Preparing for the new Computing curriculum: what if #1

Preparing for the new Computing curriculum: what if #1

I believe a lot of people are worried by the forthcoming Computing Programme of Study, judging by the number of people I’ve spoken to who say they have not yet begun to think about it. And that is quite understandable. Although looked at from one point of view it is more of a change in emphasis from the old one, there is also a lot more required in terms of computer programming and related matters. Schemes of work will need to be modified – I don’t think they should need to be completely rewritten if you have been teaching to the old ICT programme of study properly. This is the first in a series of posts that aim to encourage you to think about the new programme of study, perhaps in a new way. It is based around a keynote talk I gave a short while ago.

Plan A, by Marc Falardeau Actually, it may not be as scary as you think

What if you didn’t look at the Programme of Study – at least for a while?

Now that you have looked at the new Programme of Study – its general aims and your particular Key Stage – file it away. Then decide on what a really good scheme of work would look like, ie one that is right for your school. Think of interesting topics – and if you can’t, then ask your colleagues to come up with a few ideas.

If you start with the Programme of Study and then use it as a kind of checklist, there is a good chance you will come up with a mind-numbingly boring scheme of work that won’t do anyone any favours. Much better, in my opinion, to come up with the ideas first, flesh them out in terms of how they might address using technology, programming and digital literacy, and then use the Programme of Study to double-check you haven’t missed anything out.

In fact, if you do that, you are likely to make the happy discovery that your present scheme of work doesn’t need to be ripped up and thrown away. Rather, it can, with a bit of luck, be used as the basis of some even more interesting work in the future.

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Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Computers in Classrooms."