Simon Peyton Jones's bookmarks
Last edit: 18 March 2022
Computing at school in the UK
Computing is a foundational subject discipline that every child should have the opportunity to learn, from primary school onwards, just like maths or natural science. That is the vision of the new English National Curriculum for computing. This page collects together key links and resources to explain the vision, put it in its international context, point to major reports, identify key resources, and so on.
Many of these links are to CAS resources. Every CAS resource is a wiki that you can edit and improve. If you are a CAS member, please take the initiative to write as well as read, to contribute and share as well as enjoy and celebrate.
The big picture
- Our vision for teaching computing. This seven-minute video (Sept 2019) summarises the vision of the new computing curriculum, and the support for teachers and schools offered by the National Centre for Computing Education. It's addressed primarily to schools and teachers, but gives a useful overview.
- Why we should teach children to code, page 62 of Hello World Issue 10, 2019. In his March 2019 blog post, Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education at the OECD, asks “Should schools teach coding?”. This short article makes the case for teaching every child to write simple programs, but also explains why we should not uncritically think that skill in coding is The Answer.
- Shut down or restart (January 2012): this report by the Royal Society report was a watershed. The NextGen Skills report, a year earlier, was a key forerunner. Here's a page with lots more national reports.
- After the reboot (November 2017) is the Royal Society's assessment of the state of play five years after "Shut down or restart", and three years after the new national curriculum was launched.
- The international perspective: national reports and rich curricular resources from other countries.
- Teaching creative computer science: this 12-minute TEDx talk gives the thinking behind the new computing curriculum. My talk Shaping our children's eduction in computing, at Strange Loop 2018, is a more up to date and longer (1 hr) version.
- Code to joy, which appeared in the TES on 16 Jan 2015, is a 2,500 overview of the opportunities and challenges of the new computing curriculum.
- Media coverage and blogs
- Research in computer science education
- Digital skills in computing education. I gave this talk as part of the 2020 BCS Virtual Festival of Digital skills. In it I try to articulate a vision of what "digital skills" might be, and how we should help our children to acquire them.
The National Curriculum
- The Computing programmes of study: this 3-page document defines the national curriculum for Computing in England, for ages 6-16. It launched in Sept 2014.
- Decoding the new computing programmes of study: Simon PJ's attempt to unpack the language of the POS.
- The original CAS curriculum for computer science, written in 2009, which was a key source document for the new programme of study.
- Computational thinking
The CAS community
- The National Centre for Computing Education launched in November 2018.
- BCS School Curriculum and Assessment Committee (SCAC), was established in 2019 as a permanent, formally-constituted voice for the entire computing community.
- Computing at School's home page
- Getting started in CAS
- The CAS Network of Excellence, and the (substantial) status reports that we submit to the Department for Education. Here's a summer 2015 state of the nation summary of progress and challenges.
Resources to support computing teachers
- Hello world, launched in 2017, is a 100-page colour magazine, designed specifically for computing teachers, mostly written by computing teachers. It's free online, but you can get hard copy too (free to teachers in the UK). It's a joint venture between the Raspberry Pi Foundation and CAS.
- micro:mag is a magazine focusing on the micro:bit. It is written by the community and includes micro:bit related news, stories and projects.
- A list of lots of computing competitions, all aimed at school children.
- CAS resources to support:
- CAS Barefoot: teaching resources and training for primary
- Teaching London Computing
- Teach Computing Science: A Guide for Primary and Early Years Practitioners (2017), and the Scottish Plan C resource set. These are great, field-trialled resources written by Quintin Cutts and his colleagues in Scotland.
- Digital Schoolhouse
- Computer Science Unplugged: Tim Bell's famous work, still super-relevant.
- cs4fn: computer science for fun. Magic tricks, puzzles, chocolate.
- Guide to computing for head teachers and senior leadership teams
- Inspiring books about computer science
- Schemes of work written by CAS teachers
- Computer science educators StackExchange site. Here you can ask, and answer, any question about computing education.
- The Quantum project, aimed at formative assessment for computing, at both primary and secondary level.
- CAS Qualificaitons framework document (2019) summarises all computing qualificaitons relevant at Key Stage 4, including Techincal Awards.
- GCSE and A level qualifications in computing
- DfE performance tables: technical and vocational qualifications. This England-specific info specifies the on-GCSE KS4 qualifications that count for Progress 8. Also the DfE Functional Skills qualifications.
- DfE/Ofqual specification for GCSE Computer Science
- CAS Progression Pathways
- Baseline testing
- CAS assessment guidance
- Principled assessment of computational thinking
- How do I assess the development of CT?
- BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching
- Postgrad or Masters courses for computing teachers
- MOOCs for school-level computer science
Careers and diversity
- Founders4Schools: well-briefed tech entrepreneurs are willing to come to your school, for free, to help inspire the next generation.
- CAS #include: CAS's sub-group that pays attention to issues of diversity and inclusion.
- Girls/women in computing: role models, organisations, pointers.
- Visit the Careers Inspiration page
- Careers in computing collects links to web sites and videos that celebrate and explain careers in computing.