Google supported

CAS Tenderfoot is a Google-funded project to produce quality CPD and content rich resources for use with KS3 teachers.

  The continued support and provision of high quality, effective professional development for teachers of Computing is a high priority for all those committed to Computing in schools.  

There is a need to model good practice in an accessible way for time-constrained teachers and to provide guided learning to an agreed goal. 

In 2015, it was proposed to:

  • Create 10 units of CPD to be used by universities/master teachers/lead schools/CAS hubs that exemplify good pedagogical practice, support subject knowledge development and put computational thinking at the heart of teaching computing.
  • Ensure the models would help students progressively develop thinking skills across the computing curriculum, and provide models of formative and summative assessment.
  • Provide video support which take the CPD units and illustrate good practice in the classroom.

There is a plethora of free classroom resources available to teachers that talk about computing, but very little that is backed up by evidence based research. CAS tenderfoot will ensure that pedagogical ideas are evidenced through practitioner research, carried out by CAS Master Teachers, CAS Lead Schools, and the 10 CAS Regional Centres.

Currently there is much enthusiasm for teaching computing, but there is a great deal of variation in how it is taught, with much emphasis on coding without as much thought on how to teach computational thinking skills. This project will promote the teaching of computational thinking, encourage classroom-based research and integrate formative and diagnostic assessment strategies.

Computing At School (CAS) seeks to promote excellence in computer science education in schools.

The number of CAS hubs, Master Teachers, Lead Schools and University Partners continues to grow, as does the wider membership of CAS but when examined closely there are a number of problems which relate to the perceived need for CPD, the level of knowledge and understanding required and the quality of CPD delivered. It is an imperative to:

  • provide a CPD framework for secondary teachers focussing on Computing in key stage 3
  • connect the work of the Master Teachers with other projects supported by CAS and BCS
  • drive the delivery of the CPD programme to the CAS/BCS Certificate for Computer Science Teachers
  • build on existing pedagogy and support all teachers develop and improve their practice
  • begin collecting classroom based research into effective pedagogy for computing

The product will include:

  • a number of units (10) of work covering the computer science curriculum;
  • the resources for training activities delivered by Master teachers (and others in the Regional Centres, initial teacher trainers, teachers supporting colleagues in school, other providers of CAS related CPD, etc.);
  • exemplar teaching materials aimed to stimulate interest by key stage 3 learners who might not necessarily be motivated or talented in aspects of computer science;
  • explicit recognition of one or several aspects of computational thinking and the techniques associated with computational thinking (with reference to the Google MOOC);
  • each unit will include one or more of a range of assessment activities for teachers and pupils including assessment for learning, online activities with automatic/formative feedback;
  • each unit of work to contain some form of computational thinking assessment and links to existing assessments of computational thinking;
  • each unit of work to be encapsulated in a format that can be accommodated by the CAS community website (and Google MOOC, and CEM) and presented in an attractive and efficient way for novice computing teachers to be able to exploit.

Consequently, each unit will be a balance of effort between subject knowledge development, developing pedagogy, promoting assessment strategies and integrating computational thinking. Participant professionals will be able to self-assess their subject knowledge through the assessment activities.

Much of the material will be drawn from materials already published to the CAS community. There will be a strict protocol ensuring that the original authors are recognised. Some may be noted as authors; others might become part of the Tenderfoot Team.

CAS National Coordinator Simon Humphreys
CAS Tenderfoot Coordinator John Woollard
CAS Tenderfoot Editor and Lead Author Roger Davies

All enquiries should be directed to Tenderfoot@computingatschool.org.uk

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