Do we need a scheme of work for primary computing?

An interesting discussion over on the Computing At School site had me thinking about the various schemes of work that have been made available for Primary Schools over the last year for computing. There seems to be a huge rush to make ‘computing’ as easy as all of the other schemes that are out there for aspects of the curriculum, and the well worn and recognised companies have delivered their wares..

It’s worth considering that some of these ‘coding’ lesson are add ons to the existing package (and in many cases have been offered free of charge this year) – in that case they may be of some use for staff anyway.

2 Simple 

Rising Stars – Switch on ICT 

Education City (existing subscribers) 

Espresso (existing subscribers – free for a limited time)

However there are lots of reasons why you don’t need to buy in to a new scheme of work..

Depending how far you went with the old curriculum staff in your school will be aware of many of the elements of the new computing curriculum already. Upon sharing Scratch with staff many commented how it was just like Logo – which is true. Many will be familiar with control, roamers, beebots etc… You will probably have some of these items in school already.

Lots of tech tools and coding tools are around that cost nothing – some mentioned here – the fact that you are reading this suggests that you can experiment with one or two and build them into your curriculum.

Now is the chance to tailor your curriculum, and the coding elements can be a really creative and tailored element of that – remember if you purchase a scheme you will lose that freedom.

Give teachers the chance to try the different tools – why limit what the school uses before you’ve had the chance to really play?

 

It would be interesting to see how schools get on with this – I think introducing new curriculum is the perfect time to tailor it to what your school would like to do.

So where do you start?

Take a look at the work done by other schools and teachers already, here is how I started . There is a great resource here, crowd sourced, for teacher training.

There is an easy to read checklist here  and the brilliant resource by Simon Haughton here.

In short there is lots and lots of help!

Ask some key questions:

  • How shall we show progression through the school?
  • What experiences do we want our children to have?

More importantly – let people have a play! Time to get to grips with anything new is always in short supply!

Feel free to leave any questions, ideas, or further resources here!

Link to No Hands Up here – site with great ideas!

 

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