Agenda item - Computing in Schools: Update

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Agenda item

Computing in Schools: Update

Report of the Executive Director; Families, Children and Learning (Copy attached)

 

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed –

 

1.    That the Committee supports and promotes the work that is being done in schools in the area of computing.

 

2.    That the Committee promotes coding clubs to schools that do not have this provision.

 

3.    That Committee members, through their different roles, promote computing to girls.

Minutes:

62.1    The ICT and Computing Consultant gave a brief presentation on the main changes to the curriculum by way of a video presentation.

 

62.2    The panel were advised of programmes such as computational thinking and its successful progress in implementation. The time of discussion with children had been increased to 4 hours. The panel were introduced to various practical methods that children were engaging with such as a circuit board called a crumble various works of which were displayed that demonstrated the synthesis of build and programming. An item called a Makey Makey was presented as a programming tool kit able to turn fruit in to a keyboard; this was to demonstrate an example of encoding and programming the children were involved with. Further examples of children’s coding and Basic Visuals alongside algorithm work was presented.

 

62.3    Jo Robson, Varndean School, clarified that the skill set today is much greater at secondary school such that what is taught at Key Stage 2 was until recently found in Key Stage 3. She confirmed that students are involved in coding as part of an updated curriculum designed to promote being a creator and not a tech user. She expanded on various efforts made such as providing lunch time clubs in order to promote interest in coding through gaming, 3d printing and robotics. She confirmed that majority of students volunteering for the aforementioned interests were male however after efforts were being made to promote this to female pupils. She noted that the Amex sponsored a female only coding project designed to inspire more girls to technology.

 

62.4    The Deputy Head of Hove Park emphasised the differences between lessons carried out in the 90’s and today and focused on the increase in complexity of today’s lessons. The panel were informed of various methods employed to reduce the amount of male involvement and to promote female engagement. It was stated that SEN learners club for coding was introduced to encourage social interaction and resilience. It was confirmed that there was a push to have more females at Key Stage 4.

 

62.3    Martin Jones enquired what experience the schools had regarding ICT instead of computer science.

 

62.4    Jo Robson stated that at Varndean, ICT had been discontinued and that this was its final year at GCSE level. She noted that an alternative will be offered soon and emphasised that it is useful for all students to learn how to manage spreadsheets and websites.

 

62.5    Councillor Phillips enquired how children are selected to take part in the Albion Code Project

 

62.6    Jo Robson confirmed that children the Albion Code Project operated on a first come first serve basis

 

62.7    Councillor Phillips enquired if there are any schools at risk of not being able to deliver on the growing standard of computer science

 

62.8    The ICT and Computing Consultant stated that coding elements if education can be intimidating however the launch of the hub should help allay concerns

 

62.9    Councillor Penn enquired how others could get involved with coding clubs

 

62.10  Michelle Prentis gave an example of the digital day event provided to Hove Park School that was matched up by an agency

 

62.11  Jo Robson stated that the Department of Education has released circa £200000 funding for training

 

62.12  Councillor Brown enquired of any possible partnership with the RSA

 

62.13  The Senior Advisor- Educational Partnerships stated that she would look in to this

 

62.14  Lesley Hurst stated that there are many STEM ambassadors who area DBS checked that can be contacted. She further noted that there are programs available for women in Key Stage 3 and 4, she emphasised that these are provided in a language that is more in aligned with the female psyche than the male.

 

62.15  Amanda Mortensen enquired why there was no mention of special schools

 

62.16  Michelle Prentis stated that digital leaders will visit primary special schools

 

62.17  Councillor Platts stated that the primary hub is open to everyone

 

62.18  RESOLVED: That the Committee agree

 

1.    That the Committee supports and promotes the work that is being done in schools in the area of computing.

 

2.    That the Committee promotes coding clubs to schools that do not have this provision.

 

3.    That Committee members, through their different roles, promote computing to girls.

Supporting documents:

 


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