Dave Gibbs, STEM Learning’s senior computing and technology specialist, and part of the National Centre’s team, praised teachers in England, who he says have “performed minor miracles to keep children learning”. He continued, “Schools are now past the emergency response phase of remote teaching and into more regular patterns of provision.”
A comprehensive set of computing materials
Support from the NCCE has been designed with both classroom and remote teaching in mind. “One of our biggest projects for computing teachers that we’ve worked on over the past two years is the Teach Computing Curriculum, a comprehensive set of free computing classroom materials for Key Stages 1 to 4 (learners aged 5 to 16),” says Carrie Anne Philbin MBE, director of educator support at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, who leads curriculum development for the NCCE. The materials comprise lesson plans, homework, progression mapping, and assessment materials. They were created as part of the NCCE, but they are freely available for educators all over the world to download.
“Working with Oak National Academy, we’ve turned the materials from our Teach Computing Curriculum into more than 300 free, curriculum-mapped video lessons for remote learning,” she continued. “They are freely available for parents, educators, and learners to continue learning computing at home, wherever they are in the world.” In December, over 150,000 computing lessons had been started.
To help with curriculum implementation, and new skills such as remote delivery, teams of NCCE subject matter experts and Computing at School (CAS) Communities have been supporting schools and teachers through online training, meetings, and knowledge sharing.
Chris Hillidge, who leads the NCCE Computing Hub for Merseyside and Warrington in England, said: “The first lockdown accelerated our use of online resources and remote capabilities and, since September, we have seen some amazing innovative practice from teachers of all subjects. CAS has been a really useful support network, and back in May and June we saw increased numbers of teachers accessing the NCCE’s remote CPD courses.”
The teacher-led network CAS has seen increased attendance at its online meetings and events to share resources and ideas. Wendy Piccinini, one of their team of outreach managers, said: “Teachers have always turned to teachers to find out what works in the classroom, and they’re doing that with remote delivery, too … Lunchtime sessions seemed to work well, fitting in with busy schedules.”
Thanks to the CAS Communities, teachers are developing their practice in remote teaching. Chris Hillidge said: “The pandemic has definitely accelerated teachers’ tech skills … it showed teachers that remote learning can be as simple or complex as you want to make it, so long as it is effective and learning takes place.”
To access the full set of learning materials and professional development training, visit the National Centre for Computing Education website. For further details of CAS Communities, visit the Computing at School website.