The first in a series of teacher training days has been delivered by MGL funded by the National Centre for Computing Education. 10 teachers gathered at MGL’s head office in Liverpool on Friday, 15th February, to learn more about primary programming and algorithms. The day was a balanced mix of instruction and application with each attendee on the course having a series of problems to work through collectively and individually. The key topics and outcomes from the day included:
- Engaging and effective ways to help children use computational thinking
- Developing childrens’ knowledge of how technology works
- Developing skills to make computers follow instructions in simple programs
- Discovering a range of different teaching techniques (supported by research), to improve how schools deliver lessons that use algorithms and programming
- Learning about debugging, sequence, repetition, selection and variable use and the common misconceptions that hinder pupil progress
- Access to lots of resources that schools can use to develop how teachers understand, plan and teach computing
- An understanding what computational thinking is and how it affects the teaching programming
A range of approaches were explored, including ‘unplugged’ activities to undertake with pupils that require no computer, and multimedia activities that allow creativity and promote widespread engagement.
Feedback from the day included: “The course was aimed at teachers with some basic computing knowledge and the delivery, practical examples and course notes helped to make the day challenging but manageable. I’ll certainly be looking to attend future training to build my confidence and skills. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in KS1 or KS2 who would benefit from a ground up pedagogy of delivering the computer science curriculum.”
Andy Procter, Director at MGL commented, “The NCCE have put these courses together to build upon a teacher’s existing knowledge and extend it in a way that best serves the national curriculum and the computer learning needs of pupils. This programme highlights the differences and commonalities across Key Stages 1 and 2, helping all primary teachers to plan for age-appropriate learning while developing an understanding of progression through computing. The response to the first course in this project has been terrific and the MGL team are keen to deliver more courses that inspire and challenge teachers to deliver the computing curriculum more effectively.”
A full range of courses for primary and secondary schools have been scheduled through to October 2019 (click here for more details) but given the rapid uptake for and response to the first course, teachers and schools are urged to book themselves onto a course as soon as possible to take advantage of the free places and bursaries (subject to the teacher and school meeting the terms for the free training).