Teaching Grandmother to Suck Eggs?

This coming week, I will be meeting two lead teachers from the local high school. Why? Because apparently the principal of the school is worried that KS3 computing is too simple. These two teachers have been sent on a fact finding mission to see me and talk about computing in KS2.

That’s fine, I can talk about the objectives for ks2 computing for hours, how the expectations are different and how the subject has undergone a seismic change since the introduction of the new curriculum.  But I feel like I’m teaching grandmother to suck eggs. Unlike secondary colleagues, I don’t have any specialist qualification for Computing. I became computing lead because I am perhaps the most avid user of technology in my school, and unlike a lot of staff, it doesn’t frighten me.  I feel a little anxious about laying my “expertise” bare and not finding myself equal to them.

The other aspect is that my school and staff still have a long way to go with being comfortable with the computing curriculum. My staff survey shows that staff want more training as they don’t feel confident with the technology or the changes (I’ve only been given 2 staff meeting so far to try to give ideas etc) so the things we do, we do ok, but we’re a long way off where I would like us to be.

For the meeting, I’ll take copies of the curriculum, and some samples of coding work done with a y5/y6 class I had last year – some of whom will be year 7 at their high school, to see how that work compares to what they are doing in class. 

I’m hoping it will just be a discussion, not an interrogation, but this is the first time I’ve done this sort of thing.


Computing Club

So tonight was the first session of my computing club for this year. I’ve run it in previous years and concentrated purely on coding.  I’ll continue doing the coding but I’m also going to do some other things with the children as well.  This has come from feedback from the children who have attended previously.

So, we’re also going to look at the evolution of gaming and computing and we’re going to get some broken PCs to open up and physically look at the hardware and figure out what it can do.

From there I’d love to get a raspberry pi or Bbc micro to work on with the kids.

I love my computing club, it’s nice to challenge the children I have and myself and the collective joy at discovering how to “make that sprite bounce off the wall” for example, is something absolutely wonderful. In lots of ways, I’m not a teacher at this point, I’m a collaborator and we’re on this journey together. 

So I’m really excited for this. Now to get other teachers enthused about it all!