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Primary insights: Computing
Well hello there and welcome to update #033!
Computing and EdTech are ever-changing and in Primary Huh, Jo Stone from the Discovere Trust shows how a blended approach has helped forge links across the curriculum to create valuable learning experiences, not just for pupils, but for teachers too.
Gone are the IT suites with aging desktops: Jo's Trust have created multimedia hubs, with iPads, drones, robots, green screens and even VR headsets. Computing knowledge and skills are woven into other subjects with digital notebooks and programmes that put power in the hands of pupils.
‘Throughout primary we emphasise e-safety: how to use technology successfully and safely. In computing, pupils have both structured and free play with programs. They’re learning the instructions of computing, but also have the chance to break the rules and explore.
‘Virtual reality has huge impact when used well: it's not just playing games. It’s used strategically to enrich the curriculum: VR allows pupils to experience places they otherwise couldn't.’
‘Teachers aren't left out: investment in CPD creates personal development pathways to build confidence and skills. In computing, teachers aren't fountains of all knowledge. Rather, it's being brave enough to say, ‘We’re doing this together and we’ll learn through our mistakes.’
‘The way we deliver computing in the Discovery Trust is through TDT (teacher development time). We take computing specialists in our trust, and they produce asynchronous recorded computing lessons. This means that teachers with a specialism in computing record lessons from Year 1 through to Year 6. While these asynchronous lessons are delivered to classes, class teachers have teacher development time, which is in addition to their PPA time.
‘This means that the computing curriculum is taught by specialist teachers, and it means pupils receive great teaching with content delivered at the right level. Pupils are supported in the classroom by the technician and HLTA, and in some cases, the teacher as well. We are trialling this as action research. It’s working well so far, because it means that teachers can be released to develop their subject knowledge, whether it’s for computing or other subjects.
‘It's important to keep up momentum. We have blended learning champions who inspire colleagues and help to build confidence. Champions share what they've learned, what worked well and what didn't, then everyone gives it a go! You don't have to get up to speed overnight. It happens over time.
‘Teachers who have gone through this say, ‘Have a go, pick it up and just do it. If it goes wrong, don’t worry, but persevere & keep going.’ Just make sure that it's purposeful and will benefit children’s learning.’
You can read the full chapter in Primary Huh and watch the conversation with Jo, Emma Turner and me here and to celebrate the launch of the Myatt & Co app there’s two month’s free access for new subscribers if you click here
Until next time
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