The Computing at School (CAS) Working Group aims to promote the teaching of computer science at school. CAS was born out of our excitement with our discipline, combined with a serious concern that many students are being turned off computing by a combination of factors that have conspired to make the subject seem dull and pedestrian. Our goal is to put the excitement back into Computing at school.
CAS is a grass roots organisation, whose energy, creativity, and leadership comes from its members. We are a collaborative partner with the BCS through the BCS Academy of Computing, and has formal support from other industry partners. Membership is open to everyone, and is very broad, including teachers, parents, governors, exam boards, industry, professional societies, and universities. We speak for the discipline of computing at school level, inc. FE, and not for any particular interest group.
CAS seeks to work at many levels, including
- Directly supporting ICT and Computing teachers who are excited by computing, by providing them with teaching material, training, local hubs, newsletters and the opportunity to meet with like-minded colleagues.
- Acting as a Subject Association for computing teachers.
- Working at an institutional level, for example by encouraging the developments of GCSEs in Computing.
- Advocacy at national policy level; for example, submitting evidence to the Royal Society study on Computing in School.
The changes needing to be made in the teaching of Computing and ICT in the UK can only be made by teachers through the way they deliver the skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes associated with the developing curriculum.
It is through Computing at School (CAS) that we empower each other with the support of other teachers, trainers, lecturers, academics, managers, developers and entrepreneurs in an open, inclusive and self-sustaining community.
CAS is the means by which we communicate and support each other with trust, respect and a common goal. CAS is also the focus for representing the teacher voice of computer science, at whatever level, in the arenas of government, academia, industry and non-commercial organisations.
Our primary mission is to establish computer science as a discipline that every child should have the opportunity to learn at school, from primary school onwards. We believe that computer science is a fascinating discipline that can be appreciated by children of all ages and provide them with the theory and tools they will need to be producers of ICT artefacts rather than consumers only.
We are open and inclusive; we engage willingly with any individuals or organisations that share our goals, as partners in a common endeavour and not as competitors.
Because the CAS community is working together and for each other, communications within CAS are characterised by trust and respect. Members are scrupulously polite, and do not quote CAS discussions in public without consulting the author.
CAS is fervently vendor-neutral; CAS welcomes and celebrates the contribution made by awarding bodies, software suppliers, and consultancies to computer science at school; but does not endorse any particular supplier.
Almost all CAS's activity comes from the periphery, not the centre. Motivated individuals, partner organisations, companies, and university departments, are all encouraged to run teacher hubs, put on CPD courses, generate teaching resources, and so on. They can do so under CAS branding, provided they are compatible with CAS's goals, and the materials are made freely available under a Creative Commons license (or similar).
|CAS Coordinator, Simon Humphreys, speaks about CAS, the forthcoming changes to the ICT curriculum, the roles of master teachers, the Network of Excellence and how parents and teachers can become involved in shaping and structuring IT learning.|
Structure and Organisation
CAS has formed a strategic alliance with BCS, The Chartered Society for IT. The BCS is the natural professional society for our discipline, and it is hugely helpful to us to have their support. BCS contributes significant resources in terms of time and money which enables two part-time staff to support CAS members from within BCS.
Formally, CAS is part of the BCS Academy , and in due course CAS members will automatically (and cheaply) be members of BCS. This provides a supportive institutional framework but does not threaten CAS's autonomy or grass-roots style. CAS is internally governed by the CAS Board, formed from the membership.
Around the country, members of CAS volunteer to be a regional representative for the association forming a valuable network across the UK.
CAS is supported financially by BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, Microsoft, Google, Ensoft and the UK Committee of Heads and Professors of Computer Science. Without their help there would be no CAS. Thank you!
The Computing at School working group is managed by a board of members under the auspices of the BCS Academy.
|Prof. Simon Peyton Jones (Chair)||Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge|
|Dr. Kevin Bond||Chair of Examiners AS/A Level Computing, AQA Examining Board|
|Dr Irene Bell||Chair CAS Northern Ireland|
|Miles Berry||Senior Lecturer (ICT), Roehampton University|
|Pete Bradshaw||The Open University|
|Mark Clarkson||Head of ICT, Egglescliffe School / Stockton on Tees LA|
|Dr Tom Crick||Chair, CAS Wales|
|Mark Dorling||Langley Grammar School & The Digital Schoolhouse|
|Roger Davies||Director of ICT at Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria.|
|Kate Farrell||Chair, CAS Scotland|
|Simon Humphreys||CAS Coordinator|
|Prof. Michael Kolling||Professor at the School of Computing, University of Kent in Canterbury, UK|
|Iain Phillips||Chair, CPHC|
|Thomas Ng||School Improvement Advisor, West Berkshire|
|Clare Riley||Education relations, Microsoft UK|
|Shahneila Saeed||Head of ICT, Graveney School, Wandsworth|
|Dr John Woollard||University of Southampton|