Case Study – Midfield Primary School, Bromley
Breaking the Code to Improve Delivery of the New Computing Curriculum
Midfield Primary School is known for its outstanding reputation. With input from CPD for Teachers, the team at Midfield can ensure that the improved delivery of the new computing curriculum supports their excellent reputation.
“Our training journey so far has been very positive. It is helping us maintain our very high standards and will play an increasingly important part in ensuring we deliver excellent teaching in our school”.Anthony Sharp, Deputy Headteacher of Midfield Primary School
About the school
With 323 pupils, Midfield Primary is a larger than average primary school. Located in Bromley, Kent, the school's motto, REACH: Respond, Engage, Achieve, and Climb Higher is reflected in their last Ofsted report which achieved ‘Good’ in all areas.
Anthony Sharp, Deputy Headteacher of Midfield Primary School, explains how that when you need to maintain this standard for excellent teaching, it’s important that teachers are asked for feedback to teaching planning and delivery, particularly when there have been changes to the curriculum.
What were the issues?
There have been seismic shifts in what we expect teachers to deliver in the new computing curriculum, as Anthony Sharp explains:
“ICT used to focus purely on computer literacy, teaching pupils how to use software packages, for example, creating PowerPoint presentations, producing documents in Word, and e-safety. With the new curriculum the focus has changed to understanding how computers work, including how to program them.”
Anthony continues: “Our school has good teachers who are competent and can teach ICT to a more than acceptable standard. But when we reviewed the new curriculum we saw that there was a gap in programming skills and a lack of confidence from our teachers, who were saying that they had concerns that they would not be able to deliver parts of the new curriculum.”
How CPD for Teachers helped
It was clear that teachers needed more guidance and the school needed to prioritise the computing curriculum training.
“We needed to re-set teachers’ thinking, eradicate the ‘programming’ fear factor and give them further information on how to deliver it effectively,” Anthony says.
Anthony explains the reasons behind the school selecting a CPD for Teachers course:
“A key factor in the course provider selection was one which could be delivered quickly, on-site and tailored to meet the school’s needs. It met our needs in terms of being practical and hands-on from the start. One tricky area for us teaching the new curriculum to primary school children is making it engaging and fun for children of a young age.
“The one day ‘How to teach programming course’ takes a very large step back from the computer, all the tables and chairs are pushed back and the delegates literally walk through a program using obstacles courses to navigate pathways.”
Anthony adds “It was a simple but very clear way to bring coding to life and explain how computing programming works. These innovative methods will also help us in delivering lessons in an engaging way for our pupils.“
The impact of training with CPD for Teachers was evident straight away. The teachers can now explore how they can engage the children in programming, rather than the preconceived idea, which was along the lines of opening up a computer and looking at wires.
In practice, Anthony says this means that “Teachers now have the confidence to approach it. Far less concerned about what they don’t know, they now focus on what they do know and are also examining cross curricular content transfer opportunities say from computing to science, English to maths, and so on.”
A fear held by many teachers is that once you set children on their way it’s possible that they will steam ahead of the adults. This is natural as adults are scared to press the wrong button, whereas children don’t have that fear so are free to explore. But, Anthony says that this is no longer feared at Midfield Primary:
“We’ve learned to embrace the possibility of any young IT geniuses. This is seen as a positive outcome and confirms that we are delivering excellent teaching. It is hoped that we can use those skills and even channel them into our own teaching.”
It is still early days for the new curriculum, but Anthony says: “We now deliver the new computing curriculum with confidence and in a way which truly engages and inspires our young pupils.”
If you’d like to find out how CPD for Teachers can make an impact at your school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org