CAS Master Teachers are part of DfE strategy
As set out in the UK Digital Strategy, government through the DfE has:
provided funding for the Computing At School Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science, whose network of over 350 Master Teachers can provide continuing professional development to teachers needing to further develop their computing expertise', to ensure that young people leave school able to take their place in the digital economy.
The CAS Master Teachers are the Network of Excellence’s (NoE) "Practitioner Champions" – experienced, high-performing classroom teachers with a passion for the subject; enthusiasm, energy, and a desire to support others. Despite the label, CAS Master Teachers are neither all male nor do they set out to create a Master-Apprentice relationship with teachers in their area! The support provided is peer to peer, working with enthusiasm and a passion for their subject with fellow professionals.
What does a CAS Master Teacher do?
CAS Master Teachers will (with the support of their Head Teacher) spend approximately three hours each week fulfilling their role in a way that supports their own personal professional development, benefits their own school and other teachers in their local community. This support may take the form of low-cost training sessions and other mentoring and coaching opportunities. Master Teachers are, first and foremost, teachers. They will be active members of Computing At School; hold QTS and be working (for at least 2 full days a week) in a state-funded Primary, Middle, Secondary school or FE College; be actively supported by their Headteacher in this role and both knowledgeable and passionate about their subject.
All CAS Master Teachers are tasked with the following:
- To champion computer science in schools and the wider teaching profession
- Act as specialist lead computing teachers for their areas
- To provide training, mentoring and coaching to teachers in their local communities
- To support collaboration between schools and universities.
They are part of the local CAS community of practice and work alongside their CAS Regional Centre and the local hubs to support teachers of computing in their local area. The CAS Master Teacher team is an essential part of developing a community of professional practice, alongside the other activities initiated by local CAS Hubs and our University partners in the Network of Excellence. As well as the subject and pedagogical knowledge CAS Master Teachers help develop, a key part of the role is building a supportive relationship, based on mutual trust among colleagues.
The following is typical for a CAS Master Teacher
Jamie Edmondson is Specialist Teacher of Computing and Computing Subject Leader, Our Lady's RC Primary School, Manchester. Jamie ran 2 workshops to delegates at the CAS Manchester conference in October on 'using Python at KS2 and KS3' with all delegates taking away with them a Python activity booklet/unit of work to use within their teaching.
He also delivered 2 half day inset sessions to teachers from various schools, one on 'Using Scratch across the primary curriculum' and the other session on 'Using iPads to develop Computational Thinking in EYFS/KS1,' with good attendance at each one and very positive feedback given. He attended all CAS Manchester hub meetings/training events and the South Manchester hub meeting last month. He continues to be an active member of CAS, uploading all presentations and resources used within his training and contributing to the online forums and weekly CASchat twitter chats.
He already has a number of teachers booked on to the 2 half day inset course that he will be running next month and also on the full day Computing pedagogy inset that he will be running later in June.
Pete Marshman, CAS Master Teacher, Park House School (PHS), Newbury. Park House is actively involved in new initiatives. The curriculum is enriched through attending the TeenTech Event, Digigirls and World Technology Skills. Other activities include popup Computing, Lego Mindstorm challenges and primary experience days. Pete coordinates the local area CAS hub drawing in teachers from schools across Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Dorset. CAS Mater Teacher training and other CPD events are also offered at the.. Support has been provided to over 12 nearby primary schools to assist with the impact of the new curriculum.
The school provide opportunities for primary schools to attend a Computer Science experience day. This involves over 400 pupils from 12 different primary schools annually. Teachers also receive CPD on this day and staff have been involved in advising, delivering CPD and supporting local primary schools.
Can I become a CAS Master Teacher?
There are many reasons why teachers wish to become a CAS Master Teacher:
- enhanced career development
- recognition of their own status as a teacher
- opportunity to help and support other colleagues
- improve their own teaching of the subject
- access to professional development opportunities
'CAS Master Teacher' is not an award, it does carry recognition of experience and professional practice but most importantly it is a role to support others, a opportunity to share experience and knowledge with other Computing teachers.
If you answer "yes" to the following, then you can mopst certainly apply to be a CAS Master Teacher:
- Are you an experienced teacher or trainer with a background in Computer Science or related STEM discipline?
- Do you have a passion about sharing best practice in teaching and learning?
- Can you confidently engage with your peers in a professional environment?
- Do you have the ability to design and deliver practical and interactive workshops for teachers with appropriate course material?
- Are you a member of Computing At School?
NB. In a survey of CAS Master Teachers carried out in October 2015 over 93% agreed or agreed strongly that they find the Master Teacher activities satisfying, over 95% agreed or agreed strongly that they felt proud to be a CAS Master Teacher and that over 90% agreed or agreed strongly that being a CAS Master Teacher had helped with their career and professional development.
What does a CAS Master Teacher do?
The Master Teacher is a "Practitioner Champion", an adaptive teacher leader who enables the professional development of others and catalyses or supports curriculum change. The CAS Master Teacher will specifically fulfil the role of curriculum adviser and professional developer.
These two roles are conducted in two main ways: either in the context of a one-to-many activity e.g. a training course, workshop, visit to a school; or one-to-one e.g. responding to email or phone calls, tweets or CAS forum posts. Each CAS Master Teacher is in a regional team overseen by the representative at the CAS Regional Centre. The CRC directly supports the CAS Master Teacher by e.g. approve content of CPD sessions, provide feedback on CAS Master Teacher sessions, provide training and mentoring as needed by the CAS Master Teacher. Each CRC operates differently so the level of support may vary but in all cases the CRC is the first point of contact for CAS Master Teachers.
How can I find my nearest CAS Master Teacher?
CAS maintains a public register of active CAS Master Teachers but you can also enter your postcode on the CAS homepage and this will list the Master Teachers in your area, as well as the nearest CAS hubs.
How do I apply to be a Master Teacher?
Please follow this link to apply to become a Master Teacher: Master Teacher Application.