Papert, turtles and creativity

Computer science as an entitlement for all as part of the national curriculum is undoubtedly an achievement of which CAS and its friends can be proud. It’s appropriate that our attention now moves from the ‘what’ to the ‘how’ of…

Computing: Supporting effective teaching

Now that the new computing curriculum is in place and we’ve a fairly clear idea about what we should be teaching, it’s perhaps worth considering how to teach this new subject most effectively. The way ICT was taught in the…

The new computing curriculum – a global perspective

Nick Gibb, the minister for school reform, describes the new curriculum as one that will make England’s education system the ‘envy of the world’. For computer science education, there’s a good chance that he’s right.  Whilst many countries teach programming…

Computing and social mobility

My remarks at a Teach First dinner hosted by Google, 25 November 2014 I don’t normally do much by way of autobiography, but being as Google probably knows all this about me anyhow, it seems only fair for the rest…

Software engineering in schools

There’s much more to software development than coding: the process of developing software has much in common with other engineering disciplines, and so there are some close parallels with design-make-evaluate projects in Design and Technology on the school curriculum. The first…

Making computing more inclusive

This September saw the introduction of a new National Curriculum for local authority supported schools. Perhaps one of the most significant changes is the move from the old ‘ICT’, characterised by some as focussing on the development of skills in using…

Open Badges and Primary Computing

Rising Stars have been working with Makewav.es to develop a set of digital badges to support assessment for the primary computing curriculum, with each of the programme of study bullet points mapped to its own badge. These are linked to the outcomes from units in Switched…

Creativity in the new computing curriculum

Whilst it’s easy to focus on the ‘core knowledge’ aspects of the new National Curriculum, creativity is an important dimension to the curriculum, and I think rightly so. The stated aims for the curriculum as a whole include engendering an…

Ofsted and Switched on Computing

At the launch event for the BCS Barefoot Computing project, HMI David Brown, Ofsted’s national lead for computing, gave an excellent presentation, setting out his views on what good and outstanding computing would look like in schools. Whilst we’re not expecting…

Resourcing primary computing

Most folk involved in English schools will already be well aware that there are some significant changes planned for the national curriculum this September. After two years of ‘disapplication’ we are about to see the old ICT replaced by a…