Computing at Rushey Mead School
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Computing at Rushey Mead School


Hi, I am Jo Badge and I am a class teacher
here at Rushey Mead School and I am also the ICT lead at the school
and I’m a Master Teacher. I came into teaching late in my career.
I’ve done lots of other things and worked with lots of different electronic
technologies and I’ve discovered that there are a lot of other teachers that are really
quite fearful of the computing curriculum. The Master Teacher programme is a way for
me to be able to go out and support those other teachers and train them and
give them some confidence in an area that I think is really important. I have got a series of challenges for
you to do using Scratch. You are going to use Scratch
to control the motor. The aim of the lesson was for the children
to learn about input and output devices. The input was a sensor that could sense
distance and the output was a motor and we can control the motions and
sensors using Scratch. Scratch is quite easy to use.
All you have to do is make a list of what you want it to do. You just make
a list and when you press your starting block or your starting key,
it will just do what you said. Whenever I’ve used Scratch or Lego in
the classroom the children are really switched on, really engaged, very focused
and are very on task. If they get stuck, they work out their
own problems and they get very excited when it works. The thrill of
hearing them punch the air and go “yes” when it’s working is just amazing. The most effective CPD that I have
delivered is where people have got the opportunity to get their hands on the
programme that we’re learning. When we are doing Scratch we actually
work through some of the lessons that they can teach. They have got
something to take away with them and actually start teaching straight away. They can learn alongside the children
and that they can learn the basics so that they can take it straight into classroom
and use it. I use a lot of unplugged activities in my
training so we don’t use any computers in a lot of the training that I do and that
is to give the staff confidence that they can teach these skills around logic,
thinking and writing algorithms. The moment that you say to a staff member,
“An algorithm is a set of clear instructions that we can follow to get to a
given outcome” then they almost immediately start to think of other applications
that they can use it in. They can teach these skills for programming
and fixing things by debugging, without having to use computers and that gives
them more confidence, it takes the technology out of the equation that they
are worrying about having to use something technical, they can actually do
something in the classroom without having to go near the computers to
get them started. There are lots of online resources available to help you teach computing in the classroom. Visit the Computing At School website to find high-quality lesson plans and classroom activities. You can also find CPD quick start guides to help you learn the basics.

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