidence of their impact on learning outcomes
  • evidence they have a track record of delivering outstanding lessons as measured by peer observations

For further details please contact bcsacademy@hq.bcs.org.uk quoting 'Barefoot Computing Project teaching secondments' in the subject header. Note an automated rule will forward emails to the appropriate person based on the email header. 

Deadline: January 17 2014

New expert body on computing education established
13 Dec 2013

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The UK Forum for Computing Education (UKForCE) will provide an independent and unified voice to advise UK government and other agencies on issues relating to computing education.

The UK Forum for Computing Education (UKForCE) will provide an independent and unified voice to advise UK government and other agencies on issues relating to computing education.

UKForCE is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering and will provide advice on the curriculum, qualifications and assessment and the supply and training of computing teachers.

The expert body has been established in response to the recommendation from the Royal Society - Royal Academy of Engineering report Shutdown or restart: the way forward for computing in UK schools published in 2012, which had as a key recommendation the formation of a UK forum for the UK’s computing bodies.

UKForCE brings together representatives from across the communities of education, computer science, digital media, IT, engineering and telecommunications. The body will be independent of government and awarding organisations and will work towards improving computing education across all education sectors of the UK.

Chris Mairs FREng, chair of UKForCE and Chief Scientist at Metaswitch Networks, said: “The new computing curriculum, which comes into effect in September 2014, is a most welcome step change in computing education. There are many amazing initiatives springing up to build upon this bold move both inside and outside the classroom.

“UKForCE will be the connective tissue between all these initiatives, central government and other relevant bodies. With a coherent voice and government commitment, our children will be the world’s most savvy digital citizens and a tremendous asset to the UK economy.

“As well as providing a springboard for great software engineers and computing specialists, effective delivery of the new curriculum can literally improve the life chances of an entire generation. UKForCE will help make this happen.”

Bob Harrison, Toshiba Education Advisor, chair of a sector-led expert group and member of the UKForCE steering committee said: “Computing, in all its incarnations, is today one of the pillars of business and society; whether it’s digital literacy and basic software use, management of data and networks or advanced coding. We must ensure that young people of all abilities across the UK have opportunities to learn and be inspired by all aspects of computing education in schools.

“For UK businesses to flourish and for the UK to be an IT innovation leader not a follower, we need a fundamental change in the way that computing is taught in schools. Through UKForCE, we want to make sure the delivery of computing education in UK schools does not become mechanical and uninspiring, causing pupils to shun the subject when they move into work or choosing further education.”

Simon Peyton Jones, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, chair of Computing at School (CAS) and member of the UKForCE steering group said: “In too many schools, computing has been reduced to teaching how to use basic software packages and word-processing. As the Royal Society’s report suggest, we need to ‘restart’ the way it is taught and bring back passion and rigour to it. We need to generate the same enthusiasm for computing that the BBC Micro brought about in the 80s and that got so many people into programming and brought the UK to the forefront of computer science.

“That way we may soon see another Alan Turing emerging from our schools.”

The current members of the UK Forum for Computing Education are:

  • Chris Mairs FREng, Metaswitch Networks

  • Andy Connell, Keele University

  • Bob Harrison, Toshiba Information Systems (UK)

  • Simon Peyton Jones, Microsoft

  • Bill Mitchell, BCS The Chartered Institute for IT

  • Liz Bacon, Greenwich University

  • Theo Blackwell, NextGen.Skills

  • Mark Chambers, NAACE

  • Debbie Forster, Apps for Good

  • Quintin Cutts, Glasgow University

  • Tom Crick, Cardiff Metropolitan University

  • Sue Nieland, E-Skills

  • Rhys Morgan, Royal Academy of Engineering

It's a Raspberry Pi Christmas!
11 Dec 2013

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The Raspberry Pi foundation are giving away 2000 Google sponsored Raspberry Pi to children and teenagers (i.e. under 18) in the UK as part of the Hour of Code! Lance Howarth, CEO Raspberry Pi Foundation, writes:

Here at Pi Towers we are getting into the festive spirit, and we’ve been thinking how best to pay back the goodwill our community has shown us over the last year. So, in support of “Hour of Code” as part of Computer Science Education week, we got together with our friends from Google and we are going to give away Pis for Christmas. That’s right: we’re giving away up to 2000 Google Raspberry Pis to anyone under the age of 18 in the United Kingdom. To qualify for a free Pi you need to do one of two things. Either:

  • Get your school to do an “Hour of Code” between now and the end of term and we’ll send a Pi for every participant to your school (up to a maximum of 20), or

  • Design a “My Pi Project” poster and send it to us here at Pi Towers, and we’ll send you your own Raspberry Pi.

