Teach Computing Resources

primary computing NCCE Teach Computing

Did you know that the National Centre for Computing Education hosts a wealth of teaching resources for KS1, KS2 and KS3?

At the moment there is a fairly limited amount, but this will increase shortly as more resources are in the pipeline and just about to be published.

Have a look on the Teach Computing website in the resources section.

Each lesson pack contains: Lesson plans, Learning graphs, Unit overviews, Activities, Assessments and Homework.

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Health & Wellbeing Conference 2019

I had the absolute pleasure of delivering 4 training sessions to PGCE and Schools Direct students at Southampton University, at their annual Health and Wellbeing conference – 10th Anniversary.

The morning lectures were on online safety, which I titled ‘Internet City; helping children navigate a safe and healthy path’. We covered everything from content and conduct, to testing and checking reliable sources of information.

The afternoon workshops were also about children’s online activity, but specifically how to engage parents. I strongly believe that our best line of defence against cyber bullying and keeping our pupils safe online is to bring parents on board through meaningful and supportive contact. This is a brand new workshop that I’ve developed recently and this was the first time I’ve delivered it. I’m very pleased to say it went really well and had both secondary and primary trainee teachers engaged and inspired.

The conference as a whole was a huge success, as it is every year. My only wish is that it could be expanded to include all teachers, not just trainees. I truly think that even the most experienced practitioners could benefit from the wealth of knowledge, techniques and up to date information regarding all aspects of pupil’s mental and physical health (as well as some very good tips for teacher’s wellbeing!).

If you are a parent reading this, or a teacher who would like to give advice to parents on the aspect of online safety, then this booklet is extremely useful. You can download it for free as a PDF, or I believe you can also order some for free for your school. Some absolutely brilliant advice and very interesting stats!

Digital Parenting by Vodafone and ParentZone

STEM – Associate Facilitator

I’m very proud to have received my certificate and pin to show that I am officially a STEM associate facilitator! So far I’ve delivered five courses for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teachers, from Teaching and Leading Computing to Programming and Algorithms.

As the role of the NCCE (National Centre for Computing Education) develops to further support schools, my role will also change to include both CPD and supporting teachers by offering planning and curriculum advice, team teaching experiences, support with overviews and developing computing skills progression.

Please get in touch if this is something you think would benefit your school; there are heavily subsidised rates for schools in certain areas, particularly Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Gosport and other areas of Hampshire.

Associate Facilitator STEM primary computing

3D Printers in Primary

(Meva the robot – Photo courtesy of Portsmouth News)

CAD (Computer Aided Design) is part of the KS2 Design Technology curriculum and in my opinion, should be taught to reflect the current industry standard, which includes 3D design. I use Sketchup (Sketchup Make 2017 is still free and available as an offline install) in the classroom from Y3 upwards.

The natural progression is to then move onto CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture), which isn’t mentioned until the KS3 curriculum. However, some primary schools are lucky enough to have a 3D printer on site. One of the schools I work at has just been donated one by a local company!

I think having this technology available at primary level really opens up opportunities and gives pupils a headstart in terms of realising what they can create and understanding the potential of building ‘something out of nothing but the ideas in your head’ (My year 6’s words).

Suffice to say, we are loving it, and I’m extremely excited to start straight back after half term on a unit of CAD and CAM, let’s see what they can do!

Read the full article about Gatcombe Park Primary School receiving the 3D printer on Portsmouth News here.

Here it is, complete with a picture showing that I am an actual for real giant, in the paper itself:

Portsmouth News Oct 2019 - Primary Computing Run Don't Walk

NEW – Delve in, for twelve min! – Part 7: Variables

In the ‘Online CPD’ section of this website, you’ll be able to access all of my short CPD YouTube videos on the primary computing curriculum.

This latest episodes tells you all you need to know about variables; what they are, how they work and how to teach them. I give some examples of variables in action using Scratch and some guidance on good practice on how to set them up within a project.

Please share this with your primary school teacher friends and let me have any feedback or suggestions.

All resources used in this video can be found on Phil Wickins Scratch Projects page

Primary Computing Training – Autumn Term Dates (South)

If you work in a primary or secondary school, you should now be aware that there is a wealth of training available on the computing curriculum from the NCCE (National Centre for Computing Education). Some of it is available online, face to face or cluster/ conference meetings. You can find courses near you on the Teach Computing website.

I am promoting and delivering training for primary schools in the South, in particular schools in Portsmouth and Gosport. I’m happy to announce that we have just finalised the dates for KS1 and KS2 training for the Autumn term, in September and October. They are as follows:

11th September – Teaching and Leading KS1 Computing – day 1
17th September –  Teaching and Leading KS2 Computing – day 1  
25th September – Primary Programming and Algorithms
2nd October –  Teaching and Leading KS1 Computing – day 2  
3rd October –  Teaching and Leading KS2 Computing – day 2  

All hosted at Portsmouth University: 4th floor of the Future Technology Centre. 9.30 start 9am for tea/coffee and pastries .

Register and book here: teachcomputing.org

Please download this flyer, which has links embedded into the title of each course that will take you straight through to the booking area.

Please remember we offer one free place to each primary school in Portsmouth and Gosport, on each course. A further £100 per day bursary is payable to the school, on successful completion of the CPD.

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Physical Computing – Crumble Creations continued!

Remember I posted about these amazing year 6 crumble creations a while back? I did promise to show you more that were coming. Well take a look at these!

All of these were thought up, designed, built, wired and programmed by my amazing Year 6 students in Bitterne Manor Primary. I’m just so grateful for having the opportunity to have taught them computing from the beginning of Year 5, getting them to this stage where they can apply all of their programming and CAD skills, not to mention be ultra resilient and creative!

Proud teacher moment!

(If you can’t remember, Crumble Creations Part 1 is here!)


Did you know that there is currently a wave of training being offered to teachers on the computing curriculum? What’s more, some of you can actually get on it for free! (Or at least the heavily subsidised cost of only £35 each)

Part of my role as Subject Matter Expert for the NCCE (National Centre for Computing Education) is to promote training that is being rolled out in an effort to raise quality and consistency of computing teaching and learning across the UK.

www.rundontwalk.co.uk Primary Computing CAD Training

My target area is all around the South Coast; if you are a teacher in a primary school and haven’t been offered this training, please get in touch with me straight away.

If you wish to browse courses that are available to you, or get your head teacher to sign you up and book you on, please visit the NCCE website.

If the training is on a date that you cannot make, please let me know as I can possibly arrange further training courses to commence anytime from now until October.

Please spread the word to all your primary and secondary colleagues; get back to me if you have any questions or suggestions!

Remember, even if you’re a primary school teacher but don’t teach computing, you soon may be required to! Plus, any training is great for your CPD…

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