"So many ideas I want to get started straight away!"
"So much to take back to class, thanks so much."
"Fantastic, thank you for all the great fun ideas."
"Fantastic inspirational glimpse into how to engage pupils with digital literacy."
"Fabulous and intriguing!"
"You made something scary feel very doable."
I have some very exciting news, make sure you read to the end!
Today I led a course alongside Jon Chippendall aka DrChips_focusing on the computing curriculum and how to effectively deliver it in the classroom. The course is perfect for computing leaders, class teachers and SLT looking for innovative ways to teach computing. I focus on ICT and Digital Literacy while Jon looks at the computer science aspect of the curriculum. What I love about the day is that both myself and Jon are still working in our schools so using these ideas day in day out. I am always asked about which scheme of work I would recommend for computing. I also send them to Jon's site primarycomputing.co.uk as the scheme he has developed is brilliant as it has been written by a teacher!
I asked Jon to share with me some more information about the scheme and how he developed it, here is his response -
Where are you based across the week?
I’m based 3 days a week in a primary school in north Manchester where I teach science and computing to year 6 and co-teach computing with staff from all different year groups in the afternoon (including EYFS!). It’s great to have the opportunity to see the progression in computing skills throughout the year groups and see how pupils build upon their learning. I’m then based at The University of Manchester one day per week where I’m the ‘Engineering Champion’, which involves coordinating innovative projects promoting engineering in primary schools. We do lots of fun creative stuff around robotics (drones are a favorite at the moment!) That leaves one day a week to work with various schools and write new resources. I’m currently writing a book about the role of curiosity in computing due out next year – if it hadn’t of been for Sir Tim Berners-Lee being curious about exchanging data at CERN we wouldn’t have the World Wide Web!
When and why did you write the scheme?
Before I became a primary school teacher I was in the world of aerospace engineering developing thrust-vectoring nozzles to make drones highly maneuverable! Quite a bit of my work involved programming or a general understanding of computer science, so when I saw the proposed changes happening in technology education in primary schools I was really excited. I think it’s really important pupils get to develop their computer science skills from a young age so I got hold of a draft copy of the new computing curriculum and started writing lessons plans and guides on how it could be taught. At first this was using a variety of iOS apps as my school has iPads in each class. I set up www.primarycomputing.co.uk as a place to share the resources which grew and grew until I’d written the scheme. I packaged these up for schools including teacher notes and programming templates and started selling it as a scheme of work. Since then it’s be great to hear of schools all across the country using the scheme, and adapting it to match the interests of pupils in their schools and the topics they are covering.
What does your Primary Computing scheme cover?
The scheme covers the ‘new stuff’ of computing i.e. the computer science (not strictly all ‘new’ as we did have data and control in ICT!). Schools have been combining my scheme with their existing IT and digital literacy curriculum to ensure coverage of computing. Throughout the scheme pupils develop their computational thinking skills, such as algorithm thinking and decomposition, and gain experience writing programs. It uses entirely free software, such as Scratch and Kodu, and includes both notes on computing terminology for teachers as well as assessment grids linked to the lessons. Also covered is the learning around computer networks at key stage 2, such as how the Internet and World Wide Web are different things and how search engines rank web pages.
The complete scheme for years 1-6 costs £140 (made up of £95 for the programming scheme and £45 for the computer networks scheme – they can be purchased separately)
To download a free sample or purchase the scheme click here: http://primarycomputing.co.uk/a-computing-curriculum/
Here is a Year 5 sample lesson from the scheme -