13 February 2023
5 ideas for supporting learners with SEND in Computing
Every class is made up a wide range of individuals, each bringing their own experiences, skills, interests and challenges to the study of computing. Here are five ways to help include all students in lessons, to give them the best opportunity to achieve in the subject:
1. Ensure that all teaching materials are accessible. Consider font size and spacing, use of language and colour, and add image support in worksheets and presentations. Explore assistive technologies to support learners, for example Immersive Reader.
2. Provide learners with multiple means of action and expression: can they express what they know through stop-motion animation, model networks in unplugged activities, or learn about what makes a good program through Parson's Problems? (See also Universal Design for Learning for more about this).
3. Harness the interests of your students in projects and examples, and ensure they are relevant and meaningful.
4. Provide opportunities for scaffolding, for example using templates or the PRIMM framework in programming, and the support to become more independent over time.
5. Build confidence in computing: enable quick wins at the start of a unit, celebrate successes, teach debugging strategies explicitly, and ensure all learners are valued and included in your classroom.
Some individuals may need more targeted support in addition to these suggestions, but with these in place, your classroom will become more inclusive.
The good news is that there is a lot of support for your next steps, from CAS and the NCCE:
- Sign up for the SEND Computing Conference in York on the 17th March, aimed at teachers in special, primary and secondary settings.
- Learn more about how to use Technology to suppport learners with SEND in primary STEM subjects on the 9th March, also in York.
- Check out the resources from CAS Include - the Computing at School working party promoting diveristy and inclusion in computing, and volunteer at a future event.
- Consider how you can contribute to the CAS Community by asking and answering questions on the forum, uploading an inclusive resource that you’ve used successfully with pupils, and join your local CAS Community to continue the conversation.