Assessing attainment in computing

Taking our inspiration from the work of the National Curriculum expert panel in relation to assessment, that “All assessment and other processes should bring people back to the content of the curriculum” (Oates et al, 2011), My Roehampton colleague Pete…

There is more to the new computing curriculum than just coding

It will have been hard to miss the changes afoot in the move from ICT in the old national curriculum to computing in the new version, coming into effect in September. We’ve seen lots of headlines about how children will…

Computer Science in the National Curriculum

I’ve written an ebook, aimed at introducing a few aspects of computer science to a general education audience for Microsoft Education. This was released today on Slideshare, from where a PDF version can be downloaded. This is more of a…

Computational Thinking in Primary Schools

The change in the primary national curriculum from ICT to Computing, which takes effect this September, is undoubtedly a significant one, but perhaps not for quite the reasons you might first think. Given that much of the attention in the…

Switched on Computing

At the Education Show today I finally got my hands on printed copies of Switched on Computing, the scheme of work I’ve been writing for Rising Stars for the new computing curriculum. I’m absolutely thrilled to see this in print…

Text based programming in primary schools?

Logo, Small Basic and Python are all accessible languages for the top end of primary. Good folk like Phil Bagge and Dr Chips have been very successful in teaching Python with primary pupils, and Logo has a long, noble heritage in primary. Personally, I’d be reluctant to do text-based…

More to computing than coding…

My contribution to the Friday afternoon Mirandamod at BETT 2014 Learning Coding is now deemed a very important life skill, but what else do children and students need to know about digital technologies and computers? I’d like to start by…

Computing in the national curriculum: A guide for primary teachers

Bearing in mind that much of the new computing programme of study expects non-specialists (and I suspect a few specialists…) to teach at least some things many are unlikely to have been taught, either at school or when training to…

The last few tweaks

So here we are at last. Almost a year ago, a small group of us met in London to brainstorm ideas and consider rough ‘straw man’ drafts for a new programme of study for ICT in the National Curriculum –…

Froebel and the pedagogy of computing

Now that we’ve got the programme of study for computing sorted, and thus have at least a framework for thinking about what we teach, I think it’s time to turn our attention to the question of how we teach computing….