A project to help introduce the new computing curriculum into primary schools in England is being launched by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT in partnership with Computing at School (CAS), funded by £1m from the Department for Education (DfE).
Known as Barefoot Computing, the project aims to equip primary school teachers with the basic knowledge and confidence needed to begin the journey towards becoming an excellent computing teacher.
Bill Mitchell, Director of Education at the Institute explains: “Barefoot computing will create primary school-friendly classroom resources that exemplify how to teach computing through topics that are relevant to the cross-curricula primary school environment. For example, the materials provided will cover how to write computer games and other classroom computing activities for children from Year 1 (age 5) to Year 6 (age 10/11) that also support progression in subjects such as literacy, maths, history and science.”
The new 15 month project will begin in the New Year, with 800 in-school computing workshops being run across the country up to May 2015 to introduce schools to these new materials.
Simon Peyton-Jones, Chair of CAS explains: “The CAS mission is to ensure every child has an outstanding computer science education, from age 5 onwards. The Barefoot Computing project is part of that mission and will be run as part of the CAS Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science , which includes over 750 schools and 70 universities.”
The new statutory computing curriculum comes into force in September 2014, which means primary school children from the age of 5 will learn about algorithms and how to write computer programmes. The Barefoot Computing project will mean that every primary school will have the resources to very rapidly become outstanding at teaching computing.