So, September has been a busy month! A lot has been happening. Since coming back from half term I have taken over as the Head of I.T at Uppingham Community College. One of the high priorities on my agenda is to ensure that my department has the support and resources they need ready for the changes to the curriculum in 2014. With the anticipation of this a while a go we’re quite lucky in that we have already been delivering some of the new national curriculum to our students. We have been using programming languages such as Scratch, Kodu and TouchDevelop.
All these are great packages for people who are just starting to get into coding. I want to start doing a lot more work with feeder schools to support them with the transition. One of the things I set out to do was to create a scheme of work for KS2 children. At the beginning of the month, I started developing a curriculum on TouchDevelop based heavily around the classic piece of software which is “MSWLOGO”. I worked on teaching students procedures and loops. They also learn about how to break down problems with the use of algorithms and flow charts. All of this is available by clicking on this link. TouchDevelop is a great piece of software, my year 7 and 8 pupils love it so much that they have actually managed to get some of their applications into the windows store. You can see one of them here. It’s also nice hearing all of the positive comments about the scheme of work.
Moving on from this, recently I have been trying out new ideas with the department and many of them are keen to learn Python. I have been a user of Python in the past but wanted to brush up a little since my University days. I wanted people to be able to pick up resources and deliver them without having an prior programming knowledge. This is the issue across the U.K. Where is the support for these teachers without computer science background, Gove? One piece of advice I can give you, sign up to computing at school, it is a great community of teachers! They all work together to share their computing resources and they’re a really supportive team.
I have started developing a series of resources which are basic how to, Python guides in presentation format with some activities for people to get their teeth into. I have included start and plenary activities (we know teachers love these) and the main aim is to make things as easy as possible. Each week I aim to produce two more lessons which support computer science in the curriculum. I have already posted two videos on my YouTube channel which should help you get started. You can find the Python scheme of work here. It is in it’s early stages but it should get you started.
October aims to be a very productive month, with two weeks off for half term (Amen!) I’m aiming to also start producing some resources around the use of computer hardware and binary. These should support people even more, I’m also aiming to pop into some feeder schools in the Rutland area during my two weeks off. If’ you’re interested in sharing ideas, please let me know.