How do I take part?

You can get more information on Hour of Code week from our friends at Code.org. They have lots of great ideas of what you can do for the Hour Of Code. If you are a member of Code Club, how about getting your class to have a go at their festive project Christmas Capers? To qualify for your Google Pi, just ask your teacher to register here. At the end of next week we’ll take the first thousand Raspberry Pis and start shipping them out on a first come, first served basis, so the Pis should be waiting for you when you come back to school in January.

Not everyone is going to get the opportunity participate in the Hour of Code week, but don’t worry, you can still get a free Google Pi. All you need to do is design a poster showing us what you think would be a cool Raspberry Pi project. This might be something to do with your pet, like an automatic cat flap or feeder; something to do with photography, like looking at the thermal image of your house; or something festive like controlling the Christmas lights so they flash along to music. If fact, anything will do, we are just looking to see how imaginative you can be and to learn what you think would be a cool project. Once you have designed your poster you need to get your parent to print this form out, fill it in, and then send it with your poster to us by post at:

Poster Competition
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Mount Pleasant House
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge
CB3 0RN

You can also send us a scan of your poster and completed form by email at postercompetition@raspberrypi.org.

Your poster needs to be with us by the 8th of January, so you’ll have plenty of time to get this done over the Christmas break. So get thinking!

Who ate all the Pis? Santa, of course!

Lance Howarth (CEO, Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Primary Computing news
05 Dec 2013

Primaryguide

Primary Computing Training days

In early 2014 CAS , in association with local universities and commercial partners, will be coordinating a number of Primary Computing Training Days in England. Details and dates are very nearly finalised and we will be announcing them on our website soon.

What do primary teachers need before September 2014 to ensure the new Computing Curriculum is a success?

Well, we don’t pretend to know all the answers but we hope these training days will go a long way to support practising teachers with the challenges of introducing a completely new subject. We recognise that most of us teaching in primary schools have little or no experience of computing and that there is a feeling of unease about teaching this subject against a background of complete curriculum overhaul. With this in mind, we have been sensitive to the pressures schools are under and designed these events to be as informative, useful, practical and succinct as possible. You should come away from our training days with a clear picture of how you will introduce computing in your schools with some practical solutions for successful teaching. We fully expect you to also be able to share this with your colleagues through your own mini CPD sessions.

What can a teacher expect from these training days?

Working closely with our partners we have put together a full day of talks, workshops and seminars to support best practice across the primary phase. Led by experts in their field, there will be a choice of different sessions to attend depending on your priorities whether that be Key Stage 1 computing; planning across Key Stages 1 and 2; an introduction to the resources available to support your teaching; transition from ICT to computing; embedding computing into a creative curriculum; teaching computing through topic learning, to name but a few. The emphasis is firmly on practical solutions, exciting lessons and hands-on experience.

Who can attend?

Anyone interested in the new primary computing curriculum especially teachers with ICT/Computing responsibilities in their school and Headteachers.

Can you expect further support?

Absolutely, we want these training days to be just the beginning. As part of our mission, we will be using these events to foster ongoing relationships between ourselves, our network of Master Teachers, the universities, schools, teachers and commercial providers. We envisage a network of dedicated and committed professionals sharing ideas, resources and experiences through on-line collaboration, regional hub meetings and further CPD opportunities.

What do you need to do?

We will be advertising the events to primary schools in the very near future and you should receive your invite very soon. Keep an eye on our website for further information.

  Adam Scribbans

Primary Master Teachers

We are still recruiting for Level 1 and Level 2 Primary Master teachers although the applications are starting to pour in! The deadline is 10th January at the absolute latest - sooner preferred! More information about the Master Teacher vacancies can be found here.

Primary Guidance

You have probably seen our new 32-page primary guidance document which has been delivered to all primary schools in England. This includes explanations of the KS1 and KS2 elements of the Programme of Study for Computing. The guide can be downloaded here.

News from our CAS Master Teachers
12 Dec 2013

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Last month we described how to become a CAS Master Teacher. You can still apply here but do hurry as the closing date is just after the Christmas holidays!

Here are two examples of what our Master Teachers have been up to!

Stacey Jenkins
Langley Grammar School
Level 2 Master Teacher

Teaching Computing Through Art
  As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event organised by the Institute of Education at the University of Reading, I ran a CPD session titled ‘Using Computing to Create Artistic Designs’. The session covered how to teach the KS3 computer programming concepts in an innovative and creative way. The aim was to use computing concepts to create geometric designs that are the basis for the beautiful and intricate patterns in the art of the Islamic world. I displayed work created by Langley Grammar School’s year 7 students which demonstrates how the geometric designs drawn in MSLogo in computing lessons could be used in art lessons for this cross curricular project.

