Session 11 – Good Practice

During this seminar we looked at good practice in computing teaching. We discussed how good practice in computing teaching involves giving children opportunities to tinker, make, discuss, connect, practise and debug. Bell, et al., (2010) suggest a range of activities to do with children to support good practice in computing teaching. Such activities include representing information, algorithms, representing procedures, intractability, cryptography, and interacting with computers. I think these are especially helpful for teachers who struggle with coming up with good lessons to teach computing.

Ofsted (2008) also highlight the key attributes to good practice in computing teaching. One of the things they found, which I thought was interesting, was that assessment in computing in all primary schools visited was a weakness; this is interesting to me as assessment in computing on my placement was not very apparent. I feel as though teachers leave pupils to carry out computing activities and move them onto the next activity without really focusing on what the pupils have achieved and what they still need more practise on. This may be because there is not much guidance on how to assess computing (I know that I would benefit from more guidance on how to assess pupil achievement and progression in computing!), so I believe more documents should be released on ways to assess computing in primary schools. How are teachers supposed to demonstrate good practice in computing teaching if they are not 100% confident on how to assess it?!

Brown (2014) suggests that teaching in computing is good or better when: teachers have efficient subject knowledge and understanding of computing; teachers have good technical skills; progression in computing is apparent; lessons address misconceptions; teachers communicate high expectations and enthusiasm about the subject; teachers use a wide range of innovative and imaginative resources. I am sure that I will be able to deliver good practice of computing when I start my job in September, but for those teachers who have not had the same training I have had, how are they supposed to deliver good practice to their students? Of course, it will be my duty to share my knowledge and expertise in this subject area to the staff in my school but whether or not they understand it all and take an interest in it is another story! Moreover, the use of imaginative and innovative resources will only be of good use if they are available in schools! A lot of schools do not have the budget to spend money on these types of resources, or they may not deem them to be important enough to even spend money on. The ICT Mark is a good strategy for school’s to follow to ensure they are delivering good practice and effective technology in schools, and I believe that every school should apply for ICT Mark assessment to improve computing standards.

This video from Holton Primary School shows how they have used the ICT Mark to improve teaching and enhance learning in their school.


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