New Leader – c) Curriculum - Primary Leadership Journey

By Phil Wickins posted 20-06-2024 13:35


This blog is the third in a series aimed at New Leaders. To navigate back and forth through the series, please click on the infographic below; more blogs will be written and added in due course. This blog explores the computing curriculum, and is covered in much more detail (with practical activities)  in the second session of Leading Primary Computing – Module 1

Leadership Pathway

One of the first things to ensure as a subject lead, is that everyone knows what they are teaching. Your computing curriculum should be broad, rich and deep, up to date, not present too much of a learning curve for teachers, have clear progression and assessment opportunities, be clearly linked to the National Curriculum, be accessibly and adaptable, come with a wealth of supporting resources (like pre-made slides & worksheets), be accompanied by free CPD for teachers as well as leaders, oh and if possible, can you get it all for free too?

Sounds like too much to ask doesn’t it! Well believe it or not, the Teach Computing Curriculum is all of those things. Having been research led and funded by the DfE, you can trust that this has scheme has passed the test for coverage and pitch. Have a look at this course, which shows you how to implement the Teach Computing Curriculum in your school. There is even a free short remote course on adapting the Teach Computing Curriculum for mixed-year classes, if that is your situation!

With any scheme of work, you would be expected (after a period of embedding) to begin adapting and tailoring it to your school and cohort. Check out our course on teaching primary computing through contexts. Many leaders have already been sharing their own ideas and adaptations for different units, either out of necessity; using different hardware or software that is more available to them, or to link with themes, topics and contexts that have more meaning to their school culture. Head over to the STEM community threads here: TCC – adapted units and also here: Share tips on using an NCCE resource in your classroom.

The TCC is downloadable and I often get asked, why isn’t there just one button to download the whole thing at once? A good question! There is an equally good answer… If downloaded all at once, the tendency might be to save the whole of the TCC onto a shared drive for teachers to retrieve from whenever they need, and would most likely sit there for years to come. However, because the TCC is not static content, and is constantly being updated to reflect advances technology and pedagogy, a wise approach would be to encourage teachers to download the next unit they need at the time they need to start preparing for it. That way they get the freshest version; for example the online safety aspect of the units has recently undergone some updates. Whilst we’re on the subject of online safety, do have a look at these resources that can be used alongside the TCC: Primary online safety resources as well as this excellent short course: Online safety through primary computing.

We are currently updating the learning graphs that accompany each unit, as we understand they have not been the easiest documents to use, nor do they link very well to the knowledge types mentioned in the Ofsted Research Review: Procedural Knowledge – knowing how and Declarative Knowledge – knowing that). Once these learning graphs are updated, they will be shared on the NCCE blog and also in the STEM Learning Community.

Do have a look at the TCC journey, where you can see at a glance how the units fit together and click on units to take you straight to the resources. 

Keep an eye out for news and updates for the TCC and everything computer related on the NCCE Blog

Which curriculum do you use? What are it's strengths and weaknesses? Tell us in the comments!

Next blog: Assessment and Evidence
Previous blog: Primary Computing Certificate

CQF: If you have signed up to complete the Computer Quality Framework, then any activity undertaken in this incremental section of the Leadership Journey would count towards to the 'Curriculum and Qualifications' dimension of the CQF.