primary & secondary education

Delivering Outstanding Computing Teaching in Schools

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:35

Thursday 5 March 2020

Central London

Network | Connect | Engage 

With a full day of interactivity and networking opportunities, participants will discuss with experts, share ideas and explore innovative methods to raise computing teaching standards in the classroom to enhance pupil engagement and attainment.

Key takeaways:

– Understand how to close the gender gap in computing with an inclusive and innovative curriculum

– Gain significant insights from leading organisations and outstanding schools on how to enhance digital literacy in schools

– Benefit from face-to-face interactions with peers and professionals to assess the quality of lesson plans in place

– Explore practical solutions to overcoming challenges in the computing community, such as workload management, curriculum design and low pupil engagement


This Forum is specifically designed for Secondary Schools and Sixth Forms. Typical job titles will include:

  • Heads Computer Science and ICT
  • Directors of ICT
  • Digital Strategy Leads
  • Computing and Computer Science Teacher
  • Teachers of ICT
  • Programme Leaders for ICT
  • Heads of Department
  • Heads of Digital Learning and Computing
  • Headteachers
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Curriculum Leaders

This Forum is also open to the Further & Higher Education Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Beverly Clarke, National Community Manager, Computing at School
  • Oliver Quinlan, Head of Impact and Research, Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • Ceredig Cattanach-Chell, Subject Specialist – Computer Science and ICT, OCR
  • Dave Gibbs, Senior Computing and Technology Specialist for STEM Learning, National STEM Centre
  • Alan Johnson, Headteacher, Newent Community School 
  • Peter Kemp, Lecturer in Computing Education, King’s College London
  • Katie Vanderpere-Brown, Assistant Headteacher and Leader of the NCCE Saffron Walden Hub, Saffron Walden County High School
  • Anita Notta, Principal, The Khalsa Academy 
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Peter Kemp, Lecturer in Computing Education, King’s College London, and Co-Author, The Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report (CONFIRMED)


Interactive Slido Session

The day will begin with a 10 minute interactive session, led by the Chair, in which delegates will be able to ask questions, partake in polls, raise key concerns and inform the Chair of what they would like to discuss during the course of the day, guiding the debate and directing the conversation.


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Current Computing Education Landscape in the UK

  • Sharing key takeaways from the 2018 Network of Teaching Excellence (NoE) in Computer Science Final Contract Report to DfE, and discussing how DfE funding will be allocated to ensure higher achievement grades and increased recruitment of computing teachers
  • Discussing how low-confidence teachers can be supported in building up their skills and become active participants in their local communities of practice, through the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE)
  • Elaborating on the NCCE’s aims to inspire, motivate and support teachers by building a high-quality, low-cost, sustainable CPD infrastructure that nurtures long-term collaboration between teachers, schools, and universities
  • Outlining the toolkits and resources available to ensure diversity and inclusion in computing lessons, and enable fair access to resources to study the subject, including maximising opportunities for SEND pupils
  • Exploring how parents and teachers can become involved in shaping and structuring IT learning by joining CAS or encouraging them to get involved in their schools as governors

Beverly Clarke, National Community Manager, Computing at School (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Exploring the Latest Developments in the Teaching of Computing

  • Outlining the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s learning strategy and its mission to help more people learn about computing and digital making
  • Elaborating on the approach of the National Centre which aims to support teachers in the use of evidence-based approaches, by offering CPD opportunities and providing access to resources and over 40 computing hubs
  • Sharing progress on the ‘Gender Balance in Computing’ trial which aims to involve and increase engagement of girls in computing in KS1-4 to increase uptake at GCSE and A-Level through inclusive pedagogical approaches and informal learning opportunities
  • Offeringthree brand-new online courses that count towards the Computer Science Accelerator Programme Certificate, a professional development programme designed to support teachers from non-specialist backgrounds

Oliver Quinlan, Head of Impact and Research, Raspberry Pi Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Networking Break

During this networking break, delegates will be able to regroup in designated areas to discuss and share advice with one another on specific themes such as:

  • curriculum design: Are you being innovative enough? Is your curriculum inclusive enough to attract a mixed gender cohort? Is your curriculum strong enough to achieve outstanding A Level and GCSE results?  
  • pupil engagement: Are you using the correct technologies to ensure all students are interested and engaged? What unique and exciting approaches can you take to ensure a strong and consistent uptake of Computing for GCSE
  • peer-to-peer support: Are you aware of the community support available to you? Do you know how to maximise CPD opportunities in order to raise the quality of Computing provision in your school?


