Computing readiness for primary school teachers
The purpose of the Barefoot Computing project is to help primary school teachers ready themselves for the new computing curriculum. The project is funded by the DfE and will develop computer science exemplification resources for primary schoolteachers. These exemplifications will illustrate how progression can be enhanced across other subjects in the curriculum (such as literacy, maths and science for example) by teaching computer science. They will also equip teachers with the basic computer science subject knowledge and confidence needed to begin the journey towards becoming excellent computing teachers.
Primary schools will be introduced to the new resources through a country wide series of 800 Barefoot Computing workshops run by volunteer experts, which will be run over twelve months starting in the summer of 2014.
The project will also establish new Barefoot Computing practitioner communities for teachers within and supported by the CAS Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. These will be local grassroots communities where teachers can share ideas on what works in the classroom, engage with the wider computing community and develop and spread good teaching practice.
Find out more on the Barefoot Computing website.
Supporting the computing curriculum
There is genuine enthusiasm among primary school teachers for the principle of introducing computing at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. However, there is also a lack of computer science subject knowledge which means some teachers are unsure where to begin. The Barefoot Computing project aims to enable teachers to overcome this challenge as quickly as possible and for them to become active members of a local Barefoot Computing group.
There are a broad range of resources, advice and guidance that support the teaching of the new computing curriculum in primary schools. Given a suitable grounding in computer science, teachers will be able to choose the best products and services from these providers that genuinely help them start implementing the new computing curriculum. The Barefoot Computing project will enable teachers to make more informed choices about the resources they need.
Supporting the whole primary curriculum
Computing is an important academic discipline in its own right. What’s more, teaching computing in primary schools adds value because it supports progression across the whole curriculum. Providing practical computing exemplars that demonstrate cross-curricula progression is one of the most effective ways to truly establish the subject in schools. Central to the Barefoot Computing project will be producing a rich set of such classroom exemplars of how teaching computing can support progression at key stage 1 & 2 in English and mathematics as well as other subjects like art, for example.