Case Study - Tyssen Community School, London

Tyssen

Working together for excellence in computing

Tyssen Community School is known as a school on an upward progression where the quality of teaching is consistently good.  To maintain these excellent teaching standards, the team at Tyssen appointed a computing manager to deliver the new curriculum. 

With 430 pupils, Tyssen Community School is a larger than average primary school.  Located in Stoke Newington, London, the school’s motto, Together for Excellence, is reflected in their last Ofsted report which achieved overall ‘Good’ status but was also noted for outstanding in the areas of behaviour and leadership.

It’s this attitude which is reaping benefits at the school, as Jose Fernandez, Year 6 Teacher and Computing Manager at Tyssen Community School, explains.

“As a school, Tyssen is committed to delivering the best possible education for our pupils.  To do this, we have had to invest in training, in particular surrounding the new computing curriculum.”

What were the issues?

Although Jose had extensive computing knowledge, on his appointment as Computing Manager he felt he needed to know more:

“As the new computing manager I needed to expand my knowledge of programming and coding.  Whereas previously pupils would create something in PowerPoint, this is no longer the case.  The new curriculum demands much more expertise, for example creating mobile apps is one area where we needed some training.”

Jose continues:  “We have fabulous teachers at our school but part of my new role is to help other members of staff with computing and it is also my responsibility to deliver the new curriculum.  I needed to expand my knowledge so that I could share knowledge with and support the other members of the teaching team.”

How CPD for Teachers helped

To fully support his colleagues as Computing manager, Jose needed to seek expert advice and training on the new computing curriculum. Jose says

“I looked at what the gaps were in my knowledge and then looked at which courses would help me in supporting the team more effectively.”

Jose explains why they selected CPD for Teachers to deliver their training:

“It was quite simple, a good recommendation.  It’s a minefield of information and suppliers out there.  A colleague had been on some of their courses and they were highly recommended.  The course was at a location and date which suited and was very reasonably priced, so it ticked all the boxes in terms of meeting our needs.”

Over the last twelve months, Jose has attended several of the CPD for Teachers courses: Introduction to Python, Scratch, Raspberry Pi and Creating Mobile Apps.

“All the courses are tailored to be delivered in one day, which is great as it means you’re not away from the classroom for too long.  The groups were small and everyone was at a similar level, apart from the trainer, of course, who was very impressive.  Such an expert, yet managed to deliver the course in a hands-on and fun way which was at just the right knowledge level for us.”

Jose adds:  “Although it’s a one day course, the resources and information you get to take away are brilliant.  I still use these now to help create new, innovative lesson plans.  It means that you can literally go straight back into the classroom and deliver a new computing topic the following day.”

Improving engagement and achievement

Usually training takes some time to make an impact, but Jose says that this training was different:

“It was different to other courses, much better, with information provided to get you started straight away.  I returned to school and shared everything I had learnt with our team in a staff meeting.  The new lessons were rolled out within a week or so of returning after each course.”

In the classroom Jose says this means that “There has been a marked improvement in pupil engagement.  There is something empowering about asking your pupils to design a mobile app or a game and then seeing the project through.  It’s something real which they are familiar with and understand.”

Tyssen Computing Class

Now they code every day, pupils are much more confident and interested in the topics and teachers are seeing better results, Jose says:

“The pupils love the new lessons, they really enjoy them.  As a result of the increased engagement in the classroom we’ve seen a great improvement in pupil achievement which was our objective.”

Next steps

So, what’s next for computing at Tyssen? It seems the technology world is their oyster as Jose explains:

“We are now exploring a whole new world of technology.  Firstly, we are already seeing the positive results so we need to keep that momentum going and continue to raise the profile of computing.  We are just starting to use programmable cars which the pupils will programme with code in lessons and have also started a coding club. We will also be taking more courses to expand our knowledge and computing skills.”

Jose concludes:  “It’s not so much the next steps for us, but for our pupils.  I feel our job as teachers is to expose our pupils to as many computing technologies as possible so that when they move onto secondary education they have the confidence to work with whatever faces them.”

If you’d like to find out how CPD for Teachers can make an impact at your school, please email hello@cpdforteachers.com