Coping with the Coding Curriculum

Planet Sherston’s Education Consultant Cathy Parker puts a few ideas on the table for delivering the computing curriculum

Specialist teacher approach

Porchester Junior School in Nottingham has taken their Digital Learning coordinator out of the classroom to cover staff during their PPA time. This allows each class to have dedicated ‘Digital Learning’ lessons each week. Expanding on the move, headteacher Mr Cullen explains: “Within each two-year cycle pupils spend half the time learning computing in a variety of ways, using a variety of software, and in the remaining time we teach a range of topics based on the ‘Digital Knowledge’. Class teachers continue to develop cross-curricular use of ICT within their classrooms.”

Are you new to teaching coding?

Education Software author Simon Hosler, has been developing award-winning titles for over 30 years. He could see that schools didn’t have any resources that could teach scratch coding in a way that was fun and engaging for pupils, and his new Rainforest Coding programme also allows teachers to learn at the same time. 

Commenting on his new software, Simon says: “I wanted to follow on from the success of Crystal Rainforest and create an adventure-based resource to introduce scratch for beginners. The 10 activity challenges gradually introduce new coding techniques in a logical and sequential manner, without any previous knowledge required.”

Simon is currently developing new adventures and his new Rainforest Coding can be purchased as one of the premium modules from Planet Sherston.

Don’t re-invent the wheel

Despite this being solid advice, teachers and schools are often quick to assume that a new curriculum means they have to start again with new resources. Porchester Junior School were already subscribers to Planet Sherston’s Computing module before the new curriculum came in, and their advice to teachers?

“We looked through Planet Sherston’s Computing Module, at the resources they were already offering the school and found that we could cover a lot of the computing aspects of the curriculum through a variety of the resources on offer. Before you go spending money on new software, new schemes and new ideas, take a good look through what you already have access to. You may just be surprised what you find.”

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