Case Study: Partnering with the National Cyber Security Centre to Introduce Cyber Security in the Curriculum

  • Sharing the school’s transformation journey in making computer science more appealing to girls and encouraging them to take up a career in cyber security, as tasked by the National Cyber Security Centre
  • Becoming the country’s first ever standalone ‘Cyber School Hub’, doubling the number of girls taking up computer science and developing invaluable skills for future careers as a result of this working partnership
  • Successfully hosting events such as the Dragon’s Den, which saw the whole year 7 and 8 cohort taking part in Fashion Tech activities, and included the participation of guest speakers from leading organisations
  • Taking a unique approach to enhance Cyber Awareness through the innovative use of PSHE teaching within the school and the use of Internet of Things to make cyber security more relevant and accessible to students
  • Building educational resources to build Cyber Awareness with the support and technical expertise of the NCSC and the Gloucestershire Police to ensure best practice can be developed in other schools

Alan Johnson, Headteacher, Newent Community School (CONFIRMED)

Newent Community School was awarded the Cyber School of the Year Award in 2019


Case Study: Taking a Whole School Approach to Delivering the Computing Curriculum

  • Implementing an inclusive, innovative and attractive computing curriculum for girls, achieving a nearly 50% female GCSE cohort, and having all KS4 students chose STEM subject as their GCSE option
  • Taking a whole-school and cross-curricular approach to computer science, particularly by not teaching it as a subject in isolation, but as part of STEM across the entire school, where teachers teach their usual subjects but with a focus on tech and computer science
  • Encouraging pupils from Year 9, boys and girls, to take on roles as digital ambassadors and inform other students on important topics such as how to be safe online
  • Providing engaging and exciting opportunities as part of the teaching curriculum for pupils to go on trips, hear from guest speakers, get involved with Virtual Reality and using drones
  • Running the CAS community for Wolverhampton and the West Midlands Facilitating School for the NCCE West Midlands Hub, and exploring how knowledge is shared and support is provided for Computing teachers across the region

Anita Notta, Principal, The Khalsa Academy (CONFIRMED)

Javier De Las Heras, Associate Assistant Principal and CAS Community Leader, The Khalsa Academy (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Interactive Workshop: Supporting the Computing Teaching Workforce in Delivering Excellence

  • Helping you to support new or non-specialist teachers to develop a deep understanding of computing, through CPD provided by National Centre of Computing Education
  • Offering guidance on how to develop a rich and innovative curriculum based on quality assured, mapped resource-sets designed around Key Stage expectations from primary through to a-level.
  • Sharing the key components excellent computing pedagogy, including effective ways to teach programming and boost subject knowledge
  •  Developing excellent leadership of the Computing Curriculum with effective strategies to utilise and build the strengths of the whole teaching team

Dave Gibbs, Senior Computing and Technology Specialist for STEM Learning, National STEM Centre (CONFIRMED)


Networking Lunch


Afternoon Keynote: Exploring the Future of Computing Assessments

  • Highlighting the updates made to the GCSE in Computer Science following the outcomes of the Ofqual consultation, and sharing key pointers for teachers delivering the curriculum for assessment in 2022
  • Outlining in more detail how Computing and Programming skills will be assessed from 2022 onwards, and how the programme of study and curriculum will give students the opportunity to engage in practical programming as part of their course
  • Exploring innovation within the classroom, how to inspire learners wanting to Computer Science and maximising student engagement and performance for GCSE

Ceredig Cattanach-Chell, Subject Specialist – Computer Science and ICT, OCR (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Effectively Preparing Pupils for New Computing Assessments

  • Commenting on the latest GCSE and A Level results and identifying key trends that surfaced in assessment grading
  • Elaborating on the delivery of the Pearson Edexcel iLowerSecondary programme designed for teaching in September 2019 and assessment in June 2020, and outlining expectations for teaching and outcomes
  • Exploring different ways of delivering the new BTEC Award DIT with a flexible and creative programme of study with a range of learning aims such as designing and using interface and effectively manipulating data
  • Discussing what teachers can expect from the ‘Your Computer Science GCSE’ qualification currently being redeveloped for teaching in September 2020, with the first form of qualification certifying in Summer 2022

Tim Brady, Computer Science and ICT Subject Advisor, Pearson (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Networking Break

During this networking break, delegates will be able to regroup in designated areas to discuss and share advice with one another on specific themes such as curriculum design, pupil engagement, and peer-to-peer support.

