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Completing the Teach primary computing certificate - Hayley

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A photograph of Hayley smiling and the title of the blog.

Hi Hayley, nice to meet you. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I am the Computing and Online Safety Lead at Hadleigh Junior School, Essex. I work as part of the PPA team (music, French and computing) and teach every class for computing. We are a 3-form entry school, so I teach twelve key stage 2 classes.

When did you complete the Teach primary certificate?

 I completed the Teach primary certificate back in 2021. I moved to teaching KS2 computing in September 2019, having taught for thirteen years in KS3-KS5. Then the pandemic happened, so I was able to start my Teach primary computing journey using the vast array of online offerings and finally attend a face-to-face course to complete my certificate.

Why did you decide to sign up for the Teach primary computing certificate?

Whilst I was very familiar with how KS3-KS5 computing worked, I had little experience of teaching anyone younger.  From my research, I had seen such a vast array of curriculum offerings depending upon the school. Therefore, I wanted to ensure that I was teaching computing not only in a way that really prepared pupils for the next stage in their education, but helped them to see computing as the exciting and important subject that it is. The Teach primary computing certificate has since evolved, with the option to take a leading/specialising or classroom teaching route – which is fantastic as this opens the opportunity up to all teachers.

What motivated you to work through the different elements of it and did you feel supported in doing so?

I really liked how so many of the online options allowed you to work at your own pace and dip in and out when needed.  It facilitated communication, as comments could be added and responded to with other course attendees.  

How did you find the CPD that you chose to undertake?

The filter tools on the website helped locate a variety of courses to take that I wouldn’t have actively searched for. I undertook quite a few more than were needed to complete the certificate, because they interested me. I really liked the practical lesson suggestions included in the courses, alongside seeing suggestions other teachers had made in the comments. The face-to-face course was very hands-on, and we worked on planning lessons/activities that we could take away and use immediately with classes.

How has completing the certificate impacted your teaching and strategies in the classroom? Do you feel more confident now?

I definitely understand more of the pedagogy behind the suggested teaching activities.  I have read the Quick Reads that have been provided by the NCCE (semantic waves being one that particularly interested me) and follow the 12 principles of Computing Pedagogy in my own teaching. I believe the courses have helped me to develop scaffolding and my adaptive teaching toolkit. Being in a community where ideas can be shared has really helped me see outside my comfort zone and get more creative with the ways in which the theory can be taught.

What has been the biggest change in your approach since you completed the certificate?

The biggest change has been my confidence with assessment of computing at key stage 2 as since the levels were removed it all seemed a little vague – but the assessment courses have helped to clarify this. I also see the importance of developing computational thinking for pupils at a young age and not waiting until key stage 3 to start introducing the concepts.  Computational thinking links so well with our school’s focus on metacognition.

Would you recommend the certificate to other teachers and if so, why?

I am always recommending Teach Computing Curriculum resources to computing teachers. The whole set has been carefully planned, with pedagogy as the foundation. All the resources are kept up-to-date and have taken on board feedback to ensure they are continually developed in line with what teachers need. 

The Teach primary computing certificate isn’t something that has to be completed in your year’s CPD time, you can pick and choose elements that suit your current needs and eventually it all comes together and awards you with the certificate.  If you don’t feel you, or your staff, have time to complete the full certificate, definitely give some of the courses a try. 

Find out more about the Teach primary computing certificate.