The project also covered a number of aspects of the art National Curriculum such as: Cultural understanding; where students engage with a range of Islamic images recognising the varied characteristics of different cultures and use them to inform their creating designs.   

In computing lessons, students had to write a program in MSLogo to create the first design of ‘one circle with four interlocking circles’. Later they looked for ways to improve the efficiency of the program by introducing the concepts of ‘repetition’ and ‘procedures’.

Students were then set the challenge of writing a program to create a second design of ‘one circle and six overlapping circles’. These designs are the basis of many Islamic designs.

  In subsequent art lessons, students developed these designs on paper and, by using resources found on http://www.metmuseum.org/, they created more intricate and elaborate Islamic designs.

  In computing lessons, the programming was taken further by repeating the patterns a number of times. A variable was used to determine the number of times the pattern was to be repeated, and the angle through which the pattern was rotated. The user enters the number of times the pattern should be repeated and the program then calculates the appropriate angle of rotation automatically.

  Meanwhile, in the art lessons, students created polystyrene tiles of their chosen designs. These tiles were used in printing and tessellated with one or more colour layers. The photo shows a wall display of year 7 students’ work at Langley Grammar School; this was used in the CPD session to demonstrate what could be achieved.

Stacey has some great pictures of the patterns and how she used these in her CPD session - if you need more details do contact her!

John Palmer
CAS Regional Coordinator
The Chase School, Malvern

Teaching GCSE Computing/Computer Science

For two years now, in early July, CAS “3 Counties” and Worcester University have successfully organised and run a 3-Day Symposium for some 30 regional school teachers to reflect on how to teach Computer Science at GCSE and GCE level. This symposium was facilitated by CAS Master Teachers from local schools and the University’s Computing Section and was funded by generous grants totally $19,000 USD by Google as part of their world-wide “Computer Science for High Schools” (CS4HS) programme.

  Dr. Colin Price, Head of Computing at Worcester University explains “Following requests from local CAS members for help in responding to the government’s shift of focus from teaching ICT to Computer Science, I was happy to respond and work with them to secure Google funding to mount an exciting Symposium”.

  During the symposia, the delegates were exposed to various workshops, discussions and networking sessions run by University staff and CAS Maser Teachers to share concerns and ideas organised along the three themes of “Which Programming language should we teach?”, “Tried and tested pedagogical approaches to teaching Computing” and “What elements of theory should we teach and how?” The activities were crafted following a close reading of the GCSE Computing specifications taken together with the results of a pre-Symposium delegate questionnaire. There was also significant collaboration between Worcester University and the CAS “Three Counties” hub during the planning stage, to ensure that the needs of delegates were fully met.

  Workshops were developed to investigate how to programme in a variety of languages including JavaScript, Processing, Python and Assembly Language and discussions enabled delegates to reflect on these and on their own coding experiences. We required that schools who participated send us at least one teacher who had very little or no experience of coding. This was important, so that we could motivate these teachers and give them confidence in learning how to code which is always a daunting experience.

  Using a Pedagogical approach based on the outcomes of research at Worcester University during the last few years; we aimed to teach students to be creative rather than the more traditional problem-solving or numerical approaches which tend to be restrictive.

  The theory of Computer Science was introduced through a discussion of “Algorithms” which is central to the idea of “Computational Thinking”. Here delegates were exposed to some real-world activities, such as how to apply nail varnish, how to tie a shoe-lace or how to win a simple card game, and therefore how to develop a strategy for writing computer code.

  Comments from delegates were very positive, including:
  “I look forward to working further with the both of you to move myself on and to provide support to my department as a whole.”
  “It was really useful to have an opportunity to experiment and discover new approaches, whilst at the same time being able to discuss strategies and ideas with colleagues - so often we all end up trying things in a rush, in isolation, and never get a chance to sit down and think through how things can best be done.
  In our follow up sessions, we aim to gather feedback from teachers into how they have used these approaches in their teaching.

This workshop shows how Master Teachers, Network of Excellence Universities and CAS Hub members can all work together to create great events for teachers!

John Palmer

If you are a CAS Master Teacher and you would like to contribute to CAS Online News and the NoE Newsletter we would love to hear from you about your events and any feedback you have received.

Events

Master Teachers will be running many new events for their local teachers in the new year - keep your eyes peeled on CAS Online. All events run by Master Teachers or Network of Excellence universities using our system will have a red rosette next to them on CAS Online.

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