Saturday, 13 July 2013

The New Programme of Study for Computing. Your Thoughts?

#ComputingHour Topic 4 - Thursday 11th July 2013
"The new Programme of Study for Computing. Your thoughts?"
Topic suggested by @Coding2Learn

Positive Initial Reaction
The contributors to this topic generally welcomed the new Programme of Study (PoS) for Computing. @eaglestone thought that the final draft of the new PoS seemed to be a lot better balanced than its previous incarnation. @Coding2Learn expressed relief that we had finally brought about change after many years of lobbying. @mm_2312 was excited about what the new PoS meant for his primary school and @SharplesICT thought that the new PoS would give a lot of scope for confident teachers to be creative with the kinds of lessons they delivered.

Managing Change
@mm_2312 explained that his excitement for his primary school was tempered by concern about how less enthusiastic teachers would manage the changes happening around them. Perhaps an exemplar scheme of work and lesson plans would help him deal with this issue?
@Coding2Learn and @eaglestone agreed that whilst the transition for secondary schools shouldn't be too difficult to manage, they were concerned for primary colleagues. So many changes were happening to the National Curriculum and some primary ICT coordinators were understandably anxious. Contributors thought they too would be nervous in their position. @Coding2Learn stated that "To the untrained eye it looks daunting People have no idea what an algorithm is."
@SharplesICT stated that with many non-specialists delivering ICT/Computing, some teachers and schools would have a difficult time managing change. @jonbilton made the point that lots of ICT teachers have got a busy summer ahead. Either that or they will always be on back foot next year. @Coding2Learn replied that their task was made manageable by the fact that there is lots of support out available - @CompAtSch being a good place to start. @MsBClarke supported this view and recommended the Royal Society of Edinburgh resources.

Concerns with Differentiating Levels
There was a lot of concern, even confusion, from contributors about how best to differentiate levels in the new PoS. @MsBClarke asked if contributors had ideas on how we should go about differentiating levels? Are there any exemplars available? @SharplesICT highlighted the "vague" attainment statements and was worried that there would be very little consistency between schools. Added to which, teachers would be expected to show progress throughout the key stages, as well as for parents and OFSTED
@MrAColley asked if contributors saw the statements as goals for top end of students or as a baseline for all students. @eaglestone added to the questions when he asked "What does differentiation look like without levels?" but revealed a light at the end of the tunnel when he pointed participants to his Tweaked Computing APP and to this resource being developed by the DfE Expert Group.

Links with Primary Schools
A number of contributors emphasised the importance of developing links with primary schools as a strategy for managing change. @SharplesICT said his school had joined @CodeClub and was contacting feeder schools to arrange sessions. @MsBClarke has Year 6 students coming up her school to work on @CodeClub. Both contributors thought that they needed to offer as much support as possible to feeder schools as "their pupils will be ours in the future."

@eaglestone's Tweaked Computing APP
@MrAColley's Database scheme of work
Royal Society of Edinburgh resources
Computer At School resources
Digital Schoolhouse
DfE Expert Group

Summary compiled by @jonbilton
@A_Weatherall has created a Storify account of this topic

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