Teachers getting a head start in Computer Science

A free intensive training programme that gives teachers the chance to learn the key computer science concepts to help them deliver GCSE Computing effectively in schools across Wales is underway.

Technoteach, which is funded by Welsh Government through the National Science Academy and run by the Technocamps programme at Swansea University, is giving teachers in primary and secondary schools continuous professional development (CPD) in Computer Science.

The sessions which up-skill teachers in Computer Science, run for six weeks, three of those hands-on programming and the final three based around pedagogy and how teachers can apply this in the classroom.

The programme has already engaged with over 60 teachers from both primary and secondary schools across South West Wales and is set to continue in the Autumn term (2014).

If any teachers are interested in the opportunity to gain Computer Science skills in line with the new GCSE curriculum then please contact f.g.moller@swansea.ac.uk to register your interest.

Kate Stephens, Head of ICT at Bishop Gore Comprehensive School, who has recently started the six week programme, said, ‘Technoteach has been a long time in coming in providing Computer Science skills to teachers in secondary schools. It provides a fantastic opportunity for ICT teachers to re-skill, for the new avenues of the changing curriculum of ICT/Computer Science, currently being rewritten in all syllabuses in Wales and indeed in England. As Head of ICT in Bishop Gore School, I have not dabbled with much programming since my degree over 12 years ago and after only one session of Technoteach, I now feel confident to teach the basics of "Python" to pupils within my school through lunchtime Technoclubs.

I have already written some complex challenges since the first session this week, which will be used to enthuse and inspire our KS3 pupils into choosing Computer Science at KS4! The hands-on Technoteach workshops were excellent - well guided, thoroughly explained and I am already excited about the second session of the 6 week course.

She added, "I would fully recommend Technoteach to other ICT teachers, even if it is to brush up on your Computer Science skills, network with other ICT professionals and create valuable outstanding resources to interest and inspire your pupils to encourage them to improve their understanding of the Computer Science discipline".

Professor Faron Moller, Director of the Technocamps Programme at Swansea University, said, "The demand for delivering GCSE Computing in schools across Wales is growing and the Technoteach project provides quality training for teachers, equipping them with the necessary knowledge to teach young people the fundamental skills of computing, requiredfor the future digital economy".