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…

Advice for parents…

With the launch of the new national curriculum, one of the big changes is the replacement of ICT (information and communication technology) with a new subject, computing. As well as being something of a rebranding exercise, there’s a shift here…

Computational thinking and creativity

The first sentence of the new computing programme of study sets out our ambition: “A high quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world”. It’s worth noting that we’re framing this…

This is for everyone

Can anyone learn to program? I think so, and I think it’s important that those teaching computing think so too. I’ve been at a couple of conferences in the last month where the question came up, and I was really…

Assessing Computing

When they reported on the state of ICT in 2004, 2009 and again in 2011, Ofsted were unimpressed by how assessment was being done – by 2011, it was no better than satisfactory in 61% of their sample, including several…