11-16 with post-16 enhancement
Cornwall SCITT: C79
Course Code: G5X1
Cornwall Teaching School: 19U
Course Code: 29SC
We are surrounded by computers and digital technologies in every aspect of our lives and young people interact with these technologies on a daily basis. Computing and IT helps young people to understand and make good use of the new opportunities created by modern technology. Computing and IT covers a huge range of topics including: e-safety to help young people understand how to manage their online lives, coding and computational thinking, as well as developing digital literacy through the use of a wide range of software and hardware. Computing and IT is a vitally important subject in the modern age and as such provides exciting and challenging opportunities for trainees who wish to make a huge and positive impact on the lives of young people.
The most important quality that all student teachers on our course possess is a genuine interest for computing and IT and an ability to convey their passion and expertise to young people. Many graduates who consider teaching computing and IT hold a second-class degree or higher in computing, computer science or an IT related subject. Other routes into teaching computing and IT include degrees in subjects such as multimedia and games design or a background in programming or another computing related field.
If you have had a break from studying your specialist subject, have developed your subject knowledge within the workplace, or hold an A Level in computing and IT but have an unrelated degree, then you may require a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course prior to starting the training programme. SKE courses require 25 hours per week of study, although part time options are also available. Several providers offer 100% online courses so that you can complete the course around other commitments. The amount of SKE required will be determined at interview, and it is important to apply as early as possible in the application cycle if you are hoping to enrol on an SKE course in the event that you are offered, and accept, a place on the course.
Experience working with young people is always beneficial, particularly experience in a UK comprehensive school observing and participating in computing and IT lessons. During early observations it may be useful to look at how computational thinking and programming are taught as this will probably be delivered in a very different way from when you were at school. You will need a minimum of three days of school observation experience prior to interview and a minimum of ten days of school observation experience prior to starting the course.
You will gain a secure knowledge and understanding of the main concepts and skills in computing and IT, sufficient to teach them confidently to students from the age of 11 to 16, with some experience of the post 16 route. This will involve the study of:
- Approaches to teaching computational thinking
- Teaching project based learning and coursework
- Creativity in computing teaching e.g. teaching programming without using computers
- Bespoke subject specific content such as using Micro:bits and Raspberry Pis
- The key concepts underpinning the subject
- Approaches to digital literacy and e-safety
- Investigating programming languages and the teaching of programming
- Delivering a wide range of GCSE and post 16 courses
The course will also explore the following issues from a subject-specific perspective:
- Lesson planning and sequences of lessons
- Meeting the needs of all pupils in the classroom
- Teaching and learning strategies and resources
- Techniques to support monitoring, assessing, recording and reporting pupil progress
- Promoting good behaviour and a positive climate for learning
Jeremy Marston gained QTS in July 2013
Prior to starting SCITT I was a Project Manager for an international telecommunications company. I was responsible for a contract which involved providing voice and data services to the prisons throughout the UK. In parallel I worked for the Open University as an Associate Lecturer teaching a foundation Computer Science module. I was interested in the changes to the National Curriculum and in particular the introduction of Computer Science across all key stages and I felt that teaching would be an exciting and challenging opportunity to use my skills to help make a difference to students.
The subject knowledge element of SCITT proved to be extremely valuable, as it provided an excellent opportunity to discuss and share ideas about the rapidly evolving pedagogy for Computer Science.
Since graduating, I am now part way through my third year of as a teacher of Computer Science in a local secondary school where I am teaching a wide range of courses.
Anthony Lawrence gained QTS in July 2012
What were you doing before the course?
Prior to starting training at Cornwall SCITT I was a student at Swansea University completing my Undergraduate degree in Computer Science.
Why did you choose teaching?
I’m one of those individuals that “found” teaching rather than chose it. The summer before my graduation I was approached with a rather dubious sounding offer: go to a remote little town in the Middle of China for 3.5 months, teach some children to speak English, with your accommodation, flights, food, insurance all paid for, and a salary… As long as you can speak English! So the morning after my last day at University I was on a flight to Zhuzhou, in China, with 12 other individuals. During my time, I had the pleasure of teaching some of the most engaged and motivated young people I’d ever met (at that point in my life). Upon my return to the UK, Facebook’s advertising engine was working wonders – throwing a new advert for training to teach in my face every few minutes. After really thinking about how much I enjoyed seeing young people learn something new and use what I’d taught them, I decided to apply to Cornwall SCITT as I wanted to train to teach in my home county.
How did you find the subject knowledge element of the course?
The subject knowledge sessions on Tuesday really helped hone my Computing skills such that they could be applied to classroom scenarios. Often, I knew the material but needed the opportunity to ratify how that’d be conveyed/assessed/demonstrated in a classroom environment.
What are you doing now?
3 years on from graduating from Cornwall SCITT and I’ve just started my 2nd permanent job at a secondary school in Cornwall, as a teacher of Computer Science and 2nd in Faculty. At the core of my role I’m still a facilitator of learning although I now have the privilege of being directly involved in managing the learning journey we have planned for our students across their 5 years at my school.