National Curriculum: Miles Berry on computing
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National Curriculum: Miles Berry on computing

I’m Miles Berry, I’m the Principal Lecturer
in Computing Education here at the University of Roehampton. I also sit on the
board of Computing at Schools and Naace. I think the new programme of study
for computing is great. The first line puts it brilliantly
‘A high-quality computing education equips children and pupils
with computational thinking and creativity to understand and
change the world’. We are moving from a curriculum
which was very much focused on skills to one which is about
developing children’s understanding of the processes of computation, the
applications of information technology to real world problems and to their
own creativity and develops their understanding of some of the
implications of their actions in online space and using technology so that they
are keeping themselves safe and also behaving responsibly. There’s a lot of new content in the
new curriculum, yes programming has been on the
curriculum for a while now but that takes a much more
significant part in the new curriculum that it did in the old one. We are expecting many teachers to
be teaching something which they themselves weren’t taught when they were at school.
That’s not to say it’s going to be beyond them, there are plenty of great resources
out there for them to equip themselves with that subject knowledge. Creating something
like a simple drill and practice programme for spelling or for Maths is
something which many a primary school teacher would be able to do
over this summer. What we have done as part of
Computing at Schools, working alongside colleagues at Naace,
is put together a primary guidance document and sent a copy of that every
school in the country and it’s a free download of the web. We’ve also put together, under the DfE’s
guidance, is an expert panel, a collection of resources for those
involved in teacher training and continuing professional
development for the new curriculum which teachers themselves might find
very useful in term of their own subject knowledge and
practical activities that they can do with the pupils in their classes. I think children are going to enjoyed it
tremendously, particularly if taught well. There are some really exciting bits of
content on there that will give children the tools they need and giving them the
opportunity to develop their own apps, whether they’re computer games, whether
they are little educational programmes or whether they are things running on a
mobile phone or animations, there are some brilliant opportunities for children to
express their own creativity and to develop that understanding
of the foundations of computation.

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