There will also be an opportunity for delegates to partake in a short, private and in-person syllabus check with Dave Gibbs, Senior Computing and Technology Specialist for STEM Learning, National STEM Centre. This is to ensure delegates receive valuable feedback on how to improve their lesson plans to deliver an outstanding teaching and learning experience.


Case Study: Raising Computing Standards and Pupil Attainment through Outstanding Teaching

  • Sharing Saffron Walden’s journey to becoming a NCCE hub school and being recognised nationally for exceptional computing teaching and learning
  • Discussing how the school is working towards closing the gender gap and increasing uptake of computer science at A-Level and GCSE, especially by creating a whole-school ethos of being computer scientists
  • Elaborating on the benefits of taking a more traditional and vigorous approach to computer science provision by making it an integral part of the curriculum
  • Providing advice and discussing practical steps that computing teachers can take to enhance pedagogy and access individualised and bespoke support to overcome specific challenges to develop an inclusive curriculum

Katie Vanderpere-Brown, Assistant Headteacher and Leader of the NCCE Saffron Walden Hub, Saffron Walden County High School (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Maximising the Use of Computer Technologies to Enhance and Enrich the Computing Curriculum

  • Providing powerful tools for students to gain enthusiasm and interest in computer science, and working collaboratively to continually deliver the latest industry innovations through partnerships with industry
  • Introducing KS3 pupils to the computing curriculum after completing an induction test, learning how to use the School’s facilities, including the Gladesmore MLE and the responsible use of the internet, all to form a strong basis to develop strong computing skills
  • Implementing Robotics clubs that KS3 pupils can join to apply all the programming they have learned to undertake and showcase creative projects
  • Achieving 100% A* C grades, achieving 97% Level 5 and above at the end of KS3 and Distinction with BTEC Level 3 in Computing and IT; securing the ICT Mark Award and ICT Excellence Mark

Igli Gjozi, Head of Computing Department, Gladesmore Community School (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

The 2018 After the Reboot report by the Royal Society has found that computing education across the UK is patchy and fragile, even though 70% of students in England attend schools offering GCSE computer science. In addition to this, findings published in the Annual Computing Education Report 2019 suggests that the provision of computing education is in steep decline, with the number of hours of computing taught in English secondary schools falling by 31% between 2012 and 2017. Moreover, a majority of teachers are teaching and unfamiliar subject without adequate support, with 44% of secondary teachers only feeling confident in teaching the earlier stages of the curriculum that entails less focus on computer science, according to the Royal Society.

The new National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) funded by DfE aims to provide more support and train teachers to build confidence and deliver excellent teaching and learning through innovative methods. To address the shortage of teachers as well, DfE are investing £84 million over the next four yearsuntil 2022 to upskill 8,000 computer science teachers through CPD opportunities available from the NCCE, and drive up participation in computer science.

To address the lack of engagement in computer science, especially from girls and disadvantaged pupils, the NCCE along with the Raspberry Pi Foundation have also received £2.4 million of funding to launch the ‘Gender Balance in Computing’ project. The trial from 2019-2022 in KS1-4 in 550 schools will addressthe recent findings that 20% of computing candidates for GCSE are girls, and only 10% of A Level Computer Science are girls, according to 2019 Annual Computing Education Report. This will be done by taking approaches that focus on inclusive pedagogy and widening participation that address barriers to girls’ participation.

With 90% of all jobs requiring digital skills within 20 years from now, it is essential for all schools and computing leaders to come together to tackle the national issue of the decline in Computing Education and engagement. Schools must place a bigger emphasis on Computer Science and ICT teaching to ensure every pupils leaves secondary education with high-quality digital skills to enter and succeed in further and higher education and employment. It is no longer enough to teach the minimum requirements from the National Curriculum, schools must now innovate their curriculum and take inclusive pedagogical approaches to teaching computing to deliver outstanding teaching and learning.

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