Monthly Archives: February 2014

Delivering an Outstanding GCSE Computing Curriculum (Day 1)

Our CPD project to support teachers to plan and deliver an inspiring and engaging Computing curriculum continued yesterday with a session focussed on KS4 and GCSE.

GCSE Day 1 Eval

Led by Alan O’Donohoe, teachers from across the city were able to collaborate and share T&L experiences and strategies, with the fundamental aim to concentrate on ‘pedagogy in practice‘.  Do you follow Alan on Twitter?

What did the teachers most like about the day?

  • The participation of hands-on activities
  • Hands-on experience of PythonFun interactive approach of the facilitator.
  • I have received some great ideas of how I can introduce Python. I have also gained a basic understanding of Python.
  • Finding things to teach the kids, activities.
  • Suggestions of ideas, starting points for delivery of new materials and programming.
  • Hands-on experience of Python.  Shown classroom activities to use.
  • Working with others looking at Python.
  • The actual programming/coding work – learning what does what and the result.

Next steps?

As a group the teachers shared ideas to form individual plans on how to follow up the ideas that were explored throughout the day and how the impact of that could be measured.  At the next session we’ll be able to evaluate and learn from these activities and ideas:

  • I’ll begin to explore software such as Scratch and Hopscotch (iPad) with pupils – potential Computer Science GCSE candidates.
  • I’ll use ‘Sabotage‘ as a teaching and learning tool.
  • I will try some of the activities in lessons and measure impact through the engagement of the class and personal confidence in delivery with ability to support students and answer questions.  Debugging!
  • I’ll get my students to coach each other.
  • Practice with Y7s and in after school sessions.
  • After a module with Scratch for Y7 I will introduce a couple of lessons with coding.
  • I will teach Python with classes at school.
  • I’m going to try ‘Quiz, quiz, train‘ as a student-led activity
  • I will introduce Computing terminology to a Year 9 class.
  • I will read through the online source and I will also introduce Python to my Year 8 class.

All the teachers who attended said they’d recommend the CPD session to others, so we asked them to comment:

GCSE Day 1 Recs

Check out the ‘Team Events Calendar‘ for next dates.   Days two and three are in May with another day specifically for CPD with the new Computing curriculum in June.  Don’t forget the two students events planned for March and June, with more information available through the blog posts.

Hope to see you at the next session – email us and include the dates in your CPD planning with the Education Team 🙂

The UK Hour of Code (3rd – 9th March 2014)


This week the Government announced  The Year of Code for 2014 campaign.  It will include a week-long programme in March encouraging all UK schools to teach every student an Hour of Code’.

We supported some schools to deliver the Hour of Code in December 2013.  This was the US initiative when over 20 million participants got involved in coding activities during the week and some of you even applied for Raspberry Pi mini-computers as part of the project.

UK Hour of Code will run from 3rd – 9th March 2014.  The significance of this week?  It’s going to be the 25th anniversary of the start of the World Wide Web, created by Tim Berners-Lee.

Tim Berners Lee

Register your school to participate by visiting   You’ll find lots of resources to support you with planning, including a teacher guide which you can also launch from the image below.

UK Code PDF for teachers

Let us know how you’ll be inspiring and engaging your students during the week!

iPad Academy: Using blogging to positively impact on writing


At the first iPad Academy event, Neil introduced the concept of educational blogging for teachers and learners.  His focus was to introduce tools to support the priorities highlighted by the teachers at the session, and to explore how blogging can impact on schools’ literacy developments:

  1. To consolidate learning
  2. To improve the quality of T&L
  3. To engage students with literacy
  4. To use creativity to engage students and further involve them with their own learning
  5. To explore collaboration for deeper learning
  6. To increase opportunities for peer review and parental engagement

One example given of a proven blogging project was taken from David Mitchell’s ‘Quadblogging concept and Neil was able to share individual examples of student progress and impact statements from their teachers.

Since 2011, over 500,000 students from over 50 countries have taken part in the scheme which matches up four schools for a particular time period with a genuine global audience.

Some of you might know David from his ‘Deputy Mitchell‘ Twitter feed.  Click on the image below to launch further information about quadblogging projects from schools around the world.

Quadblogging Scoopit

“In terms of young children developing as writers this is the most interesting development in the last 20 years.” Pie Corbett, poet & storyteller.

Interested in joining this collaboration project to provide a purpose for writing and an audience for your students?  Follow the Quadblogging links throughout the post to register your interest.

Interested in exploring in greater detail how blogging and other tools could support your school to impact on literacy across the curriculum?  We can include this focus as a project through your CPD planning and create a bespoke session in school for you.

Jamboree 2014 – Unlocking the learning potential of the Raspberry Pi computer


At the end of this month the International Raspberry Jamboree 2014 will be hosted in Manchester.

Running over three days, it gives a fantastic opportunity to meet teachers teaching Computing and to discover the potential of the Raspberry Pi computer through hands-on practical sessions and an agenda which includes keynote speakers.  

The format and sessions are even more ambitious than last year, although 2013 was significant when Amy Mather gave a presentation about projects that she’d completed outside of school.  She was 14 years old at the time.

Over 50,000 views on YouTube later, and now with a digital award, Amy has since been asked to co-present with leading figures in the world of Computing.  Click on the image below to see the video.


Amy will be attending again this year, and don’t forget that we’re looking for inspiring students from Hull who can show how they’ve worked individually or in small groups to use code with Raspberry Pi.

Deadline for the STEM Competition with a Pi project is before the May half term break, when we look forward to showcasing and celebrating creativity, innovation and imagination through computer science.  More details on a previous blog post.

I know that some of you have expressed an interest to attend, but please do contact me if you’d like any further details about this Jamboree event.  We’ve also got Alan joining us in Hull for ‘Day 1’ of the ‘Delivering an outstanding GCSE Computing’ course at Winifred Holtby on 12th February.  As the event organiser, we’re sure to be talking about the CPD opportunities on the agenda!

I’ll be attending the event in Manchester and also taking a small team of Y3 children to the Saturday ‘Family Day’ at Edge Hill University. This Jam Hack Day will host up to 300 students, teachers, parents, and computing enthusiasts who will join together to learn and problem solve in teams.

If you’d like to join us please get in touch, or if you’d like to enter your own team with members of your school Pi or Coding Club, then you’ll find details here.


OCR Raspberry Jamboree 2014

The OCR Raspberry Jamboree draft timetable is linked on the event page above

Jam Hack Day

Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition

raspberry pi